I’ve had a couple of reviews on Amazon of my Beatles book which are outright lies – specifically, one says
“The author is obviously not much of a McCartney fan, and seems to dismiss much of his work up through Sgt. pepper, and beyond, claiming Lennon superior to McCartney.”, while another says:
“However, his disdain for Paul McCartney is frankly ridiculous. Throughout the book, Hickey regularly informs the reader of Paul’s inferiority to Lennon on almost every level; he gives only occasional, grudging credit to Paul for his contributions to the Beatles as a creative force, while frequently dismissing McCartney tracks as being generally overrated. Most serious Beatle fans recognize that while McCartney was certainly capable of superficial banality, particularly during the group’s later period, both he and Lennon relied on one another for not only direct assistance with each other’s songs, but also for the positive effect the competitive nature of their working relationship had upon the quality of their respective compositions. Hickey never seems to recognize this crucial dynamic.”
I’m absolutely certain that no-one who’s actually bothered to read the book I wrote, rather than go in with their own strange ideas about it, could have come to that conclusion, unless parts like
As will so often be the case with this album, though, McCartney makes all the difference on this track. While Harrison and Starr both turn in exemplary performances, just listen to McCartney’s bass triplets under the middle eight. NOBODY was playing like that back then. Rhythmically his bass part is actually quite close to McCartney’s One Drum Idea, but the way it bubbles and twists is astonishing. Add in his Indian-flavoured guitar solo, and you have a track that shows McCartney to be one of the great musicians of his generation.
suggest that I don’t like McCartney or
And we move from a Lennon song vastly improved by McCartney to a McCartney song vastly improved by Lennon
suggests that I don’t recognise the two relied on each other, or
He later tried to exaggerate the differences between McCartney and himself, saying of this album “Paul said ‘come and see the show’, while I said ‘I read the news today, oh boy'” – but in fact, McCartney’s song merely hopes you’ll enjoy a show you’re already attending, while Lennon’s lyrics here (taken in large part from a poster for a circus performance in Rochdale in the mid 19th century) are actually exhorting you to come to a show you’re not at yet. On the other hand, the previous track, McCartney’s She’s Leaving Home, was based on a story McCartney read in the newspaper
is taking Lennon’s side in a dispute with McCartney or… well, you get the idea.
Anyway, it’s extremely bad form for an author to comment on reviews, but my worry here isn’t that the reviews are *bad* (everyone gets good and bad reviews, and that’s fine), but that they’re *inaccurate*. I worry that people are going to read those reviews (one of which, strangely, is from someone who’s never reviewed anything on Amazon before) and not buy the book because they think it’s something it’s not.
So could anyone who’s actually read the book and thinks I have a relatively balanced view of Lennon and McCartney go to the Amazon US page for the book and post a review? I don’t care much if it’s good or bad, just so long as it’s *accurate*, so if people are put off buying my book it’s for the right reasons. Say it’s not detailed enough, or that my writing style is poor, point out factual errors or problems with the proofreading (or, of course, say it’s a masterpiece and everyone should own twelve copies), just don’t say I slag off Paul McCartney in the book when I blatantly, obviously don’t.
Incidentally, according to my last.fm profile, Paul McCartney is my joint-11th most-listened to musician in the last year, while Lennon is 39th. Not that that proves anything…