He awoke at Wimpole Street at the home of his girlfriend’s parents. Jane Asher was a serious relationship and her world, coupled with the twenty-two year old’s natural curiosity was taking him to new horizons of literature, theatre and art; all very different from the Liverpool of his youth. The London location had given him a real place to hide away and he awoke with a tune in his head. It came suddenly. Paul McCartney has a gift that when he finds a tune, it’s one he’s created. And now at three times that age, he’s still doing it: there’s absolutely no way he is half the man he used to be.
That tune, that day, however was causing Paul a little concern. The song was so right, so attractive and so fully-formed, well, to be honest was it someone else’s? It took on a working lyric: scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs. Paul loved it; he knew the tune was here to stay. Fully-formed lyrics were eventually teased out during a holiday to Portugal with Jane. Simple, direct. Perfect.
His continuing versatility is displayed by the fact that on the very same day he recorded his calm, detached vulnerable yet simple version he had also screamed I’m Down and the gorgeous I’ve Just Seen A Face.
Yesterday has been such an important song for so many reasons, many of them ‘firsts’. It was a first real Beatle solo. It drew on classical music approaches which once the band really stopped touring would take them down some fascinating avenues. It was outside the then Beatles rock’n roll brand, so much so that its release was delayed, especially in the UK. It has a lovely universality: anyone of any age or culture or sex can understand and relate to the song. And despite being played and covered so many times, its power - in the original - has never been reduced. To hear Sir Paul play it live in concert today is to hear its beguiling simplicity totally afresh.
24: Simply Different
25: A Time to Think
27: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
28: The B Side
29: The Philosophy
35: The Magnum Opus
36: Mr Brian Epstein