Paul McCartney Didn’t Think the Message of The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ Was Always True

The Beatles‘ “Can’t Buy Me Love” is a simple antimaterialistic song. During The Beatles’ early career, Paul McCartney came to believe the title of “Can’t Buy Me Love” is false. He explained how a date he had prior to filming A Hard Day’s Night changed his mind regarding the song.

Paul McCartney sitting in a chair during The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" era
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney | Fiona Adams/Redferns

What The Beatles’ Paul McCartney thought when he visited Miami

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul remembered going to Miami before filming A Hard Day’s Night. “Miami was incredible,” he opined. “It was the first time we ever saw police motorbike outriders with guns.” 

Paul decided to document his experience. “I’ve got photographs I took out of the car window,” he recalled. “It was amazing.” 

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The date that changed Paul McCartney’s mind about The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’

Paul complimented the women of Miami. “It was a big time for us, obviously, and there were all the lovely, gorgeous tanned girls,” he said. “We did a photo session down by the beach and immediately asked them out. And MG Motors were trying to sell their convertibles down there, which was a perfect little Florida car, and lent us one each as a publicity thing.”

Paul liked going on a date in the car. “I remember meeting this rather nice girl and taking her out for dinner in this MG in the cool Florida night, palm trees swaying,” he remembered. “You kidding? A Liverpool boy with this tanned beauty in my MG going out to dinner. It should have been ‘Can Buy Me Love,’ actually.” According to Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul didn’t think the sentiment of “Can’t Buy Me Love” was always true.

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How ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ performed on the charts in the United Kingdom and the United States

“Can’t Buy Me Love” became a huge hit. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Altogether, it stayed on the chart for 10 weeks. “Can’t Buy Me Love” appeared on the soundtrack of The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night. The soundtrack was No. 1 for 14 of its 56 weeks on the Billboard 200.

“Can’t Buy Me Love” was massively popular in the United Kingdom too. According to The Official Charts Company, the song was No. 1 in the U.K. for a trio of weeks. It stayed on the chart for 15 weeks in total. Meanwhile, A Hard Day’s Night became far more prominent. It was No. 1 for 21 of its 39 weeks.

“Can’t Buy Me Love” impacted pop culture outside of its time on the charts. Can’t Buy Me Love is the title of a 1980s high school movie and a Hong Kong television series. Ella Fitzgerald covered the track for her album Hello, Dolly! “Can’t Buy Me Love” is a classic song even if its title did not resonate with Paul.

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