James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England on June 18, 1942. Thank to his talent, he gained admission to the Liverpool Institute, where he met George Harrison in 1954.
Paul’s mother died in 1956 and for this reason McCartney got closer to John Lennon, whose mother had died when he was 17 years old. Paul’s father gave him a trumpet, but he traded it for an acoustic guitar. As he was left-handed, he had to learn to play it upside down and for this reason he entitled his first song, “I lost my little girl.” Later he learned to play the piano and wrote his second song, “When I’m sixty-four.”
In the summer of 1957 he met John Lennon and the Quarrymen, a band formed by Lennon with some classmates at a party. Lennon ‘s aunt, Mimi Stanley, did not approve of their friendship because of Paul’s origins, and Paul’s father believed that Lennon would get his son in trouble, but despite this, he allowed the Quarrymen to practice in his house. It was Paul that convinced Lennon to welcome George Harrison to the group made up of Stuart Sutcliffe on bass, a friend of Lennon’s, and Pete Best on drums. They started playing together on a tour in Scotland.
In 1962, Best and Sutcliffe left the band, Paul replaced Sutcliffe, and Ringo Starr joined the band as the drummer. They came up with the band name “The Beatles”, during a tour in Hamburg, Germany. In Hamburg they recorded their first published material, as an accompaniment to Tony Sheridan, which drew the attention of a key figure that became important for their future: Brian Epstein. He obtained a contract for the band with Parlophone.
The next two years the band emerged in Britain and the United States. In 1965 they were decorated with the title of Member of the Order of the British Empire.
After giving concerts, The Beatles, recorded other albums and performed more than 1,400 times around the world. They performed for the last time at the end of their 1966 tour. The equilibrium within the group began to sway due to the musical developments of each member and the death of Epstein. For this reason they began to evaluate individual proposals. McCartney was the first to be involved in solo projects when, in 1966, he composed the soundtrack for the film “The Family Way.”
In 1969 he married the American photographer Linda Eastman, she was divorced and had a daughter, Heather, who was adopted by Paul. The couple had three children: Mary, Stella and James.
In April 1970, a week before the release of his first solo album, McCartney announced that the Beatles were splitting up and they were legally disbanded in December of that year, when Paul sued the other members of the band.
His debut album as a solo artist is titled simply “McCartney” and contains several songs written when he was still with the Beatles, but never published in their albums.
With the desire to be part of a band, he organized a touring band in 1971 with his wife, Linda, Danny Seiwell on drums and Denny Laine on guitar. He called the band Wings, but when the “Wild Life” album came out it disappointed criticism. Later Henry McCullough also joined the band.
The turning point of the Wings was in 1973 with the album Red Rose Speedway and with the worldwide success “Live and Let Die”, the theme song of the James Bond movie with the same name title; but during the summer Seiwell and McCullough left the band. The other members of the Wings, however, decided to start recording the new album “Band on the Run”, that was well received by critics this time.
The following year, Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English joined the band and they recorded two albums “Venus and Mars “, released in 1975, and “Wings at the Speed of Sound”, followed by a world tour, that ended in late 1976 with three concert nights at Wembley Stadium in London.
After some time off from the music scene, and the departure of McCulloch and English, they released the album “London Town”, and McCartney signed a contract with Columbia.
Laurence Juber and Steve Holly were the new musicians that joined the band and the group recorded the last album, “Back to the Egg”, before beginning a promotional tour, but during the trip to Japan, Paul was arrested at the Tokyo airport for possession of marijuana.
Four months later, he decided to go back to the music scene as a solo artist, with a new album, “McCartney II”, released in 1980.
In the same year John Lennon died and Paul decided not to give concerts for a while, as he feared he was the “next one” to be murdered. This led to a conflict with Danny Laine, who, instead, wanted to continue to perform, and decided to leave Wings, so McCartney disbanded the group soon after.