What did Charles Shaar Murray do to earn Paul McCartney’s undying hatred as the Beatles legend told the audience of BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes series this week? He wrote a hilarious piece about his 1975 interview with ‘Venus and Mars’ for the NME, published in his collection, Shots From the Hip – now out as an Aaaargh! Press e-book – and titled ‘No, not really in a way actually as it happens’.
McCartney’s memories, as it turns out, also extend to the reviews he’s received over the years — particularly the bad ones. “You still remember the names of the people who gave you really bad, vicious reviews,” he said, half-jokingly singling out longtime NME writer Charles Shaar Murray — who described Wings’ 1975 effort Venus and Mars as “terrible” and “one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard from a so-called ‘major artist’” — as someone who “shall ever be hated.”
CSM says: “All I did was transcribe verbatim after I realised that if I removed the contradictions and incomplete sentences, there was nothing left to quote. So I ran it as was.”
My Anna May Wong: a celestial star in Piccadilly is being aired again on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 6.30am and 1.30pm on Wednesday 16 March. I had the great pleasure to make this programme on Hollywood’s first Chinese screen legend in 2008 for broadcast in January 2009. After the repeats it will be on iPlayer for 30 days. More details here.
First published in 1991, it is a collection of Murray’s legendary journalism on music and much, much more from the 1970s and 1980s in New Musical Express and elsewhere. The Guardian described Murray as ‘one of the best British writers on pop music, and this is a compilation of HIS best’ – and it’s published here with a new introduction by Joel Nathan Rosen and a new afterword by CSM himself.
Welcome to Aaaargh! Press, the small publisher where words come out to play. We bring you rhyme, reason and a few laughs plus the best writing from the cultural front-line.
Run by professional writers and editors, Aaaargh! Press works to the highest standards to make your reading experience a pleasure whether in digital or print media.
We’re kicking off with two brand new eBooks on Kindle and electronic readers, and a paperback.
Poet, performer and broadcaster Anna Chen had her first poems published when she was 14, in an anthology from Jonathan Cape. Her first poetry collection, the “brilliant and dangerous” Reaching for my Gnu, is fresh out as both an international eBook and a gorgeous glossy paperback with additional photos.
Legendary author and music journalist Charles Shaar Murray, named as “the rock journalists’ rock journalist” by Q magazine, has collected 25 of his coruscatingly witty Guitarist magazine columns in The Guitar Geek Dossier, available as an eBook.
Reaching for my Gnu and The Guitar Geek Dossier eBooks are on sale through Amazon for the knock-down introductory price of only £1.99 each.