Episode 113- Beatle Stepmother Angie McCartney

Fun bit of trivia: Back in the 1960s in Wales, it is said that people referred to others by both their names and the jobs they did. So if you were a gal who made beer, you might be “Betty the Brewer.” If you were a groundskeeper, maybe you’d be called “Gary the Grounds” — it’s much catchier if you ended up in a job that was alliterative with your name. Likewise, if you were super lazy and didn’t bother working, you might be “Eric the Idle.” (But not THAT Eric Idle — a different one. The one you’re thinking of obviously worked very hard, at least in the latter half of the 60s. We can’t vouch for what he was up to earlier in the decade.)

This gets our minds to wandering where it will go… what would we be called in 1960s Wales? Luke the Podcast Quiz Show Winner? Heidi the Peloton? Wait, is that how we became Why? The Podcast, instead of just Why? Suddenly things are making a lot more sense, but we can’t give Wales all the credit. Most of it has to go to the fascinating guest of this week’s episode, Angie McCartney.

If you think her last name sounds familiar, you’re correct. She’s Paul McCartney’s stepmother. That, alone, would be a great reason to listen to this week’s episode, but Angie is so much more than that. She’s an engaging storyteller with a wry sense of humor that paints a great picture of Liverpool in the 60s. She also takes us on side trips to Wales and London, which is how we learned that tidbit about Welsh names. And the job she refers to, along with the situation the fellow found himself in, is something you just can’t make up.

Angie was game to answer all of our questions, including what it was like to discover you were being set up with Paul McCartney’s dad, Jim. (First meetings are always tricky, but if you have to sneak by mobs of people who are staked outside the house, you know that it’s true love.) She described what going to a concert at the Cavern Club was like, how her first meeting with Paul went, how gentlemanly Brian Epstein was, and what it was like to hang out with the lads.

There are some surprisingly sweet stories that Angie shared about the Beatles, too. If you were ever curious about how John and Paul acted around children, you’ll have your answer after this episode. And Angie filled us in on how the song “Blackbird” came to be, along with how the chirping birds got on the record.

Obviously, we don’t want to give too much away. Angie tells her tales much better than we do, and with a much more charming accent. So tune in and then argue with your friends about which Beatle’s album is the best. Or which Beatle’s movie is the best. Or which Beatle is the best. We’ll remain impartial observers on all counts, despite the fact that Heidi once performed a “critically acclaimed” modern dance to “Within You Without You” from Sgt. Pepper’s with one of our producers. (It was critically acclaimed because some very critical people liked it, even though most of the audience had no idea what to do with it.)

Since she’s a fabulous storyteller, it’s only natural that Angie has written two books: The Long and Winding Road, her life story, and then her new book, Your Mother Should Know, which is an insider’s guide to the Beatles’ Liverpool. Along with writing books, Angie sells Mrs. McCartney’s Teas and Mrs. McCartney’s Wines. She’s also active on Facebook and Twitter, so check out her socials for more great stories and great humor!

Someday, when the world is able to travel safely again, we’re going to use Angie’s book and find our way to her house so she can make us custards from Jim McCartney’s recipe. Don’t think we’ll forget about that offer. All our lives, we were only waiting for this moment to arise.

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