Twenty years ago, when McCartney turned 50, he remembers his then-manager pushing the idea of retirement. “It’s only right,” he was told. “You really don’t want to go beyond 50, it’s going to get embarrassing.” In June, McCartney will be 70 (“I’m never going to believe I’m 70, I don’t care what you say,” he says. “There’s a little cell in my brain that’s never going to believe that”), and he still has no plans to stop touring or recording. “You get the argument ‘Make way for the young kids,’” he says. “And you think, ‘Fuck that, let them make way for themselves. If they’re better than me, they’ll beat me.’ Foo Fighters don’t have a problem, they’re good. They’ll do their thing.”
Happy 71st birthday Paul McCartney! Read our 2012 cover story on the Beatle’s fresh start.