The Beatles Paul McCartney: ‘We were always trying to break out of fame’

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Ahead of The Beatles’ Disney Plus show Get Back, Paul McCartney has been promoting his new book titled The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present – a book that details the stories behind his countless chart-topping songs. During an interview at the Southbank Centre, McCartney reminisced about his journey from the back streets of Liverpool to becoming the biggest band in existence.

McCartney recalled: “It was very intense. We were a little group in Liverpool and we went to Hamburg… and then we came and got on the world stage. And it got really intense.

“[George Harrison is] right, we really couldn’t get out of the garden – we were forced to grow.”

Speaking about how the band missed out on some things, the 79-year-old added that their chemistry was what helped them stay together for so long.

He said: “[George] also said something like, we gave up our nervous systems [for fame]. And I know what he means because we couldn’t just be happy-go-lucky guys down the pub.”

“By [then] we had moved beyond that and were The Beatles and there were certain things expected of us and we had to do certain things in a certain way.”

Although The Beatles were supremely successful, McCartney confessed the band were always seeking out that sense of normality once again.

He continued: “We were always trying to break out of it [fame], but there was that element of ‘you’ve got to do this thing that you’re being forced to do’.”

He also hinted that the band got through it by maintaining their unique chemistry and connection both on and off stage.

The Hey Jude singer explained: “The four of us miraculously found each other and were working so intensely that your humour was just a part of it.”

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McCartney continued: “You kind of knew what the next thing was going to be. He said that, I’d say that; so you could kind of work together and the strength was in the union. It made it fun and it helped it to be bearable.

“The fact that four of us had come out of Liverpool with this natural outlook on the world followed through for the whole of the Beatles thing.”

During a sombre moment reminiscing about his long-forgotten fallings out with Harrison and John Lennon, McCartney mused: “Now, so much time has elapsed now that John isn’t here and George isn’t here. You get a whole new perspective.

“So if I’m ever talking to someone [about them], it’s with great affection. Because they’re my fallen heroes.”

McCartney went on: “I’m more like a fan these days when I’m talking about the Beatles stuff.

“Then, I was making it alongside the guys you were just so busy working and doing your thing.

“Now I can look back on it all and just think, wow that was amazing.”

This nostalgic and positive look back on the band continued in the upcoming Beatles documentary, Get Back, which hits Disney Plus this week.

Director Peter Jackson recently explained how the 6+ hour documentary doesn’t show the downfall of the band.

Instead, he revealed: “You see these four great friends, great musicians, who just lock in and develop these songs, and you see it all on screen. There’s no goodies in it. There’s no baddies. There’s no villains. There’s no heroes. It’s just a human story.”

The Beatles Get Back arrives on Disney Plus tomorrow.


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