In the collective pause of pandemic, introspection finds fresh expression. And for Paul McCartney, who would have headlined Glastonbury this summer, 60 years on the world stage offers much on which to reflect. In this exclusive interview, with incredible images taken from lockdown by daughter Mary, we found him wistful, candid and contented as he recalled all the notes of a miraculous life. How four lads from Liverpool came together to change a great deal more than music. What it felt like to be blamed for the band’s demise. How behind fame, adulation and wealth exists a normality he jealously protects. And why the work of a lifetime is still far, far from finished…
In the 50 years since the break-up of The Beatles – reluctantly initiated by Paul McCartney as a way of extricating himself from the advancing clutches of John Lennon’s new manager, the awful Allen Klein – “Paul” (McCartney has always refused to encourage any more formal appellations) has had various professional relationships with his own past.
In the immediate aftermath of The Beatles, he was reluctant to acknowledge the importance of his previous existence (in his eyes he was a box-fresh performer, publicly spooning with his beloved wife, Linda, in Wings); he expected to be afforded the respect of his fans, without wanting to explain why. He was a Beatle, after all; he just didn’t want to be reminded of the fact.