Paul McCartney reflects on John Lennon’s 80th birthday: “It reminds me of the fantastic times we had”

"It makes me happy to have shared all that with him"

Paul McCartney has reflected on how John Lennon‘s 80th birthday made him reflect on his fondest memories of his late bandmate.

The late Beatles icon would have reached the milestone birthday on October 9, prompting an array of famous faces to pay their individual tributes to him last month.

Discussing the celebrations in a new interview with Uncut, McCartney explained how Lennon’s birthday had sparked a mixture of emotions from him.

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“That was happy sad. It reminds me he was murdered – but it also reminds me of the fantastic times we had. I tend to think back to early times,” he said.

“I remember, we tried to hitchhike to Spain once, but we only got as far
as Paris. We liked it so much, we stayed there, just the two of us. We were in this little hotel in Paris; it was so cheap it had fleas. My mum was a nurse, we were very hygienic, then you end up there – bloody hell! Those things bring you together.

“I had some great hitchhiking experiences with John and George. George and I went to Wales once, we ended up in Harlech. Another time, we decided to head south from Liverpool. We ended up in Exeter. We found a British Legion club where we could get a beer. So when I think of John’s 80th, those are the things I think of. It makes me happy to have shared all that with him.”

In the same interview, he reflected on how he still mentally consults Lennon while writing.

“We collaborated for so long, I think, ‘OK, what would he think of this? What would be say now?’ We’d both agree that this new song I’m taking about is going nowhere,” he explained.

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“So instead of sitting around, we’d destroy it and remake it. I started that process yesterday in the studio. I took the vocal off it and decided to write a new vocal. I think it’s heading in a better direction now.”

Order the new issue of Uncut here, which also comes with a Collectors Cover, a 1970 McCartney Scrapbook and a Review Of The Year.

His comments come ahead of the arrival of McCartney’s new solo album ‘McCartney III‘, which will arrive on December 18 after production delays set its arrival back a week.

In a recent fan Q&A session on his website, McCartney explained why it was “quite liberating” to work on the forthcoming album during lockdown.

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