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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk … and Paul McCartney

It’s past time to acknowledge that one of the greatest musicians of the last century is also one of its greatest managers.

The manager in his office, circa 1960.

The manager in his office, circa 1960.

Photographer: Keystone/Hulton Archive

“The Beatles: Get Back” documentary, which is my pick for best movie of the year, showcases an underappreciated aspect of Paul McCartney: He’s more than just an artistic genius — he’s one of the greatest managerial talents of the last century.

In a recent interview, Ringo Starr put it well: “If Paul hadn’t been in the band, we’d probably have made two albums, because we were lazy boogers. But Paul’s a workaholic. John and I would be sitting in the garden taking in the color green from the tree, and the phone would ring, and we would know, ‘Hey lads, you want to come in? Let’s go in the studio!’”