cover image McCartney


Chris Salewicz / Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (263p) ISBN

Beginning and ending with memories of Mary McCartney, this adequate but far from definitive biography of her son Paul suggests that her death from cancer in 1956 was the crucial event and inspiration in the life and work of ""the most often imitated performer living today.'' McCartney contributed a high voice and a ``sense of sweet, lingering, somehow archetypal melody'' to the sound of the Quarrymen, the group he formed in Liverpool with John Lennon and George Harrison. Although Salewicz, a British journalist, suggests that McCartney had a feeling of purpose only when he worked with a team in close harmony, he has become the most successful of the Beatles since the group broke up in 1970. Yet less than 30 pages of this book are given over to the past 15 years. Photos not seen by PW. (April 21)