Sir Paul McCartney - Singer/Songwriter
Created | Updated Nov 1, 2014
In some ways you can have an effect. John Lennon's 'Give Peace a Chance' had an impact on the Vietnam war when a million people chanted it. You have a voice and instead of using it for frivolous matters, you can sometimes put your foot in the door and be the people's voice.
- Paul McCartney speaking in 2006.
Sir Paul McCartney MBE is a singer/songwriter, musician, poet and activist. He is credited in great part with the transformation of 1950s rock and roll into the modern rock and pop genres, in particular through his work with the 1960s band The Beatles, widely regarded as the most influential band of all time.
Today Paul is recognised as one of the most creative and influential (self-taught) rock bassists of his time. In his promotion of the electric bass, the living legend affectionately known as 'Macca' has pressured EMI to achieve a better bass sound on The Beatles music tracks. Paul revolutionised electric bass-playing - from a thankless treadmill, he transformed it into a nimble, witty and eloquent force.
James Paul McCartney was born on 18 June, 1942, in Walton Hospital, Liverpool. His mother was a nurse at the hospital and had the opportunity to give birth to her baby in one of the private wards. Paul and his brother Mike1, who was born the following year, were christened in the Roman Catholic Church. The McCartney family moved house several times when the children were little, before settling in a small terraced property on Forthlin Road.
The music lessons were awful; they consisted solely of the teacher leaving us in a room to listen to music. The students used to turn it down and tell jokes.
- Paul McCartney.
At school, and at home, the children of the McCartney household were surrounded by music. However, music lessons at school did little to help Paul become the legend he is today. His experiences of music at home with his father nurtured his natural talent and gave him the opportunity to flourish. As a small child, Paul was given a trumpet and he learned to play the piano alongside his brother under the supervision of their self-taught piano and clarinet-playing father, Jim McCartney. Jim played in a jazz band in the evenings and it was soon clear to him that his son Paul had music in his blood.
The only time I ever wrote a poem at school was to try and get one published in the school magazine. I entered it and it was rejected - so after that I got into writing songs instead.Paul wrote several songs during his years at home: three of them for his mother, who succumbed to breast cancer when Paul was just 14. The song 'Let It Be' is also a reflection of his deep love for her.
- Paul McCartney.
When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me.
- 'Let it Be' - The Beatles.
After his mother's untimely death Paul persuaded his father to buy him his first guitar, a £15 Zenith acoustic guitar, which he used to imitate American R&B (rhythm and blues) music on. It was on this instrument that he created the very first Beatles songs, 'with a little help from' John Lennon, whom he met in 1957 at a church fête in Woolton, Liverpool.
Magical Mystery Tour
Somebody said to me: 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say: 'Now, let's write a swimming pool'.
- Paul McCartney.
The two young musicians developed a strong and supportive friendship. Their bond grew primarily through their music but also through their mutual support of each other while grieving over the deaths of their mothers. They were often to be found at each others' homes, playing music and working on new songs together. Paul had another friend during this time, by the name of George Harrison. They had attended Liverpool Institute School together as children, but as Paul was two years older, they only knew each other because they caught the same school bus together. George looked up to and admired the older boy very much, and their friendship grew gradually through the years.
John Lennon was so deeply impressed with Paul McCartney that he invited him to join his band, The Quarry Men, which he had formed in 1957. McCartney agreed and brought the 13-year-old George Harrison along. The Quarry Men were essentially a school band, formed at Lennon's school, the Quarry Bank School in Liverpool; and membership basically consisted of whoever was available to play. (The band was later revived in the 1990s by a group of former members.) Lennon and McCartney also very briefly appeared together as The Nerk Twins on 23 and 24 April, 1960, at the Fox and Hounds, Caversham, Berkshire. Together, John Lennon and Paul McCartney made up the Lennon-McCartney partnership.
It was apparent right from the early stages that they had something. The harmonies, the sound, it was excellent. There was something magical.
- Pete Best.
In 1960, the Quarry Men changed their name to The Beatles, a pun on Buddy Holly's backing group, the Crickets. The Beatles first played in Hamburg, Germany, and were regular visitors to The Cavern, a nightclub in their home city of Liverpool. Paul's role within The Beatles was as a singer, pianist and co-writer. When Stuart Sutcliffe left the band in the early 60s, Paul became the left-handed bass guitarist, establishing his very own and unique playing style. Paul recalls the moment when the band argued over who was going to play the instrument:
None of us wanted to be the bass player. In our minds he was the fat guy who always played at the back.
One night, Brian Epstein was listening to the band play at The Cavern and asked whether he could be their manager. The Beatles agreed and soon Epstein was searching for record companies to sign them up. On New Year's Day, 1962, The Beatles landed an audition with record company Decca. Interestingly, Decca were reluctant to take them on. Epstein later persuaded Parlophone Records to take on the young group, a decision Decca must have collectively kicked themselves for.
We all Stand Together
Over the years, Paul absorbed the influence of several people both in his work as a campaigner and as a musician. Musicians that are particularly noteworthy in paving the way for the development of the 'McCartney product' are Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. Paul's mother and the idealised memory of her love had a deep impact on his creativity. The two women who had a deep impact on him with regard to campaigning were his wives: Linda Eastman first, and then Heather Mills.
Got To Get You Into My Life
Although Paul was regarded as the number one pin-up in The Beatles, he was the last group member to marry. He did, however, have a turbulent romance with the strawberry-blonde distinguished RADA actress (and now domestic goddess) Jane Asher during the peak years of The Beatles' success, and the couple were engaged for a time. Jane influenced some of The Beatles' best-known songs in one way or another: Paul and John Lennon wrote 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' in the basement of her parents' home, and Jane was one of the many backing singers on the chorus of 'All You Need Is Love'. 'And I Love Her' and 'Here, There, And Everywhere' are among the love songs Paul wrote for Jane; 'We Can Work It Out' and 'You Won't See Me' were inspired by the less happy times in their affair.
Paul's relationship with Jane was always strained by the fact that both of them had busy artistic careers that required a great deal of travelling. The separations finally told, and they broke up shortly after Paul met an American photographer named Linda Eastman at the launch party for Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on 1 June, 1967. Two years later, Paul and Linda were married at Marylebone Registry Office in London. The devoted couple's marriage was to last for almost three decades.
As a wife, Linda was the best that anyone could ever want. She was there for me all the time. She was comfortable, she was never difficult. She was one of the kindest people.
- Paul McCartney.
Linda was also a musician who made vocal and keyboard contributions to many of her husband's records, both under his own name and with Wings. She was an outspoken advocate of vegetarianism and animal rights, and became a millionaire in her own right after launching a highly successful range of vegetarian dishes and meat-alternative meals in the 1990s.
Paul adopted Linda's daughter Heather Louise from her first marriage, and the couple went on to have three children together: Mary Anna (in 1969), Stella Nina (in 1971) and James Louis (in 1977). Heather2 appears as a young girl in the Let It Be film. Mary is the baby on the back cover photograph of her father's first solo album. Stella is an award-winning fashion designer and an animal rights activist. James is a guitarist and percussionist who has worked with his father on record and in concert, co-writing two songs on Paul's 2001 album Driving Rain and joining his backing band during his tour of America in 2005.
Paul is Live
During his time in the Beatles, Paul started taking drugs, as did the other band members. This started as a way to stay awake through the night. The drugs initially took the form of Prellies, a type of speed (amphetamine), but the band soon ventured on to harder drugs.
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!
- Paul McCartney
Despite taking to drugs and Paul openly admitting this in 1967, The Beatles remained a popular band and the public's interest was greatly intensified in 1969 by the rumour that Paul had died in a car accident and had been replaced by Billy Shears. In fact, Paul had been in an accident, on Wednesday, 9 November, 1966, but it involved a motorcycle, and he survived.
When Abbey Road was released, the conspiracy theorists pointed to some details of its sleeve design as further 'evidence' of Paul's supposed passing. For instance, a car on which part of the number plate read '28 IF' was interpreted as referring to Paul's age 'if' he'd lived. Paul satirised the whole absurd business many years later with the title and artwork for his 1993 in-concert album Paul Is Live. The cover shows Paul re-enacting the Abbey Road sleeve photo, but this time with only a dog joining him on the zebra crossing, and with a car number plate in view reading '51 IS'.
Too Many People
I'm the urban spaceman, babe. But here comes the twist. I don't exist.
- 'I'm the Urban Spaceman' (Neil Innes).
Paul used various pseudonyms to gauge public reaction to his work before committing himself to releasing it as his own. In 1968, Paul acted as producer on the Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band's 1968 UK hit single 'I'm the Urban Spaceman', but hid his identity behind the pseudonym 'Apollo C Vermouth' in the record's credits. In 1977, an orchestral version of 'Ram' was created under the name Percy 'Thrills' Thrillington and in the 1990s he used the name 'The Fireman'. He even tried out the name 'Paul Ramone' while in The Beatles before establishing himself as Paul McCartney. As recently as 2005, he used the name Twin Freaks to trial some music he put together with bootleg producer and remixer Freelance Hellraiser.
By the time we made Abbey Road, John and I were openly critical of each other's music, and I felt John wasn't much interested in performing anything he hadn't written himself.
- Paul McCartney.
In 1969, despite obvious signs that the band was falling apart, he attempted to convince The Beatles to return to the stage, suggesting the Get Back Project, which evolved into their valedictory film and album Let It Be. Although Paul hoped it might revive them, the film made it obvious that the band was through as a creative force and that bickering, jealousy and the pressures of being The Beatles had driven the four musicians apart.
Paul had the impression we should be thankful for what he did, for keeping The Beatles going. But he kept it going for his own sake...We got fed up with being sidemen for Paul, after Brian died3...Paul took over and supposedly led us, but what is leading us when we went around in circles? We broke up then.
- John Lennon quoted in Rolling Stone magazine in 1970.
With the break up of The Beatles officially announced on 10 April, 1970, Paul launched his album McCartney. This featured him playing all the instruments as well as singing the main vocals. The backing singer was his wife, Linda. Linda McCartney was criticised by the press for accompanying her husband in the creation of the album, probably due to their dislike of nepotism rather than her nondescript singing. The McCartney album featured two big hits for Paul: 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and 'Every Night' (which was later covered by Phoebe Snow).
A year later, Paul put out the stand-alone single 'Another Day/Oh Woman, Oh Why' and the album Ram. Ram featured the song 'Too Many People' - a not-so-subtle dig at former band-mate John Lennon, who retaliated with the brutally cruel: 'How Do You Sleep'. Paul subsequently responded with 'Dear Friend' and 'Let Me Roll It'.
Although to the public it appeared that Paul was coping with the break-up of The Beatles well, underneath the façade was a man close to nervous breakdown. He struggled to get up in the mornings, often drinking his way through the night and sleeping through the daytime instead.
Hard Act to Follow
I realised that I just loved music too much to stop doing it. But then I realised that if I carried on I would have to try to follow The Beatles - and that was the hardest act to follow.
- Paul McCartney speaking of his trauma.
In an attempt to escape this frame of mind, Paul and his family visited High Park Farm near Campbeltown on Kintyre. This experience is credited with his decision to continue working in the music industry.
I didn't really want to keep on going as a solo artist, just me and my guitar, so it became obvious that I had to get a band together. Johnny Cash had just come back and he had a band and was touring. Linda and I talked it through and it was like, 'Yeah, but let's not put together a supergroup, let's go back to square one'.
- Paul McCartney.
The band remained nameless until the day Paul was inspired during a contemplative moment of praying for his wife and their baby. He recounts that an image of wings came into his head so he decided to call the band 'Wings'. The line-up changed a number of times, originally consisting of Paul (bass guitar, lead vocals), Linda (piano, vocals), Denny Laine (guitar), and Denny Seiwell (drums). 'With Wings, McCartney returned to touring for the first time since The Beatles' final tour in 1966. Wings began life as a live act by playing at universities and small European venues, before moving on to much bigger venues. They had phenomenal success with the album Band on the Run in 1973. Even John Lennon, who rarely complimented Paul, reviewed the album positively by saying:
It says 'Wings' but it's Paul McCartney music - which is great stuff.
The band had several other hit songs including the James Bond theme tune 'Live and Let Die', 'Silly Love Songs', 'With A Little Luck' and, most famously, 'Mull of Kintyre', which won them an Ivor Novello award for the (then) best-selling single ever in the UK. The band went on to tour America and then Japan. Paul took his drug habit with him, ignoring the fact that taking marijuana into Japan was an offence, got arrested and went to prison.
I was in a little cell, on my own. It took me a few days to get used to it...I was like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape - except I didn't have the baseball to bounce.
Wings disbanded soon after and Paul was left a solo artist once more. Not only was he left to mourn the break-up of his band, but in that same year, 1980, a fellow Beatle was assassinated. That was, of course, John Lennon. They had never seen eye-to-eye after the break up of The Beatles, although relations had softened by the time Band on the Run was released, and they had a jamming session together in March, 1974. Lennon had spoken of how proud he was to have been associated with an artist of Paul's calibre and there were strong suspicions in that last year that the two of them were planning to collaborate once more. In memory of his friend, Paul released the song 'Here Today', which appeared on the album Tug of War.
When astronomer and Beatles fan E Bowell of the Lowell Observatory discovered asteroid 4148 on 11 July, 1983, he named it 'McCartney' in honour of Paul.
Black and White
Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don't we?
- Lyrics from the song 'Ebony and Ivory'.
Paul has also had the privilege of working with some top artists such as Stevie Wonder on 'Ebony and Ivory', and Michael Jackson with the hit 'The Girl is Mine'. Paul's relationship with Jackson was short-lived as Jackson bought the Northern Songs catalogue, which covered the publishing rights to numerous Beatles tracks.
In 1984 Paul was awarded the Freedom of the City Of Liverpool and his film Give My Regards to Broadstreet premiered in New York. Back home though, people were losing interest in his work, even the famous frog chorus 'We All Stand Together' from the Rupert Bear film was first met with small enthusiasm.
Win or lose, sink or swim, one thing is certain we'll never give in; side by side, hand in hand, we all stand together.The Prince's Trust concert, which Paul usually performed at, was cancelled during this year due to the scheduling of Live Aid (where Paul sang 'Let it Be' and 'Hey Jude').
In 1986 things started looking up as 'Rupert And The Frog Song' won an award for the best-selling video of 1985, and Paul achieved the American Music Awards 'Award Of Merit'. In the following year his album All The Best went platinum in three days, and his single 'Once Upon A Long Ago' made the Top Ten.
In 1988 The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Then Paul became the first person from the West to release an album exclusively in Russia. He also picked up an honorary doctorate from Sussex University and the Music Therapy's 'Silver Clef' award. He displayed his gratitude by singing to autistic children in the BBC documentary The Power of Music.
In 1989, Paul toured the world and released 'Flowers In The Dirt'. The album featured songs co-written with Elvis Costello, including Paul's hit single 'My Brave Face'. Another McCartney/Costello composition, 'Veronica', became a hit for Costello. That same year, Paul followed Margaret Thatcher by appearing on a live phone-in with Russian fans on the BBC World Service.
In February, 1990, Paul was presented with a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. Paul composes and plays classical music: his first full-length work, The Liverpool Oratorio, which he co-wrote with Carl Davis, premiered at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral in 1991. Today, The Liverpool Oratorio has played over a hundred performances and has even been released as an album. The Liverpool Oratorio also featured on MTV and in memory of that performance Paul released the limited edition album Unplugged: The Official Bootleg before launching a new MTV series called Up Close in 1992.
Also in 1992, Paul won the world's first Swedish Polar Music Award, and saw the debut of his animated short film Daumier's Law at the Cannes Film Festival, which he co-produced and composed the score for. Daumier's Law received a BAFTA for the best short animated film at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards.
In animation it's good to have a bit of a childlike quality about yourself and that's just something that's in me.
- Paul McCartney
In 1993 Paul embarked on 'The New World Tour', and during this he set a few more world records to go alongside the 1990s world record of the biggest stadium crowd in history (184,000) in Rio. These were for 20,000 tickets for two arena shows (sold out in eight minutes); and Broadcast Music Inc officially announced that 'Yesterday' had passed its six millionth US airplay, making it the most-played song on radio.
1995 saw the launch of 'The Beatles Anthology', a multi-media project involving a TV documentary series, a book (published in eight languages and distributed worldwide) and a series of CDs. Paul, George and Ringo had been working on the project since 1989, sifting through film footage and unreleased Beatles recordings and giving new interviews. The most significant and controversial aspect of the 'Anthology' project was the creation of two 'new' Beatles songs,'Free As A Bird' and 'Real Love' by means of Paul, George and Ringo overdubbing vocal and instrumental contributions on to John Lennon demo tapes. 'Free As A Bird' was released as a single to accompany the 'Anthology 1' CD set in late 1995. 'Anthology 2' and the accompanying single 'Real Love' was released in early 1996, with 'Anthology 3' following later in 1996. In the case of 'Free As A Bird', Paul, George and Ringo also had to complete the writing of the song, as Lennon had never got around to doing this. Apart from those two new tracks, the rest of the Anthology CD sets consisted of a mixture of previously unreleased songs, alternative takes, demos and remixes of songs that had appeared on earlier Beatles albums, and occasional short spoken-word tracks. Paul and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono had a feud over the Anthology credits, as Paul wanted to change them from the original 'Lennon-McCartney' to 'Paul McCartney and John Lennon' - as he believed he did the most work. Finally, Paul had to back down as his fellow Beatles agreed with Yoko in keeping to the tradition.
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
- Paul McCartney.
During the following year Paul and his wife Linda appeared in cartoon form in an episode of The Simpsons, encouraging Lisa Simpson to become a vegetarian. Paul also appeared in Remember Live Aid, a BBC radio play, and took part in a 15-part series radio show in America called Oobu Joobu. As if this wasn't enough, Paul's solo piano piece A Leaf premiered at a charity concert organised by him. After hearing Paul's musical talent for himself, HRH the Prince of Wales awarded him the title Fellow Of The Royal College Of Music. Paul also exhibited his film Grateful Dead: A Photofilm at the London Film Festival.
With the arrival of 1996, Paul and Linda won a special award for their work in promoting animal care by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Paul became Sir Paul McCartney on New Year's Eve as he was knighted by HM The Queen for services to music. That same year he opened the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), which stands on the site where he and George Harrison went to school. Through the Institute, Paul hopes to give children a better musical education than he had. He often visits the students and teaches them songwriting skills.
Since we have been able to do LIPA we have managed to educate a lot of kids in performing arts who have then gone forward into the world.
- Paul McCartney celebrating musical education.
During 1997 Paul gave interviews to Oprah Winfrey and Sir David Frost; recorded a public service announcement against drink-driving and headlined a charity concert to benefit people in Montserrat. He also achieved the prestigious Q magazine award for Songwriter of the Year for Flaming Pie.
Sadly in April, 1998 Linda McCartney passed away, after a long battle with breast cancer, at the McCartney family's Arizona estate.
She never complained and always hoped to conquer it. It was not to be.In tribute to her Paul later released the album A Garland for Linda to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. A concert was laid on in April, 1999 celebrating her life.
- Paul McCartney speaking about the loss of his wife.
Whenever anyone you care about dies, you wish you'd been perfect all the time. I wasn't. That made me feel very guilty after Linda died.
During 1999, Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, he supported the Free Tibet campaign by speaking out in protest against the imprisonment of political prisoners, and continued to back other charities. He made an unscheduled performance at a rock tribute to Linda, organised by Chrissie Hynde, at the Royal Albert Hall, and pledged that Linda McCartney products would be free from genetically-modified ingredients. Paul returned to the Abbey Road Studios, this time to create a rock and roll album in tribute to all rock and roll heroes. He was also voted Composer of the Millennium in a poll conducted by the BBC.
Painter and Poet
Paul is obviously an artist of words but how many people know he paints on canvas too? Primarily, his painting skills were for his eyes only, but in April, 1999, Paul had his work displayed for the first time in Siegen, Germany, where it was greatly admired. He went on to release a poetry anthology entitled Blackbird Singing in memory of his late wife Linda.
The success of his art display in Germany encouraged Paul to showcase his work all over the UK and it was seen at various exhibitions throughout the UK, including The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where he met Queen Elizabeth.
In 2001, Paul released Wingspan: Hits and History, which traced his past and brought viewers right up to the present day in his life. Paul threw a tea party at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew where scarves, with designs made by his late wife in 1998, went on sale. He also held a few recitals of his anthology; launched the new British charity Adopt a Minefield, and attended the Venice Film Festival for the premiere of his animated film Tuesday. He played at the award ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize; gave a performance at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford; and received the 2001 Arts Award at the Men Against Violence world awards in Vienna. That same year, Amnesty International presented Paul with a special award, which recognised his lifetime support for the human rights organisation, and his efforts trying to right wrongs through his protest songs, such as 'Freedom' and the 1960s black civil rights song 'Blackbird', at a ceremony in New York. Paul has explained the relevance of 'Blackbird' to the civil rights movement as follows:
...I had in mind a black woman, rather than a bird. Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: 'Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope'. As is often the case with my things, a veiling took place, so rather than say 'Black woman living in Little Rock' and be very specific, she became a bird, became symbolic, so you could apply it to your particular problem. This is one of my themes: take a sad song and make it better, let this song help you. 'Empowerment' is a good word for it...
Not long after the award from AI, Paul led a post-11 September tribute to the American heroes at the Super Bowl in New Orleans where he performed 'Freedom'. Later that year he witnessed first-hand the 11 September devastation, playing at the concert which celebrated the resilience and pride of New York and America. Finally, a very sad Paul said goodbye to his friend and former Beatle George Harrison, who passed away on 29 November, 2001.
Paul had worked with former model Heather Mills on a charity single, which raised money for children who had lost limbs in war zones. The pair started a relationship which was quite volatile at times, and the couple were rarely out of the news. During a spectacular public row, Heather threw her engagement ring from a hotel balcony, prompting Paul to offer a substantial reward for its safe return. Luckily, it was found by a waiter. Furthermore, despite the disapproval of Paul's grown-up children, the couple married in June, 2002, at the 17th-Century Castle Leslie in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland.
Also in 2002, he was asked by the Isle of Man Post Office to design stamps for them, the first musician to be so honoured. His song 'Vanilla Sky' - for Cameron Crowe's film of the same name, was nominated both for a Golden Globe award and for an Oscar, in the Best Song in a Movie category.
A year later Paul played at Red Square, Russia, and the McCartneys welcomed their daughter Beatrice Milly, who was born on 28 October, 2003, into their lives.
She is a little beauty and we couldn't be prouder.In the year that followed, Paul released the DVD Tropic Island Hum, which showcased several of his animated films.
- Proud father Paul McCartney
Charity campaigner and fellow-musician Bob Geldof persuaded Paul to appear in Live 8 on 2 July, 2005, and together with the band U2, played 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Paul wound up the show with old favourites such as 'Yesterday', 'Hello Goodbye', 'Penny Lane' and 'The Long and Winding Road'. In August that year he became the new spokesperson for Fidelity Investments.
Sir Paul McCartney continues to be an artist capable of delighting his many fans and surprising his critics. He collaborated with producer Nigel Godrich, previously known for his work with alternative rock acts like Radiohead and Beck, on his 2005 album Chaos And Creation In The Backyard. The result was Paul's most critically-acclaimed recording work in decades. The song 'Jenny Wren' from the album has earned Paul a nomination for a Grammy Award in the category Best Male Pop Vocal.
Paul has also written a children's storybook called High in the Clouds: An Urban Furry Tail that was launched in October, 2005; and created the short animated films Tropic Island Hum and Tuesday.
When I'm Sixty-four
Paul turned 64 on 18 June, 2006, appearing at the 2006 Grammy Awards and going on an anti-seal hunt demonstration with his wife Heather. All was not well in the marriage and as the couple announced their separation, the tabloids continued to feed on the McCartney's marital difficulties. Their divorce was finalised in March, 2008.
Behold My Heart
Paul released the highly personal, idealistic Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart), which had taken eight years to compose. The classical music album was sung partly in Latin. Featured singers include soprano Kate Royal, boys from King's College Choir in Cambridge and members of London's Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
A huge amount was written before Linda died, so it has her spirit running through. The instrumental interlude in the middle is specifically me writing out my grief. I couldn't do anything else. It can make people cry, so it was cathartic.
Yesterday and Tomorrow
I'm still looking [for satisfaction]. It's an artistic drive. I'd be a fool not to be satisfied with 'Yesterday', but I haven't stopped trying to better it. I doubt I will, but you never know. I don't anticipate ever giving up. They'll have to wheel me onto the stage.
- Paul McCartney speaking in 2006.
As he continues to create and explore, Paul can look back with satisfaction on one of modern music's most phenomenal careers.
Through the years I have had lots of wonderful letters from people saying, 'That song really helped me through a terrible period'. I think that the single greatest joy of having been a musician, and been in The Beatles, is when those letters come back to you and you find that you've really helped people. That's the magic of it all, that's the wonder, because I wrote them with half an idea that they might help, but it really makes me feel very proud when I realise that they have been of actual help to people.
- Paul McCartney.