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Paul McCartney Says an Early Beatles Car Accident Led to Mantra That Helped Their Careers: 'Something Will Happen'

The legendary rocker's podcast, 'McCartney: A Life in Lyrics,' kicks off its second season on Wednesday

<p>CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images</p> Paul McCartney and John Lennon performing in 1965.

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Paul McCartney and John Lennon performing in 1965.

It’s hard to imagine a time when the Beatles weren’t the most famous band in the world — but in the early 1960s, the four lads from Liverpool were still trying to catch their big break.

So sets the scene for an anecdote from Paul McCartney’s podcast McCartney: A Life in Lyrics, the second season of which begins on Wednesday. In the first episode, the rocker, 81, offers a deep dive on the Beatles’ debut single “Love Me Do,” and recalls the group’s feelings toward stardom in the early days.

“There were all sorts of things, as I say, that you instinctively knew. Don’t try too hard. Don’t work too hard at reaching for it. ‘Cause the more you reach, the more it’ll recede,” he says on the podcast. “Just kid on that you don’t even want it. Something will happen.”

That phrase, “something will happen,” was one that McCartney says the Beatles often turned to, revealing that its origins actually came from when the group got into a minor car crash together and were stranded in a snow bank.

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<p>Fred Duval/FilmMagic</p> Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in London in 2016.

Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in London in 2016.

“We always related back to this accident we’d had on the motorway going up from London up to Liverpool where we’d skidded off into the snow, down a bank with our van, and at the bottom of the van were this, ‘How the hell are we ever gonna get home? It’s snowing. We’re freezing,’” McCartney recalls. “And someone in the group said, ‘Well, something’ll happen.’ And it was like, that became a mantra.”

He continues: “And you know, as I say, it’s actually a very good one. It’s not reaching for it, it’s letting it go.”

The Beatles eventually did, of course, find success. “Love Me Do” topped the Billboard Hot 100 upon its release in the United States in 1964, and the group went on to release a dozen studio albums, cementing their legacy as the most influential rock bands of all time before they disbanded in 1970.

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McCartney released the book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present with Irish poet Paul Muldoon in 2021, which offered a deep dive into the making of 154 of his songs. The two also collaborate on McCartney’s podcast, which is a co-production by iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin.

Its second season will highlight other iconic Beatles songs like “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.”

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