Paul McCartney quotes page 2
Somebody said to me, "But the Beatles were anti-materialistic." That's a huge myth. John and
I literally used to sit down and say, "Now, let's write a swimming pool."
I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that
call others weird that are weird.
George wrote Taxman, and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the
taxman did. He had never known before then what could happen to your money.
You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.
I think people who create and write, it actually does flow... just flows from into their head,
into their hand, and they write it down. It's simple.
The further away you get from the heyday of The Beatles, the more amazing it becomes. It's
grown in stature. At the time, we thought we'd be lucky to last for five years.
I don't work at being ordinary.
It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard "Heartbreak Hotel" I
thought, this is it.
We tried many times to meet Elvis, Colonel Tom Parker, his manager would just show up with
a few souvenirs, and that would have to do us for a while. We didn't feel brushed off we felt
we deserved to be brushed off. After all, he was Elvis, and who were we to dare to want to
meet him? But we finally received an invitation to go round and see him when he was making
a film in Hollywood.
Where I come from, you don't really talk about how much you're earning. Those things are
private. My dad never told my mum how much he was earning. I'm certainly not going to tell
the world. I'm doing well.
Think globally, act locally.
I knew the words to 25 rock songs, so I got in the group. Long Tall Sally and Tutti-Frutti,
that got me in. That was my audition.
When you first get money, you buy all these things so no one thinks you're mean, and you
spread it around. You get a chauffeur and you find yourself thrown around the back of this
car and you think, I was happier when I had my own little car! I could drive myself!
Sadness isn't sadness. It's happiness in a black jacket. Tears are not tears. They're balls of
laughter dipped in salt. Death is not death. It's life that's jumped off a tall cliff.
If you can play your stuff in a pub, then you're a good band.
You know, I'm not one of these people that just because I've done all that I now become
Superman. You can't touch me. You know, you can touch me. I'm very, unfortunately, very
I've seen those famous Nixon transcripts where Elvis actually starts to try to shop us - The
Beatles! He's in the transcript saying - to Richard Nixon, of all people - "Well, sir, these
Beatles, they're very un-American and they take drugs." I felt a bit betrayed by that, I must
say. The great joke is that we were taking drugs, and look what happened to him. He was
caught on the toilet full of them! It was sad, but I still love him, particularly in his early
period. He was very influential on me.
The two of us were on fire every time we sat down to write.
The thing is, we're all really the same person. We're just four parts of the one.
When we were kids we always used to say, "Okay, whoever dies first, get a message through."
When John died, I thought, "Well, maybe we'll get a message" because I know he knew the deal.
I haven't had a message from John.
We stopped eating meat many years ago. During the course of a Sunday lunch we happened
to look out of the kitchen window at our young lambs playing happily in the fields. Glancing
down at our plates, we suddenly realised we were eating the leg of an animal who had until
recently been playing in a field herself. We looked at each other and said, "Wait a minute, we
love these sheep. They're such gentle creatures. So why are we eating them?" It was the
last time we ever did.
It's hard to follow my own act. But the only answer to that would be to give up after the
Beatles. I only had two alternatives. Give up or carry on.
Something like George passing, it makes you think, "God, things are so impermanent. Suddenly
there's this little friend of mine, he used to get on the bus, and now he's passed away."
There's that whole lifetime of a friendship that physically has ended, not emotionally.
When two great saints meet, it's a humbling experience.
Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature
than in the young.
What used to happen before we came on the scene, people used to have writers, so someone
like Elvis would have people writing his stuff for him, Leiber and Stoller, people like that. We
kind of upset the boat a bit. We came along and we were writing our own stuff, so we came
along and put some of those people out of work, which you know was ok for us, not so good
We wanted peace on earth, love, and understanding between everyone around the world. We
have learned that change comes slowly.
And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.