Paul McCartney

February 1, 2011
“I don’t work at being ordinary,” (Brainyquote) Paul McCartney once said, and how true it is. Paul McCartney is a music legend; he was a part of one of the biggest bands the world has seen, achieved success not only in the business world but also as a family man, and changed the world with his devotion, kindness, and of course, his many talents. As a child his life was average and dull, but it didn’t take long for him to move on to living the exciting life of a music sensation. Throughout his life he went through some difficult times, but he never let that stop him from succeeding and accomplishing so much. Paul McCartney impacted people of all ages, all over the world; for example, the music he’s written has changed the way people view music and even inspired many bands to start playing, or how about his involvement in animal rights, which has inspired many others to do the same. He truly is an idol to many.


James Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942 at the Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England. His Parents were James and Mary McCartney and he had a younger brother Michael. His father worked in the cotton trade and played trumpet in his jazz band called “Jim Mac’s Jazz Band,” and his mother worked as a nurse. She died of breast cancer when Paul was fourteen years old. His personality as a child was described as clever and charming. “He was a charmer even then,” said an old childhood friend, “he was always the diplomat, always very nice” (Carlin). His father wanted both his children to be interested in music so he gave Paul a trumpet, which he later switched for his first guitar. In 1953, he gained admission into the Liverpool Institute where he met George Harrison. On July 6, 1957 at the age of fifteen, he met John Lennon and joined his band which would soon become The Beatles. The Beatles started off doing local clubs and ended up being famous worldwide. Paul, along with the rest of them, toured for over four years, performing more than 1,000 shows. John Lennon described Paul’s bass playing and attitude by saying: “Paul was one of the most innovative bass players that ever played bass, and half the stuff that’s going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period. He was coy about his bass playing. He’s an egomaniac about everything else, but his bass playing he was always a bit coy about it. He is a great musician who plays the bass like few other people could play it” (beatlesbible). They stopped touring and only worked in the recording studio up until their break up in 1970. After The Beatles, Paul started the band Wings which lasted from 1971 to 1981. The band was made up of himself, his wife Linda, Denny Laine, and Denny Seiwell. They released a number of successful albums throughout their ten year span. As for his solo career, he is still performing to this day and continues to write music. He said in an interview, ''I should be jaded at my age, I should be blasé, I should hate the whole thing and retired years ago, but it's the opposite. I do two and a half hours onstage. With the Beatles, we did 30 minutes, 25 minutes if we were angry. And this is so satisfying. It's kind of amazing. You get people and their children. You get tears. I saw on our DVD an older gentleman, probably my age, deeply moved by 'All My Loving.' It has to do with: 'I was a kid when I heard that. I was on a college campus. I was wooing a woman who's now my wife.' That's what's happening” (Weinraub). From the moment he picked up his first guitar he has lived a successful, well accomplished life.

Being a successful musician and being a successful father are not quite the same; however they do require a lot of devotion and hard work. As a father, he did very well; he loves his children and has been supporting them their whole life. In 1969, he married Linda Eastman, an American photographer, and had three biological children with her, Stella, Mary, and James, and adopted heather, who is Linda’s daughter from a previous marriage. During Wings, when they weren’t at their home in Scotland, the children would go with their parents on tour. When his daughter Stella asked, “Dad, you’re Paul McCartney aren’t you?” Paul just laughed and replied with, “Yes Darling, but I’m daddy really” (QuoteLucy). Growing up with parents who are always on the road and working isn’t the easiest of things for children, but all four of them grew up to be very successful, happy adults. In 2003, he was blessed with his daughter Beatrice that he had with his now ex-wife Heather Mills. Being a father wasn’t the only thing he accomplished. Paul McCartney is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful musician in popular music history and was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and became Sir James Paul McCartney. He has had twenty nine number one singles in the U.S and has performed 2,523 concerts with The Beatles, 140 with Wings, and 325 as a solo artist. Besides music, he succeeded in painting and poetry; in 1999 he exhibited his paintings in Germany and in 2001 his poetry book, “Blackbird Singing”, was published. Today he is one of Britain’s wealthiest musicians and he owns his own production company, MLP Communications. He accomplished so much throughout his life, but he also hit a few rough spots along the way to success. He started using drugs, when The Beatles played in Hamburg and was introduced to Cannabis in 1964 by Bob Dylan. After that the use of Cannabis became a regular thing for him. For about a year he used Cocaine, but because of the unpleasantness it gave him, he quit. Around 1966, LSD became popular and he and the other Beatles members began taking it. It was on January 16, 1980 when Japanese officials found 7.7 ounces of Cannabis in his luggage. He was sentenced to ten days in prison. When interviewing with the press he told them, “It was pretty rough. Just a thin mattress on the floor. I had to share a bath with a bloke who was in for murder. I was afraid to take my suit off in case I got raped. But I’d seen all those prisoner of war movies and I knew you had to keep your spirits up. So I’d organize sing alongs with other prisoners” (Carlin). Besides having hard times with drugs, he also went through the losses of many loved ones. From his mother when he was younger, Brian Epstein who was the manager of The Beatles, his old band mates John Lennon and George Harrison, to his wife Linda, who died in 1998 of Breast Cancer. He accomplished and went through so much while at the same time inspiring and influencing the world around him.


Paul McCartney has inspired people all over the world; and what about those who inspired him? Elvis, Buddy Holly, and even his father are some of the people who made Paul want to pick up an instrument and have the desire to go out and make something of himself. “It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard Heartbreak Hotel I thought, this is it” (QuoteLucy), McCartney said. Without them, he may not have become who he is today. Just like his idols did for him, his songwriting has inspired musicians all over the world to pick up an instrument and begin to play. For example, Oasis, The Smashing Pumpkins, Franz Ferdinand, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Coldplay, U2, and many more were influenced by his music. Shawn Mike from the band Alesana told an interviewer that, “The Beatles are the reason I picked up my first guitar. I grew up near the beach, and I was lifeguarding at a condo pool one summer. On the rainy days I would do a lot of reading and one of the books I read that summer was “The Love You Make”, which was a biography on the lives and career of The Beatles. I was so fascinated by how they went from being small town boys sitting on a curb with an acoustic guitar to being the biggest names in rock and roll history. Paul McCartney is a true hero of mine” (AP Magazine). Not only is he inspiring musicians, but also fellow activists. Paul McCartney is an extremely active member in animal rights and is a long time vegetarian. He participates in campaigns to stop landmines, seal hunting, and the Make Poverty History campaign. He is a role model for activists all over the world. Paul has succeeded at inspiring people of all ages, all over the world with his music, his activism, and plenty more; he has by far made a difference in millions of lives.


Never again will there ever be another “Paul McCartney”, he is a one of a kind, music legend. From “I want to hold your hand” with The Beatles to “Band on the run” with Wings, his music will never be forgotten. He managed to gain success in the business world and also within his family; the accomplishments he has made are beyond impressive. With his hard work and devotion, kindness and cleverness, and nevertheless his talents, he has changed the music world as we know it.


Bibliography
Calin, P. A. (2009). Paul McCartney: A life. Simon & Schuster.
Paul McCartney . (2008, March). Retrieved January 19, 2011, from beatlesbible.com: http://www.beatlesbible.com/people/paul-mccartney/
Paul McCartney Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2011, from lyricsfeak.com: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/paul+mccartney/biography.html
Sir Paul McCartney Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2011, from thebiographychannel: http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/paul-mccartney.html





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