Paul McCartney to discuss new book at London’s Southbank Centre

Paul McCartney is set to appear in conversation at London’s Southbank Centre later this year to discuss his new book.

The Beatles legend’s book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, will recount the musician’s life through his earliest boyhood compositions, songs by The Beatles and Wings, and from his lengthy solo career.

It’s set to be published on November 2, and three days later on November 5, McCartney will appear at the Royal Festival Hall to discuss the book and his one-of-a-kind career.


As well as the in-person event, the conversation will also be livestreamed globally. Tickets for the Southbank event and livestream both go on sale from 10am BST on Friday (September 17) from here.

The Lyrics will be presented with previously unseen drafts, letters and pictures from McCartney’s personal archive.

Arranged alphabetically to provide a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account, it establishes definitive texts of the songs’ lyrics for the first time and describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what McCartney thinks of them now.

In the foreword to The Lyrics, McCartney writes: “More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right.

“The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”


Last month, McCartney revealed the names of the 154 songs that are featured in his forthcoming career-spanning biography. To accompany the new book, the British Library has announced it will host a free display entitled Paul McCartney: The Lyrics between November 5, 2021 and March 13, 2022.

Earlier this summer, McCartney released the documentary miniseries McCartney 3, 2, 1, which saw the singer and producer Rick Rubin discuss highlights from McCartney’s career.

Reviewing the show, NME wrote: “This is a fresh take on the format, but likely one we’ll seldom see repeated, for few people know their way around their own tunes – and everyone else’s – like McCartney does here.”