Paul McCartney has a moped accident in Wirral, Liverpool

Sunday, December 26, 1965

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I had an accident when I came off a moped in Wirral, near Liverpool. I had a very good friend who lived in London called Tara Browne, a Guinness heir – a nice Irish guy, very sensitive bloke. I’d see him from time to time, and enjoyed being around him. He came up to visit me in Liverpool once when I was there seeing my dad and brother. I had a couple of mopeds on hire, so we hit upon the bright idea of going to my cousin Bett’s house.

We were riding along on the mopeds. I was showing Tara the scenery. He was behind me, and it was an incredible full moon,- it really was huge. I said something about the moon and he said ‘yeah’, and I suddenly had a freeze-frame image of myself at that angle to the ground when it’s too late to pull back up again: I was still looking at the moon and then I looked at the ground, and it seemed to take a few minutes to think, ‘Ah, too bad – I’m going to smack that pavement with my face!’ Bang!

There I was, chipped tooth and all. It came through my lip and split it. But I got up and we went along to my cousin’s house. When I said, ‘Don’t worry, Bett, but I’ve had a bit of an accident,’ she thought I was joking. She creased up laughing at first, but then she went ‘Holy…!’ I’d really given my face a good old smack; it looked like I’d been in the ring with Tyson for a few rounds. So she rang a friend of hers who was a doctor.

He came round on the spot, took a needle out and, after great difficulty threading it, put it in the first half of the wound. He was shaking a bit, but got it all the way through, and then he said, ‘Oh, the thread’s just come out – I’ll have to do it again!’ No anaesthetic. I was standing there while he rethreaded it and pulled it through again.

In fact that was why I started to grow a moustache. It was pretty embarrassing, because around that time you knew your pictures would get winged off to teeny-boppery magazines like 16, and it was pretty difficult to have a new picture taken with a big fat lip. So I started to grow a moustache – a sort of Sancho Panza thing – mainly to cover where my lip had been sewn.

It caught on with the guys in the group: if one of us did something like growing his hair long and we liked the idea, we’d all tend to do it. And then it became seen as a kind of revolutionary idea, that young men of our age definitely ought to grow a moustache! And it all fell in with the Sgt Pepper thing, because he had a droopy moustache.

I was originally trying to grow a long Chinese one, but it was very difficult. You have to do a lot of work waxing it, and it takes about sixty years – I never did get one of them.

John had a moustache cup. It had a little hole underneath the lip so you could drink tea from it without getting your moustache in it — rather fetching!

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles Anthology” book, 2000

“It was quite a serious accident at the time. It probably sounds daft, having a serious accident on a motorised bicycle, but I came off hard and I got knocked about a bit. My head and lip were cut and I broke the tooth. I was only doing about 30 at the time, but it was dark and I hit a stone and went flyin’ through the air. It was my fault all right. It was a nice night and I was looking at the moon!”

Paul McCartney – From interview with New Musical Express, June 24, 1966

I did once have an accident in Liverpool where I fell off a moped and busted my lip open, and we had to get the doctor round to my cousin Betty’s house. That was around this same time, when I was twenty-something and going out on the moped from my dad’s house to Betty’s house. I was taking a friend, Tara Guinness. He died later in a car accident. He was a nice boy. I wrote about him in ‘A Day in the Life’: ‘He blew his mind out in a car / He didn’t notice that the lights had changed’. Anyway, I was with Tara and had an accident – fell off my moped, busted my lip, went to Betty’s, and she said, ‘Get a doctor, get a doctor. It needs stitches.’

Paul McCartney – From “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present“, 2021

Meeting Paul McCartney was every teenager’s dream in the 1960s – and for North Wales school girl Deirdre Mahon the dream came true – not once, but three times.

Deirdre, who was a pupil at the former Loreto College on Llandudno’s West Shore, ended up being given egg and chips by Paul and his family in Heswall on Boxing Day 1965 – and spent Boxing Day 1966 and Valentine’s Day 1967 with the Beatle.

Deirdre, a mum-of-one and gran-of-two who now lives in South Wales, said: “I want to share this story because it highlights the fact that Paul and his family are such amazing, lovely and down to earth people. I would so love to meet Paul again one day.

Deirdre said: “I was 15, from Crosby and at a convent boarding school in Llandudno – so very young and naive.

“I don’t remember how me and my friend, who accompanied me on some visits, got Paul’s father’s address in Heswall but we did, and we used to visit him during school holidays. Eventually, he got to know us and was so friendly and welcoming. He used to invite us in for a cup of tea and a chat: ‘Make sure you get a good education, girls, Paul did.'”

She recalled their first meeting on Boxing Day 1965.

“This was the first time we met Paul,” she said. “My friend and I decided to go to Heswall to wish Jim a happy Christmas. I had a feeling Paul might be there, so I had bought him a packet of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes, knowing that was the brand he smoked. As we approached the front door we saw a British racing green Aston Martin parked in the front. I knew it! With a trembling hand, I knocked on the door. Jim answered. ‘Hello girls, happy Christmas!’ I said ‘I’ve bought Paul a little Christmas present and was wondering if you could give it to him the next time you see him?’ ‘Just a moment,’ he said. A minute later I could see this figure approaching, and I said to my friend ‘Oh my God, it’s Paul!’ He said: ‘Hello, what are you doing standing there? Come in!’ We stayed with them all afternoon and into the evening. I can’t remember everything but I do remember how they made us feel so welcome – amazing when I think back on it, two 15-year-old girls interrupting their Christmas. Although we were a little overwhelmed at first, as the time went on it just felt natural to be part of their family gathering.

“At one point Goodbye My Love by The Searchers came on the TV. Paul commented on how he loved the song and wished he’d written it. His dad then asked Paul to play us the tune that he’d been tinkering with on the piano. So, he started playing this song which was in its ’embryonic’ stage. He said he wanted the harmony to be similar to the Beach Boys. He started singing it, stopping and starting, explaining how he wanted it to sound: ‘She’ll be there, my hands running through her hair…’ Of course, it became Here, There and Everywhere. We couldn’t wait for the next album (Revolver) to come out to see if it was on there. We recognised it immediately!

“Paul’s stepmother Angela and her daughter, Ruth, who was nearly six, were there too. Ruth explained to us, as she took a big step forward, that she was Paul’s STEPsister!

“Jim asked us if we thought Paul had a good voice, and in a dreamy way we said ‘Oh YES!’ Jim thought, then said, ‘Well, he hasn’t got a great voice but he does sing with feeling’.

“At teatime we got up to go but they insisted we stay and join them. They apologised that they didn’t have enough steak to go around and would egg, chips and peas be OK!

“When it was eventually time for Paul to go back to London he said he’d give us a lift back to Liverpool (what a guy!). As we drove along, I can’t tell you the wonderful feeling when we stopped at traffic lights – seeing the look on people’s faces and them do a double-take, realising Paul McCartney was driving. What a perfectly wonderful Boxing Day!”

From The North Wales schoolgirl who met Paul McCartney three times and ate egg and chips at his dad’s home – North Wales Live ( – January 19, 2020

Last updated on April 1, 2024

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