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Get Back, Part Two, in the snow

Just got an email from a woman who was reading my first memoir All My Loving: coming of age with Paul McCartney in Paris. 

Just finished your wonderful book this morning. Loved, loved, loved your young voice bringing back so many memories of my monkey mind and rollercoaster emotions throughout my teen years. Wonderful, thank you.

Thank you! My dream is that one day, readers will want to know, or to relive, what it was like to hear the Beatles for the first time, to live in a glorious fantasy world with Paul, and to see them live twice in one day. Dream on, writer girl. 

Snow. A lot of snow, and it’s snowing still. At 8 a.m. I’m snug inside, in my dressing-gown with a cup of coffee, watching the sparrows and dark-eyed juncos raid the feeder and squabble in the cedars. Yesterday, in the long expanse of white, a flash of scarlet: Mr. Cardinal near the feeder, the only colour in the landscape of white, brown, and dark green. And what a colour.

A lovely moment: in 1996, when Sam was twelve, I had an article in the Globe about a snowy evening when he said to me, “You know what we should do right now, Mum? Have a snowball fight.” I wrote in the piece, “Of all the things I’d like to do right now — pour myself a glass of wine while Gabriel Byrne gives me a massage — a snowball fight is not on the list.”

But we did, and I lost. On Sunday, Anna came for dinner with Eli, who also proposed a snowball fight. And I lost again. Same garden, same snow, a twenty-five-years older me once more trying to hurl as well as the boy and being showered with snow for my pains. It was a wonderful flashback.

Last night’s thrill, Part Two of “Get Back.” It’s extraordinary to be immersed in their conversations, their rehearsals and arguments and endless cups of tea. I have to say – and you know I am the least prejudiced observer imaginable – that John’s constant fooling around gets annoying. There’s a vicious undertone periodically to his humour, especially when he’s working on one of Paul’s songs. George is a sweet man but passive-aggressive. Ringo – how could I have dismissed Ringo all those years? He’s patient, open, friendly to all. 

But it’s Macca who’s working to keep them on track, trying not to be the boss and yet, in a chaotic void of so much talent and ego, having to be so. He just keeps going. The current of energy, the creative tension between him and John is almost sexual; I’ve long thought that. 

And somehow, out of the chaos and joking and aimless sitting around comes the music, the songs engraved on our hearts. 

From a Rolling Stone magazine review, about Paul: 

He also brings in his girlfriend, rock photographer Linda Eastman. He introduces her to a camera man, then adds, “Linda’s a camera man.” Then he sits at the piano to run through some stunning new tunes: “Golden Slumbers,” “Another Day,” “The Long and Winding Road.” The songs aren’t finished, but he’s just showing off for Linda. He’s determined to dazzle this woman.
(This detail cannot be over-stressed: Paul has already decided Linda is the love of his life. He is correct. They’re inseparable for the next 38 years, until her dying day. At this point, he’s still a young rock star, not to mention the most adored bachelor on earth, but that doesn’t faze him. He has total emotional confidence in this life decision. He is 26 years old. Let’s face it: as a culture, we haven’t even begun to fathom the mysteries of Paul McCartney. The gods made only one of him.)” — ROB SHEFFIELD, Rolling Stone Get Back Review.

How glad it makes me to read that. I’ve known this since January 1964. 

There’s the cardinal again. Welcome, brother bird.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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