After over 60 years of international superstardom, Paul McCartney says his days of signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans are over.
In a new interview with Reader’s Digest, the legendary musician labeled the whole meet and greet process “a bit strange,” saying, “‘Here, can I write your name down on the back of this till receipt please?’ Why? We both know who I am.” But he went on to explain that it’s not that he doesn’t want to interact with his fans, he’d just rather do it on a more personal level than by taking a bad selfie or writing down his name. “What you’ve usually got is a ropey photo with a poor backdrop and me looking a bit miserable,” he said. “Let’s chat, let’s exchange stories.”
It seems that Beatlemania has taken its toll on the band, as Ringo Starr also announced back in 2008 in a viral video that he had to stop signing autographs due to his busy schedule. “This is a serious message to everybody watching my update right now. Peace and love, peace and love,” the former Beatles drummer began. “I want to tell you please after the 20th of October do not send fan mail to any address that you have. Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October. If that has a date on the envelope it’s going to be tossed. I’m warning you with peace and love that I have too much to do. So no more fan mail, thank you, thank you, and no objects to be signed. Nothing. Anyway, peace and love. Peace and love.”
A decade later, Howard Stern asked Starr about that decision and he explained that it all stemmed from one bad experience. “That was one angry moment. In New York, actually, I was signing scratch plates that they have on guitars, and someone said, ‘Have you seen on the internet?’ There’s a guitar with my signature on a scratch plate,” he said. “Someone had screwed one onto a shitty guitar and was selling it for three grand. And I said, ‘No.’ I only sign for charity now.”
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