Sir Paul McCartney celebrates his 70th birthday on Monday. Here Jade Wright looks at the life and career of a man who – thanks to that fateful meeting with John Lennon – went from St Peter’s church fete to a knighthood and handshakes with Her Majesty
HE may not like to make a fuss, but as he reaches three score years and ten, Sir Paul McCartney has plenty to smile about.
He explains: "I’m going to spend my birthday with my family. I like birthdays with the family, nothing too grand. I don’t like to do big things, you know? It’ll just be a small celebration."
But Beatle fans around the world will celebrate the day that marks 70 years since James Paul McCartney was born in Walton hospital.
Here in Liverpool, the Cavern Club is hosting a hat trick of celebrations.
"We’re having three birthday parties for him," says Jon Keats, operations director at The Cavern. "The first is the With The Beatles Paul McCartney 70th Birthday Show at the Cavern Live Lounge. It’s a special show dedicated to Sir Paul. Tony Coburn will be Paul, and it should be a good night.
"Then on Monday we’re celebrating his actual birthday with our resident band playing Paul and The Beatles music live from 2pm until midnight. We’re expecting a lot of people down.
"It’s funny, we get people coming to the Cavern every day to feel closer to The Beatles. But on special days – birthdays and anniversaries – we get a lot more. It feels like the natural place to gravitate to, and we’re happy to welcome them all. We’re massive Beatles fans ourselves so it all makes sense."
The biggest event will be in August as part of International Beatle Week. Bob Bartey and Lawrence Gilmore perform at the Philharmonic Hall, as well as Wings Over Liverpool, Stevie Riks and Wingsband.
"This year, as ever, we have a packed programme for International Beatle Week. Paul may not want to make a big thing of his 70th, but we know his fans want to celebrate."
Looking back, Paul has spent more of his life in the spotlight than not. He met John Lennon and his skiffle band, the Quarrymen, at the St. Peter's Church Hall fête in Woolton when he was just 15. By the time he was 19 they were playing to packed houses in Hamburg, and when he was 20 he began the first of almost 300 shows at The Cavern.
They will always be identified with the Cavern," says Jon. "That’s why people come back here to mark those special anniversaries."
He is described by Guinness World Records as the most successful composer and recording artist of all time, as well as the most successful songwriter in UK chart history. Not bad for a lad who failed his audition to Liverpool cathedral choir.
With Wings he released seven studio albums, five of which topped the US charts, as well as their live triple LP, Wings over America, one of few live albums ever to achieve the top spot in America. They also recorded six US number one singles including, Listen to What the Man Said, Silly Love Songs, With a Little Luck, and Coming Up.
But his career didn’t end there. He still tours the world, playing to hundreds of thousands of fans a year. Earlier this month he headlined the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and next month he will close the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
He has changed perspectives with his campaign for the rights of animals with Linda, and landmines with Heather, with his poetry. his art and his classical work.
Paul is a passionate advocate of his home town, opening up LIPA as a performing arts academy in his old school, where he retains a hands-on role. He takes his friends and family on tours of the city, pointing out his old haunts. He says that when he retires he’ll become a tour guide. But until then he’s a regular visitor and one of the city’s favourite sons.
Happy birthday Paul. Many happy returns.
Read More http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/in-the-mix/2012/06/16/happy-70th-birthday-paul-mccartney-the-echo-celebrates-three-score-years-and-ten-with-the-beatles-legend-gallery-100252-31193617/2/#ixzz1wayFN09W