Lyme Regis: McCartney's former right hand man publishes novel

SIR Paul McCartney’s former right-hand man is brushing aside his latest venture – for now – so he can concentrate on his newly published novel.

Lyme-born writer and journalist Geoff Baker had planned to give guided history talks around the town while sweeping the streets in a bid to get back into work.

But after a six-year battle, Mr Baker, 54, has finally been able to publish his ‘rude and racy’ novel Rock Bottom about the music industry.

It means the street sweeping will take a back seat while he concentrates on the novel, which has been published by Ragabond Press, a micro publisher he has set up with another former journalist, Jill Newton.

Mr Baker was Sir Paul’s publicist and friend for 15 years before they parted company in 2004, and he also represented Linda McCartney, The Beatles and Oasis.

Rock Bottom is about a flagging rock star, his stressed publicist, and a blackmailing fan – but Mr Baker insists it is not based on Sir Paul.

He said: “The star, Birmingham-born genius Ian Taylor, is not remotely based on anyone I’ve known.”

But that did not stop publishers turning him down for fear of possible legal action.

Mr Baker, of Church Street, Lyme Regis, said: “I wrote the original story in three months, back in 2004. I got a leading literary agent and he enthusiastically sent the manuscript to every major publisher – but none of them would touch it with a barge pole.”

He added: “Instead of writing about actual people I’ve worked with, it was more interesting for me to create fictional types of that rock world – the musicians, managers, record company execs – and to have a laugh at what fame can do to people.

“But what was of most interest to me was to make the fan the central character of the book – the fans’ feelings are often overlooked in the music game so I made the fan the heroine for a change.”

Mr Baker says the book has also had the approval of Sir Paul.

“I wouldn’t have done it without his nod,” he added. “Before it even went to the printers and before anyone saw it I sent it to him when it was just a manuscript. He is cool with it.”

The first limited edition copies of Rock Bottom are now available on Amazon, priced £7.99, and from the Town Mill Cheesemonger in Lyme

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