I am delighted to finally announce my next book. It is called LOVE AND LET DIE. Here’s how it is described in the official press release:
The Beatles are the biggest band there has ever been. James Bond is the single most successful movie character of all time. They are also twins. Dr No, the first Bond film, and Love Me Do, the first Beatles record, were both released on the same day – Friday 5 October 1962. Most countries can only dream of a cultural export becoming a worldwide phenomenon on this scale. For Britain to produce two on the same windy October afternoon is unprecedented.
LOVE AND LET DIE is a story about two opposite aspects of the British psyche exploding into global culture. It is a clash between working class liberation and establishment control, told over a period of sixty dramatic years. It is also an account of our aspirations and fantasies, and of competing visions of male identity. Looking at these cultural touchstones again in this new context will forever change your understanding of the Beatles, the James Bond films, and six decades of British culture.
When Paul McCartney was asked to sum up the Beatles in the mid-1990s, he said they were about love. “It was all done in the name of love, and about love, and I’m very proud of that,” he explained. From first single Love Me Do to their posthumous final single Real Love, through songs like All You Need Is Love which was the soundtrack to the 1967 Summer of Love, McCartney’s assessment is hard to argue with.
While the Beatles represent love, James Bond films represent death. What makes Bond different from other spies in that he has a license to kill. From films like Live And Let Die to A View To A Kill, Die Another Day or his latest adventure No Time To Die, Bond is an assassin who has official permission to kill anyone he wants.
The Beatles and the Bond films, then, can be seen as cultural representations of love and death playing out in front of a worldwide audience. Freudian psychologists refer to love and death as Eros and Thanatos, the two competing drives behind human behaviour. Physicists will tell you that when a particle is created, an opposite anti-particle is created at the same time, to keep the universe in balance. Love and Death are opposites but, as William Blake tells us, “Without contraries is no progression”.
Putting these two stories together throws up a host of new perspectives on two of the most implausible cultural stories of recent history. There is a larger story playing out here – as those who have staggered out of No Time To Die shocked by the ending, or those trying to reconcile Peter Jackson’s Get Back with the original Let It Be movie, may already suspect.
LOVE AND LET DIE will be published in hardback, ebook and audiobook in September 2022, in time for the 5 October 2022 sixtieth anniversary of Beatles records and James Bond films. Keep an eye on my newsletter for more updates. Oh, and if anyone is thinking of forming a Beatles tribute band that plays Bond themes – called The Bondles – let me know and we’ll talk about the book launch…