**FILE** This Oct. 26, 1965 file photo shows John Lennon, left, and Paul McCartney as they smile during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London. The British Broadcasting Corp. will air a long lost Beatles interview featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney talking about the day they met and their songwriting partnership. The precious film sat forgotten for 44 years in a garage in south London until film fan Richard Jeffs realized a piece of pop history was contained inside. (AP Photo, FILE) / HC
Paul McCartney has sold more records than Guinness World Records has records.
Let’s start with crass sales figures. Between that somewhat popular band from Liverpool,the Beatles, and his solo career, McCartney has sold more than 100 million albums and 100 million singles.
He has 60 gold albums, all over the world.
He wrote or co-wrote 129 songs that cracked theBillboard Hot 100 chart; 91 of them made the Top 10, and 32 went to No. 1.
He wrote 43 songs that sold more than 1 million copies.
When he was 23, he wrote a nostalgic song called “Yesterday,” that only now, now that he’s 70, really fits McCartney’s voice. More than 2,000 artists have recorded “Yesterday.” It’s the most-covered song in pop music history.
In 1990, he performed at a soccer stadium in Brazil, and 184,000 fans showed up – it’s the largest rock concert ever in a stadium.
We love you, Elvis … but Paul McCartney is the biggest, most successful, most important singer and songwriter in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. He’s the king. Living a long, productive, good life helps.
When McCartney takes the stage Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park, yes, it will be a distinguished English gentleman, a stately billionaire, singing mainly 40- and 50-year-old songs. But he is anything but an oldies act. I promise you, if you go to that concert, at the end of the night, after nearly three hours of the greatest hits of the past century, you will be more exhausted and wiped out than McCartney.
Fans can make a restroom stop and a run for beer, but McCartney never leaves the stage.
I’ve seen McCartney perform many times. On your way to your car, you will turn to someone, could be a total stranger, and say, “I can’t believe what I just saw.”
I still say that every time. Imagine a performer who performs a marathon concert and has to leave out No. 1 hit songs. There simply isn’t enough time.
In 1970, he recorded “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
In 2012, we’re all amazed.
McCartney hasn’t been just a rock star. He rocked the world. Because of him and his three pals from Liverpool, even today, people dress differently, wear their hair differently and think differently. They were the first rockers who made being smart cool.
There’s no hiding that I love Paul McCartney. Sure he has his critics, and he’s done some silly things, embarrassing things, but for a life, he’s been the one to admire. Forget the incredible music he’s produced; he has changed the world for the better.
The Beatles famously played “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964, but they really were born on July 6, 1957, when Paul metJohn Lennon at a church festival. During the Beatles’ short run – they stopped in 1970 – Lennon and McCartney wrote songs together that dominated the world’s music.
In the beginning, John and Paul worked “eyeball to eyeball” in Paul’s home and in hotel rooms. Eventually, they wrote songs separately. We love you, John, but Paul was mostly responsible for the Beatles’ biggest hits: “Yesterday,” “Michelle,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Hello, Goodbye,”“ Eleanor Rigby,” “Blackbird,” “Let it Be,” “Get Back,” “Penny Lane,” “Hey, Jude,” “Here, There and Everywhere,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “The Long and Winding Road.”
McCartney has five children, four daughters and a son, plus eight grandchildren. He wrote my favorite song about a father and a son. When my son was born, I sang “Put it There” to him at bedtime.
Put it there, if it weighs a ton
That’s what the father said to his young son
I don’t care if it weighs a ton
As long as you and I are here, put it there.
I also sang the McCartney songs “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “I Will” to him. They weren’t as meaningful; it was more me just knowing all the words.
Let’s see what McCartney’s done since leaving the Beatles:
How about 22 studio albums, eight live albums, three greatest hits albums, 75 singles, 55 music videos, five classical albums and seven albums in collaboration with other artists?
McCartney is a furious advocate of animal rights and other charities and movements. He’s a PETA guy. I especially love that. He recently joined theWorld Society for the Protection of Animals campaign to stop turtle farming in the Cayman Islands.
McCartney is about peace and love. But when Sept. 11 happened, after he watched smoke fill the Manhattan skyline, he helped organize the Concert for New York at Madison Square Garden, where he wore a NYFD T-shirt and performed a song called “Freedom.” Some things are worth fighting for.
This is my right, a right given by God
To live a free life, to live in Freedom
I will fight, for the right
To live in Freedom
Anyone, who tries to take it away
Will have to answer, ’cause this is my right.
He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as a Beatle and as Paul McCartney. He is Sir Paul, knighted by theQueen of England in 1994. He performed the Super Bowl halftime show in 2005. He is the curator and relentless protector of the Beatles legend.
Even the best goalie lets one slip by, though.
There’s a Beatles Scrabble game that gives points for spelling “Paul.”
That’s going too far. You’re the greatest entertainer who ever lived, but don’t mess with Scrabble.