There’s not much Paul McCartney regrets about his life, even though he’s had his fair share of rocky moments throughout the decades, from both a personal and professional perspective — most of Macca’s career has been a dream.
He’s been fortunate enough to have survived through the adversity that’s been thrown his way. While from the outside looking in, people can say it’s easy to cope with the fanfare that comes with being a successful musician thanks to the ample amounts of finances thrown at them from every direction. However, there are countless stories to prove it’s easier said than done.
McCartney has been open about the struggles that faced him following the split of The Beatles and found himself turning to the bottle as a coping mechanism when the strains of life left him fighting with depression. The list of artists that have fallen down that dark rabbit hole and not come out the other end is terrifyingly long, but thankfully Macca was one of the lucky ones.
One of the most tragic losses to music was when we lost Amy Winehouse in 2011 after losing her battle to addiction. McCartney could see the struggle that she went through, and it remains a regret for him that he never offered a helping hand to Winehouse.
“I knew she had a problem, and I ended up just saying hi; she said hi,” he explained to GQ in 2018. “Afterwards, I thought I really should have just run after her –’ Hey, Amy, listen, you’re really good, I really hope you…’ – and say something that broke through the despair. And she’d remember and think, ‘Oh yeah, I’m good, I’ve got a life to lead.’ But you always have those little regrets.”
Although McCartney’s comments came from an innocent place, he didn’t mean any malice by implying that he thought she could be saved — Winehouse’s father, Mitch, was incensed by what he said.
On Loose Women, Mitch said: “What would he have done? It’s up to the person in recovery, and they have to want to get help. It’s all about the person who is dealing with her addiction. We’ve gone through the hurt and the pain, and it’s still painful, and our way to deal with it is to help young people.”
Winehouse was a fan of The Beatles and appeared alongside McCartney on the bill at Glastonbury in 2004, headlined by the former member of The Fab Four. Winehouse stopped by BBC Three’s studios during the festival to perform a cover of The Beatles’ ‘All My Loving’. She wonderfully converted The Beatles pop classic into a romantic number oozing with soul as you’d expect from such a mercurial talent.
Macca’s comments about Winehouse weren’t meant to offend her family but accidentally hit a nerve which is the last thing that he’d ever have wanted. The soul singer tried her hardest to save herself and knew that she had to change her ways to survive. Winehouse was even clean from drugs before her death, but alcohol poisoning would sadly take her life as, despite her best efforts, she couldn’t fight off her demons.
Despite Macca’s best intentions, one conversation with him tragically wouldn’t have been enough, and there was nothing he could do.