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Since forming The Beatles in 1960, Paul McCartney has likely given thousands of interviews. The Beatles’ enduring popularity and influence on popular culture mean that McCartney still receives interview questions about the band over five decades after they split. Because of this, he has mined deep into his memories of his time with the band and, occasionally, has offered a bit more information that is strictly necessary.

Former Beatles bassist Paul McCartney stands onstage with a bass guitar.
Paul McCartney | Jim Dyson/Getty Images

1. Paul McCartney said eroticism drove everything he did in The Beatles

The Beatles released a large catalog of love songs, and McCartney admitted that eroticism was behind everything he did with the band.

“If I’d heard myself use that word when I was seventeen, there would have been a guffaw,” he wrote in the book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present. “But eroticism was very much a driving force between everything I did.”

He explained that the love songs, even ones as sweetly innocent as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” held a current of eroticism.

“It’s a very strong thing,” he wrote. “And, you know, that was what lay behind a lot of these love songs. ‘I want to hold your hand,’ open brackets, [and probably do a lot more!].”

2. Paul McCartney told a story of a night The Beatles were in Las Vegas

When questioned about John Lennon saying that accounts of The Beatles were largely sanitized, McCartney admitted that this was partly true. Lennon said there were orgies during their touring days; McCartney disputed this, but he did offer a story about the band’s time in Las Vegas.

“There weren’t really orgies, to my knowledge,” he told GQ in 2018. “There were sexual encounters of the celestial kind, and there were groupies. The nearest it got … See, this is my experience, because I’m just not into orgies. I don’t want anyone else there, personally. It ruins it! I would think — I’ve never actually done it. Didn’t appeal to me, the idea. There was once when we were in Vegas where the tour guy, a fixer, said, ‘You’re going to Vegas, guys — you want a hooker?’ We were all, ‘Yeah!’ And I requested two. And I had them, and it was a wonderful experience. But that’s the closest I ever came to an orgy.”

McCartney said that Lennon might have taken things farther, though.

“See, the thing is, in the next room I think the guys might have ordered something else off the menu,” he said. “So that would figure if John was saying, yeah, it was all bacchanalian. I think John was a little more that way, because thinking back, I remember there was someone in a club that he’d met, and they’d gone back to the house because the wife fancied John, wanted to have sex with him, so that happened, and John discovered the husband was watching. That was called ‘kinky’ in those days.”

3. He recalled one raunchy group activity

One of McCartney’s most eyebrow-raising stories from his time with The Beatles occurred at Lennon’s house.

“What it was was over at John’s house, and it was just a group of us,” McCartney said. “And instead of just getting roaring drunk and partying — I don’t even know if we were staying over or anything — we were all just in these chairs, and the lights were out, and somebody started masturbating, so we all did.”


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McCartney admitted that each member of the group would call out names while they were sitting there.

“We were just, ‘Brigitte Bardot!’ ‘Whoo!'” he said, “and then everyone would thrash a bit more.”

He revealed that Lennon eventually broke up the night.

“I think it was John sort of said, ‘Winston Churchill!’ he said.