All of us at Epiphone send Paul McCartney
a sincere and heartfelt Happy Birthday, today. Macca is 71 and if his recent throwdown performance at Bonnaroo is any indication, Sir Paul is going into his 70s full speed ahead. Though Paul
has always insisted (as have all the Beatles) that the Fab Four were indeed—as Mick Jagger put it—a "four-headed monster," thoroughly united in their endeavors as a band once the music started, it's hard to imagine popular culture without the writer of "Yellow Submarine," "Let It Be," "Hey Jude," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," or "Blackbird." "Yesterday"--which is celebrating its 48th anniversary on June 21, is a pretty catchy song as well.
McCartney has been a star for over 50 years of his life—a great star—and whether you're listening to the early BBC recordings or watching a You Tube clip from last month, every time we see Macca on stage, he gives it everything he's got. He is the best and brightest of his generation. When Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, and Tony Bennett think you're great, then you're great, right?
McCartney has always been democratic in his tastes, in his patronage of the arts, his choice of instruments
—Epiphone acoustic and electric guitars—and in his willingness to try anything that could move his art forward whether it was writing for strings, with Elvis Costello or producing with Radiohead's Nigel Godrich.
The Broadway hit "Annie" was supported by McCartney when it was still an off-Broadway enterprise and teetering on the verge of closing. The work of many R&B songwriters and early rock and rollers are today championed by McCartney's MPL Publishing, which represents the catalogs of Bessie Smith, Carl Perkins, and McCartney's hero, Buddy Holly.
After The Beatles' breakup and some rough going, McCartney and old friend John Lennon made up in person and through song and time has only made their accomplishments as writers, arrangers, and producers seem more miraculous (if it wasn't enough already).
We're especially pleased that our long friendship with Paul has not only been based on music but also on important charitable endeavors. In 2005, Gibson President Dave Berryman presented Sir Paul with a $1 million donation to Adopt-A-Minefield
at the Fifth Annual Adopt-A-Minefield Gala held in Los Angeles. A leader in addressing the worldwide landmine crisis, the organization raised approximately $2 million through the evening's ticket sales and auction items, plus an additional $1 million donated by Epiphone. Serial #2 of the McCartney Aged Epiphone Texan Acoustic Guitar Series was part of the auction and sold for $70,000.00.
There's really not enough time in the day to put all of our feelings about McCartney into words--as much as we would like. So throughout the week, we'll be digging up some gear fab McCartney moments from the present and past. Meanwhile, PM is still out there performing, rocking, and making a difference. And his bass playing? As you can see from this recent clip from The Colbert Report
, spot-on cool. If you haven't seen him, find a show and get back. Happy Birthday, Paul!