Angie McCartney and daughter Ruth have been Beatles insiders from 1964 onwards, when Angie married Sir Paul McCartney’s father, Jim, in November of that year. Angie and Ruth McCartney are coming to Chandler March 21 and will share their walk down the long and winding road of the biggest music phenomenon that the world has ever seen.
The mother-daughter duo, along with producer Martin Nethercutt, will host the “Magical History Tour,” an evening of live Beatles music, amazing stories and never-before-seen images from the McCartney family archive. The 90-minute multimedia spectacular will be interspersed with songs by the Mop Tops, the only McCartney-approved Beatles tribute band.
Liverpool-born Angie became a Fab Four insider at the height of Beatlemania, which powered much of the music of the Swinging Sixties. Angie often witnessed Beatles history in the making and documented her life in last year’s autobiography “My Long and Winding Road: My first 82.9 Years.” She also heads up a line of teas (Mrs. McCartney’s Teas) and helps Ruth run McCartney Multi-media in Los Angeles. She spoke to GetOut about her life and Beatles experiences from the inside looking out.
Q: What were your personal circumstances when you married Jim McCartney?
AM: I was a widow with a 4-year-old daughter, Ruth, when I met Jim. We were introduced through a lady named Bette Robbins, who was Paul McCartney’s first cousin.
When we first met, we talked a lot about our lives, our loneliness, our need to take the next steps, and eventually, while I was playing the piano, Jim came behind me, put his hands on my shoulders and said, ‘I want to ask you something.’ I looked up at him and said, ‘The answer’s yes,’ and he laughed and said, ‘I haven’t even asked you the bloody question yet.’ I guess that was as close to a romantic proposal as I was going to get.
We were married for 12 happy years until Jim’s death in March 1976. Jim was a very dear man, and Paul was a kind and loving son. He was very good to his dad.
Q: When did you first meet the Beatles?
AM: I first met all the boys when Jim took me to a Christmas show at The Hammersmith Odeon in London in December 1964. We had been married just over a month. Then in February ’65, we went on our honeymoon to The Bahamas, where The Beatles were filming ‘Help!’ Their manager Brian Epstein would send a car for us every morning to go and watch them shooting the movie, which was fascinating.
Q: What was Liverpool like in your formative years, and what role did the city play in shaping the Beatles?
AM: The Liverpool of my early years was a busy seaport, but a hard and war-torn city.
Many people lost their homes to Hitler’s bombs, and air raid shelters were given free to poor people with a valid ID. At the outbreak of World War II, over two million people had shelters in their garden. By the time of the Blitz, it was two-and-a-half million. Raids were almost nightly ... The sense of humor and work ethic of the ordinary folks is still the same today as it was then — that’s what makes a true Scouser. I think the fact that the Beatles hailed from Liverpool played a vital role in their career because they had a great work ethic, were tough as nails, and yet possessed a great sense of humor and didn’t get carried away with themselves. Liverpool and The Beatles are forever linked.
Q: What can you tell me about the ‘Magical History Tour,’ the Beatles tribute show you and your daughter Ruth are producing, and how it all came together?
AM: I finally published my autobiography just after I turned 83, and launched it in Liverpool last year. This brought back so many memories of my young life both before, during and throughout The Beatles era. The show sort of evolved from there with a variety of great music from a tremendous tribute band, interspersed with snippets from the book, interactions with the audience and many of my memories, backed up by some great clips of newsreels and early television and family photographs. We did a test run about six months ago, and the audience reaction was incredible. It’s a very special evening.
Q: What do you hope people will come away with when they see and hear this show?
AM: People will be stepping into a time machine. We want to take the audience from Penny Lane down Memory Lane to include the 50 incredible years (in which) the boys have created their music and influenced our lives in so many ways.
If you go
What: Magical History Tour, featuring Angie and Ruth McCartney and The Mop Tops
When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 21
Where: Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
Information: (800) 946-4452 or WinGilaRiver.com
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