Sir Paul McCartney was born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool in 1942. His father, Jim McCartney worked as a cotton salesman and his mother, Mary, worked as a nurse and midwife. Paul's dad had a talent for music too, and was a keen pianist: he even had his own band, called Jim Mac's Jazz Band. Paul's younger brother, Michael, is better known as Mike McGear, the Liverpool poet who belongs to a group called The Scaffold. Mike uses the stage name McGear so as not to capitalise on his older brother's fame.
Growing up in Liverpool just after World War II, Paul enjoyed a happy and uneventful childhood and showed an early gift for music and also for art. He did well at primary school and was one of only four pupils in his year to pass the 11+ exam. His success earned him a place at the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Boys, which he attended from 1953 until 1960. Paul left school having passed "A" levels in English and Art.
Paul's happy childhood came to an abrupt end when he was 14-years-old, and his beloved mother died very suddenly and unexpectedly from breast cancer. Paul was devastated by this tragic loss and turned to music and writing songs in order to try and come to terms with his mother's death.
A short while later, he was performing music at a local church fete, when he happened to meet a fellow budding musician called John Lennon
. At that time, John had already formed his own band, called The Quarrymen, and he was so impressed by Paul's guitar skills and...