Vegetarian Paul McCartney Turns 70, Still Rocks

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

“Sir Paul” celebrated his 70th birthday on June 18, and there’s no question he still has the music in him!

On July 27, Paul McCartney will be the closing act at the London Olympics’ opening ceremony before a global audience anticipated at over a billion people. His repertoire, according to the Associated Press, will include , "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," "Penny Lane" and a few dozen other classics, including  "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude.”

These perennial favorites will have voices all over the world singing along--many far too young to remember the pot-smoking, counterculture Beatles entering the tumultuous social/political milieu of 1964 to change the world through their music.

On June 4, the former Beatle melted away the years for a spellbound audience as he closed Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee concert with a list of favorites, including “All my Loving.”

 Sir Paul McCartney was knighted by the Queen on March 11, 1997, and now finds himself among the respected members of the polite British establishment against which he rebelled. But, he still maintains that raw edge right under the surface which allows him to transition from up close and personal to electronic-bursts of “Live and Let Die,” the theme he wrote for the 8th James Bond movie

In 1997, his official biography Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now by Barry Miles, was published. The title is a phrase in a McCartney song, "When I'm Sixty-Four," written when  he was only 16, and a huge hit on the Beatles 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Obviously, Paul Mc Cartney had more chapters to add.  His latest album, “Kisses on the Bottom,” was just released in February 2012.

McCartney is not alone in keeping alive a musical era that played a key role in transforming values and attitudes.  Mick Jagger, 68, was electrifying at the 2011 Grammy Awards, which also marked the 5th appearance of 71-year-old Bob Dylan. (Let's not forget, Smokey Robinson, 72, and Barry Manilow, 69, are still packing the Hollywood Bowl.)

Paul McCartney’s personal life is also still filled with romantic vitality. In October 2011 he married stunning American-heiress Nancy Shevell, after a messy divorce from model Heather Mills. His first wife, Linda, to whom he was married for 29 years, lost a valiant fight against breast cancer in 1998.

Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman were married in 1969. She was one year older and a professional photographer who had taken many of the most memorable and publicized pictures of the Beatles. She and Paul raised four children, Heather (Linda’s daughter from a prior marriage,) Stella, Mary, and James.

Linda was also a well-known, avid animal-rights activist and became an influential figure in her own right in the field of vegetarian cooking. Paul  McCartney shared her devotion to promoting vegetarianism as a way to end slaughterhouse cruelty to animals, among other environmental causes  

In May 2011,  he released a vegetarian cookbook co-written with daughters Stella and Mary, entitled, "The Meat Free Monday Cookbook." The 240-page book is based on his family's 2009 campaign to convince people to avoid eating meat for one day a week, and it features some of his personal favorite vegetarian recipes. All royalties go directly to finance the Meat Free Monday campaign.

His narration on the PETA video, “Glass Walls,” starts with his personal statement, “I have always said that, if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

In the run-up to his 70th birthday, McCartney urged the public to cut back on meat consumption ,writes the Associated Press.  


Sources:  (Associated Press)