Born in Liverpool on January 7, 1944, Peter Michael “Mike” McCartney, known professionally as Mike McGear, is a British performing artist and rock photographer and the younger brother of Paul McCartney. He attended the Liverpool Institute two years behind his brother.
At the time the Beatles became successful, Mike McCartney was also a member of the Liverpool comedy-poetry-music group the Scaffold. McCartney decided to use a stage name, so as not to appear to be riding his brother’s coattails. Individually, McCartney released a few singles. In the 1980s, after retiring from music, Mike McCartney decided to end his use of the “McGear” pseudonym and revert to use of his family name.
McCartney was a photographer during his entire musical career and has continued with photography since then. Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein nicknamed him “Flash Harry” in the early 1960s because he was always taking pictures with a flash gun. He has published books of pictures that he took of the Beatles backstage and on tour. In 2005, McCartney premiered and exhibited a collection of photographs that he had taken in the 1960s, called “Mike McCartney’s Liverpool Life,” both in Liverpool and other venues, such as The Provincial Museum of Alberta. He also took the cover photograph for Paul McCartney's 2005 solo album “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.”