A year from today, Paul McCartney will be 80

A year from today, Paul McCartney will be 80


norman lebrecht

June 18, 2021

You don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to.

Happy birthday, dear Paul.



  • sam says:

    Are you posting this now because you have no faith that same time next year that he’d be around to see it?

  • Barry says:

    I’m a fan based on his career and have seen him live a few times.

    But if you’ve heard him sing in recent years, it’s not difficult to believe his age.

    • V.Lind says:

      Well, he has at least as much right to perform as Domingo.

      • Barry says:

        Point taken.

        I once paid what was then big money to see Pavarotti perform in a big sports arena when he was past his prime (I think the early to mid 90s) and coming off an extended layoff due to I believe a knee issue. He was terrible and I felt ripped off.

        • HugoPreuss says:

          I have had the chance to hear Domingo and Pavarotti on stage several times. But only once I could hear Alfredo Kraus (L’elisir d’amore in Vienna) and Joan Sutherland (solo recital with Richard Bonynge at the Met).

          They were both clearly past their prime, as everyone in the audience knew. And yet, every once in a while, an ounce of their former glory came through. A phrase here, a note there.

          I was thrilled to pieces that I was fortunate enough to be in the proper cities on the proper date and get this once in a lifetime chance. Not a single cent was wasted. I will remember evey minute of it, including the enthusiastic audience, to the day I die. NOBODY felt ripped off. Of course, this was not a big sports arena, and La Stupenda knew which pieces to sing at this point in her career and which pieces to leave at home…

    • Maria says:

      Mean, unforgiving comment!

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Based on the state of his non-existent voice, his age is 193. That said, he deserves to be remembered for the best of his work, not the worst of it.

      • Ashu says:

        [That said, he deserves to be remembered for the best of his work, not the worst of it.]

        He can still sometimes write songs that belong with his best, even if he can no longer sing them beautifully.

  • Rob says:

    I don’t give a shit

  • Karl says:

    He’s already over 200 in base 6.

  • MR says:

    Perhaps one famous rock musician, whose name I didn’t catch, put it best when asked on the radio who he listened to for inspiration. Even though the year was 2001, he replied, “Well, there’s a group out of Liverpool, and they play a song called Eleanor Rigby. The rest of us play the blues!” I agree that overall, the Beatles are on another level.

  • drummerman says:

    As a British subject, shouldn’t you be addressing him as Sir Paul? Just curious, NL.

  • I’m reminded of a day in music history class and the prof was sermonizing about how genius and visionary the 20th century atonal composers like Charles Wuorinen were and one of the kids asked, “What about someone like the Beatles? How do they fit in? Aren’t they “20th Century composers” also?”

    The prof just sort of wrinkled his nose at the question and declared, “Well, let’s say they TOOK… more… than they… GAVE.”

    Happy Birthday, Paul! Thank you for bringing us better music than Charles Wuorinen did.

  • Rodney MacLeod says:

    Good on Sir Paul rated one of the top songwriters of all time. Though his voice is taking a tad strain right now he is still up to putting on a good show.

  • Mudd says:

    Well. This was a waste of an article, a link, my time, your time, etc. Thanks, Norm.

  • Mudd says:

    Well. I thought this was going to be a reflection on McCartney’s career and influence, or at least a screed against his recent material I could respond to. Instead, this was a waste of an article, a link, my time, your time, our thoughts, etc. Thanks, Norm. Hope you enjoyed clocking out early on a Friday.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    If he sings that dreadful “Mull of Kintyre” one more time…..!!!!