Page 104 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine IV

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support and encouragement, Paul had music lessons
although he much preferred to learn ‘by ear’. Heavily
influenced by American Rhythm and Blues music, he has
cited Little Richard as his school boy idol. At the age of
15, McCartney met John Lennon and The Quarrymen
at the St. Peter’s Church Hall fête in Woolton on 6
July 1957, forming a now world famous close working
relationship with Lennon as they collaborated writing
many songs. Harrison joined the group in early 1958
as lead guitarist, followed in early 1960 by Lennon’s art
school friend, Stuart Sutcliffe on bass. After trialling a
few names such as ‘Johnny and the Moondogs’ and ‘The
Silver Beetles the name of the group was changed to ‘The
Beatles’ in August 1960 and Pete Best quickly taken on as
drummer for an engagement in Hamburg.
From August 1960, The Beatles were booked by Allan
Williams, to perform at a club in Hamburg and over the
next couple of years performed as a resident group in a
number of Hamburg clubs. On returns to Liverpool they
played at the Cavern club. As they picked up more and
more appearances their star grew steadily and they were
on the path to world-wide fame. And so it is that we
have all seen the iconic film clips of the hysterical fans,
weeping, wailing, screaming and fainting. ‘Beatlemania’
had gripped the world and the Beatles were now a musical
phenomenon. Nothing lasts forever and the Beatles gave
their last commercial concert at the end of their 1966 US
tour. They continued to work in the recording studio
from 1966 until their break-up in 1970. In the eight years
from 1962 to 1970, the group had released twenty-four
UK singles and twelve studio albums, often released in
different configurations in the USA and other countries
and their music is still played around the globe and
celebrated to this day.
Magical Musical History
So, McCartney had become a huge international star as a
member of The Beatles, alongside John Lennon, George
Harrison, and Ringo Starr. McCartney and Lennon’s
backed by Bob Geldof, Pete Townshend, David Bowie,
and Alison Moyet. In 1989, he joined forces with fellow
Merseysiders including Gerry Marsden of Gerry and
the Pacemakers and Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes to
Hollywood to record a new version of Ferry Cross the
Mersey (originally recorded 25 years earlier by Gerry and
the Pacemakers) to generate money for the appeal fund
of the Hillsborough disaster, which occurred on 15 April
that year and in which 96 Liverpool F.C. fans died. In
2008, he performed at a concert in Liverpool to celebrate
the city’s year as European Capital of Culture.
A Creative Genius
His love of writing and poetry was inspired from an
early age. Paul’s mother read him poems and encouraged
him to read books and, with a love of crosswords, Paul’s
father encouraged his two sons to help him solve them to
increase their ‘word power’. In 2001 McCartney published
‘Blackbird Singing’, a volume of poems, some of which
were lyrics to his songs, and gave readings in Liverpool
and New York City. In October 2005, McCartney
released a children’s book called High in the Clouds:
An Urban Furry Tail. In a press release publicising the
book, McCartney said, “I have loved reading for as long
as I can remember”. McCartney is lead patron of the
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, an arts school in
the building formerly occupied by the Liverpool Institute
for Boys, where Paul himself went during his school days.
The 1837 building had become derelict by the mid-1980s
but on 7 June 1996, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened
the redeveloped building created as an arts school to
encourage youngsters to achieve their performing dreams.
Paul had always been a creative soul determined to find
the right outlet for his talents and was keen to help other
young talent, which may otherwise go undiscovered,
to do the same. McCartney has composed film scores,
classical and electronic music, released a large catalogue
of songs as a solo artist, and has taken part in projects to
help international charities. He is an advocate for animal
rights, for vegetarianism, and for music education; he
successful song writing partnership – despite some
personal differences along the way – was one of the most
influential collaborations in musical history producing
some of the most popular songs in the history of rock
music. After the break-up of The Beatles, McCartney
continued his musical career, in solo work as well as in
collaborations with other musicians. He launched a
successful solo career and formed the band Wings with
his first wife, Linda Eastman, and singer-songwriter
Denny Laine. On the morning of 9 December 1980,
McCartney was shocked to the core by the news that
Lennon had been murdered outside his home in the
Dakota building in New York City. McCartney carried
on recording after the death of Lennon but did not play
any live concerts for some time due to an anxiety that
he would be next. This led to problems with Denny
Laine, who wanted to continue touring and subsequently
left Wings, which McCartney disbanded in 1981. Six
months after Lennon’s death, in June 1981, McCartney
sang backup on George Harrison’s tribute to Lennon,
‘All Those Years Ago’, which also featured Ringo Starr on
drums. McCartney would go on to record ‘Here Today’, a
tribute song to Lennon. In late 2001, McCartney learned
that Harrison was losing his battle with cancer. Upon
Harrison’s death on 29 November 2001, McCartney told
Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, Good
Morning America, The Early Show, MTV, VH1 and
Today that George was like his “baby brother”. On the
first anniversary of Harrison’s death, McCartney played
Harrison’s ‘Something’ on a ukulele at the Concert for
George and so it was that the Beatles phenomenon was
resigned to a magnificent musical history with the sad loss
of two huge talents.
McCartney has continued to work in the realms of
popular and classical music, touring the world and
performing at a large number of concerts and events.
He has also collaborated with many celebrated artists
including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Eric Stewart,
and Elvis Costello and has performed again with Ringo
Starr on more than one occasion. In 1985, McCartney
played ‘Let It Be’ at the Live Aid concert in London,