Once a counterculture rebel, "Sir Paul" is very much part of the British establishment now. He closed Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee concert earlier this month with a mix of favorites that included a raucous "All My Loving," one of the Beatles' first smash hits.
McCartney is also prepping for a feature role closing the London Olympics opening ceremony on July 27. Though he may be a bit nervous for that huge honor, he won't be short of material. His back catalogue includes "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," "Penny Lane" and a few dozen other classics, including perennial crowd pleasers "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude."
McCartney appears relaxed recently as he eases into his role as one of rock's eminent elder statesmen. His musical ability has not diminished with age.
In the run-up to his birthday, McCartney, a longtime vegetarian, urged the public to cut back on meat consumption to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and ease the global warming crisis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.