How Paul McCartney’s Brother Mike Almost Became a Beatle

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The whole world, it seems, knows and loves Paul McCartney deeply. Author of some of the Beatles’ most beloved songs such as “Yesterday” and “Get Back”, mastermind of Wings and partial techno pioneer with “Temporary Secretary”, McCartney’s career has been exceptional. One of the two surviving Beatles, he continues to be a force for good in this world of seemingly eternal darkness.

However, there must be something in McCartney’s blood because Paul’s younger brother Mike McCartney aka Mike McGear is a brilliant guy too. A long-time photographer, his remarkable stories from the 1960s captivated audiences. Like his brother, Mike McCartney didn’t stand still for a moment, pushing into entertainment with stars as a solo artist and featured in the comedies The Scaffold and Grimms.

Michael and Paul grew up very close and both were born at the Walton Center in Liverpool, where their mother had worked as a maternity nurse. After their mother’s death, the couple were raised by their father and had a somewhat relaxed upbringing for the time, religion not being emphasized in the household, and the boys were largely left to fend for themselves. to pursue the ends they desired.

As a young man, Mike McCartney spent a lot of time with Paul and the Beatles as the group began to gain fame. Beatles manager Brian Epstein gave him the nickname “Flash Harry” because he always took photos of the group with a flash.

In a recent interview with The GuardianMike recalled those exhilarating moments early in The Beatles’ career, revealing that he had almost become the band’s drummer when they were debuting. McCartney explained, “I wasn’t planning on taking a camera. I was practicing on drums that had fallen from the back of a truck at our home on Forthlin Road, Liverpool. But when I was 13, I broke my arm at Boy Scout Camp, so Pete Best got the job in our kids’ group. That’s when I started taking pictures with the family box camera. But that was fortuitous, because if I had become the Beatles drummer, we would probably have gone the Oasis route.

Revealing how exciting it was to be Paul McCartney’s brother, Mike recalled, “I would go everywhere with the Beatles. I was part of the act. It’s as if Rembrandt’s little brother is in a corner with a notepad and paper, drawing his older brother. I was lucky – you couldn’t have had a better group to practice, right? “.

Mike then took us back to those heady days, citing some of the most important rock ‘n’ roll stars that the Fab Four cut their teeth with while playing. He said, “So while our kid was playing experimenting with his music, I was doing the same with photography. At that time, the Beatles were supporting people like Joe Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard. Can you imagine These concerts were extraordinary, absolute magic ”.

Mike McCartney, like his brother, had a hell of a life. We can only imagine what it must have been like to be the younger brother of one of the biggest stars on the planet, and almost joining The Beatles is quite something. The doors he unlocked must have been amazing, and for a budding photographer, as he put it, a tour with the biggest stars of the day was the perfect place to hone his craft. Mike McCartney remains one of the most important voices in the 60s music scene due to his closeness to his beating heart. It’s stories like these that keep those happy days in the collective memory.

Watch Mike McCartney in the conversation below.


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