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Interview: Luca Perasi chronicles Paul McCartney's solo career in new book

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Introduction: Luca Perasi is the author of a recently published book, “Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013).” The 440-page book lists Paul's recordings beginning before the Beatles' break-up in 1969, then every year after song-by-song giving session players, recording locations, song history and release information. It has been updated and expanded for its English edition. The book is available on Amazon.co.uk and Perasi says he's working to get it to Amazon.com.

We asked Perasi a few questions about his book.

Q: How long did it take to put the book together?
Luca Perasi: “It was really a long journey! The book was started around 1999, when I thought about a McCartney’s encyclopedia, with all the songs from A to Z. After a while, I changed my mind and the book was built in chronological order of recording through many researches and it contains 383 songs’ sheets. A puzzling thing but also a lot of fun, I have to say.

"The last 2 1/2 years have been dedicated to interviews with musicians, producers, engineers and various collaborators. The last year was dedicated to the translation from Italian, as the book was first issued in Italian in 2012.”

Q: How did you do it without McCartney's cooperation?
Luca Perasi: “The book is a tribute to a songwriter and a musician that could be considered the real master of the art of popular music. Certainly would have been fantastic to have Paul in the book, but fortunately we had a lot of material available form his past interviews or statements and it’s interesting to see them in context. Having interviewed many of his collaborators, too, I could say the source of information is absolutely reliable.”

Q: Where did the information come from?
Luca Perasi: “The information is both from archives and from exclusive interviews I did. So, we have previously available information – but in most cases rare or not so easy to find – taken from booklets, records, press releases, interviews, magazines, newspapers, books, fanzines, websites. These are completed with new and original sources. I compared all the sources and presented the best option or all the available options, if not sure about a fact. The book includes 70 exclusive interviews: Denny Seiwell, Laurence Juber, Steve Holley, Jerry Marotta, Carlos Alomar, Neil Dorfsman, Richard Hewson, Richard Niles, Fiachra Trench, Carl Davis or Alan Broadbent to name a few. A lot of unheard anecdotes and facts are in the book. Every source is quoted. The book presents nearly 900 footnotes in 440 pages. The content is exclusively musical, so you won’t find anything else than music: recording details, dates, musicians (with a “who played what” section for each track), memories, discography notes.

"On the other hand, the book is not only technical and contains also some assessments. I think it’s well researched and goes in-depth (at least it’s what they say!) but simple, and suits well to everyone that simply wants to discover how Paul’s songs were born, their inspiration, how they were recorded and which is the recording process. It’s like having an ID card for each song! The best thing you could do with the book, it’s re-listen to the songs and hear what you haven’t heard until now!”

Q: How did you get Tony Clark to write the foreword?
Luca Perasi: “As I explain in my comment after his brief foreword, we became friends after various conversations together. He came up with a nice little thing as a friendly gesture.”

Q: Will it ever be available in the U.S.?
Luca Perasi: “We’re doing the best to have the book available in the U.S. in the next months. It could take some time and we’re considering if costs are affordable. In the meantime, American fans could order is from Amazon.uk easily.

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Don't miss our special roundup of stories: Beatles 101: Read all about it: Our fab stories on the Beatles' 50th anniversary and Beatles 101: Paul McCartney Out There! tour news complete coverage.

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