Paul McCartney has a moped accident in Liverpool

In what would become one of the key 'clues' in the 'Paul is dead' myth, on this day Paul McCartney suffered a moped accident while visiting his family in Liverpool.

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.

Also on the night time ride was Tara Browne, McCartney's friend. Browne was the Guinness heir whose death later inspired John Lennon to write the opening lines of A Day In The Life.

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.

Paul McCartney

McCartney's chipped tooth and scar can be seen in the promotional videos for Paperback Writer and Rain, which were filmed in London in May 1966.

Also on this day...

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11 responses on “Paul McCartney has a moped accident in Liverpool

  1. Angie Roberts

    OH!! so that’s why he grew that mustache. I have always wondered about that, and thought he REALLY looked better without it, but now I understand. I still love him, he’s the BEST!!!

  2. Leon

    My grandad claims to have hit Paul in a traffic altercation, chipping his tooth in the process. But, you know what Liverpudlians are like, he might have been winding me up. Still, if I ever met Paul, I would have to ask him about this.

  3. John Stewart Cameron

    We lived in the next village Neston to where Paul’s father was living in Heswall. My father ran a moped and motorcycle shop, Cameron’s, and one day received a call from a Mr McCartney living in Baskervylle Road to supply 2 new Raleigh mopeds. When the mopeds were ready my father asked me to get back from school early so I could help with the delivery that afternoon. Neither my father or I connected who the McCartney was that was the buyer. When we got to the house Paul came straight out with Jane Asher and was very keen to try out his new purchase without giving my father a chance to instruct him in the correct driving procedure. The gardener was just finishing manicuring the lawns for the day and watched in disbelief as Jane and Paul drove around the lawns like a speedway track.

    When it came to signing the forms and completing the license we went inside to a room where the grand piano was and my father an accomplished pianist and Cathedral organist, could not resist playing the instrument to the accompaniment of Paul for an instant jam session. By the time my father had enjoyed a large brandy and I had tasted my first ever coca cola it was well into the evening before we left. I still have my signed photograph from Paul “Best wishes Stewart from Paul McCartney”.

    No Paul you bought the mopeds from Camerons not hired them.

  4. Sean South

    Paul’s memory is notoriously bad :), No full moon, he grew the moustache a year later, he bought the mopeds…. He had is chipped tooth for a full 6 months without doing anything about it, things were very different then in terms of image and fame ūüėČ

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