Paul McCartney has opened up about The Beatles’ outlook on money, revealing that it was the driving force behind their early musical careers.
While speaking to B&N CEO James Daunt (via Ultimate Guitar), McCartney was asked about a rumour that The Beatles “would sit around and say stuff like, ‘I’m going to write myself a new swimming pool,’ thinking of what you could buy with the money a hit record could make.”
In response, McCartney said: “It was only later that we discovered that what we were doing was art, and there were things like muses.”
“When we first got out of Liverpool, it was money… we were kids without jobs, suddenly there was a job, and so we wanted to get paid, and the more money, the better.”
He continued: “And it’s true, me and John [Lennon] did use to laugh, it was kind of a joke, a half-joke. And we once started to get a hit and knew what kind of money a hit could bring in.”
“We said, ‘Well, let’s write a swimming pool! You need a new extension, let’s write it. Come on, sit down.’ And so, yeah, it came out of what we did.”
“And then, I think he then started to think, ‘Oh, is it more-noble if we don’t write for money and we just write for art or love?’ But that comes in anyway.”
Love The Beatles?
Get the latest The Beatles news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
“It’s not like it’s excluded because you’re accepting money. What we wanted was a guitar, a car, and a house. That was it, that was the height of our ambitions.”
“Then you suddenly could get them. So, I’ve never been one to think that there’s something dirty about accepting money.”
“I think most people in the world do it, so there’s got to be something okay about it. And love and marriage and friendship – most people in the world do that too.”
“So I think the two can coexist. And yeah, I’m happy to enjoy both.”
McCartney went on to explain that “you don’t just use the money for yourself” and that The Beatles enjoyed donating to charitable causes as well.
“There can be someone who’s in desperate need of an operation who you work with, or you’re very friendly with, and you can say, ‘Look, get up to Harley Street, get that operation, I don’t want you waiting around. It might take months,'” he said.
He continued: “So I think it’s one of the great things about money – being able to change someone’s life with something like that.”
“And to be able to donate to great causes so you can see things changing, you can see how you can help people. So there’s plenty of good stuff about money, you don’t have to just take it all. You can distribute it.”
For more on this topic, follow The Beatles Observer.