In 1984 Paul McCartney filmed "Give My Regards To Broad Street," and while the movie ended up being a flop -- the plot revolved around McCartney losing his tapes and trying to get them back by midnight -- it did feature one very memorable scene.
In the film, McCartney busks -- donning ruffled hair and disheveled clothes -- in front of the Leicester Square Station in London. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for McCartney, no one recognized him as the former Beatle.
“Y’know, they just made me up and dropped me off," McCartney told the New York Daily News in 1984. "I told ‘em we’d never get away with it, but they kept putting dirt on and rufflin’ up me hair -- I was looking better and better -- and I figured, why not."
"So I was standin’ there plunkin’ chords, doing this silly version of the song, and no one noticed it was me," he continued. "No one wants to look a busker in the eye of course, ‘cus then they’d get his life story. So they’d toss coins and I’d be going, ‘Yesterday, all my troubles -- thank you, sir -- seemed so far away.'"
Despite the obvious snubs, McCartney's pride wasn't wounded. In fact, he enjoyed his busking experience, as he recalled an encounter he had with a group of punks who just wanted to dance.
"This fabulous drunk Scotsman, who didn’t know me from Jesus, came up, threw his arm around me and gave me all his coins," he told the Daily News. "I started doing these little dances and some punks came by, studs and leather, and they were dancing, too. Not because this guy’s a Beatle, but because this was something happening."
And in case you're wondering what he did with the money, he donated it to a local mission. However, that didn't stop the media from saying otherwise.
"After we did it I made sure the money was donated to the Seaman’s Mission, because otherwise I knew someone would say ‘And I’ll bet he kept the money too, the old skinflint! So the next day on the telly this woman said ‘And Paul McCartney busked at the rail station last night and he kept the money too.’ I guess it’s a better story that way.”
Watch the video of Paul McCartney busking on the streets of London -- signing "Yesterday" -- above.
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