2006 was a year of change for Paul.
He celebrated LIPA’s 10th anniversary on January 30th.
His 2005 US tour won a Total Production International award on February 5th for best set design (Roy Bennett).
On March 3rd he and Heather spoke out publicly against baby seal killing. They, dressed in orange thermal jumpsuits, traveled in helicopters with a dozen journalists, and members of the Humane Society of the United States and the British-based Respect for Animals.
Paul recorded (as executive producer) his fourth classical album (WORKING CLASSICAL, A LEAF and LIVERPOOL ORATORIO) from March13-17, 2006. ECCE COR MEUM, (“Behold My Heart”) is an oratorio in four movements, scored for choir and orchestra.
The album’s origin lay in a commission from Magdalen College, Oxford: Paul was asked to compose a piece for the opening of a new concert hall at the college.
Following Linda’s death in 1998, however, the performance was delayed, eventually premiering in 2001, with a studio recording taking place in 2006.
Each of its four movements begins with unaccompanied voices, and the text combines both English and to a lesser degree, Latin.
“Something I found out later, being a complete innocent in the field, was that most people find a text and set it to music, which it would have been very convenient to know that, but I didn’t. So I started writing the music and then putting my own text to it, which is probably completely the wrong way around to do it. It didn’t matter. I suppose, you know, in that respect, it meant that it was a bit less conventional.”
The album was released on September 25th.
It would also win the best album award on May 2nd, 2007 at the Classical Brit Awards.
The DVD would be released on February 4th, 2008.
On April 11th, Capitol and Apple records announced the release of the remastered American releases of BEATLES VI, HELP, RUBBER SOUL AND THE EARLY BEATLES. These were the final albums issued in the U.S. whose track listing was different than British releases. For some reason, REVOLVER wasn’t included.
On May 18th, he announced his separation from wife Heather. The couple announced the split yesterday after less than four years of marriage in a statement that blamed their inability to conduct a “normal” relationship on the “constant intrusion into our private lives”.
But their parting shot at the media only triggered a new round of speculation about how much of Sir Paul’s estimated £800m fortune Ms Mills McCartney could claim as the mother of their two-year-old daughter, Beatrice Milly.
Paul took to his website to dismiss suggestions that his second wife had married him for money: “There is not an ounce of truth in this. She is a very generous person who spends most of her time trying to help others in greater need than herself. I’m very sad to see that some insensitive people would choose a moment like this to spread these vicious rumors.”
Hmmmm…. If only this had been true.
On June 16th and 17th he, Ringo, Olivia Harrison and Yoko attended The Beatles LOVE preview shows.
Preview performances ran from June 2 to June 29. During these shows, changes were made nightly based on audience reaction, cutting or adding sections to add polish.
The 30th of June saw the show open. In attendance at the gala opening on June 30 were McCartney, Starr, Ono, Cynthia Lennon, Julian Lennon, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, and George Martin.
It was the biggest reunion of the Beatles’ ‘family’ since the band’s breakup.
At the end of the show, McCartney, Starr, Olivia, Ono and Martin went on stage. McCartney requested the crowd, “Just one special round of applause, for John and George!”
The album of the show (mixed the last two years by George and Giles Martin) was released on November 20th of 2006.
The DVD of highlights from the 2005 US tour was released on November 13th as “The Space Within US.” The feature-length concert film delivers live performances of more than two dozen Beatles, Wings and McCartney solo songs spanning four decades. It includes footage from Pauls personal wake-up call to the astronauts aboard the international space station, as well as 35 minutes of exclusive bonus material and includes new interviews with McCartney and his band, the pre-concert film, soundcheck songs.
In 2006 Paul appears on Tony Bennett’s DUETS album, performing “The Very Thought Of You.”
He performed on George Benson and Al Jarreau’s GIVIN’ IT UP album, singing with them on “Bring It On Home To Me.” Abe Laboriel Sr. was the bass player on this track, among the players.
Finally Paul and George Michael teamed up on his TWENTY FIVE album on the amazing Michael written track, “Heal The Pain.”
2006 ended with Paul in another transitional period. So, he dusted off the eight songs he had done with David Kahne early in 2004 as 2007 arrived……. Next.