Every fan who has had the opportunity to enjoy Paul McCartney in concert, and even those who were not so lucky, are bound to enjoy this outstanding photographic record of the former Beatle's three major world tours. Serious McCartney fan-turned-professional photographer, Jorie B. Gracen certainly has an eye for the "cute" Beatle, as well as the necessary skills to successfully capture the performer at work. These are among the best concert photographs ever taken of McCartney, and it's a treat to have them assembled into a single volume.
Observers of McCartney's solo career will immediately recognize a number of previously published shots, evidence that Gracen has been expertly photographing the career of McCartney ever since the former Beatle returned to the American concert stage with the Wings Over the World tour of 1975-1976. Even so, the selections from that tour can hardly compare to the breathtaking images lensed during the 1989-1990 Paul McCartney World Tour and its follow-up, the New World Tour of 1993.
In all, "Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There" presents more than 200 individual photographs (170 in glorious color, 40 in equally stunning black & white) all beautifully recproduced by Billboard Books and printed on high-quality stock. In addition to serving as a rather unique photographic journal, the book also presents the recollections of numerous fans who were in attendance at the venues and performances depicted.
Besides the in-concert photos, there are dozens candid shots capturing McCartney at a number of public and private events, with the most recent poses snapped at various locales during 1999. "Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There" also contains complete tour itineraries, along with a healthy display of concert memorabilia.
--Mark Wallgren ©2000 Goldmine Magazine
Author/Photographer Jorie B. Gracen has produced a terrific post-Beatles book on Paul McCartney which should set a standard for positive, fan-oriented materials.
This is a gorgeous expansion of a tour book, if you will, with 176 big pages by celebrity photographer Gracen. It is impressive to see the professional drop her guard and gush about Paul and Linda - the magic of Wings and The Beatles is that aura conjured up by our favorite songs. These photographs are treasures for McCartney fans - the full page 43 semi-Elvis snarl, page 39's brown tinted pensive Paul at the Boston Garden May 22, 1976, McCartney singing Hi Hi Hi with bass in hand on page 25 in Chicago Stadium June 1 of that same year, complemented with stories and memories written by various Beatles fans.
Writer Gary Pig Gold essays about the joys of the Hammersmith Odeon show of September, 1975, Joy Waugh-O'Donnell sings the praises of the Worcester Centrum Show February 9, 1990, and the Rosemont Illinois shows, December 3, 4, and 5 of 1989. It is also a diary of the memories these fans/writers have of these important shows, with photo accompaniment from the thousand plus picture collection of author Gracen.
Bill King, the publisher of Beatlefan Magazine writes the Foreword, which indicates the level of fan orientation at play here. Every post-Beatles McCartney tour date is listed from February 9, 1972 in Nottinham, England, to December 14, 1999 at the Cavern in Liverpool and everything in between from Canada, Mexico City, Brazil, to Miami, Detroit and Melbourne Australia.
Rod Stewart's cliche Every Picture Tells A Story rings so true with Denny Laine, Hamish Stuart, wonderful pictures of Linda McCartney, an absolute work of art. The photo of Paul with his guitar lifted above his head in half shadows, September 15, 1993, is the stuff fans crave. Truly, this is Jorie B. Gracen's lifeswork, and its publication simultaneous with the re-relsease of the film A Hard Day's Night, and The Beatles#1 album and their own autobiography, in the Autumn of 2000, is a nice touch.
--Joe Viglione ©2000 AllMusic Guide
Photojournalist Gracen is a McCartney maven by avocation. In this neat rock bio, her photos take center stage, and the text describes the vicissitudes of various McCartney and Wings tours. The occasional rock road show revelation is definitely included. For instance, Gracen recounts the 12-minute film used to open concerts on the 1993 world tour. "This film showcased a musical history of the rock star with some never-before-seen footage of the Beatles, . . . home movies of the McCartney family, and some graphic scenes of vivisection, animal mutilation and torture." The latter were parts of "McCartney's ongoing campaign against animal cruelty." Yow! All that and silly love songs, too. Does the mop-top knight know how to put on a show, or what? Politics and gory visuals at rock concerts--shades of Marilyn Manson!--aside, this is a feel-good book for boomers. Uncritical and packed with pix and exasperatingly upbeat anecdotes, it is a must-have item for Beatlemaniacs.
--Mike Tribby © 2000 Booklist
Good Times Magazine
Jorie B. Gracen examines Paul McCartney from an insider's perspective. Over the course of the past twenty-three years, Gracen has had the opportunity to photograph McCartney in concert and off-stage as well. Ms. Gracen's coffee-table book draws the reader into McCartney's private world.
Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There is a sensitive and candid look at one of the world's most beloved composers. It is a portrait that only a person with Gracen's access could create. Loaded with fantastic pictures, what emerges (through the pictures and accompanying text culled from stories told by fans who have had close encounters with Paul) is a portrait of a multi-faceted man - creative, cerebral, fun-loving, adventurous and the possessor of a keen sense of humor. Paul McCartney I Saw Him Standing There is a fun, engaging read and a fine addition to any library.
Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There is a collection of post-Beatle photographs compiled by Jorie B. Gracen, who has photographed McCartney for nearly 25 years. This is a carefully crafted book, as Gracen recounts the circumstances surrounding each photograph and provides mementos that accent her images. Her unique access to McCartney captures Paul, the husband; Paul, the father; and ultimately, Paul the performer (so up-close you may feel the urge to dab his sweaty brow with a cloth). One of only two women whose photographs have been used on a McCartney album cover, Gracen is publishing many of her exclusive photographs for the very first time.
For almost a quarter of a century, Jorie B. Gracen has been photographing Paul McCartney; onstage, backstage; at private parties; alone with his precious Linda at moments when no other photographer was in sight. Now, on the eve of the ex-Beatles's first concert in seven years, Gracen gathers hundreds of her most telling and striking photographs, intersperses them with transcriptions of conversations too relaxed to be called interviews, and gives us a fine holiday offering.
This attractive volume consists of about 200 exclusive color and b&w photographs of the artist onstage and off, from 1976 to the present. Together with stories told by photographer Jorie B. Gracen, fans, and McCartney himself, the artist's musical maturation and private persona are revealed. The images represent concerts, record signings, private parties, press conferences, backstage candids, sound checks, award ceremonies, and personal encounters, thus providing an insider's glimpse into the famed performer and songwriter as husband, father, environmentalist, animal rights activist, and idol.
Internet Book Watch
This celebration of Paul McCartney provides over two hundred photos of the artist on and off stage from 1976 to the present, representing the works of the author who has had a unique opportunity to photograph him over the years. The on-stage concert appearances take a 'you are there' feeling as Gracen outlines notes of each concert she observes along with the bright color photos. Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There is a 'must' for McCartney fans.