Paul McCartney is set to open his Liverpudlian childhood home for unsigned artists to use as a location to write and gain inspiration.
The project – dubbed ‘The Forthlin Sessions’ after the name of the road the house sits on – will see artists chosen by McCartney's brother Mike, in conjunction with music journalist Pete Paphides and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), to come and write material in the same spot Macca and John Lennon wrote many of the Beatles' early hits.
The scheme is set to begin later in the spring, shortly before Paul McCartney's 80th birthday on June 18. October 2022 will also see the 60th anniversary of the Beatles' debut single, Love Me Do.
“I think it's a brilliant idea,” Mike McCartney tells Sky News (opens in new tab). “Inviting young people to this house and giving them the opportunity of doing the same as us, coming from nothing and seeing where it takes them.”
The house – 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton, south Liverpool, now owned by the National Trust – is where the duo wrote When I'm 64 (from 1976's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), I Saw Her Standing There (from 1963's Please Please Me) and more.
“I would be in the other room learning photography,” Mike McCartney continues, “but whilst I'm doing all that I could hear guitar noises coming from this room.
“In there were what turned out to be two of the world's greatest songwriters, McCartney and Lennon. They were rehearsing from a school book on the floor, that's why this house is so unique.”
“This house to me, is a house of hope,” he adds. “And I hope it will be for the young people that come through the doors.”
The McCartney family moved from Speke, Liverpool to 20 Forthlin Road in 1955. Mary McCartney, Paul and Mike McCartney's mother, died within a year of the move.
“It was just a normal family home. We were school kids,” Mike McCartney recalls. “There was no music except that my dad would tickle – as he called it – the ivories after a hard day at work. At the beginning, there was no music other than dad and no photography. There wasn't any thought of show business.
“After we lost our mum, dad was bringing up his two little boys who were growing bigger all the time, on £10 a week. We were poor. The idea of getting into photography or music was unthinkable for working class lads back then, but dad saw how creativity could help us through our grief.
“Everything that was created here – the music, the photography – was created from love. I’m delighted our house and our family can inspire new generations to follow a path that might surprise people, and that it’s been part of so many lives, not just ours.”
Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust, notes how the Beatles “inspired a generation to feel free to be creative, regardless of who or where they were”.
“It's a pleasure to care for the Beatles' childhood homes and to use the story of what happened there to continue this legacy,” she says. “Our places don't have to be stuck in time; they're here to keep sparking creativity, dreams and new ideas.”
For more information on The Forthlin Sessions, head to the National Trust (opens in new tab).