This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for June 18, 2017: There Comes the Strangest Moment

June 18, 2017: birthday: Paul McCartney

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney turns 75 today — born in 1942 in Liverpool, England. He is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the recipient of 21 Grammys. His Beatles song “Yesterday” is one of the most covered songs in musical history, and he has written over 30 No. 1 songs in his life.

“Every time I come to write a song,” says McCartney, “there’s this magic little thing where I go, ‘Ooh, ooh, it’s happening again.’ I just sit down at the piano and go, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know this one,’ and suddenly there’s a song.”

McCartney is a big believer in magic and circumstance when it comes to his past. When he was 14, his mother died of an embolism. This led to his connection with John Lennon, whose mother had also died when he was a teenager. “Life is an energy field, a bunch of molecules,” McCartney said. “And these particular molecules formed to make these four guys, [the Beatles].”