McCartney fell from his moped and chipped a front tooth. He also cut his lip and was left with a scar.
Last mid-December, Paul injured his lip and chipped his tooth in the moped accident. He honestly thought no one would notice the chip, for it is so small. I told him three times he should do something about it. It is in a place where there are no nerve ends, so there is no pain. Paul assured me that he would have the tooth capped, but – unfortunately – he has not done so. Could he be afraid of the dentist? It is my opinion that he will just let it be.
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 – 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.
The encounter with the drunken doctor helped inspire the 1968 song ‘Rocky Raccoon’.
Also on this day...
- 1967: Magical Mystery Tour is premièred on BBC 1
- 1965: George Harrison pays a surprise visit to his family
- 1964: Live: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1963: Live: The Beatles’ Christmas Show
- 1963: US single release: I Want To Hold Your Hand
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.