Paul McCartney’s upcoming book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, is set to cover a wide range of McCartney’s most acclaimed – and occasionally maligned – songs. If you want to read the story we all already know about how ‘Let It Be’ was written, it’s there for posterity’s sake. But if you want to track McCartney’s career from modern cuts like ‘Only Mama Knows’ all the way back to his first-ever song, ‘I Lost My Little Girl’, that will be the crux of the collection.
There are even select cuts that haven’t necessarily gotten the most acclaim over the years, including Wings’ US number one ‘Silly Love Songs’ and the schlocky Stevie Wonder duet ‘Ebony and Ivory’. There are a fair few Beatles songs included as well that don’t exactly have sterling reputations, including cuts from The White Album like ‘Ob La Di, Ob La Da’ and ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?’.
When sitting down with actor Bob Mortimer in a new teaser trailer for the book, McCartney goes into another oft-maligned song from The Beatles, the country-folk pastiche ‘Rocky Raccoon’. According to McCartney, there was a specific character from the song that was inspired by a nefarious real-life figure.
“I was riding on a little moped to see my cousin Betty,” McCartney recalls. “It was a moonlit night, and I said ‘Wow look at that moon!’ When I look back, the bicycle is now here,” angling his hands for effect.
“I smashed me lip and everything and bleeding away. I say ‘Hey Bett, don’t worry but I’ve had an accident’.” The doctor who eventually made his way to the house wasn’t exactly in the soberest of states.
“He was pissed. ‘I think you need a couple stitches’,” McCartney slurs as an imitation. “Have you got anaesthetic? ‘No. I got needle and thread’. He’s trying to thread the needle, but he can’t see it. He’s seeing a few needles. So Betty takes it off him and threads it. So he was the doctor stinking of gin. I never forgot him.”
No word on how badly McCartney’s lip was mangled or the damage that the sloshed doctor might have done, but he doesn’t appear any worse for wear these days.
Check out the preview clip down below.