Sir Paul McCartney Failed His First Audition and Found Playing the Trumpet Didn’t Allow Him to Sing

Paul McCartney
Photo Credit: Facebook/Maccagirl

When the Beatles played their very first live gig at The Jacaranda in Liverpool in 1960 after changing their name from The Silver Beatles, before playing live virtually everyday for four years clocking up 1,400 concerts in Liverpool and around the world, who would have known that one of the awesome foursome would still be playing live 63 years later?

Sir Paul McCartney’s Got Back World Tour hits Brisbane on November 1 and you can expect he’s going to bring a mixture of his solo numbers and some of the most memorable work of The Beatles.

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Let It Be

Did you know that Let it Be was written by Sir Paul around a dream he had about his mum, Mary, who died when he was 14 from cancer?

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be “

Hey Jude

Sir Paul wrote “Hey Jude” in his head whilst driving his Aston Martin to see John Lennon in the English Countryside. He was concerned for John’s son, Julian, as John now had a new girlfriend, Yoko Ono, replacing his mother, Cynthia. The song started off as “Hey Jules, Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better”.

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Can’t Buy Me Love

“Can’t Buy Me Love” was written on a piano in a huge suite in the George V Hotel near the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The Beatles were in the middle of a marathon concert series in Paris, performing two, sometimes three, live gigs a day for 18 days straight.

A Grand Piano had been brought to their hotel suite and Sir Paul would tinkle the ivories as his way to wind down. A new song was never far away and he says “Money can’t buy you a happy family or friends you can trust.”

Love Me Do

“Love Me Do” was written by Paul and John when they were skipping school. It was written about Sir Paul’s girlfriend at the time, Iris Caldwell.

At the time The Beatles were playing cover songs in their gigs, mostly blues by artists like Little Richard and Ray Charles but “Love Me Do” was their first attempt to include an original song in a set list whilst playing shows in Hamburg, Germany.

It became The Beatles first single when it was released in 1963 by Parlaphone Records. It only reached #17 in the UK Charts, though it went to #1 in the US Charts in 1964 when released by a very small label called Tollie. Apparently, Capitol Records, Parlaphone’s US counterpart, refused to release it as they
projected it would be a flop.

Live and Let Die

Band on the Run

Letting Go

Got to Get You Into My Life

When young Paul McCartney was 11 years old, he auditioned for the Liverpool Cathedral Choir and was turned down. However, in a glimpse to why
he became so great, he auditioned for another choir at St Barnabas Church, Mossley Hill, and got in.

Sir Paul’s real first name is James, named after his dad. To avoid confusion, he was known by his middle name, Paul.

Paul was offered lessons on the piano at home but said he would rather learn by ear and he did. By sheer coincidence, the piano in their home was bought from a shop owned by the parents of the man that went on to manage the Beatles, Brian Epstein.

Paul’s dad, James, played the trumpet and piano in a big band in the 1920s. For his 13th birthday, his dad gave him a trumpet; but as time went on, Paul didn’t like the fact he couldn’t sing whilst playing the trumpet so he started playing the guitar.

When he was 15, he attended a church fete in Liverpool where a band called The Quarrymen was playing, a band that included John Lennon. A few months later, Paul was invited to join The Quarrymen as lead guitarist for a gig at the New Clubmoor Hall in Norris Green, Liverpool.

Nerves and inexperience led him to make a mess of his solo in a song called “Guitar Boogie”, resulting in a young fella called George Harrison taking over as lead guitarist.

Even whilst he was with The Beatles, Paul was working on a solo career. In 1966, he wrote the soundtrack to a movie called The Family Way, which starred Hayley Mills.

His songwriting was prolific, with a singularly commercial appeal. He wrote 33 #1 US Hits.

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One on One in 2017

Paul McCartney Announces 2023 Australian Tour Including Return to Suncorp Stadium
Sir Paul McCartney performing Get Back at the Suncorp Stadium in 2017
Photo Credit: Youtube/strangedaysindeed9

Sir Paul last performed at Suncorp Stadium in December 2017, as part of his One On One world tour. That concert was completely sold out, with 40,000 fans braving the rainy weather to see the Beatles legend perform.

The 2017 Suncorp show had it all: An early The Quarrymen song with John Lennon, In Spite of All the Danger; Beatles classics like Helter Skelter and All My Loving; Wings favourites like Jet and Live and Let Die; and even newer tracks like My Valentine and FourFiveSeconds.

His set list brought nostalgia to the crowd, as he delighted Brisbane fans with a wide range of tracks from his career, including Beatles megahits Can’t Buy Me Love and Let It Be.

During the three-hour set, he was seen sometimes playing the Hofner bass that he famously played throughout his run with the Beatles and also using the acoustic guitar that he used to play Yesterday on The Ed Sullivan Show.

McCartney tweaked his set lists from night to night, consistently including fan favourites such as Hey Jude to end his main performance and The End for his encore. All-time classics shared the stage with newcomers, his latest hits intersecting with his storied past.

While there was no verbal statement, I think it speaks volumes that immediately after the encore started, Sir Paul and the band ran about the stage, each carrying gigantic flags: Australian, Aboriginal and the Rainbow taking pride of place with the British.

Kylie Thompson  from Scenestr

Beyond the music, a wordless but resonant display spoke volumes about the heart of this ageless musician. For the Brisbane crowd, it was a stirring final image.

‘Got Back’ to Brisbane in 2023

Presented by Frontier Touring, Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘Got Back’ World Tour hits Brisbane on November 1 at the Suncorp Stadium, marking his third visit to Brisbane. After his first show with Wings in Brisbane in 1975, fans had to wait 42 years (!) for him to come back for his 2017 show.

Frankly anybody who made it to his concert in 2017 would have been perfectly entitled to think that was his swansong, but at the ripe old age of 81, this extraordinary man will once more light up Suncorp Stadium.

Bringing his unbelievable stamina to the fore once again, Sir Paul’s ‘Got Back’ set list opens with Can’t Buy Me Love, a catchy song that will segue into one hit after another, as Sir Paul performs pieces from Wings such as Nineteen Hundred Eighty-five, and Let ‘Em In; many of the usual fan favourites from the Beatles playbook including Blackbird, Let It Be, Live and Let Die, and Hey Jude; and even a song from The Quarrymen days.

Yesterday doesn’t seem to be part of the ‘Got Back’ set list at all, although it figured as one of the encore songs in 2017.

To support him on this tour, Sir Paul has brought his usual band, composed of Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens on keyboards, Brian Ray on bass / guitar, Rusty Anderson on guitar, and Abe Laboriel Jr on drums.

Published 05 September 2023