The Beatles guitarist Paul McCartney has spoken out about his band’s longevity as well as their undeniable success and claimed that The Beatles were a very special combination of talents.
The Beatles‘ discography had included 13 studio albums in core and 21 studio albums worldwide, 5 live albums, 36 EPs, 54 compilation albums, 63 singles, 17 box sets, 22 video albums, and 68 music videos throughout its career. Debuted in 1963 with Please Please Me, The Beatles released its twelfth and final studio album in 1970, titled Let It Be.
On the other hand, Paul McCartney gained international fame for being the bassist, co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter of his co-founded band The Beatles. Throughout his musical career with them, McCartney had performed in every one of The Beatles‘ albums. He was the writer of the band’s beloved songs such as P.S. I Love You, I Saw Her Standing There, Eleanor Rigby, Here, There and Everywhere.
Recently, Paul McCartney made a recent appearance on NPR to talk about his band The Beatles. At first, the interviewer asked him what was his emotional state after the band was disbanded. According to McCartney, it was pretty difficult, and he didn’t know what he would do.
“It was quite difficult because I didn’t know what to do at all, and I didn’t really have any brainy ideas except, ‘If I want to continue in music, maybe I’ll form another band,’” he said.
“But then, how do you do that after The Beatles? How can anything I do be as good as The Beatles? The Beatles were a very special combination of talents.
“You had me doing what I do, you had John [Lennon] doing what he does, and then you had George [Harrison], who by then had come on as a very strong songwriter, and then gluing it all together.
“And you had Ringo.”
Paul McCartney Comments On The Beatles’ Longevity
Paul then shared his opinion on his band’s longevity and legacy. Saying that they made music that still lives today, McCartney repeated that it was a difficult period.
“So, that was something very special, as has been proved by its longevity, and the stuff we did together still sounds good, still lives today,” McCartney continued.
“It was a question of, ‘How can you get better than that?’ And I think I just had to say, ‘Well, you can’t, but if you want to keep going, you should maybe think about starting something else.’
“So, I did. I talked to my wife Linda and said, ‘Do you want to be in a band? Do we want to start a band?’
“And the idea then was, ‘OK, the only way I can do this is to start like The Beatles did, at the bottom, and just play some little clubs or whatever it was.’
“We’d play little gigs, and it gradually walked up that staircase again, until you were now at the top.
“And so that’s what I did with Wings, but it was a very difficult period before we decided to do that – when I was just kind of lost.”
Elsewhere in the interview, McCartney had opened up about his band’s creative process and working with his late bandmate John Lennon. Touching on his chemistry with Lennon, McCartney had revealed how they ended up writing songs separately.
“Writing with John was a lot easier because you’ve actually got a sounding board – you’re sitting across from someone,” McCartney says.
“We normally wrote on two acoustic guitars, so he’d be sitting there, I’d be sitting here, and one of us would suggest an opening line, and then the other one would go, ‘OK,’ and would make a suggestion for the second line.
“So you would kind of ping-pong, and if a line was terrible, the other person would say, ‘That’s terrible,’ and we’d scratch it.
“Just for that process of the two of us making this piece, it was quite easy. Don’t want to make it sound too easy, but you know, it made the process very enjoyable – and easier.
“Because if you had a line that you were questioning in your own mind, if you’re writing on your own, you could spend a good half hour going, ‘Oh, this is terrible, what can I do? Think of something, quick…’
“Whereas with John, he’d go, ‘This is terrible.’ ‘Yeah, I know,’ and we’d fix it. Between the two of us, we would just improve it, so it was easier.
“It was just a question of location, really,” he continues. “I mean, if I was on holiday and I wanted to write a song, John wouldn’t be there, so I would just write the song.
“And I wouldn’t think, ‘Oh, I got to wait until I see him.’ The same happened with him. I would just be somewhere, feeling the song, and it was often just that, proximity.
“If we weren’t able to just meet up that day, but you still had an idea for a song.
“For instance, ‘Yesterday,’ the song ‘Yesterday,’ the melody came to me in a dream, so I played that intact to John.
“And he said, ‘Oh, I like that.’ I was basically asking if this was someone else’s melody. I couldn’t believe it was mine because it arrived in a dream.
“And then when I was on holiday in Portugal, it was a long drive from Lisbon down to the south coast, and I put the lyrics together there. It was just a different process.”