Just caught up with record producer Tony Visconti’s autobiography Tony Visconti: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy, published about a month ago. Great life, dull book. As flat as roadkill, though Morrissey’s foreword fizzes with synaptic energy. Visconti, in contrast, resolutely sedates every promise of excitement by withholding killer detail. Perhaps Harper Collins’ editors and lawyers processed his words into this homogenised drone.
Happily, one anecdote rivets one’s attention thanks to unfolding events external to the book. Visconti tells how back in 1983 he worked with Linda McCartney: she wanted him to produce a love song she’d written because Paul was busy recording music for the movie Give My Regards to Broad Street.
“I was more than happy to work with Linda because I felt it was a great song that deserved recognition,” writes Visconti. “There was one difficult aspect of the recording in that Paul was half a mile down the road in AIR studios … every couple of hours he’d phone Linda to see how she was doing. Virtually everyday, around 4pm, and sometimes earlier, he’d call and say he was finished for the day and wanted to go home; Linda was expected to drop everything and join him in the limo ride.
“Linda regretted that she wasn’t able to stay for the backing vocal session, and gave vent to her resentment."
Called “Love’s Full Glory” the song impressed Paul enough to say that it might feature in his new film. Visconti writes: "Linda told me that Paul had suggested that if the single did come out she should release it under a pseudonym; he argued it would be too easy to get a hit with the McCartney surname.” Ultimately the song didn’t make the film but was included in her album Wild Prairies much later in 1998, the year of her death.
How I wish Visconti could have recalled precisely what Linda said when she vented at him about Paul – a common weakness in non-writers (and many writers) is the repackaging of life into elliptical precis. I sense in this story something of the meanness and self-centredness Heather Mills-McCartney has complained of in Macca - reported from her pre-divorce briefings to the media via various factors.
But, hey, who’s perfect?
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