In the battle for The Beatles, Macca’s greatest PR coup

In the battle for The Beatles, Macca’s greatest PR coup
With his new McCartney biography, can famous Lennon man Philip Norman cross the floor to join Team Macca? PAUL DU NOYER explores Norman’s long and winding road from Lenninist to Macolyte.

A small annoyance of being in The Beatles, alongside all the good stuff like money and the adulation of millions, was the typecasting. Each Fab was given an official personality and nothing they did could ever shift it. We all know Paul McCartney’s: he was the cute one, the crafter of winsome ballads and (a double-edged attribute, this one) the diplomatic fixer. The PR man.

It was all a bit reductive, as stereotypes will tend to be. But it persisted, because there was just enough of the truth in there to make the image stick. And now, with the publication of a mammoth new book about him, it could be that McCartney has scored his greatest PR coup so far.

Philip Norman, author of the latest biography, was for years our bassman’s journalistic nemesis. Even before the publication of Shout!, his 1981 biography of the Beatles that casts Macca as a scheming lightweight, forever in John Lennon’s artistic shadow, Norman was no friend to the Paul faction. He had penned, most notoriously, a brutally dismissive poem in the Sunday Times that all but called for his assassination. Continue reading “In the battle for The Beatles, Macca’s greatest PR coup”