IT was 1967, at the height of the hippie revolution, when The Beatles released their Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. One of the many highlights was Paul McCartney's whimsical take on ageing, When I'm Sixty-Four, and its famous refrain:
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty four?
What was once a long way off is now 15 years in the past, with the former Beatles vocalist and bass-player turning 79 last Friday.
Trapped in COVID lockdown, he retreated to his Sussex farmhouse to record his 26th post-Beatles solo album, McCARTNEY III, released in December.
He obviously has something about round numbers: McCartney was released in 1970, McCartney II in 1980, McCARTNEY III in 2020.
One of the tracks, Slidin', has him musing: I know there must be other ways of feeling free, but this is what I wanna do, who I wanna be
Every time I try, I feel like I can fly, but I know that I could die trying
Surf movie legend Jack McCoy - a regular visitor to Our Town in recent years with his film/talk nights - told Topics McCartney suggested he might like to do a video for the track, which was inspired by images of extreme sport daredevils flying with wingsuits.
McCoy met the legendary musician in London before their first collaboration - a 2011 video for Blue Sway, a song that first surfaced decades before on McCartney II.
This time around, COVID meant communicating digitally, exchanging emails as the project progressed.
"Paul asked if I or any of my friends had some extreme footage to make a video.
"But once I heard the song, I thought, 'surfing', and once I heard the song I immediately went 'Craig Anderson!'."
The South African born free surfer has been based in Newcastle since 2003, and is regularly touted as the world's most stylish boardrider.
He came in at #8 on our list of all-time Hunter surfers published to celebrate the World Surf League Newcastle Cup earlier this year.
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McCoy, 72, says a lung condition means he can't shoot from the water any more, so the video was compiled from footage of Anderson shot by five photographers; Baren Hall, Dave Fox, Jimmy Lees, Lachlan McKinnon and Tom Jennings.
Anderson is out of communication in Tasmania this week, but he said before he left that he'd "always been a Beatles fan and loved a lot of Paul's solo music", and so was "stoked" to have his surfing put to McCartney's music by his "old friend" Jack McCoy.
The video was released last Saturday, to mark International Surfing Day (the third Saturday each June).
McCartney clearly likes the finished product, describing it as "a joyous expression" of Jack McCoy's love of surfing".
He also offered up a plug for the Surfrider Foundation, saying he was "right behind" it and "the fantastic work it does for the community in Australia and around the world."
See all our surfing coverage here.
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