Beatles: Musicians get chance to play in Sir Paul McCartney's former home

Image source, Mike McCartney
Image caption,
Sir Paul and John Lennon first forged a songwriting partnership in the living room of 20 Forthlin Road

Sir Paul McCartney's 80th birthday is to be marked in his former home with a performance by new musicians, the National Trust has announced.

Sir Paul forged his partnership with John Lennon at his home on Forthlin Road, Liverpool, and they wrote several of the band's early hits at the house.

The charity, which owns the site, said it was inviting new acts to write and perform there to "spark creativity".

Sir Paul's brother, Mike, said he hoped "some of the magic rubs off on them".

The performer, who will help choose the artists who will mark Sir Paul's birthday in June, said 20 Forthlin Road was a "special house", where their father had given him a drum kit and banjo and his brother a guitar, because he saw music as a way out of poverty.

He said it showed that "from nothing, you can create something special".

"If that can be shared with anybody, particularly young people, particularly if they have got nothing and they come there and see they can do something from nothing like we did, then I will be even prouder," he said.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Mike McCartney said his elder brother "would play music all round the house, including in the bathroom"

He said though he had fond memories of the property, it had not always been the easiest place to live, as there was paint "flaking down" from the ceiling when he had a bath and an uncomfortable armchair which had springs that "stuck out and ripped our clothes to shreds".

"I was 12 when my mum died and my dad had to bring up two boys, so the house was in a sorry state," he said.

He recalled paint "flaking down" from the ceiling when he had a bath and "armchair springs which stuck out and ripped our clothes to shreds".

'Dreams and new ideas'

Sir Paul has previously spoken about his parents being the "original inspiration" for his music and he and Lennon wrote a number of early Beatles songs, including I Saw Her Standing There and Love Me Do, in the house's living room.

McCartney's picture of the pair hard at work writing now hangs on the wall of the room and he told BBC Breakfast Sir Paul had spoken to him about how he felt when he looked at the image.

"Our kid once said to me, 'that is an important photograph, because it was two lads, two good friends, getting down to the nitty-gritty of writing songs'," he said.

"You could hear them crafting the songs.

"I would be in another room and would hear them composing.

"Our kid would play music all round the house, including in the bathroom."

Image source, Mike McCartney
Image caption,
McCartney's photographs also captured his elder brother practising in the garden at the house

A National Trust spokesman said the Forthlin Sessions would allow artists to add their sound "to the house that made the Beatles".

He said those chosen to perform would be given "the opportunity to create a new song to perform at 20 Forthlin Road on 17 June", the day before Sir Paul's birthday.

He added that the sound the Beatles began in the house "went on to shape a generation, creating a legacy of creativity and freedom of expression that still endures today".

National Trust director general Hilary McGrady said it was important to remember that the charity's sites "don't have to be stuck in time".

"They're here to keep sparking creativity, dreams, and new ideas," she added.

Unsigned, UK-based music artists aged 18 and over can apply on the National Trust's site.

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