The friendship between Paul McCartney and John Lennon started more than six decades ago. Their relationship gave the world some of the best music ever recorded.
On what would have been his 81st birthday, Paul McCartney remembered one of his best-ever mates. McCartney tweeted to his 4.1 million followers: “Happy Birthday thoughts for John Lennon – Paul.
And McCartney posted the perfect photo, showing Beatles fans young and old what their friendship looked like in the very beginning. In the black and white vintage photo, the two are playing instruments as the sunshine spilled in through a window.
All these years later, music lovers are still listening to the Beatles. The supergroup, which was together for only 10 years, has sold more than 2 billion singles, worldwide. The group released 63 singles off of 13 albums. Only two of the Beatles still are alive. Paul McCartney is 79. Drummer Ringo Starr is 81. George Harrison was 58 when he died in 2001.
And Lennon was only 40 when he was murdered. He was shot outside his apartment building on the Upper West Side of NYC. Lennon died a decade after the Beatles broke up.
Beatles Fans React
One fan wrote to Paul McCartney: “I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was a baby. Their songs are timeless. Lennon was a genius. The world was truly robbed of a beautiful and talented soul.”
Another tweeted: “Like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was the night I heard your life had been cut short by that madman. John Lennon, everyone was in shock, that someone could do such a thing. We hugged, lit candles and sang Beatles songs till dawn. Still sadly missed.”
The two musical geniuses met in 1957 on a summer evening in Liverpool, England. Lennon and his band, The Quarrymen, were playing a church party. And while they were singing a cover of Come Go with Me, Paul McCartney rode up to the church on his bicycle.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” Rod Davis, a member of the Quarrymen, told Billboard in 2017. “You explain this to people, particularly Americans, and they expect there to be angels hiding behind clouds blowing trumpets. It’s all terribly, terribly a non-event — except in hindsight.”
Paul McCartney Joins the Group
Paul McCartney joined the group several months later. It became the genesis of the Beatles, with Lennon and McCartney writing the most beautiful songs they recorded.
“John and me, we were kids growing up together, in the same environment with the same influences,” Paul McCartney told Rolling Stone in 2016. “He knows the records I know, I know the records he knows. You’re writing your first little innocent songs together. Then you’re writing something that gets recorded. Each year goes by, and you get the cooler clothes. Then you write the cooler song to go with the cooler clothes. We were on the same escalator – on the same step of the escalator, all the way. It’s irreplaceable – that time, friendship and bonding.”
A fan of McCartney’s replied to his birthday tweet: “Perfect friendship, amazing pair of musicians and songwriters, loyal, true friendship. They speak through the eyes, sincere friends. I love to see Paul McCartney and John Lennon singing, writing, playing and exchanging ideas. Their friendship, like the ray of the sun, it will live.”