James Paul McCartney was born on 18th June 1942, and Paul McCartney’s birthday has some interesting stories associated with it.
John Lennon’s first friend in Woolton when he moved to live with Aunt Mimi and Uncle George was Ivan Vaughan. They soon became great friends, with Ivan also going to Dovedale Primary School, though 1 year behind John. When John moved to Quarry Bank Grammar School, it was assumed that Ivan would follow the next year. However, Ivan’s parents were not happy with that. However, as “That Lennon” was so much trouble, and would get Ivan into trouble too, they decided he should go to a different school. Instead of the local Quarry Bank, he was sent all the way into town to join the Liverpool Institute.
Happy Birthday Ivan
One of the biggest coincidences in Beatles history is that Ivan Vaughan was born on exactly the same day as Paul. With Paul also at the Institute, Paul and Ivan ended up in the same class. They became friends, and realised they had a mutual taste in music. It was Ivan who invited his new friend Paul to come to meet his old friend John at the Woolton fete. If it hadn’t been for Ivan, it is highly unlikely that John and Paul would have got together; no Ivan, no Lennon/ McCartney, no Beatles. Thank you Ivan! Ivan remained friends with John and Paul, though sadly died young from Parkinson’s disease. (Read more in The Fab One Hundred and Four)
The Beatles First Left-Handed Bass Player
Who was the Beatles’ first left-handed bass player? It wasn’t Paul McCartney! When The Beatles returned from Hamburg at the end of 1960, Stuart stayed in Hamburg with Astrid. They needed a bass player. Pete Best suggested his old bandmate Chas Newby, who had played with him in The Blackjacks, who was home from College for Christmas.
Happy Birthday Chas
Charles “Chas” Newby was born on 18th June 1941, and so shares a birthday with Paul McCartney; it must be something to do with being left-handed?? For the four performances over the Christmas on 1960 at the Casbah (twice), Litherland Town Hall and the Grosvenor Ballroom in Wallasey, Chas was The Beatles’ bass player. Not many people had come across Chas when I first tracked him down around 2007 and interviewed him for my first book, Liddypool, where you can read the full interview.
Happy 21st Birthday Paul!
Paul’s 21st birthday party on 18th June 1963 should have been a great celebration, but it will be remembered for something else. The party was held at Auntie Jin’s house in Dinas Lane, Liverpool. John Lennon had just returned from a short holiday in Spain with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, even though John had just become a father to Julian. At the party, John, who was not a good drunk, got himself “blitzed” and was involved in two unsavoury incidents. Bob Wooler, a great friend and help to The Beatles and many Liverpool groups, was always one for a funny phrase. However, he chose the wrong day for this one!
Everybody knew that Brian Epstein was gay, and so eyebrows were raised when John went on holiday with Epstein. Wooler couldn’t resist a joke, and said to John; “How was the honeymoon?” Lennon took great offence and, being very drunk, decided to beat up Bob Wooler. Eyewitnesses were appalled, and had to drag John off Wooler, who ended up in hospital. Thankfully for John, and The Beatles, Brian was able to appease Bob, who was a decent man too, and, after an apology, didn’t press charges.
However, that wasn’t the only incident of the night. In his drunken state, John approached Billy J Kramer’s girlfriend, and decided to make a grab for her breasts. Needless to say, according to Billy J Kramer and Billy Hatton (from The Fourmost), the girl immediately smacked John, as she was fully entitled to do. John, however, just smacked her straight back! He was not entitled to do that! Billy Hatton and others dragged John away, and put him in a taxi home. It was not his greatest day. Billy Hatton’s interview is featured in “Looking for Lennon“, the documentary feature film for which I was historian and Associate Producer. (It is out on DVD in the US, and due for release in the UK and rest of the world soon.)
No Social Media
Thankfully, for The Beatles, there was no such thing as social media, facebook, twitter, and living lives online! This was 18th June 1963: The Beatles were the new top group in the country, with Number 1 singles and album, and on a UK tour. Imagine if there were smartphones back then? The Beatles career would have been over before it had begun. Thankfully, the incident over Bob Wooler only made it into a small column in the Daily Mirror newspaper. They had got away with it, but only just.