Monday, June 18, 2012

Sir Paul Turns 70

Paul McCartney is 70 years old today, which seems incredible to me.

I don't remember much about the early days of global Beatlemania, but I do recall that McCartney was generally regarded as the attractive Beatle.

The other Beatles had their devotees, of course, but the impression I got was that most of the young women of that time had serious crushes on Paul.

I never really understood that. Paul wasn't the youngest of the Beatles (that was George Harrison) or the wittiest of the Beatles (as far as I was concerned, that was John Lennon). Maybe there was a perception that he looked more boyish than the others — but, as far as I was concerned, they all looked boyish when they burst onto the scene.

There was a good reason for that, too. They were all in their 20s.

McCartney always had a knack for writing catchy tunes — just count all the hit tunes he wrote — and there is something to be said for longevity. Lennon died at the age of 40 (he was murdered), and Harrison died of cancer when he was 58. McCartney has avoided either fate — thus far — but I'll be darned if he doesn't still look a bit boyish.

He doesn't look as boyish as he did when, in his early 50s, he appeared on Saturday Night Live and was interviewed by Chris Farley.

That's been nearly 20 years ago, and it is the first thing that comes to my mind now when I think of McCartney.

In the skit, Farley played a rather clumsy TV host who was interviewing McCartney and asking him questions like "Remember when you were with the Beatles? That was awesome!"

Farley kept chastising himself after every question, and McCartney constantly reassured him that "You're doing great."

(Perhaps my favorite part of that interview was when Farley asked McCartney about the rumor that the phrase "Paul is dead" could be heard if a Beatles record was played backward. "That was a hoax, right?" Farley asked.

(And McCartney replied, "Yeah, I wasn't really dead.")

But what started out as a lame interview (for comic purposes, of course) gained some redemption at the end when Farley asked McCartney, "Remember when you were in the Beatles? And you did that album Abbey Road, and at the very end of the song, it goes, 'And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make?' Is that true?"

McCartney replied, "In my experience, it is. I find, the more you give, the more you get."

Farley turned to the camera and mouthed the word, "AWESOME!"

And I would agree with that.