“I’m glad it's your birthday, happy birthday to you!”
“You say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too, yeah, they say it's your birthday, we're gonna have a good time, I’m glad it's your birthday, happy birthday to you!” -The Beatles, 1968
June has always been my favorite month of the year. It’s a time to celebrate reaching milestones, the end of school, graduations, new beginnings, weddings, and the start of summer. But for me, June has also meant another birthday, a time to look back at the past year and forward to what’s ahead. I also associate my June birthday with The Beatles, because I share my birthday with Paul McCartney. We were both born on June 18th, 15 years apart. When I reach a landmark birthday, he reaches one as well. My first recognition of that connection was in 1982 when I turned 25 because media coverage highlighted that the rock idol was turning 40. The radio played his music all day, a wonderful accompaniment to my day as well. At that point, he had already been performing my entire life. Little did anyone know, his musical career was not even at its halfway point. As he turns 80 this month, McCartney has had a 65-year musical career that few, if any, can match. World-renowned as a singer, songwriter, and musician, he has been one of the most prolific artists of all time.
In June 1982, I was at the beginning of my legal career, having been admitted to the New York Bar and working as an associate at a New York law firm. By 1982, when the radio played his hits in celebration of his fortieth birthday, McCartney had already accomplished so much. Born in 1942 in Liverpool, England, by age 15, he was playing with the Quarrymen, the precursor to The Beatles, formed in 1957. In 1970, with The Beatles disbanding, the star released his first solo album and launched the group Wings with his wife Linda. Despite the band’s success, by the time he celebrated his fortieth birthday, McCartney was again performing mostly as a solo artist occasionally collaborating with others like Stevie Wonder (Ebony and Ivory).
By June 2022, I have practiced law for 4 decades including launching Griesing Law in 2010. Each year on my shared McCartney birthday, I listen to McCartney music, both old favorites (Yesterday) and recent releases (Come On to Me). There is so much to choose from. In the past 40 years, Sir James Paul McCartney has created a stunning body of work, adapted to new musical styles, and was involved in film (such as writing with his wife Linda the theme song for the James Bond movie Live and Let Die) and championed a broad array of worthy causes. He has advocated for cancer research (after the death of his first wife Linda), promoted animal rights, campaigned against land mines, and supported environmental and human rights causes. Among the endless list of accolades for his contributions to music and beyond, now Sir James Paul McCartney was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire and was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
So as McCartney approaches his eightieth birthday on June 18 and is one of the wealthiest and most successful musicians of all time, is he resting on his laurels and enjoying retirement? Not a chance. In 2021, he published The Lyrics, a memoir in which he shares personal insights into the derivation of many of his songs from the past 60-plus years. This year, McCartney is performing in a multi-city Got Back Tour. As part of the countdown to my upcoming birthday shared with McCartney, my husband Craig treated me to McCartney’s Got Back concert at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida on May 25th. The legend did not disappoint as he performed for almost three hours, playing audience favorites from every stage of his career. Highlights included The Beatles Can’t Buy Me Love, Let it Be (a tribute to his mother Mary who died when Paul was young), Hey Jude, Band on the Run, and Live and Let Die, as well as his more recent Come on to Me and My Valentine (a love song to his current wife Nancy). He also paid tribute to the late former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, recognizing their lasting influence on him. The amazing performance was capped off with an encore culminating in stunning pyrotechnics accompanying The Beatles hit The End from the Abbey Road album. Given his boundless energy, switching from guitar to keyboard, from keyboard to ukulele, and his full engagement with the audience, Paul McCartney is going strong, and far from retirement. Thank you Sir for bringing so much joy to so many. Here’s wishing Paul McCartney a happy birthday and many more.