Across the way from his childhood row-house home, across Strawberry Fields, Paul McCartney met one John Lennon. Both of their mothers died while they were teenagers, both of their fathers were musicians. Lennon-McCartney wrote and performed songs, and the whole world went . . .crazy . . .over their music, and still does.
Paul is charming, kind, a devoted father, a faithful husband, a very successful businessman, and a Brit who honors his queen. He has always loved his Liverpool past.
“Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, there beneath the blue suburban skies”
He has lived 50 years of magic – wealth, fame, exhilarating creativity, and bittersweet pain and loss.
He still can’t read music.
What ever is the gift for songwriting and singing, Paul has it. He gives commanding concert performances, like a gifted athlete. He sings his solo career songs, yes, but with Beatle songs – which he is careful to do as they were originally done, . . . he brings down the house. . . . still. It is the Beatles music that carries gloriously on, ever ecstatically received.
Paul McCartney is reticent with personal feelings, and superficial in person. He barely seems to know Paul McCartney. “Maybe I’m amazed” . . . . maybe? He just never wants to get deep.
“the fool on the hill sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head see the world spinning round.”
“Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say”. ‘Was I harking back to my mum? he asks. Who would know? Few realize that his song ‘Blackbird’ was written to console african-americans after the death of Martin Luther King.
“Take these broken wings and learn to fly“.
He can’t explain his creativity – or doesn’t want to. “I’m very lucky with my voice, I have no idea how it happens“. Songs just come to him. He dreamed the melody for his greatest song, ‘Yesterday’, the most recorded song in history. He spent months sure that he had heard it somewhere before, trying to find out where.
Paul has this mastery of melody, how it forms and carries a song. His best songs feel already known, like they could be no other way. The words, by themselves, have almost nothing there.
“there is an unmistakeable sadness in McCartney’s gaze and muted manner“. John Colapinto, The New Yorker, June 2007
He was unable to reconcile with the bruising John Lennon, before his death. And there is the losses of his mother and wife, both in the full of their lives, to the same disease.
“For well you know that its a fool who plays it cool, by making the world a little colder” – Ironically, it was John Lennon who wanted this line kept in the song.
Above all the acrimony and nihilism of his times, he holds out, decent, and up beat. The spirit of a 19 year old Beatle lives on.
“I’m never going to believe I’m 70. I don’t care what you say. There’s a little cell in my brain that’s never going to believe that“, Rolling Stone, March 2012