In 1967, the Beatles released “When I’m Sixty Four” with Paul McCartney asking if he would still be needed as he approached his golden years. Well, Paul turns 70 today and I think fans worldwide will answer his question posed in those lyrics with a resounding, “YES!”
It’s hard to believe that the “cute” Beatle who sported a mop top and a smile when the Fab Four took America by storm is 70 years old. After all, he still manages to keep a staggering tour schedule as well as being a newlywed. A couple of weeks ago, he headlined a star-studded concert for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and will close the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. He stayed On The Run, taking his tour to Mexico, South America and Europe.
We’ve been lucky enough to see him twice and are amazed at his energy and stamina, playing 3-hour sets with no intermission. And you can tell he still does it for the love of the music.
And the music is why so many of us connect to Paul on more than just a celebrity level. I like to think of Paul’s music as the soundtrack of my life. It soothes me when I’m sad, makes me smile thinking of a sweet memory and makes me just want to get up and dance and sing to the top of my lungs, even though I’m tone deaf and have no rhythm.
As we were planning a trip to Cleveland this week, my co-worker, Karie, told me that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was hosting a Magical Mystery Weekend featuring a new exhibit of Beatles memorabilia in honor of Paul’s big day. The real selling point was getting to sign a giant birthday card being mailed to Paul after the weekend. It took very little to convince my husband, who is almost as big a McCartney fan as me, to make the side trip.
We had intended to get there when the museum opened, but got caught in traffic and made it an hour and a half after the doors opened. We made a beeline for Paul’s card, only to find it had been almost entirely filled already with well wishes. We asked the attendant if there was any hope of additional space, but he said there was only going to be one card for each day, so we decided to send our love to Paul in the ‘A’ of the birthday section of the message.
There wasn’t enough room to write everything that I wanted. No space to tell him how much of an impact his music has made in my life and that I can’t imagine a world without his musical influence. But, I settled for a Happy Birthday! heart, my name.
As we walked toward the exhibit hall, I took in the atmosphere. Baby Boomers and teens bopped together to the beat of the Beatles music on the way down the escalators. Lines of parents and children waited for their turn to peer behind the thick glass protecting pencil-scrawled cardboard containing the lyrics to some of the most beautiful songs ever written. It was the perfect example of how Paul’s music has brought joy to the lives of so many fans.
So, best wishes and happy birthday to the one and only Macca! May your Hofner bass never be packed away!
And P.S. I Love You!