Paul McCartney Admits The Beatles Initially Wrote Songs for Money — ‘We Wanted to Get Paid’

While many songs by The Beatles have meaningful lyrics, Paul McCartney says many early Beatles songs were written for the purpose of making money

The Beatles wrote hundreds of iconic songs that remain relevant almost 60 years later. While many of these have meaning and emotional themes at their core, many became No. 1 hits, earning each member of the band millions of dollars. Singer Paul McCartney said they eventually made music for altruistic purposes, but the initial appeal of making music for The Beatles was for money.

Paul McCartney said he wrote Beatles songs initially for money

In an interview with Barnes & Noble’s James Daunt, McCartney answers the difference between creating songs for a love of music or money. The former Beatle admits that they played to get paid when the band first came out of Liverpool. They were looking for jobs, and being in The Beatles was a successful, well-paid job.

“It was only later that we discovered that what we were doing was art, and there were things like muses,” McCartney said. “And when we first got out of Liverpool…it was money. We were kids without jobs. Suddenly, here was a job, and so we wanted to get paid, and the more money, the better.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon believed each hit would buy them something nice

Once The Beatles became international superstars, the band was churning hit after hit. Songs like “Hey Jude,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “She Loves You” would reach No. 1 on the charts and remain there for weeks. Paul McCartney said he and John Lennon would joke about what these Beatles songs could buy.

“Me and John did used to laugh,” McCartney explained. “It was kind of a joke, a half-joke. Once we started to get a hit and knew what kind of money a hit could bring in, we said, ‘Well, let’s write a swimming pool, or you need a new extension. Let’s write it, come on, sit down.’ And so yeah, it came out of that.”

McCartney said they eventually were able to write for more noble reasons because their ambitions towards what they wanted to buy weren’t too extravagant.

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