Paul McCartney is currently riding high on the chart-topping success of his latest solo studio album, Egypt Station. As frontman for The Beatles, he and his bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr changed the face of music history. Today, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is one of the most successful music artists of all time. His prolific song catalog, from his time with The Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist, spans six decades-plus and has transcended multiple generations.
McCartney has been busy heavily promoting Egypt Station, including making a recent guest appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to perform the album’s lead single “Come On to Me.” He also played a secret, invite-only show in New York at Grand Central Station.
He recently answered a slew of the Internet’s most-searched questions (via Google) about himself in a Wired Autocomplete Interview. The “Come On to Me” singer graciously replied to several questions which are burning up the popular search engine, telling fun stories along the way. For instance, if you wonder why he’s nicknamed “Macca” it’s because he’s “from Liverpool and everything is abbreviated in Liverpool.”
In case you missed it, here’s a list of five fascinating facts Paul McCartney revealed in his 15-minute-plus Wired session.
1. He found getting knighted by The Queen ‘very exciting.’
When answering, “When did Paul McCartney become ‘Sir?’” The “Penny Lane” crooner couldn’t remember the exact date the ceremony occurred. He detailed the process, though, which he called “very exciting.” It started by receiving a special letter informing him he was going to be knighted, in which he was charged to keep the news confidential.
He talked about going to Buckingham Palace and mimicked the way Queen Elizabeth II touched each of his shoulders with her sword as he bowed, joking, “At this point, you have to be very trusting. She could do anything with that sword” and then she said, “Arise, Sir Paul McCartney” to make it official.
2. Writing “Yesterday” made him believe in magic.
Like “Let It Be,” Paul McCartney’s iconic hit “Yesterday” came to him in a dream. He said, “The great thing about ‘Yesterday’ was, it kind of wrote itself. People say to me, do you believe in mysticism or magic, with that story, I kind of have to because I just woke up one morning (makes melody sounds) and I said, “What’s that?” I like that tune.” The rest is music history.
Calling “Yesterday” “magic” might be an understatement, considering it is one of the most covered songs of all time, with over 2,200 covers being performed since its 1965 release. It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1997, among many other accolades.
3. The Beatles were massive fans of Elvis Presley and when they finally met him, something besides his musical talented impressed them.
McCartney said he met Elvis Presley with The Beatles when Elvis was renting a house in Hollywood while he was making movies. The year was 1965 when The Beatles were at the peak of their popularity. Elvis’ former wife, Priscilla Presley, recounted the meeting in a video noting The Beatles were “so cute,” “shy” and “they were truly like kids, meeting their idol …”
Macca insisted the King of Rock and Roll answered the door himself, though Ringo disagrees. He also said he looked “really cool” and he talked to him about playing bass. But, the most amazing thing to him was he had the first TV remote the band had ever seen and they were thinking “Oh, he is indeed a mighty God. He can turn the channels without approaching his television set.”
Here’s a side question we’d love an answer to: What was Elvis watching on TV?
4. He didn’t really like piano lessons and plays a bunch of instruments
Anyone who’s seen Paul McCartney live in concert knows he ends up at the piano at some point in the show. And, during the Carpool Karaoke segment in which Macca takes “Late Late Show” host James Corden into his childhood home, we see a piano along one wall.
It turns out pianos were a major source of family home entertainment when he was growing up in Liverpool, McCartney revealed. And, his dad insisted he “take proper lessons.” However, he admitted he “couldn’t really get on with it” adding “I kind of learned myself. I just picked out chords on the piano.” When asked to name all the instruments he played, Macca named trumpet, guitar, drums, mandolin and ukulele.
5. He has a theory that’s “half-fantasy” about his stolen Hofner bass.
Paul McCartney has been widely photographed with and is known for playing a Hofner violin bass. A popular search question asked if he still plays his original instrument. He said he still plays one of the two originals he had. One was stolen, and he said, “We still don’t know where it is.”
Apparently, thousands of people are also curious about the missing bass. A Facebook page called “The Search For Paul McCartney’s Stolen Hofner Bass” was created and has more than 3,000 likes. The page shows several photos of the “Love Me Do” singer holding or playing the violin-shaped bass.
According to a Bassplayer report, the bass was a 500/1 violin bass, which Hofner gave to McCartney in 1963. The UK native music legend said he’s developed a “theory” on its whereabouts that may be “half-fantasy.” “If you go to some German castle, way in the hills of Bavaria, and you’ll have dinner and the host will say, ‘Come, let me show you something’ and you go up into this little room and there’s my bass over his mantelpiece,” Macca said.
Watch Paul McCartney’s entire Wired Google-search Q & A interview in the video embedded above.