Skip to main content

Paul McCartney left Liverpool as a teenager, riding the tide of early Beatles fame out of his home city. He frequently returned to Liverpool over the years. On his many trips, he likes bringing friends and serving as a tour guide, showing them spots that were important to himself and the other Beatles. The only place he worried about visiting was his childhood home. He said he was concerned that going inside would bring back bad memories. 

A black and white picture of Paul McCartney sitting in a doorway with a dog and kittens on his lap.
Paul McCartney | Les Lee/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Paul McCartney likes to play tour guide in his home city

McCartney explained that when he visits Liverpool these days, he typically brings a friend with him.

“Most of the time I fly up,” he told GQ in 2020. “So I’ll get to Liverpool airport, the John Lennon Airport, and I’ll have a car [waiting for me] and I’ll drive myself from thereon. I’m normally with someone, one of my mates….”

Even after so many years away, he remembers the city well.

“I like driving and I don’t want to be driven around Liverpool. And I know all the routes, you know?” he said. “Most of the time I’m driving to Lipa [Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts, cofounded by McCartney in 1996] and on my way I pass all the old haunts and it’s like a guided tour, with me as the tour guide. I’ll say, ‘And this is where John’s mother, Julia, lived and we used to go round and visit her. And this is the street here where I had my first girlfriend.’ So it’s all that. ‘This is where I did this; this is where I took this girl out…’ I can remember lots of stuff.”

Paul McCartney worried about seeing his childhood home

McCartney admitted that he’d been all over Liverpool but was apprehensive about seeing his childhood home. He had avoided it until his 2018 appearance on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, worried that it would bring back bad memories. 

“Every time I go up there, it’s the same. The only difference with the thing I did with James is that I’d never been inside my old house,” he explained. “I hadn’t been back since I left it. James suggested doing it. I was always a little apprehensive about going back. I didn’t know if it was going to be nice or whether I would get bad memories or whatever, although I don’t really know what I was worried about.”


Paul McCartney Still Thinks About Something John Lennon Told Him During a Fight

He said that it ended up being a lovely experience. 

“It was fabulous — really great,” he said. “I was happy to be able to tell him all the stories, of my dad, my brother and our time there. It brought back a lot of nice memories actually, so I loved it.”

He has many fond memories of Liverpool

McCartney has spent far more years living outside of Liverpool than in it, but he thinks of it as home. He explained that he still has many fond memories of his hometown.

“Someone reminded me not so long ago that I’ve actually lived longer down south than I had in Liverpool, as I only lived there for 20 years. But I love it,” he said, adding, “I love Liverpool. I love the history of it. I love my old school, which is now Lipa, and I go there a couple of times a year and take songwriting classes and for the graduation, which was canceled [for coronavirus (COVID-19)] this year unfortunately.”