He’s a Knight, a Beatle, and a two-time inductee into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame — yet to his family, Paul McCartney is known simply as ‘Grandude’

By Phil Boucher
September 28, 2018 11:00 AM

He’s a Knight, a Beatle, and a two-time inductee into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Yet to his family, Paul McCartney is known simply as ‘Grandude.’

“I’ve got eight grandchildren and they’re all beautiful and one day one of them said to me ‘Hey, Grandude!’,” McCartney says in a promotional video for Penguin publishers. “So, from then on, I was known as ‘Grandude.’”

The musician — who’s currently riding high with his new album Egypt Station — has used this cute nickname as inspiration for a picture book, Hey Grandude!, scheduled to be published in September 2019 under the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint.

“I thought, ‘You know what, that’s actually a nice idea for a book,’” adds McCartney. “So I started to write some stories, and then I talked to the book publishers and they liked what I was doing.”

Paul McCartney.
Noam Galai/WireImage

He continues, “Basically, it’s about a character called Grandude, who represents grandfathers everywhere. He has four grandchildren, and he calls them ‘Chillers,’ and they love him, and they go on adventures with him. He’s kind of magical.”

Illustrated by Canadian artist Kathryn Durst — “She’s brilliant,” says McCartney — Hey Grandude! is the songwriters’ first ever picture book and comes on the heels of children’s books written by fellow musicians Madonna, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards.

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Tales of flying fish and death-defying escapes from avalanches are a far cry from McCartney’s recent revelations about his own wild adventures with the Beatles, which included “seeing God” during a particularly heavy drug experience in ’60s London.

“I wanted to write it just for grandfathers everywhere and the kids,” adds McCartney, 76, “so, it gives you something to read to the grandkids at bedtime.”