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This review is taken from PN Review 145, Volume 28 Number 5, May - June 2002.

ADVISING PAUL McCARTNEY ROGER McGOUGH, Everyday Eclipses (Viking) £9.99

I haven't seen any ducks strolling into pubs, I didn't give life-changing advice to Bob Dylan and I don't possess JFK's bullet-holed beret. After reading Roger McGough's 'Everyday Eclipses', however, these far-fetched happenings seemed perfectly feasible and I began to feel I was missing out. In this collection, Roger McGough has invented his own world. I wish I lived in it. I greatly enjoyed the company of such a confident voice, one which can recount, in the humblest manner, how he helped Paul McCartney to write a 'number one':

'I've gorra new song, d'ye wanna hear it?' Needless
To say, we nodded and lowered our newspapers.

He then explains how he sensed something wrong with 'Paul's' original lyric:

'Hey, dude, get off my cloud. Dumpty dumpty
Di dumpty three is a crowd di dumpty dum di dumpty
Dumpty dum Or I'll push you off like Humpty Dumpty'

and instead suggested he tried 'Hey Jude'. Roger McGough also played a vital role in the lives of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Gallaghers. This attractive, outrageous arrogance runs through the book, giving him the power to build the swatting of a moth into a sci-fi horror story of vengeful alien moths. He can boil down, quite simply, a whole chunk of society, to mothers in leather trousers (or M.I.L.T.). This inherent assurance also allows him to satirise the poetry scene perfectly. He describes recognising a ...


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