Paul McCartney on how he enjoys shopping alone without a bodyguard or driver

arriving at the BAFTA/LA Awards Season Tea Party 2010
For all the celebrities who roll with huge entourages, like Mariah Carey and Diddy, and all the reality stars who have bodyguards for no discernible reason, like Kate Gosselin and Heidi Montag, there are still living legends that do their own shopping and handle fans without a go-between. Paul McCartney has a new interview in the London Times in which he details his strategy for dealing with fame. He says it’s all about trying to feel normal and being gracious but firm about his limits. I like how McCartney explains his daily life, and from what I’ve seen of him recently he seems to have a real sense of how famous he is without the ego and sense of entitlement that too often go along with that. There’s something dignified and no-nonsense about him.

Speaking on the Today programme on Radio 4, Sir Paul, 67, said that he found fame pretty annoying and turned down approaches for his aautograph while in restaurants or out shopping, offering instead to shake hands.

He said: “The weight of fame can get pretty annoying. But you know what I do now? I have rules, I’ve finally grown up and I finally realise I’ve got rights. So people will come up to me in a restaurant and say, ‘Can I have your autograph’ and I say, ‘I’m really sorry but I don’t do that when I’m eating. I hope you understand. I’ll shake your hand and I’ll talk to you.’

“Because I’m quite happy to talk to people on a one-to-one human basis, but the minute they turn me into this celebrity I’m pretending not to be for that minute, I sort of say, ‘No I’m not going to do that’. Most, in fact 99.9 per cent of people, are very understanding because they understand privacy.”

Sir Paul said that he also shrugged off the attention of fans while shopping. Recounting a visit to B&Q, the DIY chain, he said: “Shopping is another. I say, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m shopping and you know what guys are like at shopping, not very good. I’m looking for some nails and they’ve got to be 3in long for the job that I’m doing, and there’s no way I’m going to find them when I’m chatting to you and having my photo taken’.”

He said that he went to the shops by himself, because “people don’t expect me to do that”. He said: “I’ve always been very keen on doing that. Fame, is it a weight? I think it can be if you get the limos and the security and ten people go with you everywhere, but I don’t do that.

“I will just go shopping or go to the movies on my own, and I like that. It’s very much a balancing part of my life because the next day I might be playing to 50,000 people in Mexico.”

The musician, who appeared on the programme to promote an essay he has written about Meat- Free Mondays, a campaign to urge people to go vegetarian one day a week, cautioned against seeking fame. In a veiled attack on those who appear on reality television shows such as The X Factor, he said: “When we started out in the old days, you were looking to be famous via being very talented and working hard and coming up through the ranks.

“Now people are looking at what’s sold to them. It’s this sort of modern package, which is a little bit scary.”

Asked if fame was a weight, he said: “To some degree, but it’s a weight I’m happy to carry. I spent so much of my life trying to get famous, and it’s a little bit unseemly once you get famous to say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be here’.”

[From Times Online via Gossip Rocks]

I haven’t been to England in many years, but from what I remember it’s a much more polite society than we’re used to in the US, at least in terms of how people respect boundaries. There are also much less paparazzi excepting for London. McCartney might not be able to go about his daily business like that in LA, but nothing is quite like LA either.

Even when he was dealing with the scandal over that lying harpie he married, Sir Paul handled himself with grace. There are plenty of celebrities who live low-key lives and deal well with the pressures of fame. We just don’t hear about them. As I was researching this story I found this LA Times article from 2007 about how “Celebrity Posse Has Become Passe.” They discuss how Brad Pitt regularly rides his motorcycle alone and how Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, and Jennifer Aniston are all seen out with their kids, a couple of friends, or even alone. I would guess that’s the rule, and that celebrities with huge staff are the exception. Even Jennifer Lopez is traveling with less staff and being praised for how down to earth she is lately. For some celebrities, that could be more more to do with the changing times than a change of heart.

Golden Globe Awards 2010 - RED CARPET

Photo by: Galaxy/ 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 1/17/10 Sir Paul McCartney and Na

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17 Responses to “Paul McCartney on how he enjoys shopping alone without a bodyguard or driver”

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  1. CandyKay says:

    I’ve always liked Paul. He and Ringo were always the most positive-thinking Beatles, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they have lived the longest. Both John and George had a tremendous amount of anger and negative energy in their lives, and in John’s case, cruelty and cynicism.

  2. g says:

    His bird looks similar to th last except she don’t hav gamy leg.

    Just hope she dont hav th same gold-digger attitude.

    Though then again not really bothered.

    but luck to Paul.

  3. Tess says:

    I don’t know….but seems like Sir Paul comes out way ahead in this equation he sets up with his fans.

    He gets to keep the money his fans give him and use it however he wishes. They get a handshake in return. Sure it’s something. But a picture or autograph would be real (like money). Something that they could enjoy on their own terms.

  4. Leticia says:

    @CandyKay, I have often thought the same thing!

  5. lucy2 says:

    I can understand why he does it. As soon as you sign one autograph or pose for one picture, more people will notice and want one too. I wonder if he’s really that nice about it though?
    I’ve never understood people who interrupt celebs while they’re eating dinner, or out with their kids or something. I imagine that gets annoying really quickly.

    Outside of LA, I think most celebs can probably go around like that. When they have a huge entourage and security and all, they draw way more attention to themselves. If they stay low key, most people probably wouldn’t even recognize them.

  6. Deens says:

    Hmm…agreed with many points except for the one about Britain being a much more polite society than the US. I live in the UK and can assure you that famewhores, reality TV and gossip rags have become a cancer on society on this side of the pond as well. I think most people with manners would avoid disturbing a person’s meal, unless of course those people are Twi-hards…

  7. Attagirl says:

    He looks so much better since he ditched that dirt-bag Mills. His new lady has wayyyyy more dignity and class, and she’s rich so clearly not money or fame-grubbing.

  8. PJ says:

    I like how honest he is about wanting to be famous, and pointing out the hypocrisy of those who worked hard to get famous and then complain about their lack of privacy!

    It’s almost like he’s got two personas — Paul the performer and Paul the normal person — and he’s smart enough to figure out how to live a happy, normal life while being one of the most famous, beloved musicians in the world.

  9. Bobby the K says:

    “He gets to keep the money his fans give him and use it however he wishes. They get a handshake in return.”

    They get a great concert or a cd or something in return for their money. I don’t think celebrities owe us anything.

    Did George really have a lot of anger and negative energy in his life? I’ve never heard that about him before.

    And despite John’s unappealing qualities, that’s not what killed him. It was more like lead poisoning.

  10. PJ says:

    John Lennon was shot by a deranged fan outside of his apartment in New York City in December, 1980.

    Whatever “unappealing qualities” Lennon may have had, they certainly didn’t have anything to do with his murder. It wasn’t Lennon’s fault that an insane person who was a complete stranger to him fired a gun into his stomach as he was walking up the street.

  11. CandyKay says:

    @Bobby – George Harrison’s first wife, Patti Boyd, says in her biography that George was extremely angry in the last years of his life due to a business deal gone bad – he felt he had been cheated by a friend – and she feels it contributed to his early death from throat cancer.

    George was also attacked by a maniac at his home during the 1990s.

  12. sara says:

    George Harrison almost single-handedly inspired interest in Indian culture and pacifist, mystical beliefs of all kinds that were almost unknown to youth culture in the 60s. His influence as a cross-cultural ambassador in his own way is even more important than his music. I met him once, and he was one of the kindest, most gracious, most patient and tolerant people I have ever met. How did anyone get the impression he was an angry person?! The opposite.

  13. Cynique says:

    George died because he got cancer, and he got cancer because some people get cancer, and he smoked. John died after being shot by a lunatic. It is not because they were ‘negative’ or any other such bullshit.

  14. sdca says:

    I like that he doesn’t date 19 yr olds. Mills may have been quite a bit younger than him, but she didn’t look like a child; and this date of his is a mature adult, at least physically. That is refreshing. it’s so ew when people do that 60 yr old with a 19 yr old thing.

  15. Jeri says:

    I don’t think he has to give an autograph whenever/where-ever asked. Celebs are entitled to private moments in public also.

  16. Emily says:

    All those reality fame-whores should take note: if a freaking BEATLE can do his shopping and go see movies without ten mountainous bodyguards with him, so can you.

  17. Karen Valenz Mitchell says:

    The only reason Paul is able to control the fans are because he’s only got 10. He’s over rated and gotten way more money tan he’s worth. It’s time for him to sit down. The younger woman looks out of place with him, more like his grand daughter