Who Is This Paul McCartney Person, Anyway?

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

You've probably seen or heard by now that Kanye West and Paul McCartney recently collaborated on a song called "Only One." But it wasn't the song itself that sparked a flurry in the media; it was that so many of West's fans apparently don't know who Paul McCartney is. (The bigger question everyone should be asking is why Macca decided to work professionally with West in the first place. Then again, this is a man who married Heather Mills. Some questions can just never be answered, folks. We just have to learn to deal with it and move on.) 

Yes, a lot of teens and 20-somethings took to Twitter after "Only One" was released to flex not only their grammatical muscles but show off their intelligence to give the public these tweeted gems that will live on for all social media eternity:

"This Paul McCartney guy gonna be huge."

"who tf is paul mccartney???!??! this is why i love kanye west for shining light on unknown artists"

"Who is Paul McCartney? He boutta blow up thanks to Kanyer!!!"

To quote Charlie Brown, good grief. This is what's known as parenting fail, moms and dads. If you never introduced your kids to the music of the Beatles, then you deserve a slap across the face. On the other hand, maybe this revelation stings because it means that I and others are more painfully aware now that we're no longer young nor immortal like we thought we had it pegged all these years. We have finally reached a moment in history where NOT EVERYONE KNOWS WHO PAUL MCCARTNEY IS. But, when the Beatles hit it big in 1964, no everyone knew who Benny Goodman was, either. Call it the circle of life in the music world. 

By the way, this failure of the younger crowd to recognize Paul is not exactly new. These sort of tweets were being squirted out a couple of years ago, when McCartney appeared at the 2012 Grammy awards. 

Also, it would be really unfair to stereotype every young 'un as ignorant of the Beatles. The Beatles still have lots of younger fans who are discovering them everyday...there are tons of video compilations on YouTube made by teenage girls, for example, that are dedicated to their favorite fab, most often accompanied by comments gushing about how sexy and cute said fab is, and how they're even cuter and more talented than Justin Bieber and One Direction (there's hope for us, after all!)

But just in case you're one of the people who has never heard of Paul McCartney or know anything about him, here's ten basics about Paul I think everyone should know (all together now--pun intended--"Thanks, GoRetroPam!")

1. He was one of four members of the Beatles, the biggest band of the 1960s. His bandmates were John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They had tons of hits--"She Loves You", "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "Daytripper", "Here Comes the Sun", "Something", and "With A Little Help By My Friends" just to name a few. Understatement of the century. 

2. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1942 and his father was a trumpet and piano player who led a jazz band in the 1920s, which Paul surely inherited his musical talent from.

3. He mostly played bass while with the Beatles, but plays guitar and is left-handed. 

4. He came up with the concept for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album released in 1967 which is considered an epic, groundbreaking record for its psychedelic sound and experimentation with unusual instruments and audio engineering. 

5. He was nicknamed "the cute one (Beatle)" because well, he was cute. 

6. He married Linda Eastman in 1969 and had three children with her (you may have heard of the fashion designer, Stella McCartney--that's one of them) plus Linda's daughter from her first marriage. They remained married until Linda's death in 1998 from complications due to breast cancer and their relationship is considered one of the strongest in rock and roll history. 

7. After the Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney started a new band with Linda as one of the members called Wings. Wings was very popular throughout the 1970s, with several hits. 

8. Paul was recently considered the richest musician in the world until it was revealed that Madonna overtook that title in 2014. 

9. Paul's songwriting has sold over 100 million albums and 100 million singles throughout the course of his entire career. 

10. Paul is a vegetarian, animal lover, and staunch supporter of animal rights (as was his first wife, Linda.) He was also knighted in 1997 for his musical contributions, making him officially Sir Paul McCartney. So you must bow down to him (just kidding.)

And that's not even the tip of the McCartney iceberg, but a good start. Seriously, go to Google if you need to know more. 

Now, who is Kanye West? 


  1. I know who Paul McCartney is, but who in the blue moon are the Beatles?


  2. Hi, Pam!

    I can only hope that most of the Millennials and Generation Z's who are twittering that they don't know Paul McCartney are merely being facetious, hoping to get us boomers riled up. If not, if these and other young people are indeed living in ignorance of Paul, the Beatles, their enormous contributions to music and their catalytic effect on the culture of the Western World in the mid 20th century and beyond, then it truly is a sad state of affairs. Breaking news: There was life before the 21st century and things happened. Important things.

    "Teach your children well."

  3. It's been reported that once people began complaining about a few legitimate posts of young folks who didn't know Sir Paul, many others jumped on board to be as Shady stated above, facetious. Some were so glaringly fake, they weren't even funny. There were some funny ones, though.
    I'm thankful I grew up in an era of such great music with a mom who exposed her children to the greats (and not so greats) from her childhood and teen years. Through her musicianship, she also brought us treats from throughout music's history so I do consider myself a well-rounded person when it comes to music. Heck, I will even listen to today's music (for a minute or two at a time only). lol

  4. I'm old enough to remember the late '70s where people were heard to refer to the Beatles as "Paul's old band", so, you know, circle of life.

  5. Mark my words. Milli Vanilli's the next big thang.

  6. As God my witness, I've heard the name Kanye West bandied about for a couple years now, but other than being married to that Kardashian chick who's butt broke the internet--don't know the man or his music!

  7. Oy. I could write a ten paragraph post alone, just on the lousy grammar these cats use these days. What gets me, is when sports stars do it on their social media accounts. Stuff like.. "I'm bout ta get mad Doe" Ugh! I shudder to see how people will write and express themselves in another ten years.

  8. Judging by the ever increasing numbers of youthful visitors to Abbey Road solely to have a photo taken on that pedestrian crossing the Beatles are a long way from unknown. I lived around the corner from the Abbey Rd studios in '90s and tourists (or locals) on the crossing other than to cross the road were rare. Nowadays they are a menace to anyone driving past and the graffiti on the wall outside the studio can completely cover it in what seems to be just months.
    Fame does fade, but for some immortality is almost real.

  9. Some of us wish we never heard of Kanye.

  10. I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

  11. I remember how much this angered me when I heard about it LOL I was thinking "are you kidding me??"...sad state the younger generation is in, I'm afraid!


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