Macca: I was the Political One

In the latest effort of his never ending campaign to reposition his own legacy, Paul McCartney claims to have been the catalyst for awakening the Beatles‘, and most importantly John Lennon‘s, political conscience. In an interview with the intellectual journal Prospect (interview not yet online), McCartney said that he persuaded Lennon to oppose the war in Vietnam and that it was after a meeting with philosopher Bertrand Russell in London in the mid-1960s that he started prodding the other Fabs into politics, according to a post on the Telegraph.

“We sort of stumbled into things,” Sir Paul told Prospect magazine.

“For instance, Vietnam. Just when we were getting to be well known, someone said to me: ‘Bertrand Russell is living not far from here in Chelsea, why don’t you go and see him?’ and so I just took a taxi down there and knocked on the door.”

“I remember going back to the studio either that evening or the next day and telling the guys, particularly John [Lennon], about this meeting and saying what a bad war this was.”

So, Paul was the Artistic One, the Experimental One, and now the Political One…in addition to being the Cute One? Good thing he had such a tight backing band!

21 thoughts on “Macca: I was the Political One”

  1. But Paul did play the guitar lead on Taxman, which is practically as cool as having written that song, right?

    Poor Paul, always feeling the need to make the case for his contributions to the group.

  2. It’s true.

    John was too busy getting high and cheating on his wife to be political. He didn’t get political till the late 1960s.In fact, it was Paul was the one who got into the Avante Garde scene first.

    Paul was and is a notorious workaholic and was always dabbling into everything…He was the only Beatle to live in London…the rest of them lived out in the suburbs..

  3. Dammit Russ, you sure take the fun out of putting down wealthy Englishmen.

    What pleasure will you take from me next? The death penalty?

  4. Someday, when I have more money than God, I will claim to be the source of all of GloNo’s most popular ideas.

  5. It’s interesting to note that Macca is a lot less preoccupied with his actual mortality—he’s been known to freely walk around New York and London without bodyguards—than he is with his immortality, as it were. Hence, his strident efforts to set the record straight, as he sees it.

    It is a well-known fact—as some alluded to here—that Paul was out and about in London, catching up-and-coming music acts, going to plays, art exhibits and other cutting edge events while his band mates were leading suburban dad-like lives. Yet, it seems the nagging sense that he’ll be remembered as just ‘The Cute One who later formed Wings with his wife‘ is something he is terribly afraid of, and which he began to address in earnest in the Barry Miles-penned official biography Many Years From Now. (Can’t say that I blame him, although the recent practice of crediting some of his songs as McCartney-Lennon compositions is a bit too paranoid, IMHO.)

    Then again, I’ll quote Chris Ingham’s Rough Guide to The Beatles:

    To paraphrase what Bob Geldof once told him: look, you’re Paul McCartney, genius—everyone knows what you did, now just relax.

  6. From the MPL offices, London, England.

    Sir Paul McCartney would also like the following items known:

    1.) He was the first one to use the words “fab”, “gear” and “moptop”.

    2.) He invented the mystery chord that opens “A Hard Day’s Night”.

    3.) All of the Beatle wives, past and present, were initially and still are, attracted to Mr. McCartney.

    4.) He was the first Beatle to grow facial hair and the first to shave it off.

    5.) He gets up earlier in the morning than Ringo does.

    6.) He arrived at EMI studios first and was the last to leave. (This annoyed the staff at Abbey Road.)

    7.) He was the first Beatle to blame himself for breaking up the Beatles.

    8.) He was the first Beatle to sue the Beatles.

    9.) He is the only Beatle that played all the instruments on an album.

    10.) He is the first Beatle that Ed Sullivan said “Hello” to.

    11.) He is the only Beatle that currently worries about his Beatle legacy.

  7. 12.) He was the first Beatle to be photographed in color.

    13.) John is credited with penning “Mean Mr. Mustard”, but everyone knows this would not have been possible without Paul’s earlier invention: mustard.

    14.) He was first Beatle to go vegetarian. Because of this he is also the first Beatle to hunt for sport instead of meat.

    15.) He broke Brian Epstein’s heart long before John did.

    16.) He never chewed gum.

    17.) His cover version of “Yesterday” is considered superior to George’s.

  8. 17.) He was the Walrus, the Eggman, the Octopus and the Nowhere Man.

    18.) He knows money can’t buy you love but it can buy you a really big house right next door to love.

    19.) Every note on every Beatle album released since John Lennon’s death has been reviewed and approved by Mr. McCartney.

    20.) Not only did Paul McCartney play drums and guitar on many Beatles tracks, he’s pretty sure he could have covered everything else were it not for those “other three”.

    21.) Paul was the first Beatle to conceive, write and direct a motion picture. Thankfully, he was also the last.

    22.) Paul was the first Beatle to use the phrase “pataphysical science” in a Beatles song.

    23.) Paul was the only Beatle to use the phrase “Oklahoma was never like this” in a song.

    24.) Paul was the only Beatle that regularly pissed off the other three Beatles.

    25.) Paul was the first Beatle to make people think that being a Beatle wasn’t cool.

  9. One thing he actually did–and which turned out to be quite significant–was to keep The Beatles together after the death of Brian Epstein. Without Paul nudging his bandmates to get back to work (especially John, who was in a drug-induced haze made worse by the depression caused by Epstein’s death), there may not have been Sgt. Pepper, the ‘White Album’ or Abbey Road. For that alone, he should always be remembered.

  10. Kiko, he always will be remembered. That’s the point. It’s just unseemly of him to keep reminding everybody how important and clever he was. We fucking know it, dude. No need to act so desperate for legitimacy and credibility: you’re a BEATLE! What more do you want?

  11. 26.) Paul was the only Beatle to repeatedly call and ask to fill Bonzo’s spot after he left Zeppelin.

    27.) In a related note, Paul is the only Beatle I’ve told to “piss off”, “bugger off”, and “sod off”, all in the same conversation. Bloody wanker.

  12. It’s not a question of if, but how he will be remembered, Jake. As I said before, he seems to think it’ll be as ‘The Cute One who later formed Wings with his wife‘ and, in that light, if I were him I’d be paranoid, too. Look at how John has been deified–particularly vis-a-vis post Beatles output–while Paul’s been practically deemed half a step above Ringo. That’s gotta hurt.

    The question is, whether he’s right in assuming this or not. He might be thinking Beatlemaniacs will get it right, but the masses won’t. In the end, he should let it go; his legacy is secure and his defenders will likely make sure he gets his posthumous fair shake. At least I hope so.

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