Paul McCartney

On his 72nd birthday we've gathered 20 of Paul McCartney's best quotes about life, being a musician, The Beatles and... video games?

- One of my biggest thrills for me still is sitting down with a guitar or a piano and just out of nowhere trying to make a song happen.

- I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.

- Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic'. That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool'.

Paul McCartney

- None of us wanted to be the bass player. In our minds he was the fat guy who always played at the back.

- I don't work at being ordinary.

- Why would I retire? Sit at home and watch TV? No thanks. I'd rather be out playing.

- It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard Heartbreak Hotel I thought, this is it.

- I think people who create and write, it actually does flow-just flows from into their head, into their hand, and they write it down. It's simple.

- If children are studying the 20th century, I'm in their text books.

- There are only four people who knew what the Beatles were about anyway.

- John's time and effort were, in the main, spent on pretty honourable stuff. As for the other side, well, nobody's perfect, nobody's Jesus. And look what they did to him.

- Everybody at EMI had become part of the furniture. I'd be a couch; Coldplay are an armchair. Robbie Williams, I dread to think what he was.

- But with writers, there's nothing wrong with melancholy. It's an important colour in writing.

Paul McCartney

- Being in the audience actually looks like quite a lot of fun.

- My grandkids always beat me at [the video game] Rock Band. And I say, Listen, you may beat me at Rock Band, but I made the original records, so shut up.

- I can take pot or leave it. I got busted in Japan for it. I was nine days without it and there wasn't a hint of withdrawal, nothing.

- You know, as a kid I would have thought of a vegetarian as a wimp.

- I figure I've probably got a better chance of coming up with a good Paul McCartney song than Oasis has.

- The thing with The X Factor is, you don't have to turn it on. It is really not a bad thing. You are talking about people being on the dole (welfare) - this gets people off the dole. It gives some people an opportunity, it gives them confidence, it gives them work. There is nothing wrong with that.

- It's also not unusual for writers to look backward. Because that's your pool of resources.