Wanting the focus to be on the graduates, the musician - nibbling on a biscuit - tried to sneak out the back entrance to the hall but was swamped by fans
Photo: Rex
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Sir Paul McCartney reveals the mistake that gave the Beatles a hit

26 JULY 2008
After a lifetime in showbusiness, Sir Paul McCartney is one of the world's most respected musicians. So his audience on Friday was surprised to hear him say a mistake gave the Beatles one of their biggest success stories.

Speaking to this year's graduates at his Liverpool Performing Arts Institute, the 66-year-old told the students how, when recording the Beatles' album Revolver in the 60s, a mistake led to a tape being played backwards. The sound led to the group creating the psychedelic effect which made the album one of the era's most defining records.

"We caught hold of the accident when it happened," he added, advising the audience they should do the same.

As well as passing on his wisdom, the Scouser presented the awards during the two-hour ceremony at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. The musician also handed over companionships the institute's version of an honorary doctorate - to singer-songwriter Cathy Dennis and actor John Hurt, who said he was "thrilled to be here and part of it all".