8 Things You Might Not Know About Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney (left) and Ringo Starr of The Beatles
Paul McCartney (left) and Ringo Starr of The Beatles
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Whether with The Beatles, Wings or solo, Paul McCartney has given us scores of classic songs that will live on through the ages, as long as music is enjoyed. Here are a few things you may not have known about Sir Paul McCartney, "The Cute One."

1. HE TWICE FAILED AUDITIONS TO BE A CHOIR BOY.

Yes, the world's most popular singer flunked his choir boy auditions—not once, but twice. Paul claims that he deliberately tried to fail one of the auditions, because he didn't want to be a choir boy.

And yes, let's be fair—despite the two rejections, Paul did eventually become a choir boy at his church.

2. HIS VOICE CRACKED IN HIS DEBUT AS A BEATLE.

Paul McCartney officially played his first gig as a member of The Quarrymen (the group that evolved into The Beatles) on October 18, 1957. The concert took place at the Conservative Club, and for Paul's first solo, he was (naturally) a bit nervous. His voice kept cracking, much to the gleeful delight and derisive laughter of bandmate John Lennon.

3. HE WAS JAILED IN 1960 AFTER LIGHTING A CONDOM ON FIRE.

In 1960, The Beatles were playing in Hamburg, Germany, but after local complaints, the band was told to leave the country. Paul and bandmate Pete Best were packing in a dark room and lit a condom to get some light. Accused of trying to set the building on fire, they were arrested by the local police and spent a few hours in jail before heading back to England.

4. HE'S AN ACCOMPLISHED PAINTER.

In the past two decades, Paul has had over 70 of his paintings exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery in his hometown of Liverpool.

5. PAUL PLAYED TO WHAT'S BELIEVED TO BE THE LARGEST PAID AUDIENCE IN RECORDED HISTORY.

In 1989, Paul played a solo concert to a crowd of 350,000-plus in Brazil.

6. HE WITNESSED THE 9/11 ATTACKS.

On September 11, 2001, Paul was on an airplane in New York City. He looked out the window and saw one of the planes crash into the Twin Towers. Paul said that after he got off the plane, he went right to a bar to get a drink.

7. PAUL IS AN HONORARY DETECTIVE WITH THE NYPD.

Paul was made an honorary detective by the NYPD after giving a charity concert for 9/11.

8. HIS FIRST INSTRUMENT WAS NOT A GUITAR.

The first musical instrument Paul played was the trumpet. His first trumpet was a gift from his dad for his 14th birthday. But Paul soon traded the trumpet for a guitar. You can't sing while playing the trumpet.

Can You Find the 30 Album Covers Referenced in This Picture?

Norman Records
Norman Records

Album covers were once a respected art form and representation of a band’s identity. Now, after more than a decade of music being readily available online, they can be more of an afterthought.

In tribute to this dying art form, online vinyl retailer Norman Records has created a fun visual quiz featuring some of the most iconic album covers of all time. (Hint: Most are classic rock albums, but there are a few that fall into different genres.)

Check out the interactive image below, and use your cursor to hover over any areas you’d like to enlarge. Once you give up, keep scrolling to reveal the answers.

How many did you get? Some, like David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane and Led Zeppelin’s self-titled album, are fairly obvious. Other references are a little more obscure (any Neutral Milk Hotel fans?).

If this quiz has you feeling musically inspired, check out these stories behind 22 classic album covers, including Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and the Grateful Dead’s Skull and Roses.

Dolly Parton, They Might Be Giants, and More Featured on New Album Inspired By the 27 Amendments

Valerie Macon, Getty Images
Valerie Macon, Getty Images

Since 2016, Radiolab's More Perfect podcast has taken what is typically viewed as a dry subject, the Supreme Court, and turned it into an engrossing podcast. Now, fans of the show have a whole new way to learn about the parts of U.S. history which textbooks tend to gloss over. 27, The Most Perfect Album, a new music compilation from Radiolab, features more than two dozen songs inspired by each of the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, from freedom of religion to rules regulating changes to Congressional salaries.

More Perfect assembled an impressive roster of musical talents to compose and perform the tracklist. They Might Be Giants wrote the song for the Third Amendment, which prohibited the forced quartering of soldiers in people's homes. It goes, "But the presence of so many friendly strangers makes me nervous, and it does not mean that I'm not truly thankful for your service."

For the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Dolly Parton sings, "We carried signs, we cursed the times, marched up and down the street. We had to fight for women's rights with blisters on our feet." Less sexy amendments, like the 12th Amendment, which revised presidential election procedures, and the 20th Amendment, which set commencement terms for congress and the president, are also featured. Torres, Caroline Shaw, Kash Doll, and Cherry Glazerr are just a handful of the other artists who contributed to the album.

The release of the compilation coincides with the premiere of More Perfect's third season, which will focus on the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. You can check out the first episode of the new season today and download the companion album for free through WNYC.

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