Paul McCartney: 16 Things You Might Not Know

Desert Trip - Weekend 2 - Day 2

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On June 18th, 1942, Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England. To mark the former Beatle’s birthday, here are 16 things you might not know about him:

1. McCartney was born at the same hospital where his mom had once worked as a nurse. 

2. Paul wasn’t always a successful singer, he tried out to be a choir boy and failed the auditions twice. To give him credit, at one of the auditions he didn’t want to be choir boy. He eventually made it onto his church's choir. 

3. Paul's first instrument was not a guitar or a bass; it was a trumpet. His dad, who played the trumpet, gave it to him for his 14th birthday. Since he couldn’t sing while playing it and because he was more interested in rock and roll, he traded it for an acoustic guitar.

4. Growing up there was a piano in Paul's house. He dad encouraged him to take lessons but Paul preferred to learn by ear.

5. The first song Paul wrote was called "I Lost My Little Girl."

6. Paul was an impressive artist as a teen and while his work earned him accolades, his grades weren’t great so he couldn't get into any arts colleges.

7. When Paul made his live debut as one of The Quarrymen, the precursor to The Beatles, he was so nervous that his voice kept cracking, much to the delight of bandmate John Lennon, who laughed at him.

8. In 1960, Paul was put in jail for lighting a condom on fire. He and bandmate Pete Best were in a dark room so Paul lit the condom for a little bit of light. They were accused of trying to set their building on fire, arrested and spent a few hours in jail.

9. When Bob Dylan introduced Paul to marijuana in 1964, Paul said he got very high and giggled uncontrollably.

10. Paul witnessed the 9/11 attacks. He was actually on an airplane on the tarmac at JFK Airport in New York City when one of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. He has said that when he got off his flight, he went right to the bar to get a drink. 

11. Following 9/11, Paul helped organize the Concert for New York City charity show to benefit victims and honor first responders. The NYPD made him an honorary detective to thank him.

12. Paul’s song "Yesterday" has been covered by more than 2,200 artists, more than any other copyrighted song in history.

13. In 2005, Paul published a children’s book calledHigh in the Clouds: An Urban Furry Tail.

14. A Rich List is put out annually in the U-K featuring Britain's wealthiest people. Paul has been the richest musician on it every year since it began in 1989. He has an estimated fortune of just over a billion dollars.

15. When Paul divorced Heather Mills in 2008 after six years of marriage, he paid her $48.6-million, one of the largest divorce settlements in history.

16. McCartney has been a vegetarian since 1975. He decided on the lifestyle after seeing lambs in a field while he was eating lamb.

Happy birthday, Paul!

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