Though wildly popular, rich, and famous, it’s no secret that the Beatles had their fair share of troubles. Paul McCartney seems to be one of the most compassionate of the four musicians. While John Lennon was spending his time and attention on music instead of his son Julian, Paul McCartney stepped up and befriended the young boy, perhaps becoming more of a father figure than John ever was.
In fact, Paul McCartney wrote the song “Hey Jude” for Julian when his parents, John and Cynthia Lennon, divorced. Paul created the song as he was on his way to visit Julian and his mother.
“I started with the idea ‘Hey Jules’ – which was Julian – ‘don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces… I had the idea [for the song] by the time I got there. I changed it to ‘Jude’ because I thought that sounded a bit better.”
Julian remembers Paul McCartney as someone who was there for him, spending time with him, more than his own father did.
“Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit… more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going, and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad.”
Paul McCartney playing with Julian Lennon during a break in filming the Magical Mystery Tour in 1967.
Though John Lennon must surely have loved his son (he wrote “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” about a picture Julian drew), it’s apparent that the relationship between Jules and Paul McCartney was easier, more comfortable. Julian goes on to touch on the subject of hurtful words John Lennon spoke about him.
“I’ve never really wanted to know the truth about how Dad was with me. There was some negative stuff, like when he said I’d come out of a whiskey bottle on a Saturday night. Stuff like that. You think, ‘Where’s the love in that?’
“Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world, but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son. How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces — no communication, adultery, divorce? You can’t do it, not if you’re being true and honest with yourself.”
It appears fatherhood has suited Paul McCartney well. IMDB shares a couple of Paul McCartney’s quotes on fatherhood, the one in which he’s talking with his daughter when she was young is especially poignant.
“There was one moment where they were riding their little ponies in Scotland, and Stella said to me: ‘Dad! You’re Paul McCartney, aren’t you?’ ‘Yes darling, but I’m Daddy really’.
“I’ve learnt to compartmentalize. There’s me and there’s famous Him. I don’t want to sound schizophrenic, but probably I’m two people. I’m the guy who does shows… but I’m also the guy who goes home to the kids. There I am just Dad.”
That about sums it up. Paul McCartney, father and friend, to his own children as well as the young Julian Lennon.
[Images via Hey Jules]