McCartney Divorce Settlement

Reflecting on the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills divorce settlement, Alex Massie, blogging from the other side of the Pond, observes,

Isn’t £24m pretty fair compensation for having endured Sir Paul McCartney for four years. It works out at £16, 427 a day which, as a per diem, seems quite reasonable…

(Of course if you take the view that she is but a gold-digger, then McCartney can reflect that £24m to tell her where to hop-off is money well spent.)

Quite. Heather’s certainly improved her pre-Paul lifestyle enormously for her four year investment, certainly more so than, say, the return on a University education. And £24m is barely more than nuisance money to Sir Paul.

The whole controversy immediately reminds me of how the Beatles changed their tune on the issue of money as their personal status changed. In their leanest days, before fames hit, they covered Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford’s “Money,” which put forth the cynical view that,

    Your lovin’ gives me a thrill
    But your lovin’ don’t pay my bills
    Now give me money
    That’s what I want

In 1964’s “Can’t Buy Me Love,” one of McCartney’s infamous Silly Love Songs, we see a wistfulness:

    I may not have a lot to give but what I got I’ll give to you
    I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love

In “All You Need Is Love,” written when McCartney and his songwriting partner John Lennon were wealthy and newly married, they inform us that,

    There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made.
    No one you can save that can’t be saved.
    Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
    It’s easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love.

Presumably, hallucinogenics drugs also contributed to this newfound economic consciousness.

Toward the end, with 1969’s Abbey Road, however, the message was much more cryptic. In “You Never Give Me Your Money,” McCartney foreshadows today’s events:

    You never give me your money
    You only give me your funny paper
    and in the middle of negotiations
    you break down

I’m not sure how much Sir Paul’s views evolved during the Wings era and thereafter. Economic commentary seems not to have been as strongly featured in them, as I can’t recall any post-Beatles hits with that theme.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Popular Culture, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dodd says:

    I can’t recall any post-Beatles hits with that theme

    Other than “Live and Let Die”, can you recall a post-Beatles hit involving Wings regardless of theme? For that matter, can you recall any other genuine hit involving McCartney between The Beatles and “Ebony & Ivory”?

    He broke the charts here and there but, really, Wings is mostly a bad dream.

  2. Anderson says:

    The changed attitudes towards filthy lucre were already evident on 1965’s “Taxman.”

  3. Tlaloc says:

    In “All You Need Is Love,” written when McCartney and his songwriting partner John Lennon were wealthy and newly married, they inform us that,

    There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made.
    No one you can save that can’t be saved.
    Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
    It’s easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love.

    Presumably, hallucinogenics drugs also contributed to this newfound economic consciousness.

    I’m missing the “economic consciousness” in that lyric…

  4. James Joyner says:

    I’m missing the “economic consciousness” in that lyric…

    Perhaps I’m taking “All” too literally but I’ve always regarded it as an anti-materialistic message.

    In “Money,” we’re told that money’s value trumps that of love, which is merely thrilling but doesn’t pay the bills. In “Love is All You Need,” though, that consideration no longer applies.

  5. James Joyner says:

    Other than “Live and Let Die”, can you recall a post-Beatles hit involving Wings regardless of theme? For that matter, can you recall any other genuine hit involving McCartney between The Beatles and “Ebony & Ivory”?

    Actually, while John Lennon earned far more critical acclaim, McCartney had a slew of hits. Billboard:

    Out of all the former Beatles, Paul McCartney by far had the most successful solo career, maintaining a constant presence in the British and American charts during the ’70s and ’80s. In America alone, he had nine number one singles and seven number one albums during the first 12 years of his solo career.

    There were quite a few big ones on “Band on the Run” alone.

  6. lunacy says:

    Memorable post-Beatles McCartney songs.

    Maybe I’m Amazed
    Band on the Run
    Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
    Heart of the Country
    Listen to What the Man Said
    Silly Love Songs
    My Love
    Junior’s Farm
    With a Little Luck
    Jet
    Coming Up

    This is what I came up with off the top of my head.

  7. Tlaloc says:

    Perhaps I’m taking “All” too literally but I’ve always regarded it as an anti-materialistic message.

    I agree as to the anti-materialistic message, but why, when that matches the earlier stuff, would you then call that a newfound economic consciousness?

    Seems like you should lump in “All you need is Love” with the earlier works and single out “Money” as indicating a change in position.

  8. hln says:

    I’m embarrassed to share a name with that woman. She was pouty about her four-year-old child receiving only 70k per year for merely existing.

    The judgment included £35,000 ($70,000) a year for the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Beatrice. Mills said she was unhappy with that amount because it isn’t enough for school tuition, private security, or first-class airfare.

    “He likes her to fly five times a year on holiday,” Mills said of McCartney. “It’s £17,000 for two people return (round-trip) first class, so that’s obviously not meant to happen for her anymore. It’s very sad.”

    What I read out of that is that Ms. Mills won’t use any of her own money to alleviate said sadness. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – is it really possible to be greedy after receiving 24.3 million pounds? I guess so.

    hln

  9. Anderson says:
  10. Dodd says:

    There were quite a few big ones on “Band on the Run” alone.

    I guess I’ve been blocking all of that out. I stand corrected.

  11. Bithead says:

    Actually, gang, there’s a reason why Post-Beatles Mccartney never came up with another money song. Indded, more than one. First, he wasnt worried about it anymore being bloody well rich himself, and anyway, the one who was far more concerned about money was John… the socialist of the group.