The Talented Paul McCartney Part One
Sir James Paul McCartney, CH, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He gained worldwide fame as the bass guitarist and singer for the rock band the Beatles, widely considered the most popular and influential group in the history of pop music. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon is the most celebrated of the post-war era. After the band’s break-up, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.
Sir Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney in 2010
James Paul McCartney
18 June 1942 (age 75)
* Singer-songwriter music and film producer businessman
* Linda Eastman (m. 1969; d. 1998)
* Heather Mills (m. 2002; div. 2008)
* Nancy Shevell (m. 2011)
5, including Heather (adopted), Mary, Stella, and James McCartney
Jim and Mary McCartney
Mike McGear (brother)
* Rock pop classical electronic
* Vocals bass guitar guitar piano
* Apple Capitol Columbia Decca Hear Music Parlophone Polydor Swan Vee-Jay
* The Quarrymen The Beatles Wings The Fireman Michael Jackson
* Höfner 500/1
* Rickenbacker 4001S
* Epiphone Texan
* Fender Jazz Bass
* Yamaha BB1200
* Gibson Les Paul
* Epiphone Casino
* Martin D-28
* Wal 5-String Bass
McCartney has been recognised as one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. More than 2,200 artists have covered his Beatles song “Yesterday”, making it one of the most covered songs in popular music history. Wings’ 1977 release “Mull of Kintyre” is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. A two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988, and as a solo artist in 1999), and a 21-time Grammy Award winner, McCartney has written, or co-written, 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2009 he has 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr all received appointment as Members of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 and, in 1997, McCartney was knighted for services to music. McCartney is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$1.2 billion.
McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education. He has married three times and is the father of five children.
McCartney’s former home, 20 Forthlin Road. The McCartney family moved into this address in 1955.
James Paul McCartney was born on 18 June 1942 in Walton Hospital, Liverpool, England, where his mother, Mary Patricia (née Mohin; 1909–1956), had qualified to practise as a nurse. His father, James (“Jim”) McCartney (1902–1976), was absent from his son’s birth due to his work as a volunteer firefighter during World War II. Paul has one younger brother, Michael (born 7 January 1944). Though the children were baptised in their mother’s Catholic faith, their father was a former Protestant turned agnostic, and religion was not emphasised in the household.
McCartney attended Stockton Wood Road Primary School in Speke from 1947 until 1949, when he transferred to Joseph Williams Junior School in Belle Vale because of overcrowding at Stockton. In 1953, with only three others out of ninety examinees, he passed the 11-Plus exam, meaning he could attend the Liverpool Institute, a grammar school rather than a secondary modern school. In 1954, he met schoolmate George Harrison on the bus from his suburban home in Speke. The two quickly became friends; McCartney later admitted: “I tended to talk down to him because he was a year younger.”
“The type of people that I came from, I never saw better! … I mean, the Presidents, the Prime Minister, I never met anyone half as nice as some of the people I know from Liverpool who are nothing, who do nothing. They’re not important or famous. But they are smart, like my dad was smart. I mean, people who can just cut through problems like a hot knife through butter. The kind of people you need in life. Salt of the earth.”
Paul McCartney, Playboy interview, 1984
McCartney’s mother Mary was a midwife and the family’s primary wage earner; her earnings enabled them to move into 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton, where they lived until 1964. She rode a bicycle to her patients; McCartney described an early memory of her leaving at “about three in the morning [the] streets … thick with snow”. On 31 October 1956, when McCartney was fourteen, his mother died of an embolism. McCartney’s loss later became a point of connection with John Lennon, whose mother, Julia, had died when he was seventeen.
McCartney’s father was a trumpet player and pianist, who had led Jim Mac’s Jazz Band in the 1920s. He kept an upright piano in the front room, encouraged his sons to be musical and advised Paul to take piano lessons, but Paul preferred to learn by ear. He gave Paul a nickel-plated trumpet for his fourteenth birthday, but when rock and roll became popular on Radio Luxembourg, McCartney traded it for a £15 Framus Zenith (model 17) acoustic guitar, since he wanted to be able to sing while playing. He found it difficult to play guitar right-handed, but after noticing a poster advertising a Slim Whitman concert and realising that Whitman played left-handed, he reversed the order of the strings. McCartney wrote his first song, “I Lost My Little Girl”, on the Zenith, and composed another early tune that would become “When I’m Sixty-Four” on the piano. American rhythm and blues influenced him, and Little Richard was his schoolboy idol; “Long Tall Sally” was the first song McCartney performed in public, at a Butlins holiday camp talent competition.