Three years ago Philip Norman published his book, Paul McCartney: The Life. I checked it out from the library for my Sis in large print. The book is twenty-nine pages short of 1200!
Sis took one look at the book and said, “It’s too heavy.”
I had it in the return pile but then decided to read it myself. Norman started out explaining his relationship with Paul, and I didn’t care, so I set is aside. I gave it another chance, opening it up a few days later to page 50 or so and started there. By that point, the author was done telling how he had met Paul or whatever. Let the story begin (or continue).
I am not quite done but have compiled a list of trivia that I have learned over the course of reading such a thick work. Here it is in no particular order (sort of the way the author started the book):
- Paul is left-handed.
- Paul’s first house had no inside toilet.
- Paul’s mother was a mid-wife.
- Paul’s mother Mary died of cancer when he was fourteen.
- In the song, Let It Be, Mother Mary is his mother (not a religious reference).
- Paul never learned to read music (anyway, not by page 920.)
- Paul bought his dad a house and a race horse.
- Paul named the Beatles partnership and business Apple.
- Apple, the computer company, had to pay the Beatles 26.5 million dollars in 1988.
- Paul McCartney is in the Guinness Book of World records as having the most songs that have sold over one million copies – 43.
- Paul earned his performing chops by playing in Hamburg with the Beatles when George wasn’t even of legal age yet.
- Paul became a vegetarian with his wife, Linda.
- Linda was a hippie and kept their house full of animals.
- Paul got busted for pot in Japan and spent eleven days in Japanese jail.
- Hey Jude was written by Paul for Julian Lennon (John’s son).
- Paul had three kids with Linda and adopted her oldest daughter.
- George Harrison wrote Tax Man.
- John Lennon wrote A Hard Day’s Night.
- John told an interviewer that Hey Jude would stand the test of time.
- I am the Walrus was a B side song written by John.
- Hello Good-bye was the A side written by Paul.
- Paul sued to break up the Beatles’ partnership in 1971.
- Paul wrote Blackbird in one afternoon.
- Yesterday came to Paul in a dream. He woke up and wrote it down, finessing it by evening.
- Paul co-wrote a symphonic oratorio with Carl Davis called the Liverpool Oratorio.
- Paul has had almost as many failures as successes with his songs, movies, and other works.
- Paul still considers himself to be a working class guy.
- Paul has a big ego.
And why wouldn’t he? He’s, after all, Paul McCartney.
P.S. Philip Norman also wrote, John Lennon: The Life and published it in 2009.