Birthday: January 7, 1944
Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Peter Michael McCartney, Mike McCartney
Born Country: England
Born in: Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Famous as: Musician
Spouse/Ex-: Rowena Horne (m. 1982)
children: Abigail Faith McCartney, Brenna McCartney, Joshua McCartney, Max McCartney, Sonny McCartney, Theran McCartney
City: Liverpool, England
Peter Michael McCartney (aka Mike McGear), is a musician, rock photographer and author. The younger brother of ‘Beatles’ bassist and co-lead vocalist, Paul McCartney, Michael took the name Mike McGear to avoid comparison with his famous sibling. He joined poetry/comedy/music group ‘The Scaffold’; the group saw success in the late 1960s, with releases like ‘Thank U Very Much’ and ‘Lily The Pink’, being included in the top ten hits of that time. After splitting with ‘The Scaffolds’, Mike went on to release solo albums. An avid photographer from his teen years, Mike was always taking pictures, even during the entirety of his music career. Most notable of these were the images of his brother Paul McCartney and John Lennon, ‘Beatles’ co-lead vocalist and founder. While Mike McGear retired from the music scene in the 1980s, Michael McCartney (he reclaimed his given name after retirement) continued with his photography, participating in an exhibition in 2005.
Childhood & Early Life
Mike McGear is Peter Michael McCartney's stage name. The second son of Jim and Mary McCartney, Michael McCartney, as he called himself, was born on January 7, 1944, in ‘Walton Centre’, Liverpool, England. English rock band the ‘Beatles’ co-lead vocalist and bassist, Paul McCartney, is his older brother. He also has a stepsister, Ruth, who was adopted by his father on his marriage to her mother, Angela Williams. Michael started working at the age of 17, in 1961, initially at 'Jackson's the Tailors', in Liverpool, and at ladies' hairdresser Andre Bernard's, a year later.
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Rise to Stardom
Michael McCartney became a member of unique poetry/comedy/music group 'The Scaffold' in 1962, the same year that English rock band the 'Beatles' started getting famous. During this time, so as not to be seen as riding older brother Paul McCartney’s coattails, Michael started using the stage name, Mike McGear. He had originally thought of naming himself Mike Blank, but settled on McGear instead (Gear is another Liverpudlian word for fab or cool).
‘The Scaffold’ signed with German-British record label ‘Parlophone Records Limited’ by 1966. The band went on to deliver a series of hits, like ‘Thank U Very Much’ (composed by Mike McGear and released in 1967), ‘Do You Remember’ (1968), ‘1-2-3’ 3) (1968), and their biggest hit, ‘Lily The Pink’ (released in 1968).
Mike McGear collaborated with Roger McGough, releasing an album in 1968. He released his first solo album, ‘Woman’, in 1972.
After adding another musical comedy act, ‘The Bonzo Dog Band’ to its ranks, ‘The Scaffold’, now as ‘Grimms’, released two albums in 1973. Mike McGear quit after the second album, because of creative differences between him and another poet who had been a recent addition to the group.
Mike McGear went on to sign with 'Warner Bros. Records', and released his non-comedy music album, 'McGear’, in September 1974, collaborating with his brother Paul McCartney, and Paul's band 'Wings'. While the majority of songs on the album enjoyed only moderate success, the reunion song with ‘The Scaffolds’, ‘Liverpool Lou’, became a hit (the band’s last top-ten hit). The band reunited soon after, in 1974 and remained together till 1977. In 1977, he was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Mike McGear released a few singles, the last one being the song ‘No Lar Di Dar (Is Lady Di)’, in 1981. This song was supposed to be a satirical tribute to Lady Diana, and its release coincided with her marriage to Prince Charles. He retired from music in the 1980s, and went back to using the name McCartney.
Mike McGear was also a photographer, taking images throughout his music career. He published a book on the images taken during a ‘Beatles’ tour, as well as another with the pictures he snapped during the ‘Live8’ benefit concerts. The photographs he took in the 1960s were exhibited in Liverpool and museums like ‘The Provincial Museum of Alberta’, in the year 2005. An exhibition book of this collection was also published. The album cover of Paul McCartney’s solo album, ‘Chaos and Creation in the Backyard’, released in 2005, was also taken by Michael McCartney.
Family & Personal Life
Mike McGear married Angela Fishwick in 1968, but they later got divorced. He has three daughters with her, Benna, Theran, and Abigail Faith. He has three sons, Joshua, Max, and Sonny, from his second wife, Rowena Horne, who he has been married to since 1982.