Paul McCartney revealed that one of his grandsons was recently mugged for his phone, and that it made him think of how it had once happened to him too.

The Beatles icon didn’t identify which of his eight grandchildren had been the victim of theft at knifepoint in London, England, but did say that the young man had felt like a “coward” over the incident.

“He was saying the worst thing was that he should have just thumped the guy,” McCartney told the Times (via Billboard). “I said, ‘No, no, no, no! The guy had a knife and you don’t know, the guy might be able to use that knife.”

That led to a reminiscence of a similar moment in his own early days in Liverpool. “When I was a kid it was four guys and they nicked my watch,” he said. “I was of a similar age. I just happened to be on my own… bigger kids came along and it was the same feeling.” He recalled thinking: “I have got to learn karate and be a black belt – and then I’ll get em’!” He added: “It was the worst thing.”

In the same interview, McCartney again said that he was working on his first stage musical, an adaptation of the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, and discussed his children’s book Hey Grandude!, which is described as “a super-cool grandad who takes his grandchildren on a whirlwind magical mystery tour, from tropical seas to Alpine mountains, all before bedtime!” He’ll appear at the London Piccadilly branch of Waterstone’s bookshop on Sept. 6 to read from the book and sign copies.


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