Sir James Paul McCartney
MBE (born 18 June 1942) is a multiple Grammy
Award-winning English singer-songwriter, poet, composer,
multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, record producer, film producer,
painter, and animal rights activist. He gained worldwide fame as a member of
The Beatles, with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
Paul McCartney on the View January 14, 2009
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/electronica
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 - by over
3,700 artists so far - 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
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.
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 7 January 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.
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
early loss of his mother later connected McCartney with John Lennon, whose
mother, Julia, died after being struck by a car 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 Brian
Epstein's store, and McCartney's grandfather, Joe McCartney, played an
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
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".
On his father's advice, he took music lessons, but since he preferred to
learn 'by ear' he never paid attention in them.
The Quarrymen and the Silver Beetles
Fifteen-year-old McCartney met Lennon and The Quarrymen at the Woolton
(St. Peter's church hall) fête on 6 July 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
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
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
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 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
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
Sutcliffe left the band after the end of their contract, so McCartney
reluctantly took over bass.
After borrowing Sutcliffe's Höfner 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
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;
Best's replacement was Richard Starkey, whose stage name was Ringo Starr,
from Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, although he had already performed,
occasionally, with the Beatles in Hamburg) 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.
All Lennon-McCartney songs on the first pressing of the 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)
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
It was at Cavendish Avenue that McCartney bought his first Old English
Sheepdog, Martha, whose name ostensibly inspired the song "Martha My Dear",
but which is actually about the end of McCartney and Asher's relationship.
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
He even once accepted an offer from a policeman to be allowed to park
He later visited gambling clubs after 4:00am, such as 'The Curzon House',
and often saw 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.
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
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..
Paul McCartney (solo) and Wings
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"
 (#2 in Canada).
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" 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
In 1977, McCartney released Thrillington under the name "Percy
Wings also released "Mull of Kintyre". It stayed at #1 in the UK for nine
weeks (#34 in Canada), 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
McCartney understood that he could not just phone Lennon and only talk about
business, so they often talked about cats, baking bread, or babies.
According to May Pang, during Lennon's "Lost Weekend" with her he announced
plans to surprise McCartney in New Orleans and record songs; however, soon
afterward he rejoined Ono in New York City and abandoned the idea.
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, #1 in Canada, 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 its lead single, a
duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory", did likewise.
Two further hit duets followed, both with Michael Jackson: "The Girl Is
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) and #24 in Canada. On 13 July 1985, McCartney played "Let It Be" at
the Live Aid concert in London, but much of his performance was marred by
technical difficulties. He was backed on this performance by Bob Geldof,
Pete Townshend, George Michael, and Alison Moyet.
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
which songs would appear on singles and albums by both artists, notably
"Veronica"on Costello's album Spike and "My Brave Face" from
Flowers in the Dirt, (which reached #1 in the UK on release 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.
A 1992 McCartney / Starr collaboration "Angel In Disguise" was intended for
Ringo's Time Takes Time album, however was not included and remains
unreleased to this day. 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
This event was fictionalised in the 2000 television film Two of Us.
Reaction to John Lennon's murder
On the morning of 9 December 1980, McCartney awoke to the news that
Lennon had been murdered outside his home in the Dakota building in New
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?" McCartney said "yeah" and then asked
the reporters if they all knew, they added "yeah." McCartney then said,
"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:
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 McCartney said:
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
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
which referred to Lennon's "house-husband" years, while looking after Sean
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.
The 1990s saw McCartney venture into orchestral 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. It was announced in the 1997 New Year Honours that he was to be
knighted for "services to music",
and he received the accolade from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 11 March
1997, becoming "Sir Paul McCartney".
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.
In May 2000, he was given a Fellowship by the British Academy of
Composers and Songwriters. The chairman of the academy, Guy Fletcher, said
McCartney had played a major role in changing the course of British popular
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
Earlier in the year, McCartney worked on what would become his new album,
Driving Rain, released on 12 November. 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, who witnessed the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks from the
JFK airport tarmac, took
a lead role in organising The Concert for New York City in response.
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
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 only his second British music festival appearance (after
Knebworth 1990), 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 13 November 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.
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
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, inbetween his solo set
of "Fine Line" and "Helter Skelter", 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
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
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 played at the BBC Electric Proms on 25 October 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 at Anfield Stadium. 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. McCartney also played "A Day in the Life " as a tribute to John
Lennon, marking the first time the song has been played live by a Beatle.
In April 2008 it was 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 Ukraine’s history. Furthermore,
McCartney opened a personal exhibition of his artistic works at the
On 18 July 2008, McCartney made a surprise cameo appearance at the Billy
Joel concert at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York, which was appropriately
titled "The Last Play at Shea", referring to the stadium's scheduled
demolition in early 2009. Rumours had been circulating that McCartney might
appear at this concert, since the Beatles were the first band to perform at
Shea; McCartney arrived and played "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Let It
Be" with Joel on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans, closing the
stadium as a music venue the way it opened.
McCartney played on the Plains of Abraham on 20 July 2008 as part of the
celebrations surrounding Quebec City's 400th anniversary. McCartney
delighted the crowd of more than 250,000.
He frequently addressed the crowd in French and dedicated the song
"Birthday" to this city that he had not had the opportunity to visit before.
McCartney also played a special concert dubbed by him as "Friendship First"
at Hayarkon Park, in Tel Aviv, Israel, on 25 September 2008, attracting
about 50,000 fans. He wished the massive crowd Shana Tova in Hebrew.
In February of 2009, McCartney received two nominations for the 51st
annual Grammy awards, and performed the Beatles classic "I Saw Her Standing
There" with Dave Grohl on drums.
Later that month, Sirius XM launched a limited run channel devoted
exclusively to the music of Paul McCartney. Entitled Fireman Radio, an
homage to McCartney's alter ego, the program will premiere on February 14,
2009, and run until March 13, 2009.
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
Miles would become de facto manager of the Apple's short-lived Zapple
Records label, and wrote McCartney's official biography, Many Years From
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
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 recorder, 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 that
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
During the 1990s, McCartney collaborated with Youth of Killing Joke under
the name of the Fireman,
and released two ambient electronic albums: Strawberries Oceans Ships
Forest (1993) and Rushes (1998). In 2000, he released an album
titled Liverpool Sound Collage
with Super Furry Animals and Youth, utilizing collage and musique concrete
techniques that fascinated him in the mid-1960s. 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.
The Fireman's third album Electric Arguments was released on November
25, 2008. The album is
available on the duo's website.
In January 2009 interview with L.A. Weekly newspaper, McCartney
explained what he sees as the most significant difference between the music
he creates as The Fireman and the rest of his catalog. "Fireman is
improvisational theater," McCartney said. "When I sit down to write a song,
it’s a kind of improvisation, but I formalize it a bit to get it into the
studio, and when I step up to a microphone, I have a vague idea of what I’m
about to do. I usually have a song, and I know the melody and lyrics, and my
performance is the only unknown. In this case, I had neither lyrics nor
melody to go on — and it felt great."
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 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
In October 2000, Yoko Ono and McCartney presented art exhibitions in New
York and London. McCartney said,
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.
As an artist, Paul McCartney designed a series of six postage stamps
issued by the Isle of Man Post on 1 July 2002. According to BBC News,
McCartney seems to be the first major rock star in the world who is also
known as a stamp designer.
Writing and poetry
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
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
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 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, Beatrice, in 2003. They separated
in May 2006 and 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'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, and 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 in Hamburg, took her
sightseeing 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, who were usually "strippers," who knew a lot more about sex than
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, St. John's Wood, 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 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 1968. Asher broke
off the engagement in early 1968, after coming back from Bristol to find
McCartney in bed with another woman, Francie Schwartz.
They attempted to mend the relationship, but finally broke it off in July
1968. Asher has consistently refused to publicly discuss that part of her
Marriage to Linda Eastman
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
McCartney denied rumours that her death was an assisted suicide.
McCartney now has six grandchildren: Mary's three sons Arthur Alistair
Donald (born 3 April 1999), Elliot Donald (born 1 August 2002), and Sam
Aboud (born 11 August 2008), 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 Willis (born 8 January 2008).
Marriage to 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 28 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 media furore.
A settlement was announced on 21 January 2007, but Mills' lawyers denied
On 17 March 2008, the financial terms of the divorce were finalised
with a settlement awarding Heather Mills £24.3 million ($38.5 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.
Mills's reaction to the Court's decision was to throw a glass of water at
McCartney's lawyer, Fiona Shackleton.
 After the divorce
ruling, Justice Bennett said that throughout the case Mills was
"inconsistent, inaccurate and less than candid" while McCartney was
On 12 May 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."
Relationship with Nancy Shevell
McCartney has been dating Nancy Shevell since November, 2007.
She is a member of the board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation
Authority as well as vice president of a family-owned transportation
conglomerate which includes New England Motor Freight.
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
McCartney recollects getting 'very high' and giggling when introduced to
cannabis by Bob Dylan in New York in 1964.
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'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, Epstein, RD Laing, fifteen doctors, and
McCartney was introduced to cocaine by Robert Fraser, and it was
available during the recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
He admitted that he used the drug multiple times for about a year but
stopped because of the unpleasant come down.
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
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:
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,
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
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
Public figures called for McCartney to be put on trial for drug-smuggling.
Had he been 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
1984, Paul and Linda McCartney were both arrested for possession of
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
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.
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
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 traveled 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.
In a December 2008 interview with Prospect Magazine, McCartney mentioned
that he tried to convince the Dalai Lama to become a vegetarian. In a letter
to the Dalai Lama, McCartney took issue with Buddhism and meat-eating being
considered mutually exclusive, saying, "Forgive me for pointing this out,
but if you eat animals then there is some suffering somewhere along the
line.” The Dalai Lama replied to McCartney by saying his doctors advised him
to eat meat for health reasons. In the interview McCartney said, “I wrote
back saying they were wrong."
McCartney has claimed that it was he, and not Lennon, who made The
Beatles aware of political issues, such as the war in Vietnam. During a
meeting with Bertrand Russell in the mid-1960s, Russell told McCartney about
America’s increasing role in Vietnam. McCartney then went to a Beatles
recording session, and told "the guys, particularly John [Lennon], about
this meeting and saying what a bad war this was". Tariq Ali (leader of the
International Marxist Group at the time) commented: "This is news to me. We
never heard of Paul’s views at the time. It was John Lennon who was
concerned about the war. He never mentioned McCartney and I never thought of
asking him to join us."
McCartney went on to say that he has handed over the political "megaphone"
to musicians such as Bob Geldof and Bono.
The Beatles were advised by Epstein to make no comments about the
football clubs they supported, in case they alienated fans of the group,
although McCartney was known as a supporter of Everton Football Club,
because his father and relatives used to take him to matches.
His allegiance later encompassed Liverpool F.C..
Linda McCartney later 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
Lennon and McCartney were present to watch the 1966 FA Cup Final at
Wembley, between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, and McCartney attended the
1968 FA Cup Final (18 May 1968) which was played by West Bromwich Albion
After the end of the match, McCartney shared cigarettes and whisky with
other football fans.
The ex-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
McCartney tried to listen (on a radio) to the Liverpool v Manchester
United 1977 FA Cup Final, while sailing in the Caribbean,
and the video for McCartney's Pipes of Peace (in 1983) recreated the 1914
football game played between German and British troops during World War I,
At the end of the live version of Coming Up recorded in Glasgow in 1979
(later to become a US number one single) the crowd begins to sing "Paul
McCartney!" until McCartney takes over and changes the chant to
"Kenny Dalglish!", referring to the current Liverpool and Scotland
striker. At the same concert, Gordon Smith, former football player who
played for Rangers and Brighton & Hove Albion, met the McCartneys, and later
accepted an invitation to visit their home in East Sussex, in 1980. Smith
later said that McCartney was "thrilled I knew Kenny Dalglish”, to which
Linda added: "I like Gordon McQueen of Man United", and Smith replied, "I
know him too."
McCartney was seen at the 1986 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and
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.
McCartney played at the Liverpool F.C. Anfield stadium on 1 June 2008, as a
part of Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year.
Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters sang with McCartney on Band On the Run, and
played drums on Back in the USSR.
Ono and Olivia Harrison attended the concert, along with Ken Dodd, and the
Liverpool F.C. football manager Rafa Benitez.
McCartney is today one of Britain's wealthiest men, with an estimated
fortune of £824 million ($1.3 billion),
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
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
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 as part of an ensemble for
charity ("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
McCartney seemed to confirm this edge when he commented that he sometimes
meditates, which he said is better than "sleeping, eating, or shouting at
Paul is dead rumours
"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 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