1942 – Paul McCartney is born in Liverpool, England. The Beatles have 20 No. 1 songs, more than any other recording act, and McCartney by himself or in duets has another nine. His biggest post-Beatles hits are “Ebony and Ivory,” a duet with Stevie Wonder that stays at No. 1 for seven weeks, and “Say Say Say,” a duet with Michael Jackson that tops the pop chart for six weeks.
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English rock singer, bass guitarist, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, record producer, film producer and animal-rights activist. He gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best had previously played with the group, before Starr was asked to join. McCartney and Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships and “wrote some of the most popular music in rock and roll history”. After leaving The Beatles, McCartney launched a successful solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda Eastman McCartney, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. He has worked on film scores, classical music, and ambient/electronic music; released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist; and taken part in projects to help international charities.
McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles. His song “Yesterday” is listed as the most covered song in history and has been played more than 7,000,000 times on American television and radio. Wings’ 1977 single “Mull of Kintyre” became the first single to sell more than two million copies in the UK, and remains the UK’s top selling non-charity single. (Three charity singles have since surpassed it in sales; the first to do so—in 1984—was Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, whose participants included McCartney.)
His company MPL Communications owns the copyrights to more than 3,000 songs, including all of the songs written by Buddy Holly, along with the publishing rights to such musicals as Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, and Grease. McCartney is also an advocate for animal rights, vegetarianism, and music education; he is active in campaigns against landmines, seal hunting, and Third World debt.
Early years: 1942–1957
Jim & Mary McCartney
Paul McCartney was born in Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England, where his mother, Mary, had worked as a nurse in the maternity ward. He has one brother, Michael, born January 7, 1944. McCartney was baptised Roman Catholic but was raised non-denominationally: his mother was Roman Catholic, and his father, James “Jim” McCartney, was a Protestant turned agnostic.
In 1947, he began attending Stockton Wood Road Primary school. He then attended the Joseph Williams Junior School, and passed the 11-plus exam in 1953 with three others out of the 90 examinees and thus gained admission to the Liverpool Institute. In 1954, while riding on the bus to the Institute, he met George Harrison, who lived nearby. Passing the exam meant that McCartney and Harrison did not have to go to a secondary modern school, which most pupils attended until they were eligible to work. It also meant that Grammar school pupils had to find new friends.
20 Forthlin Road now attracts large numbers of tourists
In 1955 the McCartney family moved to 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton. Mary McCartney rode a bicycle to houses where she was needed as a midwife, and an early McCartney memory is of her leaving when it was snowing heavily. On 31 October 1956, Mary McCartney (who was a heavy smoker) died of an embolism after a mastectomy operation to stop the spread of her breast cancer. The early loss of his mother later connected McCartney with John Lennon, whose mother, Julia, died when Lennon was 17.
McCartney’s father was a trumpet player and pianist who had led Jim Mac’s Jazz Band in the 1920s. He encouraged his two sons to be musical. Jim had an upright piano in the front room that he had bought from Harry Epstein’s store, and McCartney’s grandfather, Joe McCartney, played an E-flat tuba. Jim McCartney used to point out the different instruments in songs on the radio, and often took McCartney to local brass band concerts. After the death of his wife, Mary, Jim McCartney gave McCartney a nickel-plated trumpet, but when skiffle music became popular, McCartney swapped the trumpet for a £15 Framus Zenith (model 17) acoustic guitar.
McCartney, being left-handed, found the Zenith difficult to play. He then saw a poster advertising a Slim Whitman concert, and realised that Whitman played left-handed, with his guitar strung the opposite way to a right-handed player. McCartney wrote his first song (“I Lost My Little Girl”) on the Zenith, and also played his father’s Framus Spanish guitar when writing early songs with Lennon. He later started playing piano and wrote “When I’m Sixty-Four”. Per his father’s advice, he took music lessons, but since he preferred to learn ‘by ear’ he never paid attention in them.
1957–1960: The Quarrymen and the Silver Beetles
Main articles: The Quarrymen and Lennon/McCartney
Fifteen-year-old McCartney met Lennon and The Quarrymen at the Woolton (St. Peter’s church hall) fête on July 6, 1957. At the start of their friendship Lennon’s Aunt Mimi disapproved of McCartney because he was, she said, “working class”, and called him “John’s little friend”. McCartney’s father told his son that Lennon would get him “into trouble”, although he later allowed The Quarrymen to rehearse in the front room at 20 Forthlin Road.
McCartney formed a close working relationship with Lennon and they collaborated on many songs. He convinced Lennon to allow Harrison to join The Quarrymen (Lennon thought Harrison was too young) after Lennon heard Harrison play at a rehearsal in March 1958. Harrison joined the group as lead guitarist, followed by Lennon’s art school friend, Stuart Sutcliffe, on bass, although McCartney was later dismissive about Sutcliffe’s musical ability. By May 1960, they had tried several new names, including The Silver Beetles; playing a tour of Scotland under that name with Johnny Gentle. They finally changed the name of the group to The Beatles for their performances in Hamburg.
1960–1970: The Beatles
Main article: The Beatles
Starting in May 1960, The Beatles were managed by Allan Williams, who booked them into Bruno Koschmider’s Indra club in Hamburg. McCartney’s father was reluctant to let the teenage McCartney go to Hamburg until McCartney pointed out that he would earn ₤2/10s per day. As this was more than he earned himself, Jim finally agreed.
The Indra Club,Hamburg where the Beatles first played
The Indra Club,Hamburg where the Beatles first played
The Beatles first played at the Indra club, sleeping in small, “dirty” rooms in the Bambi Kino, and then moved (after the closure of the Indra) to the larger Kaiserkeller. In October 1960, they left Koschmider’s club and worked at the “Top Ten Club”, which was run by Peter Eckhorn. When McCartney and Pete Best went back to the Bambi Kino to get their belongings they found it in almost total darkness. As a snub to Koschmider, they found a condom, attached it to a nail on the concrete wall of their room, and set fire to it. There was no real damage, but Koschmider reported them for attempted arson. McCartney and Best spent three hours in a local jail and were deported, as was Harrison, for working under the legal age limit. Lennon’s work permit was revoked a few days later and he went home by train, but Sutcliffe had a cold and stayed in Hamburg, and then flew home.
The group reunited in December 1960, and on 21 March 1961, played their first of many concerts at Liverpool’s Cavern club. McCartney realised that other Liverpool bands were playing the same cover songs, which prompted him and Lennon to write more original material. The Beatles returned to Hamburg in April 1961, and recorded “My Bonnie” with Tony Sheridan. Sutcliffe left the band after the end of their contract, so McCartney reluctantly took over bass. After borrowing Sutcliffe’s Hõfner 500/5 model for a short time, he bought a left-handed 1962 500/1 model Höfner bass. On 1 October 1961, McCartney went with Lennon (who paid for the trip) to Paris for two weeks.
The Beatles were first seen by Brian Epstein at the Cavern club on 9 November 1961, and he later signed them to a management contract. The Beatles’ road manager, Neil Aspinall, drove them to London on 31 December 1961, where they auditioned the next day, but were rejected by Decca Records. In April 1962, they went back to Hamburg to play at the Star-Club, and learned of Stuart Sutcliffe’s death a few hours before they arrived. The Beatles were ready to sign a record contract on 9 May 1962, with Parlophone Records—after having been rejected by many record companies—but Epstein sacked Pete Best (at the behest of McCartney, Lennon and Harrison) before they signed the contract. “Love Me Do” was released on 5 October 1962, featuring McCartney singing solo on the chorus line. Over the course of the next two years, McCartney and his band mates would rise from relative obscurity to international stardom, an unprecedented feat at that time for a rock-music combo.
Hey Jude (1968)
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All Lennon-McCartney songs on the first pressing of Please Please Me album (recorded in one day on 11 February 1963) as well as the “Please Please Me” single, “From Me to You”, and its B-side, “Thank You Girl”, are credited to “McCartney-Lennon”, but this was later changed to “Lennon-McCartney”. They usually needed an hour or two to finish a song, which were written in hotel rooms after a concert, at Wimpole Street, at Cavendish Avenue, or at Kenwood (Lennon’s house). McCartney also wrote songs for other artists, such as Billy J. Kramer, Cilla Black, Badfinger, and Mary Hopkin -and most notably he wrote two hit songs for the group Peter & Gordon-launching their career. One song, “World Without Love”, became a #1 hit in the U.K. & U.S. (Peter was the brother of Jane Asher, McCartney’s girlfriend at the time)
Epiphone Texan modeled after the one often used by McCartney.
Epiphone Texan modeled after the one often used by McCartney.
Lennon, Harrison, and Starr lived in large houses in the ‘stockbroker belt’ of southern England,] but McCartney continued to live in central London: in Jane Asher’s parents’ house, and then at 7 Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood, near the Abbey Road Studios.] It was at Cavendish Avenue that McCartney bought his first Old English Sheepdog, Martha, which inspired the song “Martha My Dear”.
McCartney often went to nightclubs alone, which offered ‘dining and dancing until 4:00 a.m.’ and featured cabaret acts. McCartney would get preferential treatment everywhere he went, which he readily accepted. He even once accepted an offer from a policeman to be allowed to park McCartney’s car. He later visited gambling clubs after 4:00am, such as ‘The Curzon House’, and often saw Brian Epstein there. The Ad Lib club (above the Prince Charles Theatre at 7 Leicester Place) was later opened for the emerging ‘Rock and Roll’ crowd of musicians, and tolerated their unusual lifestyle. After the Ad Lib fell out of favour, McCartney moved on to the Scotch of St James, at 13 Masons Yard. He also frequented The Bag O’Nails club at 8 Kingly Street in Soho, London, where he met Linda Eastman.
On 12 June 1965, The Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE); they received their insignia from Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on 26 October 1965. They stopped touring after their last concert at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on 29 August 1966. The other three Beatles had often talked about stopping touring, but after the Candlestick Park concert, and after having played so many concerts where they could not be heard, McCartney finally agreed that they should stop playing live concerts.
Beatles Houston sculpture
Beatles Houston sculpture
McCartney was the first to be involved in a project outside of the group, when he composed the score for the film The Family Way in 1966. The soundtrack was later released as an album (also called The Family Way), and won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Instrumental Theme, ahead of acclaimed jazz musician Mike Turner. McCartney wrote songs for and produced other artists, including Mary Hopkin, Badfinger, and the Bonzo Dog Band, and in 1966, he was asked by Kenneth Tynan to write the songs for the National Theatre’s production of As You Like It by William Shakespeare (starring Laurence Olivier) but declined. In 1968 he co-produced the song “I’m the Urban Spaceman” by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and was credited as “Apollo C. Vermouth” because of contractual restrictions.
McCartney later attempted to persuade Lennon and Harrison to return to the stage, and when they had a meeting to sign a new contract with Capitol Records, McCartney suggested “going back to our roots,” to which Lennon replied, “I think you’re mad!” Although Lennon had quit the group in September 1969, and Harrison and Starr had temporarily left the group at various times, McCartney was the one who publicly announced The Beatles’ breakup on 10 April 1970—one week before releasing his first solo album, McCartney. The album included a press release inside with a self-written interview stating McCartney’s hopes about the future. The Beatles’ partnership was legally dissolved after McCartney filed a lawsuit on 31 December 1970.]
1970s: Paul McCartney (solo) and Wings
Paul and Linda McCartney at the 1974 Academy Awards.
Paul and Linda McCartney at the 1974 Academy Awards.
McCartney released his debut solo album, McCartney, in April 1970. He insisted that his wife should be involved in his musical career so that they would not be apart when he was on tour. McCartney’s second solo album, Ram (1971) was credited to both Paul and Linda McCartney. In August of that year McCartney formed Wings with guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell (although membership in Wings would change several times during its existence) and released their debut album, Wild Life. In 1972, Wings started an unplanned tour of British universities and small European venues. In February of that year, they released a single called “Give Ireland Back to the Irish”, which was banned by the BBC. Wings then embarked on the 26-date Wings Over Europe Tour.
The first of Wings’ two 1973 albums Red Rose Speedway spawned the band’s first #1 in the United States, “My Love”. On 16 April, McCartney starred in a TV variety show called James Paul McCartney. Wings then released the theme song for the James Bond film Live and Let Die. It reunited McCartney with George Martin, who both produced the song and arranged the orchestral break. Their second 1973 album Band on the Run, which won two Grammy Awards is Wings’ most lauded work. From it were released the singles “Jet”, and, in 1974, “Band on the Run” (the song) as well as the non-album single “Junior’s Farm”. A jam session — with Lennon and McCartney — was recorded in California, in 1974, and released on the bootleg A Toot and a Snore in ’74. The same year, he recorded an instrumental, “Walking in the Park with Eloise”, which had been written by his father. The song featured Wings, Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins. Venus and Mars was released in 1975, which featured “Listen to What the Man Said” and “Rock Show.” Till 1976, Wings embarked on the Wings Over the World tour.
In 1977, McCartney released Thrillington under the name “Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington”. Wings also released “Mull of Kintyre”. It stayed at #1 in the UK for nine weeks, and was the highest-selling single in the UK until 1984, when Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas beat its record. Wings toured again in 1979, and McCartney organised the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea. McCartney’s “Rockestra” theme won a Grammy award. At Christmas 1979, McCartney released his (solo) “Wonderful Christmastime”.
Although McCartney’s relationship with Lennon was troubled, they reconciled during the 1970s. McCartney would often call Lennon, but was never sure of what sort of reception he would get, such as when McCartney once called Lennon and was told, “You’re all pizza and fairytales!” McCartney understood that he could not just phone Lennon and only talk about business, so they often talked about cats, baking bread, or babies.
1980s-1990s: Solo career
Paul McCartney (solo)
McCartney played every instrument on the 1980 release McCartney II (as he had on McCartney before it), this time with an emphasis on synthesisers instead of guitars. The single “Coming Up” reached #2 in Britain and #1 in the US. “Waterfalls” was another UK Top 10 hit. McCartney’s next album, 1982’s Tug of War, reunited him with Ringo Starr and Beatles producer George Martin, and the album hit No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time as it’s lead single, a duet with Stevie Wonder, “Ebony and Ivory”, did likewise. Two further hit duets followed, both with Michael Jackson: “The Girl Is Mine”, from Jackson’s Thriller album, and “Say Say Say”, a single from McCartney’s 1983 album, Pipes of Peace.
McCartney wrote and starred in the 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street. The film and soundtrack featured the US and UK Top 10 hit “No More Lonely Nights”, and the album reached #1 in the UK, but the film did not do well commercially or critically. Roger Ebert awarded the film a single star and wrote, “You can safely skip the movie and proceed directly to the sound track”. Later that year, McCartney released “We All Stand Together”, the title song from the animated film Rupert and the Frog Song, which was the supporting feature to “Broad Street” in cinemas and which, when released on video cassette would become the year’s top-seller. The following year, McCartney released Spies Like Us the title song to the Dan Ackroyd/Chevy Chase comedy which hit #7 on the Billboard chart (making it his last US Top 20 hit to date).
In the second half of the decade McCartney would find new collaborators. Eric Stewart had appeared on McCartney’s Pipes of Peace album, and he co-wrote most of McCartney’s 1986 album Press to Play. The album and its lead single, “Press”, became minor hits. McCartney returned the favour by co-writing two songs for Stewart’s band, 10cc: “Don’t Break the Promises” (…Meanwhile, 1992), and “Yvonne’s the One” (Mirror Mirror, 1995). In 1987, EMI released All the Best! which was the first compilation of McCartney’s own songs.
In 1988, he released, initially in the Soviet Union only, Снова в СССР a collection of McCartney cover-versions of his favourite vintage Rock and roll classics which later had a general release in 1991. Around this time, McCartney also began a songwriting partnership with Elvis Costello (Declan MacManus) from which songs would appear on singles and albums by both artists, notably “Veronica”on Costello’s album Spike and “My Brave Face” from McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt, (which reached #1 in the UK on releas in 1989). Further McCartney/MacManus compositions for surfaced on Costello’s 1991 album Mighty Like a Rose and McCartney’s 1993 album Off the Ground. In late 1989, McCartney started his first concert tour since Lennon’s murder, also his first tour of the US in thirteen years.
In a 1980 interview, Lennon said that the last time he had seen McCartney was when they had watched the episode of Saturday Night Live (May 1976) in which Lorne Michaels had made his $3,000 cash offer to get Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr to reunite on the show. McCartney and Lennon had seriously considered going to the studio, but were too tired. This event was fictionalised in the 2000 television film Two of Us.
Reaction to John Lennon’s murder
On the morning of December 9, 1980, McCartney awoke to the news that Lennon had been murdered outside his home in the Dakota building in New York. Lennon’s death created a media frenzy around the surviving members of The Beatles. On the evening of 9 December, as McCartney was leaving an Oxford Street recording studio, he was surrounded by reporters and asked for his reaction to Lennon’s death. He replied, “I was very shocked, you know—this is terrible news,” and said that he had spent the day in the studio listening to some material because he “just didn’t want to sit at home.” When asked why, he replied, “I didn’t feel like it,” he was then asked when he first heard the news McCartney replied “This morning sometime” and one of the reporters asked “very early?” and said “yeah” and then asked the reporters if they all knew, they added “yeah” McCartney then added, “drag, isn’t it?” When published, his “drag” remark was criticised, and McCartney later regretted it. He furthermore stated that he had intended no disrespect but had just been at a loss for words, after the shock and sadness he felt over his friend’s murder. He was also to recall:
“ I talked to Yoko the day after he was killed and the first thing she said was, “John was really fond of you.” The last telephone conversation I had with him we were still the best of mates. He was always a very warm guy, John. His bluff was all on the surface. He used to take his glasses down, those granny glasses, and say, “It’s only me.” They were like a wall, you know? A shield. Those are the moments I treasure. ”
In 1983 Paul said:
“ I would not have been as typically human and standoffish as I was if I knew John was going to die. I would have made more of an effort to try and get behind his “mask” and have a better relationship with him.’ ”
In a Playboy interview in 1984, McCartney said that he went home that night and watched the news on television—while sitting with all his children—and cried all evening. His last telephone call to Lennon, which was just before Lennon and Yoko released Double Fantasy, was friendly. During the call, Lennon said (laughing) to McCartney, “This housewife wants a career!” which referred to Lennon’s “house-husband” years, while looking after Sean Lennon.
McCartney carried on recording after the death of Lennon but did not play any live concerts for some time. He explained that this was because he was nervous that he would be “the next” to be murdered. This led to a disagreement with Denny Laine, who wanted to continue touring and subsequently left Wings, which McCartney disbanded in 1981. Also in 1981, six months after Lennon’s death, McCartney sang backup on George Harrison’s tribute to Lennon, “All Those Years Ago,” which also featured Ringo Starr on drums. McCartney would go on to record “Here Today”, a tribute song to Lennon.
1990s: Classical music
McCartney at the Grammy Awards, February 1990.
McCartney at the Grammy Awards, February 1990.
The 1990s saw McCartney venture into classical music. In 1991 the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society commissioned a musical piece by McCartney to celebrate its sesquicentennial. McCartney collaborated with Carl Davis to release Liverpool Oratorio. The Oratorio was premiered in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, and had its North American premiere in Carnegie Hall in New York on 18 November 1991, with Davis conducting. McCartney’s singers and musicians included the opera singers Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sally Burgess, Jerry Hadley and Willard White, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the choir of Liverpool Cathedral. EMI Classics recorded the premiere of the oratorio and released it on a 2-CD album which topped the classical charts. His next classical project to be released (in 1995) was A Leaf, a solo-piano piece played by Royal College of Music gold-medal winner Anya Alexeyev. The Prince of Wales later honoured McCartney as a Fellow of The Royal College of Music. Other forays into classical music included Standing Stone (1997), Working Classical (1999), and “Ecce Cor Meum” (2006).
In the early 1990s (after another world tour), McCartney reunited with Harrison and Starr to work on Apple’s The Beatles Anthology documentary series. It included three double albums of alternative takes, live recordings, and previously unreleased Beatles songs, as well as a ten-hour video boxed set. Anthology 1 was released in 1995, and featured “Free as a Bird”, which was the first Beatles reunion track, while Anthology 2, released in 1996, included “Real Love” (1996), the second and final in the reunion series. Both reunion tracks were co produced by Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne, who had worked with Harrison in The Traveling Wilburys. Both reunion tracks were completed by adding new music and vocal tracks to Lennon’s demos from the late 1970s.
In 1997, McCartney released Flaming Pie which was produced by Lynne and Martin. It debuted at #2 in the UK and the US, and was nominated in the Grammy Awards category Album of the Year. The same year, McCartney made his second venture into classical music with Standing Stone, which was commissioned by EMI Records to mark their 100th anniversary in autumn. On 11 March 1997, he was knighted as “Sir Paul McCartney” for his “services to music”. He dedicated his knighthood to fellow Beatles Lennon, Harrison, and Starr, and to the people of Liverpool. In 1999, McCartney released another album of rock ‘n’ roll songs, titled Run Devil Run. That same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. (Bitter that he had not been inducted sooner, McCartney brought his daughter to the stage with him and smiled as he pointed to her shirt, which read: “About Fucking Time.”) In 1999, he released Working Classical.
McCartney on Live8.
McCartney on Live8.
In 2000, McCartney released A Garland for Linda; a choral tribute album with compositions from eight other contemporary composers. The music was performed by “The Joyful Company of Singers” to raise funds for The Garland Appeal, a fund to aid cancer patients. In May 2001, he released Wingspan: An Intimate Portrait, a retrospective documentary that features behind-the-scenes films and photographs that he and Linda McCartney (who had died in 1998) took of their family and bands. Interspersed throughout the 88 minute film is an interview by Mary McCartney with her father. Mary was the baby photographed inside McCartney’s jacket on the back cover of McCartney, and was one of the producers of the documentary.
Earlier in the year, McCartney worked on what would become his new album, Driving Rain, released on November 12. Driving Rain featured uplifting songs inspired by and written for his soon-to-be wife Heather. Clearly determined to follow the example of Run Devil Run’s brisk recording pace, most of the album was recorded in two weeks, starting in February 2001. McCartney also composed and recorded the title track for the film Vanilla Sky, released later that year. The track was nominated for—but did not win—an Oscar for Best Original Song.
McCartney took a lead role in organising The Concert for New York City in response to the events of September 11. The concert took place on 20 October 2001.
In late 2001, McCartney was informed that George Harrison was losing his battle with cancer. Upon Harrison’s death on 29 November, McCartney told Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, Good Morning America, The Early Show, MTV, VH-1 and Today that Harrison was like his “baby brother”. Harrison spent his last days in a Hollywood Hills mansion that was once leased by McCartney. On 29 November 2002—on the first anniversary of George Harrison’s death—McCartney played Harrison’s “Something” on a ukulele at the Concert for George.
In 2002, McCartney began a two-year world tour. He contributed to an album titled Good Rockin’ Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records, which included a version of Elvis Presley’s song “That’s All Right (Mama)”. He performed during the pre-game ceremonies at the NFL’s Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 and starred in the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. In 2003, McCartney played a concert in Red Square, Russia. Vladimir Putin gave him a tour of the Square.
In what would be his first British music festival appearance, McCartney headlined the Glastonbury Festival in June 2004. McCartney and festival organiser Michael Eavis won the NME Award on behalf of the festival, which won ‘Best Live Event’ in the 2005 awards. McCartney performed at the main Live 8 concert on 2 July 2005, playing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with U2 to open the Hyde Park event, although Ringo Starr criticised McCartney for not asking him to play.
On November 13th, 2005, McCartney played a live concert at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA. Towards the end of the concert, a satellite link-up was made to the International Space Station so McCartney and those at the concert could see NASA Astronaut Bill McArthur and Russian Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev as they were awakening for the 44th day of their six month mission in space. McCartney proceeded to play the traditional wakeup song played on each space mission, a tradition that began during the moon missions. McCartney also performed “Good Day Sunshine”, and “English Tea”. Afterwards he and the concert goers talked with McArthur and Tokarev via a projection screen. This was the first time a live concert had been linked to a U.S. spacecraft.
McCartney gives a speech at the US premier of Ecce Cor Meum at Carnegie Hall..
McCartney gives a speech at the US premier of Ecce Cor Meum at Carnegie Hall..
In March 2006, McCartney finished composing a ‘modern classical’ musical work named Ecce Cor Meum [Behold My Heart]. It was recorded with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the boys of King’s College Choir, Cambridge, Magdalen College School, Oxford, and was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 3 November 2006.. It was voted Classical Album of the Year in 2007 in the Classical Brit Awards.
On 18 June 2006, McCartney celebrated his 64th birthday, as in “When I’m Sixty-Four.” Paul Vallely noted it in The Independent as “a cultural milestone for a generation. Such is the nature of celebrity, McCartney is one of those people who have represented the hopes and aspirations of those born in the baby-boom era, which had its awakening in the Sixties.”
McCartney joined Jay-Z and Linkin Park onstage at the 2006 Grammy Awards in a performance of “Numb/Encore” & “Yesterday” to commemorate the recent passing of Coretta Scott King. McCartney later noted that it was the first time he had performed at the Grammys and quipped, “I finally passed the audition,” which was a reference to the Lennon comment at the end of the Let It Be film: “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition.” McCartney was nominated for another Grammy Award in 2007 for “Jenny Wren”—a song from his 2005 album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which itself had been nominated as Album of the Year in 2006.
On 21 March 2007, McCartney left EMI to become the first artist signed to Starbucks’s new record label, Los Angeles-based Hear Music, to be distributed by Concord Music Group. He made an appearance via a video-feed from London at the company’s annual meeting. “For me, the great thing is the commitment and the passion and the love of music, which as an artist is good to see. It’s a new world now and people are thinking of new ways to reach the people, and that’s always been my aim”.
On 2 April 2007, a fan drove through the security fence on McCartney’s Peasmarsh county estate shouting that he had to “get at” the ex-Beatle. The incident echoed the murder of Lennon and the attempted murder of George Harrison. The assailant was arrested after a chase through Sussex country lanes.
McCartney played “secret gigs” in London, New York, and Los Angeles to promote his album. Several live recordings from these shows have been released as B-sides to singles from Memory Almost Full. In New York, the crowd included only a few hundred contest winners and celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Elijah Wood, Kate Moss, Aidan Quinn, and Steve Buscemi.
McCartney’s BBC Electric Proms performance in Camden, London.
McCartney’s BBC Electric Proms performance in Camden, London.
McCartney played at the BBC Electric Proms on October 25, 2007, at The Roundhouse in Camden, which is run by a music festival run by the British Broadcasting Corporation. On 13 November 2007, The McCartney Years, a 3-DVD set was released. It contains a commentary, behind the scenes footage, over 40 music videos, Wings’ live performances, interviews with Melvyn Bragg and Michael Parkinson, LIVE AID, the Super Bowl XXXIX Halftime Show and the 2005 documentary Creating Chaos at Abbey Road.
In February 2008, McCartney was awarded a BRIT award for outstanding contribution, the same as a Lifetime Achievement Award. The minor planet 4148, discovered in 1983 was named ‘McCartney’ in his honour. Yale University conferred an honorary Doctor of Music degree on Paul McCartney on 26 May 2008. On 1 June 2008 McCartney celebrated Liverpool’s year as European capital of culture by playing a concert there. It featured special guest Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. Grohl played guitar and sang backing vocals on “Band on the Run” and played drums on Back in the U.S.S.R. and I Saw Her Standing There.
In April 2008 it has been revealed that McCartney was invited by Ukrainian tycoon Victor Pinchuk to play a free concert in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on 14 June, 2008. He played in the city’s main square Maidan Nezalezhnosti at a show dubbed the Independence Concert. Over 350,000 concert goers braved adverse weather conditions as Paul McCartney played the biggest concert in the Ukraine’s history. Furthermore, McCartney will open a personal exhibition of his artistic works at the PinchukArtCentre.
During the ’60s, McCartney was often seen at major cultural events, such as the launch party for The International Times, and at The Roundhouse (28 January and 4 February 1967). He also delved into the visual arts, becoming a close friend of leading art dealers and gallery owners, explored experimental film, and regularly attended movie, theatrical and classical music performances. His first contact with the London avant-garde scene was through John Dunbar, who introduced him to the art dealer Robert Fraser, who in turn introduced McCartney to an array of writers and artists. McCartney later became involved in the renovation and publicising of the Indica Gallery in Mason’s Yard, London—John Lennon first met Yoko Ono at the Indica. The Indica Gallery brought McCartney into contact with Barry Miles, whose underground newspaper, The International Times, McCartney helped to start. Miles would become de facto manager of the Apple’s short-lived Zapple Records label, and wrote McCartney’s official biography, Many Years From Now (1998).
While living at the Asher house, McCartney took piano lessons at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, which The Beatles’ producer Martin had previously attended. McCartney studied composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Luciano Berio. McCartney later wrote and released several pieces of modern classical music and ambient electronica, besides writing poetry and painting. McCartney is lead patron of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, an arts school in the building formerly occupied by the Liverpool Institute for Boys. The 1837 building, which McCartney attended during his schooldays, had become derelict by the mid-1980s. On 7 June 1996, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the redeveloped building.
After the recording of “Yesterday” in 1965, McCartney contacted the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in Maida Vale, London, to see if they could record an electronic version of the song, but never followed it up. When visiting John Dunbar’s flat in London, McCartney would take along tapes he had compiled at Jane Asher’s house. The tapes were mixes of various songs, musical pieces and comments made by McCartney that he had Dick James make into a demo record for him. He later made tape loops by recording voices, guitars and bongos on a Brenell tape machine, and splicing the various loops together. He reversed the tapes, sped them up, and slowed them down to create the effects he wanted (which were later used on Beatles’ recordings, such as “Tomorrow Never Knows”). McCartney referred to them as electronic symphonies and was heavily influenced by John Cage at the time.
In the spring of 1966, while McCartney was part of a small group which included figureheads John Dunbar and (Barry) Miles, involved with giving birth to the Indica Gallery and the newspaper International Times, he rented a ground floor and basement flat from Ringo Starr at 34 Montagu Square, to be used as a small demo studio for spoken-word recordings by poets, writers (including William Burroughs) and avant-garde musicians. The Beatles’ Apple Records then launched a sub-label, Zapple with (Barry) Miles as its manager, ostensibly to release recordings of a similar aesthetic, (although few releases would ultimately result as Apple and The Beatles slid into subsequent business and personal difficulties.)
In 1995, McCartney recorded a radio series called “Oobu Joobu” for the American network Westwood One, which McCartney described as being “wide-screen radio”
During the 1990s, McCartney collaborated with Youth of Killing Joke under the name of the Fireman, and have released two ambient albums; Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (in 1993) and Rushes, in 1998. In 2000, he released an album, Liverpool Sound Collage, with Super Furry Animals and Youth, utilising collage and musique concrete techniques which fascinated him in the mid-1960s. Most recently, in 2005, he worked on a project with bootleg producer and remixer Freelance Hellraiser, consisting of remixed versions of songs from throughout his solo career and released under the name Twin Freaks.
McCartney was interested in animated films as a child, and later had the financial resources to ask Geoff Dunbar to direct a short animated film called the Rupert and the Frog Song in 1981. McCartney wrote the music and the script, was the producer, and added some of the characters voices.Dunbar worked again with McCartney on an animated film about the work of French artist Honore Daumier, in 1992, which won both of them a Bafta award. They also worked on Tropic Island Hum, in 1997.In 1995, McCartney directed a short documentary about The Grateful Dead.[
In 1966, McCartney met art gallery-owner Robert Fraser, whose flat was visited by many well-known artists. McCartney met Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Blake, and Richard Hamilton there, and learned about art appreciation. McCartney later started buying paintings by Magritte, and used Magritte’s painting of an apple for the Apple Records logo. He now owns Magritte’s easel and spectacles.
McCartney’s love of painting surfaced after watching artist Willem de Kooning paint, in Kooning’s Long Island barn. McCartney took up painting in 1983. In 1999, he exhibited his paintings (featuring McCartney’s portraits of John Lennon, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie) for the first time in Siegen, Germany, and included photographs by Linda. He chose the gallery because Wolfgang Suttner (local events organiser) was genuinely interested in his art, and the positive reaction led to McCartney showing his work in UK galleries. The first UK exhibition of McCartney’s work was opened in Bristol, England with more than 500 paintings on display. McCartney had previously believed that “only people that had been to art school were allowed to paint” – as Lennon had.
In October 2000, Yoko Ono and McCartney presented art exhibitions in New York and London. McCartney said,
“ I’ve been offered an exhibition of my paintings at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool where John and I used to spend many a pleasant afternoon. So I’m really excited about it. I didn’t tell anybody I painted for 15 years but now I’m out of the closet. ”
Writing and poetry
McCartney’s English teacher, Alan Durband, in 1946.
McCartney’s English teacher, Alan Durband, in 1946.
When McCartney was young, his mother read him poems and encouraged him to read books. McCartney’s father was interested in crosswords and invited the two young McCartneys (Paul and his brother Michael) to solve them with him, so as to increase their “word power”. McCartney was later inspired – in his school years – by Alan Durband, who was McCartney’s English literature teacher at the Liverpool Institute. Durband was a co-founder and fund-raiser at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, where Willy Russell also worked, and introduced McCartney to Geoffrey Chaucer’s works. McCartney later took his A-level exams, but passed only one subject – Art.
In 2001 McCartney published ‘Blackbird Singing’, a volume of poems, some of which were lyrics to his songs, and gave readings in Liverpool and New York. Some of them were serious: “Here Today” (about Lennon) and some humorous (“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”). In the foreword of the book, McCartney explained that when he was a teenager, he had “an overwhelming desire” to have a poem of his published in the school magazine. He wrote something “deep and meaningful”, but it was rejected, and he feels that he has been trying to get some kind of revenge ever since. His first “real poem” was about the death of his childhood friend, Ivan Vaughan.
In October 2005, McCartney released a children’s book called High In The Clouds: An Urban Furry Tail. In a press release publicizing the book, McCartney said, “I have loved reading for as long as I can remember,” singling out Treasure Island as a childhood favourite. McCartney collaborated with author Philip Ardagh and animator Geoff Dunbar to write the book.
Relationships and marriages
McCartney had a three-year relationship with Dot Rhone in Liverpool, and they were due to get married until Rhone lost the baby she was expecting. In London McCartney had a five-year relationship with actress Jane Asher. They were engaged to be married until they broke up in 1968. McCartney married American photographer Linda Eastman in 1969 (McCartney was the last Beatle to get married). They had four children (Linda’s daughter Heather who was adopted by Paul, followed by three more children) and remained married until Linda’s death from breast cancer in 1998. In 2002, McCartney married former model Heather Mills and they had a child in 2003. They separated in May 2006 and they were divorced in May 2008.
Widespread animosity towards McCartney’s wives was reported in 2004. “They [the British public] didn’t like me giving up on Jane Asher,” McCartney said. “I married a New York divorcee with a child, and at the time they didn’t like that.”
Relationship with Dot Rhone
McCartney and Dot Rhone on 17 March 1962, in Liverpool.
McCartney and Dot Rhone on 17 March 1962, in Liverpool.
One of McCartney’s first girlfriends was called Layla, whom McCartney remembered as having an unusual name in Liverpool at the time. Layla was slightly older than McCartney and used to ask him to baby-sit with her, which was a code word for sex. Julie Arthur, another girlfriend, was Ted Ray’s niece.
McCartney’s first serious girlfriend in Liverpool was Dot Rhone, whom he met at the Casbah club in 1959. McCartney picked out the clothes he wanted Rhone to wear and told her which make-up to use. He also paid for Rhone to have her blonde hair done in the style of Brigitte Bardot, whom Lennon and McCartney idolised. When McCartney went to Hamburg with The Beatles he wrote regular letters to Rhone, and she accompanied Cynthia Lennon to Hamburg when The Beatles played there again in 1962. According to Rhone, McCartney bought her a gold ring, took her sightseeing around Hamburg and was very attentive and caring. Rhone later rented a room in the same house as Cynthia Lennon was living as McCartney helped with the rent. McCartney admitted that he had other girlfriends in Hamburg during his time with Rhone, and that they were usually “strippers”, who knew a lot more about sex than Liverpool girls.
Shortly after McCartney returned from Hamburg in May 1962, Rhone told him that she was pregnant. They told Jim McCartney—whom they expected to be shocked at the news—but found him delighted at the prospect of becoming a grandfather. McCartney took out a marriage licence and set the wedding date for November; shortly before the baby was due. Rhone had a miscarriage in July 1962, and after a few weeks, McCartney’s feelings towards Rhone “cooled off” and he finished their relationship.
Rhone later emigrated to Toronto, Canada, and McCartney met her again when The Beatles played there, and then again with Wings. Rhone said that “Love of the Loved” and “P.S. I Love You” were written about her. Years later, Cynthia Lennon gave back Rhone the gold ring that McCartney had bought in Hamburg, as Cynthia had once tried it on when Rhone was washing dishes, and had forgotten to take it off. Rhone is now a grandmother and lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
Relationship with Jane Asher
The Beatles were performing at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, when McCartney first met British actress Jane Asher on 18 April 1963, and a photographer asked them to pose with Asher. The Beatles were interviewed by Asher for the BBC, and Asher was then photographed screaming at them like a fan. McCartney later persuaded her to become his girlfriend.
McCartney soon met Jane’s family: Margaret, Jane’s mother, who combined her life as the mother of three children with a full-time career as a music teacher, and Jane’s father, Richard, who was a physician. Jane’s brother, Peter, was a member of Peter and Gordon, and Jane’s younger sister, Clare, was also an actress. McCartney later gave “A World Without Love” to Peter and Gordon-as well as the song “Nobody I Know”. Both songs became hits for the group. McCartney took up residence at the Ashers’ house at 57 Wimpole Street, London, and lived there for nearly three years. During his time there McCartney met writers such as Bertrand Russell, Harold Pinter and Len Deighton. He wrote several songs at the Ashers’, including “Yesterday”, and worked on songs with Lennon in the basement music room. Jane inspired many songs, such as “And I Love Her”, “You Won’t See Me”, and “I’m Looking Through You”. On 13 April 1965, McCartney bought a £40,000 three-storey Regency house, at 7 Cavendish Avenue, London, and spent a further £20,000 renovating it. McCartney created a music room on the top floor of his house, where he worked with Lennon. He thanked the Ashers by paying for the decoration of the front of their house.
On 15 May 1967, McCartney met American photographer Linda Eastman at a Georgie Fame concert at The Bag O’Nails club in London. Eastman was in the UK on an assignment to take photographs of “Swinging sixties” musicians in London. McCartney and Linda later went to The Speakeasy club on Margaret Street. They met again four days later at the launch party for the Sgt. Pepper album at Brian Epstein’s house in Belgravia, but when her assignment was completed, Linda flew back to New York City.
On 25 December 1967, McCartney and Asher announced their engagement, and she accompanied McCartney to India in February and March of 1968. Asher broke off the engagement in early 1968, after coming back from Bristol to find McCartney in bed with another woman. They attempted to mend the relationship, but finally broke it off in July 1968. Jane Asher has consistently refused to publicly discuss that part of her life.
Marriage to Linda Eastman
Main articles: Linda McCartney, Heather McCartney, Mary McCartney, Stella McCartney, and James McCartney
In May 1968, McCartney met Eastman again in New York, when Lennon and McCartney were there to announce the formation of Apple Corps. In September, McCartney phoned Eastman and asked her to fly over to London. Six months later, McCartney and Eastman were married at a small civil ceremony (when Linda was four months pregnant with McCartney’s child) at Marylebone Registry Office on 12 March 1969. He later said that Eastman was the woman who “gave me the strength and courage to work again” (after the break-up of The Beatles). McCartney adopted Linda’s daughter from her first marriage, Heather Louise (now a potter), and the couple had three more children together: photographer Mary Anna, fashion designer Stella Nina, and musician James Louis. McCartney has claimed that he and Linda spent less than a week apart during their entire marriage, interrupted only by Paul’s incarceration in Tokyo on drug charges in January 1980.
Linda McCartney died of breast cancer in Tucson, Arizona, on 17 April 1998. McCartney denied rumours that her death was an assisted suicide.
McCartney now has five grandchildren: Mary’s two sons Arthur Alistair Donald (born 3 April 1999) and Elliot Donald (born 1 August 2002) and Stella’s children, Miller Alasdhair James Willis (born 25 February 2005), daughter Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis (born 8 December 2006)., and Beckett Robert Lee (born 8 January 2008).
Marriage to Heather Mills
Main article: Heather Mills
After having sparked the interest of the tabloids about his appearances with Heather Mills at events, McCartney appeared publicly beside Mills at a party in January 2000, to celebrate her 32nd birthday. On 11 June 2002, McCartney married Mills, a former model and anti-landmines campaigner, in an elaborate ceremony at Castle Leslie in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland, where more than 300 guests were invited and the reception included a vegetarian banquet. In October 2003, Mills gave birth to a daughter, Beatrice Milly McCartney. The baby was reportedly named after Heather’s late mother Beatrice and Paul’s Aunt Milly.
On 29 July 2006, British newspapers announced that McCartney had petitioned for divorce, which sparked a press furor. A settlement was announced on 21 January 2007, but Mills’ lawyers denied this. On March 17, 2008, the financial terms of the divorce were finalised with a settlement awarding Heather Mills £24.3 million ($48.6 million). The settlement will also see the former Beatle pay their four-year-old daughter Beatrice’s nanny and school fees and will pay Beatrice £35,000 ($70,000) a year until she is 18, or ends secondary education. After the divorce ruling, Justice Bennett said that throughout the case Mills was “inconsistent, inaccurate and less than candid” while McCartney was “honest.” On May 12, 2008, Justice Hugh Bennett issued only a preliminary divorce decree to be finalized in 6 months: “On the petition for divorce presented by Miss Heather Mills, I pronounce the decree nisi of divorce on the grounds of two years’ separation.”
McCartney’s lifestyle was greatly altered by his success and the income he earned. In the 1960s, the new availability of the first oral contraceptive and illegal drugs changed many people’s opinions—including McCartney’s—about life, marriage, and sexual relationships.
Recreational drug use
McCartney’s introduction to drugs started in Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles had to play for hours, and they were often given “Prellies” (Preludin) by German customers or by Astrid Kirchherr (whose mother bought them). McCartney would usually take one, but Lennon would often take four or five.
After having been introduced to cannabis, by Bob Dylan in New York, in 1964, McCartney remembered getting “very high” and giggling. McCartney’s use of cannabis became regular, and he was quoted in the Barry Miles book as saying that any future Beatles’ lyrics containing the words “high”, or “grass” were written specifically as a reference to cannabis—as was “Got to Get You into My Life”. John Dunbar’s flat at 29 Lennox Gardens, in London, became a regular hang-out for McCartney, where he talked to musicians, writers and artists, and smoked cannabis. In 1965, Miles introduced McCartney to hash brownies by using a recipe for hash fudge he found in the Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. During the filming of Help!, he and the other Beatles occasionally smoked a spliff in the car on the way to the studio during filming, which often made them forget their lines. Help! director Dick Lester said that he overheard “two beautiful women” trying to cajole McCartney into taking heroin, but he refused.
McCartney called for the legalization of Cannabis in 1967.
McCartney called for the legalization of Cannabis in 1967.
McCartney’s attitude about cannabis was made public in the 1960s, when he added his name to an advertisement in The Times, on 24 July 1967, which asked for the legalisation of cannabis, the release of all prisoners imprisoned because of possession, and research into marijuana’s medical uses. The advertisement was sponsored by a group called Soma and was signed by 65 people, including The Beatles, Brian Epstein, Graham Greene, R.D. Laing, 15 doctors, and two MPs.
McCartney was introduced to cocaine by Robert Fraser, and it was available during the recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney admitted sniffing heroin with Fraser, but did not feel any effect, and never took it again.
In 1967, on a sailing trip to Greece—with the idea of buying an island for the whole group—McCartney said everybody sat around and took LSD, although McCartney first took it with Tara Browne, in 1966. He took his second “acid trip” with Lennon on 21 March 1967 after a studio session. McCartney was the first British pop star openly to admit to using LSD, in an interview in the now-defunct “Queen” magazine. His admission was followed by a TV interview in the UK on Independent Television News on 19 June 1967, when McCartney was asked about his admission of LSD use, he said:
“ I was asked a question by a newspaper, and the decision was whether to tell a lie or tell him the truth. I decided to tell him the truth … but I really didn’t want to say anything, you know, because if I had my way I wouldn’t have told anyone. I’m not trying to spread the word about this. But the man from the newspaper is the man from the mass medium. I’ll keep it a personal thing if he does too, you know … if he keeps it quiet. But he wanted to spread it so it’s his responsibility, you know, for spreading it, not mine. ”
In another quote (cited and endorsed by The Byrds’ David Crosby at the Monterey Pop Festival), McCartney said,
“ [LSD] opened my eyes. We only use one-tenth of our brain. Just think of what we could accomplish if we could only tap that hidden part! It would mean a whole new world if the politicians would take LSD. There wouldn’t be any more war or poverty or famine. ”
In spite of his statements then, and his admission (in 2004) that he had used cocaine, McCartney was not arrested by Norman Pilcher’s Drug Squad, as had been Lennon, Harrison, Donovan, and several members of the Rolling Stones. In 1972, however, police found cannabis plants growing on his Scottish farm.
On 16 January 1980, Wings went to Tokyo for 11 concerts in Japan. As McCartney was going through customs, officials found 7.7 ounces (218.3 g) of cannabis in his luggage. He was arrested and taken to a Tokyo prison while the Japanese government decided what to do. McCartney had been previously denied a visa to Japan (in 1975) because he had been convicted twice in Europe for possession of cannabis. Public figures called for McCartney to be tried by a jury for drug-smuggling. Had he been tried and convicted, he would have faced up to seven years in prison. The members of Wings cancelled the tour and left Japan. After ten days in jail, McCartney was released and deported. He was told that he would not be welcome in Japan again, although a decade later he played a concert in Tokyo. In 1984, Paul and Linda McCartney were both arrested for possession of cannabis.
On 24 August 1967, McCartney met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the London Hilton, and later went to Bangor, in North Wales, to attend a weekend ‘initiation’ conference. McCartney said that although he does not meditate daily, he still uses the mantra that the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi gave him in Bangor. The time McCartney later spent in India at the Maharishi’s ashram was highly productive, as practically all of the songs that would later be recorded for The White Album and Abbey Road were composed there by McCartney, Lennon, or both together. Although McCartney was told that he was never to repeat the mantra to anyone else, he did tell Linda McCartney, and said he meditated a lot while he was in jail in Japan.
McCartney’s campaign against landmines
McCartney’s campaign against landmines
The McCartneys became outspoken vegetarians and animal-rights activists. They said that their vegetarianism was realised when they happened to see lambs in a field as they ate a meal of lamb. McCartney has also credited the 1942 Disney film Bambi – in which the young deer’s mother is shot by a hunter – as the original inspiration for him to take an interest in animal rights. In his first interview after Linda’s death, he promised to continue working for animal rights.
In 1999, McCartney spent £3,000,000 to make sure Linda McCartney’s food range remains free of GM ingredients. In 2002, McCartney gave his support to a campaign against a proposed ban on the sale of certain vitamins, herbs and mineral products in the European Union. Following his marriage to Heather Mills, McCartney joined with her to campaign against landmines; both McCartney and Mills are patrons of Adopt-A-Minefield. In 2003, he played a personal concert for the wife of a wealthy banker and donated his one million dollars to the charity. He also wore an anti-landmines t-shirt on the Back in the World tour.
In 2006, the McCartneys travelled to Prince Edward Island to bring international attention to the seal hunt (their final public appearance together). Their arrival sparked attention in Newfoundland and Labrador where the hunt is of economic significance. The couple also debated with Newfoundland’s Premier Danny Williams on the CNN show Larry King Live. They further stated that the fishermen should quit hunting seals and begin a seal watching business. McCartney has also criticised China’s fur trade, and supports the Make Poverty History campaign.
McCartney has been involved with a number of charity recordings and performances. In 2004, he donated a song to an album to aid the “US Campaign for Burma”, in support of Burmese Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, and he had previously been involved in the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, Ferry Aid, Band Aid, Live Aid, and the recording of “Ferry Cross the Mersey” (released 8 May 1989) following the Hillsborough disaster.
The Beatles made few comments about the football clubs they supported, in case they alienated fans of the group, although McCartney is a supporter of Everton Football Club (his father and relatives used to take him to matches) but his allegiance later encompassed Liverpool F.C. (both clubs being from the same city; Liverpool). Linda McCartney said: “We spent last night listening to Liverpool football team on the radio, wanting them to win so badly. Paul supports Liverpool. He was Everton for a while because of his family – but it’s all Liverpool now”.
Both Lennon and McCartney watched the 1966 FA Cup Final between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, and McCartney attended the 1968 FA Cup Final (18 May 1968) which was played between West Bromwich Albion and Everton. After the final whistle, McCartney shared cigarettes and whisky with other fans. Liverpool player, Albert Stubbins, was the only footballer shown on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. On 28 July 1968, The Beatles were photographed in a photographer’s studio at 192-212 Gray’s Inn Road, with McCartney wearing a Liverpool F.C. Rosette on two photos.
McCartney tried to listen to the Liverpool v Manchester United 1977 FA Cup Final on a radio, while sailing in the Caribbean. The video for McCartney’s Pipes of Peace (1983) recreated the football game played between German and British troops during WWI. McCartney was seen at the 1986 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Everton, and in 1989, McCartney contributed to the “Ferry Cross the Mersey” charity single that was recorded to aid victims of the Hillsborough Disaster, which happened during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Main articles: Apple Corps, Northern Songs, and MPL Communications
McCartney is today one of Britain’s wealthiest men, with an estimated fortune of £824 million, although Justice Bennett, in his judgment on McCartney’s divorce case found no evidence that McCartney was worth more than £400 million. In addition to his interest in Apple Corps, McCartney’s MPL Communications owns a significant music publishing catalogue, with access to over 25,000 copyrights. McCartney earned £40 million in 2003, making him Britain’s highest media earner. This rose to £48.5 million by 2005. In the same year he joined the top American talent agency Grabow Associates, who arrange private performances for their richest clients. Northern Songs was established in 1963, by Dick James, to publish the songs of Lennon/McCartney. The Beatles’ partnership was replaced in 1968 by a jointly-held company, Apple Corps, which continues to control Apple’s commercial interests. Northern Songs was purchased by Associated TeleVision (ATV) in 1969, and was sold in 1985 to Michael Jackson. For many years McCartney was unhappy about Jackson’s purchase and handling of Northern Songs.
MPL Communications is an umbrella company for McCartney’s business interests, which owns a wide range of copyrights, as well as the publishing rights to musicals, and controls 25 subsidiary companies. In 2006, the Trademarks Registry reported that MPL had started a process to secure the protections associated with registering the name “Paul McCartney” as a trademark. The 2005 films, Brokeback Mountain and Good Night and Good Luck, feature MPL copyrights.
Critique and achievements
McCartney is listed in The Guinness Book Of Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with sales of 100 million singles and 60 gold discs. McCartney has achieved twenty-nine number-one singles in the U.S., twenty of them with The Beatles, the rest with Wings and as a solo artist. McCartney has been involved in more number-one singles in the United Kingdom than any other artist under a variety of credits, although Elvis Presley has achieved more as a solo artist. McCartney has achieved 24 number-ones in the U.K.: solo (1), Wings (1), with Stevie Wonder (1), Ferry Aid (1), Band Aid (1), Band Aid 20 (1) and The Beatles (17). McCartney is the only artist to reach the U.K. number one as a soloist (“Pipes of Peace”), duo (“Ebony and Ivory” with Stevie Wonder), trio (“Mull of Kintyre”, Wings), quartet (“She Loves You”, The Beatles), quintet (“Get Back”, The Beatles with Billy Preston) and sextet (“Let It Be” with Ferry Aid). McCartney’s song “Yesterday” is the most covered song in history with more than 3,500 recorded versions and has been played more than 7,000,000 times on American TV and radio, for which McCartney was given an award. After its 1977 release the Wings single “Mull of Kintyre” became the highest-selling record in British chart history, and remained so until 1984.
On 2 July 2005, he was involved with the fastest-released single in history. His performance of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with U2 at Live 8 was released only 45 minutes after it was performed, before the end of the concert. The single reached number six on the Billboard charts, just hours after the single’s release, and hit number one on numerous online download charts across the world. McCartney played for the largest stadium audience in history when 184,000 people paid to see him perform at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on 21 April, 1990, and he played his 3,000th concert in front of 60,000 fans in St Petersburg, Russia, on 20 June 2004. Over his career, McCartney has played 2,523 gigs with The Beatles, 140 with Wings, and 325 as a solo artist.
In the concert programme for his 1989 world tour, McCartney wrote that Lennon received all the credit for being the avant-garde Beatle, and McCartney was known as ‘baby-faced’, which he disagreed with. People also assumed that Lennon was the ‘hard-edged one’, and McCartney was the ‘soft-edged’ Beatle, although McCartney admitted to ‘bossing Lennon around.' Linda McCartney said that McCartney had a ‘hard-edge’—and not just on the surface—which she knew about after all the years she had spent living with him. McCartney seemed to confirm this edge when he commented that he sometimes meditates, which he said is better than “sleeping, eating, or shouting at someone”. In June 1983, McCartney released “We All Stand Together” from the animated film Rupert And The Frog Song, which was commercially successful, but was widely ridiculed as being “one of the worst songs in recent years”.
Paul is dead rumours
Main article: Paul is dead
“Paul is Dead” is an urban legend alleging that McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike. The rumour is the subject of several books, including American journalist Andru J. Reeve’s 1994 book Turn Me On, Dead Man (ISBN 1-4184-8294-3) and English author Benjamin Fitzpatrick’s 1997 book, ‘Rumours from John, George, Ringo and Me’.”Paul is dead” analyst Joel Glazier hypothesized in a 1978 treatise that Lennon’s love of wordplay and studio editing may have been responsible for clues in later Beatles albums.
* Paul McCartney discography (including Wings’ releases and his solo output from the 1960s to the present day)
* The Beatles discography
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2. ^ Paul McCartney: When I’m 64. The Independent. independent.co.uk – Retrieved 17 June 2006
3. ^ “The UK’s Best Selling Singles” ukcharts.20m.com – Retrieved 23 September 2007.
4. ^ Shelokhonov, Steve. Paul McCartney – Biography. IMDB.com – Retrieved 8 March 2008.
5. ^ Spitz 2005. p75
6. ^ a b Miles 1998. p4.
7. ^ Miles 1998. p9.
8. ^ Spitz 2005. p125
9. ^ Spitz 2005. pp82-83
10. ^ Photo of Forthlin Road nationaltrust.org.uk – Retrieved 27 January 2007
11. ^ Miles 1998. p6.
12. ^ Miles 1998. p20.
13. ^ a b c Miles 1998. p31.
14. ^ Miles 1998. p22.
15. ^ Spitz 2005. P71
16. ^ a b Miles 1998. pp23-24.
17. ^ Spitz 2005. p86
18. ^ a b Miles 1998. p21.
19. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Who’s Who Of Country Music: Slim Whitman entry, Guinness Publishing, 1993. ISBN 0851127266
20. ^ Early guitars McCartney played thecanteen.com – Retrieved 27 January 2007
21. ^ a b Miles 1998. pp22-23.
22. ^ Spitz 2005. p93
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