The Untold Stories of Paul McCartney

“It is not so difficult to get Paul McCartney to talk about the past, and this can be a problem. Anyone who has read more than a few interviews with him knows that he has a series of anecdotes, mostly Beatles-related, primed and ready to roll out in situations like these. Pretty good stories, some of them, too. But my goal is to guide McCartney to some less manicured memories—in part because I hope they'll be fascinating in themselves, but also because I hope that if I can lure him off the most well-beaten tracks, that might prod him to genuinely think about, and reflect upon, his life.

And so that is how—and why—we spend most of the next hour talking about killing frogs, taking acid, and the pros and cons of drilling holes in one's skull.”

Meet the Shaggs

From 1968-1973, the three teenage Wiggin sisters, guided by a domineering father, played their strange music at New Hampshire ballrooms and recorded a single album. The Philosophy of the World LP goes for over $500 today, but the intervening decades have not been kind to the Wiggins.

Whatever Happened to Alternative Nation?

A year-by-year walk through of the decade that birthed a mainstream culture called ‘Alternative’ and the bands that were deified and destroyed by it.

  1. Part 1: 1990: “Once upon a time, I could love you”

  2. Part 2: 1991: “What’s so civil about war anyway?”

  3. Part 3: 1992: Pearl Jam, the perils of fame, and the trouble with avoiding it

  4. Part 4: 1993: Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, and Urge Overkill forsake the underground

  5. Part 5: 1994: Kurt Cobain is dead! Long live Soundgarden!

  6. Part 6: 1995: Live, Bush, and Alanis Morissette take the pop path

  7. Part 7: 1996: Layne Staley and Bradley Nowell are the living dead

  8. Part 8: 1997: The ballad of Oasis and Radiohead

Who Killed Jaco Pastorius?

John Francis Anthony “Jaco” Pastorius III lay comatose in the intensive-care unit of a Fort Lauderdale hospital for nine days, unrecognized until he was spotted by the doctor who had delivered his children. Once he had been identified, local newspapers ran photographs to accompany stories headlined “DARK DAYS FOR A JAZZ GENIUS” and “JAZZ PERFORMER’S LIFE STRIKES A TRAGIC CHORD” and “THE LONG, SAD SLIDE OF A GIFTED MUSIClAN.” The various photographs seemed to be of different men.