Sir Paul McCartney once sang, “I’ve just seen a face / I can’t forget the time or place,” and that was a feeling many Beatles fans felt when they saw his son, James McCartney, out and about on Monday (Jan. 24). In the photos taken of him, James, 44, was the spitting image of his famous father. He has the same eyes, forehead, and bushy beard as Paul, 79, during the late 1960s. James wasn’t on his way to play the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in Saville Row. Instead, he was doing a bit of shopping in London. James braved the British winter with a giant green puffer jacket but wore black slacks and a pair of open sandals.
James is Paul and Linda McCartney’s only son. He was born in 1977 and was named after his paternal grandfather. He joined his parents on the road as they toured the world as Wings, which instilled a love of music. However, it took him a while to get up on stage. “I’m naturally guarded because of the way I was brought up,” James told The Mail on Sunday in 2013. “But I understand people are interested in who I am. To me, it’s all about the music. Having said that, I want people to know who I really am – I’m OK with the truth.”
“Music has been important to me my whole life,” James told the Daily Herald in April 2017. “I love performing live, and it’s great fun. It can be nerve-wracking sometimes, mostly because I get so pumped up for it.” James has played on two of his father’s albums – 1997’s Flaming Pie and 2001’s Driving Rain – and on Linda’s 1998 album, Wide Prairie. James has also released some solo work, including 2016’s The Blackberry Train.
As a musician, James said that it was “hard to live up to the Beatles” and that even his father felt the pressure of the group’s legacy. “When Wings toured, they got slated. Even Dad found it hard living up to The Beatles. I started out playing under an alias because I wanted to start quietly. I had to serve my time as a musician and wait until I had a good body of songs and for a time when both myself and my music were ready. I don’t want to sit around. I want to earn my own living.”