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From Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney, by Howard Sounes:
Paul and Linda flew to Los Angeles to complete Ram. Despite the good work done in New York, Paul had become bogged down in indecision, unable to select between the 20 or so songs he had recorded. To try and help his brother-in-law finish the record, John Eastman introduced Paul to the fashionable producer Jim Guercio, a fellow Eastman & Eastman client who’d won a Grammy for his work with Blood, Sweat and Tears. Guercio was so keen to produce Paul that he cancelled his honeymoon to help out with Ram, laying down a new track, ‘Dear Boy’, and working to make a final selection from the songs Paul already had in the bag. It was clear McCartney felt under pressure to do better than his début album, partly in answer to Lennon’s criticism of McCartney as Engelbert Humperdinck music. Yet the pressure had a paralysing effect on the star. Instead of finishing Ram in LA, Paul kept fiddling with it, block-booking a Hollywood studio and insisting Guercio was there every day from 10:00 a.m. so they could record, though Paul rarely showed up before mid-afternoon. Then he’d smoke a joint and jam. Guercio tried to assert some discipline, but could not guide or control his star: ‘Paul is not an artist you can direct or collaborate with. You kind of have [to] support his ideas.’ As weeks passed, and the album was no nearer completion, Guercio gave Paul a suggested track listing and told him the engineers could do what was necessary. He had to go. ‘I think he took offence. I said, “No, no, this isn’t personal, Paul, you don’t need me. I can’t come in here every day. We’ve got to finish … I have other obligations … I gave up my damn honeymoon here!’
Last updated on February 25, 2023