Mike McCartney (born Peter Michael McCartney, 7 January 1944, at Walton General Hospital, Liverpool), known professionally as Mike McGear, is a British performing artist and rock photographer, and the younger brother of Paul McCartney. At the time the Beatles became successful, Mike McCartney was still working as an apprentice hairdresser. However, he was also a member of the Liverpool comedy-poetry-music group The Scaffold, which included Roger McGough and John Gorman and had formed in 1962 (the year of The Beatles' first hit).
At the time the Beatles became successful, Mike McCartney was still working as an apprentice hairdresser. However, he was also a member of the Liverpool comedy-poetry-music group The Scaffold, which included Roger McGough and John Gorman and had formed in 1962 (the year of The Beatles' first hit). McCartney decided to use a stagename, so as not to capitalize on his family connections to the Fab Four. After first dubbing himself "Mike Blank", he settled on "Mike McGear", using the Liverpudlian equivalent of "Fab". The band was subsequently signed to Parlophone, the same EMI label which recorded The Beatles.
The Scaffold recorded a number of UK hit singles between 1966 and 1974, the most successful being the 1968 Christmas number one single, "Lily the Pink". McCartney composed the band's next biggest hit, 1967's "Thank U Very Much". In 1968, he and McGough released a "duo" album (McGough & McGear) that included the usual Scaffold mix of lyrics, poems, and comedy.
The Scaffold ended up hosting a TV program, which limited the musical portion of their career, and they were dropped by Parlophone. McCartney then signed to Island Records and released a solo musical album entitled Woman in 1972, which again included many tracks co-written with McGough, and The Scaffold subsequently released their own album on the label, Fresh Liver.
The Scaffold then added several other members and released two albums on Island in 1973 as Grimms (an acronym for Gorman-Roberts-Innes-McGear-McGough-Stanshall). However, McCartney quit Grimms after the second album due to tension between himself and one of the poets added to the group.
McCartney then signed to Warner Bros. Records and in 1974 released his only "serious" musical album, McGear, in which he collaborated with his brother Paul and Paul's band Wings. Although four singles were released from these sessions, none of them became successful. However, also recorded during McCartney's sessions with Wings was a Scaffold "reunion" song, "Liverpool Lou", which became The Scaffold's last top-ten hit and led to their re-formation in 1974 and their last recording sessions of new material.