Are you a big Beatles fan? How much do you know about the music and members? In honor of Sir Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday, we’re sharing some rare photos of and anecdotes from one of the most revered musicians of all time. Sometimes, all you need are Fast Facts!
- Born June 18, 1942 in Liverpool, England
- Met The Beatles band member George Harrison on a bus to school
- His first guitar cost about $35, but he couldn’t play it because he was left handed. He later got it restrung/altered so he could play on the opposite side.
- Was originally the lead guitar player for The Quarrymen and began playing bass guitar after Stuart Sutcliffe quit the group
- Formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century with John Lennon
- Wrote “Hey Jude” for Lennon’s son, Julian, after John’s divorce from his wife. The original title was “Hey Jules.”
- Finalized the break up of The Beatles, saying he was quitting the band because of “musical differences.”
- Is in the Guinness Book of Records with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million singles
- Married photographer Linda Eastman in 1969. Later started the band Wings together.
- Was was arrested and briefly jailed in Japan in 1980 for carrying marijuana
- Was knighted in 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to music, given the title Sir James Paul McCartney, Member of the Order of the British Empire. Linda became Lady McCartney.
- Has five children: Heather (adopted from Linda’s first marriage), Mary (now also a photographer), Stella (designer), James (musician), and Beatrice Milly (from his second wife, Heather Mills)
- Currently married to Nancy Shevell, a New York socialite, his third wife and the new Lady McCartney
- Has an estimated fortune of £475 million as of 2010
- Once told a reporter that John’s second wife Yoko Ono “looked like a gigantic swollen chopstick with black Chia pet hair.” John did not speak to Paul for 7 months.
- Wanted to change the band’s name from The Beatles to The Bumblebees to see if their millions of fans would still accept them
- “We didn’t all get into music for a job! We got into music to avoid a job, in truth – and get lots of girls.”
- [on the break-up of The Beatles] “Personally it was a nightmare. It was really difficult, because I knew I didn’t hate them, but I knew we had to save The Beatles, and I was the only one who was going to do it – because the three of them were just sending it down the chute.”
- [on his hired photographers] “I just don’t like to see terrible photos of myself… It’s straightforward vanity. You tell me someone who wants to see terrible photos of themselves.”
- “Before John Lennon died I got back a good relationship with him. That was very special. The arguments we had didn’t matter. We were able to just take the piss about all those songs; they weren’t that harsh. In fact, I have been thanked by Yoko Ono and everyone else for saving The Beatles from Allen Klein. Everything comes round in the end.”
- “Why would I retire? Sit at home and watch TV? No thanks. I’d rather be out playing.”
You might also like Today in History: Paul McCartney is Born.
Follow the Fast Facts series for vintage photos, trivia, and quotes from classic celebrities.