All of us at Epiphone would like to wish Sir Paul McCartney a sincere and heartfelt Happy Birthday as he turns 76 years young June 18 and prepares for a new album and a new tour. Hardly an event has gone by in the last year that hasn't seen McCartney front and center. Along with a recent surprise gig at a pub in Liverpool and a week-long Instagram tease of studio photos, his old band The Beatles' beloved animated film Yellow Submarine turned 50 will soon be re-released in theaters around the world. Plus, a super deluxe version of The Beatles (White Album) is due this fall along with a commemorative 7" of "Hey Jude" which also turns 50 on Apple Records which launched in 1968.
Though Paul has always insisted that the Fab Four were (as Mick Jagger called them) a "four-headed monster" who were 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," "Golden Slumbers," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," or "Blackbird." Most bands would be pleased to write a rocker as good as "I Saw Her Standing There" or "I'm Down." And that's not even considering "Coming Up," "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Band On the Run," or any number of fine hits from Wings.
McCartney has been a star for over 50 years of his life—a great star—and whether you're listening to the early Beatles sessions for the BBC or watching a You Tube clip from earlier this year, 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—often Epiphone acoustic and electric guitars—and in his willingness to try anything that could move his art forward whether it was writing operas, 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 has represented 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. Time has only made their accomplishments as writers, arrangers, and producers seem more miraculous.
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. So throughout the week, we'll be digging up some gear fab McCartney moments from the present and past. Meanwhile, if PM is coming to your town don't miss him. Happy Birthday, Paul, from all of us at Epiphone!