Sir Paul McCartney may have turned ancient musician and lyricist King David’s “ripe old age” of seventy today but there are no signs of his age slowing him down. Looking young and energetic as ever, The legendary Beatles and Wings alum will be performing at the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, is currently working on his next album and embarking on an international tour which includes stops in the US, Europe, and the Middle East to promote the release of his new album “Kisses On The Bottom.” In honor of this momentous occasion, we compiled a brief overview of the superstar’s Jewish connections.
Of his days with the Beatles, McCartney expressed gratitude for their Jewish manager Brian Epstein, who discovered John Lennon, George Harrison, then-drummer Pete Best and himself at a Liverpool club in 1961. “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian,” he said, referencing the Beatle’s nickname “The Fab Four.” Ringo Starr later replaced Best when the group was signed by EMI’s Abbey Road Studios and the rest is history.
Though while with the Beatles he had performed for, and been chased by fans from around the world, nevertheless they were banned from performing in Israel by the Israeli government for forty-three years because of security concerns. That changed when the ban was lifted in 2008 and McCartney performed in Tel Aviv in front of a crowd of 45,000 concert-goers just days before Rosh Hashana, even greeting them in Hebrew: “Shalom Tel Aviv. Shana Tova.”
McCartney and his current wife Nancy Shevell also took a detour during their Israel trip to visit Bethlehem after arrivingthe day before the concert, where a candle for peace was lit at the Church of the Nativity. McCartney declared at the time, “This candle is for peace for people all round the world – especially Israel and Palestine,” according to a September 2008 article in People Magazine.
According to the Gothamist, McCartney, who is now married to his third overall, and second Jewish wife, MTA board member and breast cancer survivor Shevell, was rumored to be considering a conversion to Judaism and even attended Yom Kippur services the night before their wedding last October. McCartney’s previous wives include Linda Eastman, a Jewish photographer, activist, and musician for Wings who died from breast cancer in 1998, and Heather Mills, whom he divorced in 2008. No stranger to the disease, McCartney’s mother also succumbed to breast cancer when he was just fourteen-years-old.
McCartney is the father of designer Stella McCartney, who’s party for London Fashion Week covered by The Algemeiner in February, welcomed A-list guests such as American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and Alexandra Shulman, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue.
Keeping Kosher? McCartney is an animal rights activist and vegetarian and had The Linda McCartney Foods, created by Linda McCartney in 1991, guarantee that their food products would remain free of genetically engineered ingredients.
Below we have posted a video of A Hard Day’s Night – In Yiddish.