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The Beatles have been a
part of me probably since I was born 19 short years ago. I have
always loved them and
probably always will. I can't think of any other band that has made a bigger impact on the music world,
than those lads from Liverpool. I hope you like my place, tell me what you think should or shouldn't be here. Thanks!
Pictures of the lads
A complete discography
Link away from here
Paul McCartney: essay by Jake Sparling
(same as on my poems and prose page)
On June 18, 1942, while the world was being rocked by one of the most infamous wars in history, a music legend was born. A boy who would later grow up and rock the world himself: James Paul McCartney.
Paul McCartney was born in a private wing of Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England, where his mother, Mary Patricia McCartney, was a nurse. His father, Jim McCartney, was a cotton salesman and part-time fireman, who came from a poor family of nine children.
Mary McCartney was born on September 29, 1909. When Mary was only ten years old, her mother died during childbirth. Her father remarried shortly afterwards. Mary and her new stepmother had a tumultuous relationship, which caused Mary to move out when she was only thirteen years of age. Soon after she left home, Mary became a nurse. Eighteen months after Paul was born, his parents were blessed with another child, Peter "Mike" McCartney. Their mother then became a midwife, so that she could spend more time with her children. When Paul was fourteen years old, his mother died of breast cancer.
As a child, Paul was active in Boy Scouts and bird watching. He and Mike spent much of their childhood exploring their neighborhood next to the Liverpool football club's stadium. Often their escapades led to potentially dangerous situations. On one of their excursions, both nearly drowned. While using a plank to cross a water filled lime pit, both boys fell in. Neither boy knew how to swim. Luckily Mike got hold of a root and they were able to climb to safety. The boys often spent time playing around nearby train tracks. They would put various objects on the tracks, including coins, tree limbs, and even bricks, waiting to see what would happen. Paul and Mike also threw turnips from a bridge, trying to hit the train's engineer in the head.
Because of his academic accomplishments, the Liverpool Institute, a very prestigious school, accepted Paul as a student. His parents were extremely proud of his admission into the school. While Paul's mother was alive, he planned to fulfill her dream of his becoming a teacher. However, after her death, music became his compulsion. According to Paul, his father Jim, was his biggest musical influence. Jim was a very fine piano and trumpet player. He was the leader of an ensemble called Jim Mac's Band, which played at many dance halls around Liverpool.
Paul did not show any musical interests until after the death of his mother. At first, he thought that he might want to play the trumpet like his father, but Paul soon realized that he could not play the trumpet and sing at the same time. Consequently, he decided to learn how to play the guitar. Paul bought a left-handed Zenith six-string guitar for fifteen pounds, equal to two weeks of his father's salary. Paul played the guitar every chance he had. Mike once commented that Paul was, "lost in another world, particularly after mum died. It was useless talking to him. In fact, I had better conversations with brick walls around this period." He went on to say, "You lose a mother and find a guitar?" (Flippo 18)
When Paul was only fifteen years old, he met John Lennon at the St. Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, England. Paul had gone there with Ivan Vaughan, to hear John and his band, the Quarry Men, play. Ivan, a mutual friend, introduced Paul to John. A few days later, the band asked that Paul play with them. He postponed joining the band until after he and Mike returned from the Nineteenth City School Scout camp. On October 18, 1957, Paul played his first gig with the Quarry Men, at the New Clubmoor Club in Liverpool. A few months later, the band asked that George Harrison, one of Paul's long time friends, join the group. Unlike other parents, George's mother supported the idea of her son playing in a band. Then called the Silver Beetles, the band members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Stuart Sutcliffe. They toured Scotland, playing backup for Johnny Gentle, a British balladeer. Pete Best, whose mother owned The Cavern, a club where the Silver Beetles often played, was asked to be the drummer for the band. The group then dropped the word Silver from their name and became the Beatles.
In June of 1961, Stuart Sutcliffe, the band's bassist, left the group to marry a German photographer. Paul then decided that he would switch from playing guitar to bass to take Stuart's place. McCartney played the bass, piano and sang for the group. Later that same year, Ringo Starr was asked to replace Pete Best as the band's drummer. During the group's early years, the Beatles played in clubs around Liverpool. The Cavern was one of their favorite clubs. Over a two year period, they played there 292 times.
The Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do, in September of 1962. Within two years, the quartet held the top five spots on the Billboard music charts. They also had seven other songs rated in the top one-hundred single releases. In 1963, while recording a BBC radio special, Paul met a young woman by the name of Jane Asher. In 1967, the couple announced their engagement, after dating for four years. However, seven months later Jane canceled their engagement. While Paul was still engaged to Miss Asher, he met a young rock n' roll photographer named Linda Eastman. On March 12, 1969, Paul and Linda were married.
John and Paul wrote most of the Beatles music. They credited their songs to Lennon-McCartney, although many of their songs were written individually. Paul wrote many of his songs in a third person point of view, whereas John wrote his in a first person point of view. McCartney wrote some of the Beatles' biggest hits, such as Yesterday, Hey Jude, and Eleanor Rigby. He thought of the lyrics to Hey Jude while going to visit Cynthia Lennon, John's ex-wife, after she and John had separated. Paul was sympathizing with John's son Julian, nicknamed Jules, and thought of the song title, Hey Jules. Later Paul changed the title to Hey Jude, because it had more of a country-western sound. One morning Paul awoke, walked over to the piano and began composing a song. Not having any lyrics, he simply sang "scrambled eggs" repeatedly to the music. Paul later wrote lyrics for the now popular ballad known as Yesterday, of which he is very proud.
The Beatles toured around the world for four years. Their final concert was in Candlestick Park, in San Francisco on August 29, 1966. Soon after, they started to record the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. It was their ninth album since their debut record, Please Please Me. Some of their other albums included, Revolver, Help!, A Hard Day's Night, and Rubber Soul. Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, Let It Be, and Hey Jude, followed the recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles also appeared on the screen in the movies, A Hard Day's Night, Magical Mystery Tour, and Help!.
In 1970, the Beatles disbanded and the musicians each went their separate way. John, then married to Yoko Ono, started recording with Yoko full time. Paul and Linda McCartney started a new band called Wings. Paul played the bass, while Linda played the keyboard and sang backup vocals. Also included in the band were two guitarists and a drummer.
Paul like many other musicians got involved with the use of illicit drugs. He admits that he experimented with LSD early in his life. While in Hamburg, Germany, he also started using amphetamines, along with the rest of the then newly formed Beatles. In early 1980, Paul spent nine days in a Japanese prison for the possession of marijuana. Paul said that the jail was very much like a recording studio, "You sit around and do goofball things like a bunch of guys do stuck in a room together. I developed this great little trick where we'd see who could jump the highest up the wall. Now, me being the taller than most of them, I tended to win this game." (Castro 48)
After the band's breakup, John and Paul argued back and forth for a long time. They called each other names through the media. At the time, Paul was living in England and John was living in the United States. Eventually, they reconciled and planned to visit each other. However, Paul was too busy to get away from his work and John was unable to leave the United States. Before they could reunite, John was assassinated on Tuesday, December 9, 1980. The news of his friend's death devastated Paul.
Over the years, many rumors about Paul's apparent death have been circulated. According to reports, he had died sometime before the recording of Abbey Road. On the cover of the album, Paul was the only one in the group that was barefoot. Because bare feet are reportedly an old Mafia sign for death, people interpreted this to be of significance. In reality, Paul went to the photo shoot without his shoes on because it was a hot day and he did not think that they were necessary. On the White Album, a secret message is hidden in one of the songs. The message is heard if the song Revolution 9 is played backwards. It sounds as if someone is saying, "Turn me on dead man." Although the message probably was not intentional, many people regarded it as evidence that Paul was dead. In the movie, Magical Mystery Tour, Paul portrays the walrus, regarded by some as the animal of death. Also in the same movie, at the end of the song Strawberry Fields Forever, it sounds as if John says, "I buried Paul." In fact he was only saying "cranberry sauce." Paul explained that this was just an example of John's humor. If someone did not understand John's form of wit, then the phrase might be interpreted differently.
During Paul and Linda's twenty-seven year marriage, the couple has only spent eleven days apart. They have three daughters, Mary, Heather, and Stella. Heather, who was born on December 31, 1963, is from Linda's previous marriage with Melvin See. Heather is currently working as a potter. Mary, Paul's first child, was born on August 29, 1969. She presently works at her father's company, MPL Communications, where she is in charge of the copyrights. Stella was born on September 13, 1971, and is studying fashion design. The McCartney's only son, James, was born on September 12, 1977. He has blond hair and looks much like his father. James is a fan of Jimi Hendrix, and plays Paul's left-handed guitar although James is right-handed. Paul, Linda and James currently live in Sussex, England, just south of London. They live in a circular house that Paul himself designed and is accessible only by foot or four-wheel drive vehicle.
Paul was always regarded as the best looking of the Beatles. Now, with his long, salt-and-pepper hair, and hazel eyes, he is still considered an attractive man at the age of fifty-three. He continues to play his famous Hofner bass with his band Wings, and recently finished a New World Tour. The tour included seventy-eight concerts throughout Europe, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and South America.
Paul McCartney has earned many honors in his musical career that identify him as a music legend. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful songwriter in history. Since the breakup of the Beatles, Paul has released twenty-three albums. During his musical career, he has recorded thirty-two number one hits, more than any other musician in history. John Lennon has the second most hits, twenty-three. Paul also holds the record for the most Gold and Platinum disks, with seventy-five. He keeps his MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) medal in storage, along with his Gold and Platinum disks. Paul says that he does not feel that he should display his awards because, "One thing that can bring you bad luck is when you start to get bigheaded. I'd rather be remembered as a musician than a celebrity." (Booth 86) Paul holds the record for the most recorded song in history, with over two-thousand recorded versions of the ballad Yesterday.
McCartney owns the copyrights to more than three-thousand songs, including all of the songs written by Buddy Holly, Paul's childhood idol. Paul also owns the publishing rights to musical scores such as Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, and Grease. He has written songs with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, and of course, John Lennon. McCartney's estimated worth is approximately $600 million, and he is by far the most financially successful of the Beatles. However, Paul is no longer motivated by money or popularity, but now plays for his own enjoyment. "He is richer and more successful than any other pop star in history, but he is, he insists, just an ordinary bloke'." (Benson 7)
In 1985, Michael Jackson bought the publishing rights to the Lennon/McCartney catalog for $147.5 million. Since then, Paul has written Jackson and asked him to consider selling the rights to McCartney, but Michael never replies. Meanwhile, Jackson has used the songs for television commercials and for his own profit.
In Paul's spare time, he enjoys sailing, carpentry, and painting, a hobby he began at age forty. Since he and his family are vegetarians, he also spends much of his time in his organic garden.
Paul McCartney and his music have rocked the world for the past thirty-eight years. During his lifetime, he has accomplished more than any other musician in history.
"The Beatles were like a great stone thrown into the water. While the immediate, explosive splash may well have subsided, the far-ranging ripples of their great, inspired work certainly haven't. And despite Paul's commercial ups and downs of recent years, to the educated listener his music still has the power to entertain and enlighten in a way far beyond the scope of most of today's so-called current artists." (Giuliano xiii)