Paul McCartney Won’t Sign Autographs Anymore – ‘We Both Know Who I Am’
The 79-year-old musician follows after fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr, 81, who stopped signing autographs 13 years ago this month. McCartney and Starr are the only surviving Beatles members after the deaths of John Lennon in 1980 and George Harrison in 2001.
The reasoning behind McCartney's halt on autographs came up in an interview with the rocker in Reader's Digest, as Contactmusic reported this week.
The Beatles bassist, who released McCartney III last year, explained, "It always struck me as a bit strange — 'here, can I write your name down on the back of this till receipt, please?' Why? We both know who I am."
Also putting a stop to selfies with fans, Macca added of those, "What you've usually got is a ropey photo with a poor backdrop and me looking a bit miserable."
Instead, he offered, "Let's chat, let's exchange stories."
Back in October 2008, in what Rolling Stone remembered as a "bizarre video" posted to Starr's official website, the Beatles drummer told fans that he would stop singing autographs that month.
"Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October!" Starr announced. "If that has a date on the envelope, it's going to be tossed. I'm warning you with peace and love. I have too much to do, so no more fan mail! And no objects to be signed. Nothing! Anyway, peace and love."
Later explaining the "angry moment" to radio host Howard Stern, the drummer said it was his reaction to seeing autograph flippers use his signature deceitfully to boost sales online. (As of 2016, Starr reportedly still no longer signs for fans.)
"I was signing scratch plates that they have on guitars in New York and someone had screwed one onto a shit guitar and it was selling for three grand on eBay," he told Stern. "And I went, 'No.' I only sign for charity now."
Autograph collectors who've already obtained a Beatles signature undoubtedly have a prized possession, as getting a new one now appears to be impossible.
Earlier this month, McCartney looked back on who really broke up The Beatles.