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Mike McCartney presents photographs at Rock Hall in Cleveland

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Paul McCartney's brother Mike at Rock Hall of Fame

John Soeder
Plain Dealer Pop Music Critic

McCartney photographed Gene Vincent at Liverpool's famous Cavern club, where he shared a bill with the Beatles in the early 1960s.

"Gene Vincent -- he's coming to Liverpool. There he is. So I, of course, took my camera. Our kid and the Beatles were in their leather suits. Not leather jackets. Their leather-suit period, a bit like Marlon Brando. . . . He was just singing Be Bop A Lula.' Wow! I can't miss this. So there I am with a camera -- CLICK! Bloody Gene Vincent must've been blinded. . . . You can see the fans in the audience, they're not as enamored . . . of our great rock 'n' roll hero. They aren't that excited about Gene Vincent because they were waiting for our kid and his group to come on."

Scaffold in Broken Windows

McCartney,center, was a member of the British comedy troupe Scaffold, along with Roger McCough, left, and John Gorman, right.

"We were a satirical comedy group. We got known in England as a pop comedy group with songs. We had three Top 5 hits, one big No. 1 in England [Lily the Pink']. But that wasn't our forte. What we used to do was satirical humor, poetry, stuff like that. It had nothing to do with music at all. Music was last on the agenda."

Nash Takes a Nap

McCartney captured Graham Nash catching a few winks.

"Doesn't Graham look good? We were on a train from Scotland down to Liverpool. We were on a tour with the Hollies. Graham Nash and Allan Clarke were the lead singers of the Hollies. . . . We'd heard about this thing called Newcastle Brown, which was a drink, a beer called Newcastle Brown. We'd heard it was very strong. And we used to drink beer. So we had to test this beer."

George's Jag

George Harrison was eager to show off his new Jaguar for McCartney's camera.

"If you look, you can actually just make George out. . . . He had a Ford Anglia first. That's all he could afford. We had a Ford Classic, a bit better than his Anglia. Our kid had one, which was like a hand-me-down. George had an Anglia. But his next one after the Anglia was this British racing green Jag, that Jag in the photograph. Beautiful car. . . . He said, Quick, Mike, photograph my new Jag.' I said, George, look at the state of the night -- it's nearly dark.' He said, Bring your flash.' I said, Look at the weather -- it's stinging rain.' He said, Bring your umbrella.' He was determined to have that photograph taken."

2 Number 1's

%%bodybegin%%McCartney calls this candid shot of his Uncle Albert and Auntie Milly "2 Number 1's" because Paul McCartney had a No. 1 hit with "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," and Mike McCartney mentioned Milly in "Lily the Pink," a No. 1 hit for Scaffold.

"They were fast asleep, having worked all day. I just sneaked in. They looked so peaceful and so nice, I went for it. . . . Uncle Albert worked with my dad in the cotton exchange. Dad sold cotton. He was very clever. By getting a bit of cotton in his hand, he would feel it with his index finger and his thumb and would be able to tell you, Right, that came from Kentucky' or That came from Egypt.' My mum died when I was 12. Alternating each week, my Auntie Milly or my Auntie Gin would come to our house. Lads don't know anything about cooking or cleaning, anything like that. So Auntie Milly used to get on the bus, then get a ferry cross the Mersey -- it did exist and it still exists now. . . . and come to our house and do all the cleaning, the ironing and dinner."

Last Updated: 06/24/08 08:45

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Mike McCartney presents photographs at Rock Hall in Cleveland

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News Summary

McCartney photographed Gene Vincent at Liverpool's famous Cavern club, where he shared a bill with the Beatles in the early 1960s.