Forget British Invasion – this songwriting superstar’s sights are higher. No wonder The Beatles set the standard for crazy obsessed teenage fans. If Paul McCartney’s puppy eyes can’t melt the icy surface of Europa – I don’t know what can.
McCartney’s portrait was shot in 1965 for Harper’s Baazar by Richard Avedon – this same issue featured Jean Shrimpton as a Mod astronaut on its cover. The issue was complied to be a guidebook to the cultural now.
I like to think of Paul McCartney and the rest of his gang enjoyed intergalactic fame akin to that of the Apollo boys during the sixties. Our American boys claimed lunar soil; the Brits claimed popular culture’s consciousness.
This portrait coincides with the release of The Beatles’ record Help! - Help! was written by Lennon to describe the anxiety associated with the quick rise to fame. Avedon’s choice to take McCartney’s portrait in a space suit is quite fitting – he is protected from the industry, from the world. I could imagine many a girl bopping their head and serenading this portrait, “…Help me, get my feet back on the ground.”