Paul the punk rocker

Punk rock group Sex Pistols posing at the stairs in EMI House, Manchester Square, London, 1976.

Celebrating Paul McCartney’s 79th birthday on June 18, 2021, a fellow calling himself “Abner Doolittle” posted a story in the private Facebook group “Punk Stories, History, Flyers and music”:

Happy Birthday to Punk Fan – Paul McCartney.

By 1990 I was in full swing as a First Call Session Player. I was doing more work for mainstream artists and the Punk calls were few and far between. Then, during a session, I met Paul McCartney. Not to do any work for him, but he was in studio as a guest of the artist was tracking for. The day’s session was over and Paul invited me to dinner with himself and this artist. He was so gracious and inclusive of me in the conversation.

The evening lasted about 4 hours and included us going to see some live music. He asked me how I got into the business and I said “Punk Rock”. Now, it’s an unspoken rule among session players, that you do not let people know who you’ve played for unless you’re credited, but he asked and – It’s Paul McCartney- so I name dropped like a mother f**ker.

Turns out – Paul McCartney was a Punk Fan!!

When he mentioned that he liked a couple particular Punk acts, that I mentioned, he said “I love that band”. And I inadvertently asked the devil’s advocate question, “oh yeah, what’s your favorite song of theirs?”. Oops! But no “Oops”, old boy answered and was correct.

He knew his sh*t

The next day, session started around 1 in the afternoon and we wrapped at 6 or 7. Paul came in and slung a Les Paul on – and started playing “Pretty Vacant”. The drummer and I both have punk chops, and we were looking at each other like “what the f**k is happening”. Paul raised his eyebrows because we missed our cue to join the song. But we didn’t really miss the cue, we were just digging his sound. Paul McCartney was playing Sex Pistols and it blew our f**king minds! We finally came in and rocked that studio, Punk Style.

I’ve seen Paul a few times since the, most recently in 2017, when he confessed that the engineer at that session, recorded us and that he has the tape. It was the first and only time he played a Pistols song. No he didn’t offer a copy to me and I didn’t ask. But he still has it so that tells me he likes it.


2 Responses

  1. Thiago says:

    I’m very curious to what punk bands Paul liked in that conversation, alas, I’m curious to know more punk related with the Beatles

    • all-X- says:

      There’s Nirvana! Or Kurt Cobain specifically and Glen Matlock was famously sacked from the Sex Pistols for liking the Beatles too much.

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