It was one of the first songs Paul McCartney wrote when he was 16, and by the time he reached 64 he was in the midst of a bitter and expensive divorce from second wife Heather Mills.
Light, catchy, hardly profound, but When I’m 64 has stood the test of time…
Author Malcolm Gladwell makes the Beatles a case study for his theory in his best seller The Tipping Point that you need 10,000 hours of practise to become a world-best at anything . . .
The Beatles years of toiling in Hamburg night clubs and Liverpool basements provided that “grounding” argues Gladwell – and When I’m 64 certainly was “road tested” by the band.
When it’s audience was 50 years away from the prospect of turning 64, it was still a Beatles “staple” . . . As Wikipedia records “Although the topic of aging was not an issue then, if the amp broke or ran out of power, the Beatles played the song.”
John Lennon helped “tweak” the lyrics – Paul’s early version had no reference to grandchildren Vera, Chuck and Dave – and in 1967 it was released on their album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
YouTube has some fun versions of it – the most popular – with 2 million views –
Of course John Lennon and George Harrison didn’t make it to 64 (John died at 40, George at 59) but Ringo and Paul are going strong; Paul most recently sparking rumours of a pending third marriage to American heiress and businesswoman Nancy Shevell who he has been dating for three years.