Happy 70th birthday, Paul McCartney
That blood-chilling shiver you've been sensing all day was the Boomer generation learning that Paul McCartney just turned 70. But let's not use the occasion for existential reflection — instead, let's applaud the intestimable Macca for staying healthy, good-humored and a fantastic festival headliner into his seventh decade of life on this mortal coil. Be it the veganism, the new marriage, the Hollywood star, or the recent standards album and affectionate revisiting of his post-Beatles solo albums, we could all learn something from him about life after 64 — or after 70.
It'd be a fool's errand to try to post a highlight reel from his singular career, so let's just go with "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" from his newly reissued 1971 album of earnest domesticity, "Ram." He recorded it with then-wife Linda McCartney, and it's survived one of the greatest critical about-faces in rock history. Upon its release, Rolling Stone said it was "the nadir in the decomposition of Sixties rock thus far." In May 2012, Pitchfork gave it a 9.2, and L.A. musicians were well ahead of them in paying tribute at a 2009 roundtable show of covers.
Here's to many more years of such domestic bliss, Sir Paul.
Photo: In this Wednesday, July 15, 2009, file photo Paul McCartney peeks through the curtains during rehearsals for a taping of "Late Show with David Letterman" in New York. McCartney turned 70 on Monday. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.
— August Brown