How well do you know Sir Paul McCartney? 

In honor of the Beatle’s momentous “Farewell to Candlestick” concert in The City today, we’ve compiled some lesser known tidbits about the world’s most famous rock star.

Breakfast music: “Yesterday,” the most covered song in history, started life as “Scrambled Eggs” until McCartney could think of some better lyrics.

Liverpudlian Frodo: J.R.R. Tolkien himself killed the Beatles’ plan to make a mop-topped “Lord of the Rings,” featuring McCartney as Frodo, John Lennon as Gollum, George Harrison as Gandalf and Ringo Starr as some bloke named Sam.

That’s Detective McCartney to you: The NYPD recognized McCartney’s charity concerts for 9/11 survivors by naming him an honorary detective in a 2002 ceremony at Madison Square Garden. “So whoever is smoking that stuff I can smell, I am going to bust you,” he joked to the audience.

Same difference: The 1978 parody film “The Rutles: All You Need is Cash” — starring Monty Python’s Eric Idle as the McCartney-esque Dirk McQuickly — featured songs such as “Cheese and Onions” off the album “Yellow Submarine Sandwich.”

Crime lord: McCartney’s song “Penny Lane” has driven countless people to lives of larceny. After countless people swiped the real-life signs marking Penny Lane, the city of Liverpool gave up and just started painting the name on nearby buildings.

Live and let pie: McCartney shot down Weird Al’s request to parody “Live and Let Die” as “Chicken Pot Pie,” citing his vegetarian philosophy.

For who: Even though George Harrison wrote “For You Blue,” it’s also McCartney’s favorite color.

Not a lot happening in Hamburg: Young McCartney and pre-Ringo Starr drummer Pete Best were once deported from Germany for nailing a condom to the wall and lighting it on fire, apparently as a makeshift torch.

He’s not really dead: In 1969, a rumor spread that the real McCartney had been killed and a doppelganger named William Campbell was really wielding his bass guitar. Clues were supposedly sprinkled around the Beatles’ discography, including barefoot Paul representing a corpse on the cover of “Abbey Road.”

Before his time: In pre-Beatle days, McCartney wrote the song “When I’m Sixty-Four” on his family’s piano when he was “around 15.”


Paul McCartney

Where: Candlestick Park, 490 Jamestown Ave, S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Tickets: $50 to $250

Contact: (800) 745-3000,

About The Author

Giselle Velazquez

Giselle Velazquez was born and raised in the shadow of San Francisco's Diamond Heights and now lives in the shadow of South San Francisco's Sign Hill. She has written for publications such as The S.F. Examiner, Ventura County Star, and the S.F. Bay Guardian.
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