“Hey,” said a kid this weekend in a record store, “Paul McCartney made music after the Beatles.” Frankly, we were just surprised to see a kid in a record store. Those things are usually full of old people like us. And at least the kid knew about Paul McCartney–who, as if we don’t already feel old, is enjoying his 71st birthday today. [Feature image: (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)]
Pop stars don’t get to be any more iconic than Mr. McCartney. (We never understood the people who call him “Macca”) He started out as a member of The Quarrymen before meeting John Lennon and going on to form The Beatles. Young women who are now grandmothers went crazy with Beatlemania in the early ’60s, and then watched as the band went from lovable moptops to visionary hippies. Most of those young women went through a similar transformation. The Beatles are still a timeless band, though, and plenty of modern moms have seen their own children rock out to Beatles songs like “Twist and Shout” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”
The post-Beatles career was pretty impressive, too. Some people thought Paul McCartney got a bit too kiddie-friendly with the ’70s pop of his band Wings. Others embraced “Silly Love Songs” and other more legitimate tunes. (Everybody agrees Band on the Run was a great album, right?) Actually, Paul’s birthday reminds us of how lucky we are that we didn’t see some kid pick up a Beatles album this weekend and say, “Hey, Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings!” That would’ve really made us feel old.
Paul made some good music in the ’80s, too, and he’s still a major draw. We’re sure that a lot of parents and grandparents have brought the kids to Paul McCartney concerts recently. Those wrap up early, too, so people can get back to the babysitter on time. And let’s not forget that Paul became Sir Paul McCartney after being knighted in 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II. That was a pretty big honor for a guy whose long hair used to terrorize the parents of the early 1960s. We know that Paul’s having a good birthday, too. He spent this past weekend playing the very hip Bonnaro Music and Arts Festival to an audience full of people young enough to be his grandchildren…