Paul McCartney Quotes

James Paul McCartney

Born: 18 June 1942, Liverpool, England, UK

McCartney’s father Jim was a pianist and trumpeter, his mother Mary a nurse and midwife. Paul attended the Stockton Wood Road Primary School and the Joseph Williams Junior School, he was one of four out of 90 students who passed the “11-plus” exam that took him to Liverpool Institute. He met George Harrison on the bus on the way to school. In 1956, Mary died following a mastectomy, an experience that later made him closer to John Lennon. In 1957, McCartney met Lennon and The Quarrymen at a church festival and was soon part of the group. In 1960 the group, now called The Beatles, started an intense two years of playing sometimes seven days a week, mostly in clubs at Hamburg, Germany. When Stu Sutcliffe left the band, McCartney reluctantly became the bass player. They met Brian Epstein and hired him as manager, he got them a record contract in May of 1962, national success followed in 1963 and in 1964 they swept into the US.

The band broke up in 1970, McCartney immediately released a solo album and, with his wife Linda, started the band Wings. In the 1990s he started composing symphonic work, including the Liverpool Oratorio which earned him positive reviews from the classical-music critics. McCartney had participated in charity concerts, notably Live Aid in 1985; he witnessed the attack on the World Trade Center from JFK airport and was part of the group that organized The Concert for New York City. He married Linda Eastman in 1969, they performed together, had three children together plus Linda’s daughter, and were together until Linda’s death from breast cancer in 1998. He married Heather Mills, a former model and opponent of land mines, in 2002, they had one child, separated in 2006, and had one of the messiest and most bitter divorces in 2008. He continues to write and record in both pop and classical styles and is an active advocate for animal rights and vegetarian diets and campaigns against the use of land mines. He was knighted twice, becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire with the group in 1965 and a Knight Bachelor in 1997’s New Year Honors. He has 60 gold albums, 188 charted records, 91 in the top ten and 33 at number one — if you want the full list of honors you’ll have to go to the Wikipedia link.

Paul McCartney quotes:

At the end of the Beatles, I really was done in for the first time in my life. Until then, I really was a kind of cocky sod.
    Paul McCartney

Buy, buy, says the sign in the shop window; Why, why, says the junk in the yard.
    Paul McCartney

Criticism didn’t really stop us and it shouldn’t ever stop anyone, because critics are only the people who can’t get a record deal themselves.
    Paul McCartney – The Beatles Anthology (2000)

I am alive and well and unconcerned about the rumors of my death. But if I were dead, I would be the last to know.
    Paul McCartney

I can take pot or leave it. I got busted in Japan for it. I was nine days without it and there wasn’t a hint of withdrawal, nothing.
    Paul McCartney

I can’t deal with the press; I hate all those Beatles questions.
    Paul McCartney

I definitely did look up to John. We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest.
    Paul McCartney

I don’t ever try to make a serious social comment.
    Paul McCartney

I don’t have any desire to learn. I feel it’s like a voodoo, that it would spoil things if I actually learnt how things are done.
    Paul McCartney – The Beatles Anthology (2000)

I don’t take me seriously. If we get some giggles, I don’t mind.
    Paul McCartney

I don’t work at being ordinary.
    Paul McCartney

I go back so far I’m in front of me.
    Paul McCartney

I had this song called “Helter Skelter”, which is just a ridiculous song. So we did it like that, ‘cuz I like noise.
    Paul McCartney

I knew the words to 25 rock songs, so I got in the group. Long Tall Sally and Tutti-Frutti, that got me in. That was my audition.
    Paul McCartney

I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.
    Paul McCartney

I never look forward, because I have no idea about how any of it happened to getting here. I’ve no idea how the next five years are going to be.
    Paul McCartney

I never really got on that well with Yoko anyway. Strangely enough, I only started to get to know her after John’s death.
    Paul McCartney

I realize now that taking drugs was like taking an aspirin without having a headache.
    Paul McCartney

I saw that Meryl Streep said, I just want to do my job well. And really, that’s all I’m ever trying to do.
    Paul McCartney

I think people who create and write, it actually does flow, just flows from their head, into their hand, and they write it down. It’s simple.
    Paul McCartney

I thought the only lonely place was on the moon.
    Paul McCartney – “Jet” Band on the Run (1974)

I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn’t weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.
    Paul McCartney

I used to think that all my Wings stuff was second-rate stuff, but I began to meet younger kids, not kids from my Beatle generation, who would say, We really love this song.
    Paul McCartney

I’m mad, you know? I don’t think of retiring at all.
    Paul McCartney

I’m still looking to write a great song…. You always are. You know, you never think, ‘Well, that’s enough … that’s good enough.’
    Paul McCartney

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    Paul McCartney

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
    Paul McCartney

In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
    Paul McCartney – “The End” Abbey Road (1969)

It comes in handy in situations like that. People always expect you to be riding around in stretch limousines all the time, but I will sometimes take public transportation if it’s convenient, and it does surprise people, you see the heads turn.
    Paul McCartney

It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard “Heartbreak Hotel” I thought, this is it.
    Paul McCartney

John’s time and effort were, in the main, spent on pretty honorable stuff. As for the other side, well, nobody’s perfect, nobody’s Jesus. And look what they did to him.
    Paul McCartney

Lyricists play with words.
    Paul McCartney

None of us wanted to be the bass player. In our minds he was the fat guy who always played at the back.
    Paul McCartney

Nothing pleases me more than to go into a room and come out with a piece of music.
    Paul McCartney

People don’t like land mines, especially the survivors and the people who are living in the countries with them, … They think they are cowardly, like we do, so I think it’s down to the governments to actually just listen to the people and sign the treaty and get rid of all these things and there would be an end to it.
    Paul McCartney

Personally, I think you can put any interpretation you want on anything, but when someone suggests that ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is about a prostitute, I draw the line. That’s going too far.
    Paul McCartney – The Beatles Anthology (2000)

So we used to do this thing by Bach that was our own little version of it, and we got it wrong.
    Paul McCartney

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

Something like George passing, it makes you think, ‘God, things are so impermanent: suddenly there’s this little friend of mine, he used to get on the bus, and now he’s passed away.’ There’s that whole lifetime of a friendship that physically has ended, not emotionally.
    Paul McCartney

The issues are the same. We wanted peace on earth, love, and understanding between everyone around the world. We have learned that change comes slowly.
    Paul McCartney

There are only four people who knew what the Beatles were about anyway.
    Paul McCartney

There will be no wardrobe malfunction with me. I can promise you that…. I have nothing I will be exposing or taking off.
    Paul McCartney

To get a big hit single you’ve got to go a bit dance. You’ve got to go a bit Britney. I don’t think I can do that – well, I could but it wouldn’t look very seemly!
    Paul McCartney

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.
    Paul McCartney

We thought we’d be really big in Liverpool.
    Paul McCartney – Larry King interview (2007)

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