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Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. We sit side by side on a sofa to talk. As we do, McCartney periodically reaches out and touches my shoulder to add some kind of emphasis to whichever point he is making. When he faces me, behind him is a rather disturbing sculpture in black leather of a wrestler wearing a balaclava. It is not so difficult to get Paul McCartney to talk about the past, and this can be a problem. Anyone who has read more than a few interviews with him knows that he has a series of anecdotes, mostly Beatles-related, primed and ready to roll out in situations like these.
Pretty good stories, some of them, too. But my goal is to guide McCartney to some less manicured memories—in part because I hope they'll be fascinating in themselves, but also because I hope that if I can lure him off the most well-beaten tracks, that might prod him to genuinely think about, and reflect upon, his life. And so that is how—and why—we spend most of the next hour talking about killing frogs, taking acid, and the pros and cons of drilling holes in one's skull.
Polo shirt by Supreme. Shoes, his own. His own watch by Patek Philippe. Ring, his own. It begins gently enough, with McCartney taking measure of the distance he has come. Who dreams of that?
I suggest that nonetheless there must have been a moment, back in his teens, when he began to imagine. It was a bit of a far-off dream, and it was just a dream. It wasn't anything that we really ever thought would turn out to be more than that. An early group, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles.
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They learned their craft principally by playing cover versions in clubs in the red-light district of Hamburg, Germany, and also in an underground Liverpool club, the Cavern. They were soon the biggest group in the world. After making a series of increasingly innovative records that remain a template for much of what has come since, they split up acrimoniously in Lennon was shot in New York by a deranged fan in December Harrison died of cancer in November Since the Beatles' split, McCartney has mostly made records as a solo artist but also, between and , with his group Wings.
McCartney's father was the kind of parent who had impressed upon his son the need to buckle down and get a job. At school, McCartney says, he was advised to think about going into teaching. That didn't feel so great to him. He had a different fantasy, but one that in its own way shows a kind of eccentric pragmatism at work.
The young Paul McCartney imagined himself as a long-distance truck driver—in particular as a truck driver fueled by a deep Catholic faith, a faith far stronger than the real McCartney had. Thinking of all this leads McCartney to explain, unbidden, that his actual faith, such as it is, has always involved cherry-picking from different religions the parts he felt were most valuable. But the picture of him in the Bible sitting on his throne-like chair, birds all over him, and rabbits, and they're all interested in him—that was magical to me. This—McCartney's reverie about Saint Francis of Assisi—offers me a convenient opportunity to bring up an unusual and discordant moment that has stuck in my mind ever since I saw it mentioned long ago in the semi-official McCartney biography Many Years from Now.
Once I do so, our discussion—as you will now see—will head off, unstoppably, in a series of improbable twists and spirals.
Perhaps surprisingly so, given that my initial question is about a phase McCartney went through as a boy in Liverpool in which he would catch frogs and kill them. I still try and block that. Because I'm now devout animal welfare, wouldn't kill a fly. For the record, McCartney actually qualifies his insect-care policy to me very precisely. So, you know, I have my parameters. We used to live on a housing estate called Speke, in Liverpool, just millions of houses, right on the border of woods and deep countryside.
So I did a lot of that, went out in all that. But I was very aware that I would soon be joining the army, because all of us were called up for National Service. Get a bayonet and hurt someone?
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I've got to kill someone? Shit, I've got to think about that. How do I do that? When McCartney was growing up, British citizens were required to do National Service, a compulsory month enrollment in the military, usually starting at the age of Ultimately, National Service would be phased out just in time for McCartney to be able to avoid it.
Kids swing cats. I was from Liverpool—you do that kind of shit. It's dumb, it's mean, it's horrible, but you do that kind of shit. What is it? You're trying to toughen yourself up? I don't know. But I did.
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And I used to go out in the woods, and I killed a bunch of frogs and stuck them up on a barbed-wire fence. It was like a weird sort of thing that I kind of hated doing but thought: 'I'm toughening myself up. And he was just horrified. Thought he had a nutter on his hands. And probably did. He's just my younger brother—I showed him what I was doing.
I think he was horrified, but I think I was, too. It was a dark thing, but no darker than a lot of stuff that was going on on our estate. It was just my way. I remember very consciously thinking: 'You've got to learn to harm things because you're a sissy. So you'd better get in some practice. So I guess that prompts the question: Did it stand you in good stead?
Or was it a terrible thing? I did a lot of mad things when I was a kid that just maybe came with the territory. Stole things.
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Did all sorts of little things that little kids on our estate did. It's all part of that weird thing of growing up. A lot of it I just don't think about anymore, but suddenly something like that will come back and I go, 'Shit. Liverpool was no fairyland. We'd make catapults and put serious quarter-inch elastic on it from fan belts, and then you'd get a leather pouch, and you would put a fucking big, good-sized rock in there, and you would fire them at each other. Look back at it and you go, 'Shit, lucky I never killed anyone. Speke was quite a rough estate, and you were getting mugged and beaten up.
You learn to be a runner. And now when you think about being that boy, inside your head are you thinking, "Yeah, that's just me, and then a bit of shit's happened since then," or are you thinking, "Wow, that was a different person"? I just have a general sort of feeling of: I'm here now talking to you and this is this bit of life, a little while ago I was getting divorced and that was that weird bit of life, 7 and before that I was living 30 years and raising a family with Linda, 8 that was that bit of life, I'm now married to an American, Nancy, 9 lovely girl, that's this bit of life.
noroi-jusatsu.info/wp-content/2020-07-05/2088-logiciel-espion.php And so if you keep rolling back, you go through Wings, you go through the Beatles, and then you get back to this wild territory which is youth, when you weren't famous and you could get stopped in the street, or you're in school and you were being abused—not in a sexual way but just in teachers being the mad nutcases they were and having that control over you and you had to go along with it. So there's so much stuff been going on, and then I roll back before that, and I'm a really little kid.
And I can almost feel that I remember things from my birth.