I originally put this post together in 2012, to mark Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday. Since then, I’ve added similar, more extensive birthday posts for John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Like the many millions of Beatles-focused blogs, of course I need to recognize Paul McCartney’s milestone birthday.
I’ve wrestled with just how. This blog is a niche, focused on January 1969’s Get Back/Let It Be sessions and its reasonable relations (the Let It Be album and movie). June 18 is half a year away from January, so there’s no direct tie to the timeline.
The easy way out is to post a relevant video of Paul from the sessions, pluck out some classic tune, and I just leave it there.
But I got to thinking about June 1969, a few months after the sessions, and just what the band was doing. And the answer was… nothing.
“Get Back” — the single — was already a hit. The Get Back album was alive and being worked on by Glyn Johns. A couple of songs for Abbey Road were worked on, but not extensively. “The Ballad of John and Yoko” was quickly written and recorded in April and released the end of May.
But June? No studio time.
Come July 1, the full recording sessions for Abbey Road would formally begin. Before September was out, it was in stores. Think about that. It took less than three months for the vast majority of Abbey Road to be recorded. It took me about three months to bang out 10 posts for this blog.
So with nothing going on June 18, 1969, I backed up a year to the same date in 1968. There was no recording session that day, either, but the band was about three weeks into the White Album sessions, with “Revolution” “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Blackbird” having been worked on to that point.
And yet again, like I always am by the Beatles and keep finding myself as I work on this blog, I’m left marveling at things I already knew but didn’t think much about. Between Paul’s birthday in 1968 and 1969, the band recorded the vast majority of the White Album, the entirety of what would become Let It Be and had gotten Abbey Road under way (with most of the songs already written) — not to mention recording and releasing things like “Hey Jude,” too. Tack on three more months, and over 15 months we had all three albums in the can. Remarkable. (And that’s just what they did on vinyl — they also built Apple, had personal lives, side projects, etc.).
So where does that leave this post? Well, back to the start I think: Pluck something from the sessions and leave it at that.
So for Paul’s 70th, here’s one of the greatest of them all, and the song from which this blog’s name came from, “Let It Be.”
Happy birthday, Paul!
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