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Questions you'd ask Paul if you could interview him
27 December 2013
7.18am
Porgy
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Aren't a combination of compulsive lying and a delusional disorder often features of stalking cases?

I am no fan of Ms. Mills, but I do occasionally have some sympathy for her as I believe her actions are often beyond her control. Like Holloway, I too believe she suffers from a deep-rooted mental health condition. She has just never found herself in a position where she's received mandatory treatment, including diagnosis, and help with the issues it causes in her life.

I would say she suffers from a dissocial personality disorder (ICD-10), as defined by the World Health Organisation. They list six indicators, of which at least three must be met:

1: Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
2: Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
3: Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
4: Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
5: Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
6: Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.

I would say she ticks more than three of the boxes there.

27 December 2013
7.23pm
acmac
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Porgy said
I do occasionally have some sympathy for her as I believe her actions are often beyond her control. Like Holloway, I too believe she suffers from a deep-rooted mental health condition. She has just never found herself in a position where she's received mandatory treatment, including diagnosis, and help with the issues it causes in her life.

Yes, I have some sympathy as well, though that might be different if I wasn't at a safe distance! I think her ex-husband claimed he did eventually convince her to try therapy, but she soon quit. I believe that's typical of people with personality disorders; part of the disorder is zero tolerance for being called on their shit.

27 December 2013
10.44pm
Holloway
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To be clear, I don't think Paul is an angel either. I think he probably did depend on alcohol during the breakdown of his marriage, because we know that there's a precedence for him turning to booze when he's depressed. Do I believe for a second that he laid hands on her? No.

 He is no shrinking violet, and I don't think he ever would have tolerated abusive behavior in a mate if he hadn't been in such bad shape after Linda died. Still having crying jags every day, 18 months after losing a spouse, goes beyond normal grief, or even normal depression -- he was terribly vulnerable when they met.

I know Paul said he felt better after a year but I agree with you. Again, the judge even called him out on that a bit in the divorce case, noting that Paul still wore his ring to Linda right up until the night before he married Mills and implying that Paul was not ready emotionally to get remarried.

I've always thought the most telling comment Paul ever made about the whole Mills situation was before they even got married, in a 2002 interview/profile with The Telegraph:

"Heather has made me feel more at ease with things. After two full years of horror and doctor's offices and scares and diagnoses. . ." He trails off.

"In truth when you have been through that and come out at the end. . ." He trails off again.

"I'm just grateful not to have to spend my days doing that any more."

It was just one of several interesting interviews from around this time (he was promoting his paintings) if you like analyzing Paul. He was then engaged to Mills. In the same interview, he talks about his kids' reception to her and says, "'No matter who it is: people in my position are told not to worry, that time will heal. But it's very difficult. It's difficult for all of us." He and the interviewer are looking at his paintings and Paul singles out a nude portrait he did of Linda and the writer asks if he's painted her since she died. Paul replies, "No, I haven't painted too
much in the past couple of years. Well, I've done one or two and they are a bit disturbing. But they would be, wouldn't they? I was disturbed." Linda seemed very much on his mind, but when he talked about Mills it was about his physical attraction to her. 

Paul also spent a lot of time in interviews around his time insisting he was over his grief, which not all writers bought. I'm thinking of Simon Hattenstone's profile in the Guardian where you can practically see Hattenstone with an eyebrow raised in an "oh really?" gesture when Paul insists about what an awesome place he's in now:

We're still looking at the painting of Linda. Why hasn't he included his most recent paintings of her in the book? "I haven't done many later paintings." I thought he had continued painting her since she died. "They're not of Linda. They're just of turmoil." 

Has the pain eased? "That's the trouble. [My comment: note that's not a "no!"] People say time is a healer, and time heals by erasing. That is a sad fact. I love my mum, but I'm not so sure I've got a very clear picture of her face in my mind. I'm not saying I could ever forget my mum or my dad or Linda or John. In some ways you remember them more, but the details... When she died all of us in the family expected her to walk in the door, and we don't now." 

He says he feels bad about the fact that it becomes more difficult to conjure up her face. "This is life, this is guilt. If we're lucky we let ourselves off a little bit more, that's what I'm trying to do." It is surprising to hear McCartney talk of guilt. He always came across as the great, easy optimist. "I am, pretty..." And for a second he sounds thoroughly miserable

"It was so traumatic losing Linda that I had to say, 'OK, I don't know how I'm going to get through this.' " It took him a year to feel better. He says it felt like a cyclical thing, passing through the seasons, reawakening. He still talks to Linda, looks to her for advice. "It is the weirdest thing to say because she's not here, but I think most people who've lost someone know what I'm talking about."

When Paul finally mentions Heather Mills, Hattenstone writes that "it sounds like a formal announcement." When he asks Paul if he's talked to Linda about Heather he says yes, and thinks they share the same toughness of spirit. "I think they would have got on great actually. But I want to feel comfortable that she somehow wouldn't hate the thought of me continuing in the world with a new woman."

Hattenstone would actually feel at home in this thread. He always asks pretty intriguing questions of Paul and is unafraid to offend. Here's how he ends his profile:

I ask him whether he feels Linda's death has liberated him, and judder at the insensitivity of my question. "Prrrr." He makes a strange noise as if he is suddenly freezing, as if his soul has frozen over. "I would have preferred it if it hadn't happened, you know, but it has changed me. I don't know about liberated me. It has changed me. And having been through a fire of having to deal with it, it's nice to come out the other end."

He did another profile with Paul in 2007 to promote Memory Almost Full, during the divorce, and it's the only time I've seen that a journalist successfully asked Paul about Mills. Paul of course sidestepped a bunch of stuff but with him it's also a matter of what he doesn't say as much as what he does in interviews.

To keep with the spirit of this thread, if I were to analyze Paul and be really nosy, I would ask him,

  • Do you think that you mistook Heather's abrasiveness and personality disorder early on for 'toughness' because she was disabled?
  • Do you think, having spent the previous few years in a "horror" where your life was doctor's visits and hospitals and being immersed in a medical nightmare with a wife who was disabled by illness, was there some subconscious attraction to seeing Heather Mills, a young blonde woman who'd overcome her disability? Like deep down in your mind, there was an element of a "do over" rescue fantasy?

"And if you want to see me cry/Play Let it Be or Nevermind." -The National, "Don't Swallow the Cap"

28 December 2013
5.30am
Ahhh Girl
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Oh, my. After reading this in depth conversation, for which I am very thankful

for the education I am receiving, I just want to ask Paul, simply, if he is happy today. (If that question is too deep, I'll just ask him which piece of chocolate out of the Whitman's sampler he wants. I'd even give up the caramel piece if he wanted it.) Paul and I both "need a place where [we] can rest [our] weary bones / And have a conversation not too deep."

mmm, I'm glad I read back through the last 2 pages of the thread. I just now saw your PM comment. A PM from PM would be fine by me.

 

31 December 2013
3.26pm
Ahhh Girl
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In Calico Skies you sing,

"While the angels of love protect us
From the inner most secrets we hide"

What secrets did you keep hidden from Linda? Are they the same one you are hiding from Nancy? We will all hope against hope you didn't spill them to that mistake you made in between those two.

Do the secrets have anything to do with McLennon? Jane?

Yeah, I'm thinking you won't/shouldn't answer these questions out loud, but I would love to see your physical reaction to them. Eyes wide? Eyebrows raised? Deep, brooding cloud over your face? Sad slump of the shoulders? Twitching? Fidgeting? Biting of your bottom lip?

31 December 2013
5.14pm
acmac
Carnegie Hall
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Ahhh Girl said
In Calico Skies you sing,

"While the angels of love protect us
From the inner most secrets we hide"

What secrets did you keep hidden from Linda? Are they the same one you are hiding from Nancy? We will all hope against hope you didn't spill them to that mistake you made in between those two.

Do the secrets have anything to do with McLennon? Jane?

Yeah, I'm thinking you won't/shouldn't answer these questions out loud, but I would love to see your physical reaction to them. Eyes wide? Eyebrows raised? Deep, brooding cloud over your face? Sad slump of the shoulders? Twitching? Fidgeting? Biting of your bottom lip?

Call me a sap, but I always interpreted the line as referring to Linda's prognosis. They knew pretty much from the beginning that she was unlikely to survive, but kept that info private from the press and even from friends (not sure about the kids). Also I think they tried to stay as positive as possible between themselves, behaving as if there was more hope or time than there was, in order to make their last years as pleasant as possible. And yet the song does acknowledge the truth, IMO; in the final line Paul changes the "I'll hold you for the rest of my life" to "I'll love you for the rest of my life," and with a subtle hesitation before the word "love."

31 December 2013
5.51pm
Ahhh Girl
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I can go with that interpretation, too, acmac. I'll let it have dual meaning in my imagination. I'll pull out the one that fits my mood.

2 January 2014
10.26pm
Ahhh Girl
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Do you miss Martha sometimes?

Is there a piece of Beatles memorabilia or history that you would like to have, well, other than the ownership of your songs?

The following people thank Ahhh Girl for this post:

Mr. Kite
3 January 2014
12.51am
meanmistermustard
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What's your favourite film? Inane and on the level of favourite type of tea but something i've never seen be written and since i'm watching Goodfellas (it's ok but nothing amazing) i want to know.

To be more deep and insightful - what's your favourite lyric that you have written - not song but lyric?

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
3 January 2014
3.45am
parlance
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Do you only perform your own songs during karaoke? And how smashed do you usually get beforehand?

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

3 January 2014
5.03am
acmac
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8LOL.

Your icon is answering the question. a-hard-days-night-george-10

3 January 2014
5.19am
parlance
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acmac said
a-hard-days-night-ringo-8LOL.

Your icon is answering the question. a-hard-days-night-george-10

 

Hah! It is perfect for all occasions.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

3 January 2014
10.33pm
Joe
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I'm late to this, but I'm more than a little uneasy about speculation on a living person's mental health, especially if accompanied by accusations of abuse. I really don't want to be hit with a defamation lawsuit, so please stick to facts (eg information reported during the divorce) over guesswork. Thanks.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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8 January 2014
10.14pm
Ahhh Girl
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I may have come up with a cornball enough question to make it onto Paul's monthly Q&A on his website.

Paul, do you enjoy hearing yourself sing? Do you take time to appreciate your voice when you are recording or singing in a concert or are you so focused on the technical aspects of the performance/recording that you don't think about the beauty of your voice?

8 January 2014
10.20pm
parlance
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Ahhh Girl said
I may have come up with a cornball enough question to make it onto Paul's monthly Q&A on his website.

Paul, do you enjoy hearing yourself sing? Do you take time to appreciate your voice when you are recording or singing in a concert or are you so focused on the technical aspects of the performance/recording that you don't think about the beauty of your voice?

 

If you want to make it on to the site, I think you'll have to change that to "Do you sing in the shower?"

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

8 January 2014
10.31pm
meanmistermustard
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parlance said

Ahhh Girl said
I may have come up with a cornball enough question to make it onto Paul's monthly Q&A on his website.

Paul, do you enjoy hearing yourself sing? Do you take time to appreciate your voice when you are recording or singing in a concert or are you so focused on the technical aspects of the performance/recording that you don't think about the beauty of your voice?

 

If you want to make it on to the site, I think you'll have to change that to "Do you sing in the shower?"

parlance

Too indepth and insightful, more "do you prefer baths or showers?". I think the aim of the questions asked are to be as bland and pathetic as possible. 

Did we get one for December by the way? 

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
8 January 2014
10.38pm
parlance
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meanmistermustard said

Did we get one for December by the way? 

Oh, yes. Christmas-themed.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

8 January 2014
11.13pm
Ahhh Girl
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parlance said

Ahhh Girl said
I may have come up with a cornball enough question to make it onto Paul's monthly Q&A on his website.

Paul, do you enjoy hearing yourself sing? Do you take time to appreciate your voice when you are recording or singing in a concert or are you so focused on the technical aspects of the performance/recording that you don't think about the beauty of your voice?

 

If you want to make it on to the site, I think you'll have to change that to "Do you sing in the shower?"

parlance

To make it a Paulette/Paul-vert question: Paul, will you sing with me in the shower? a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-ringo-6

8 January 2014
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parlance
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Ahhh Girl said

To make it a Paulette/Paul-vert question: Paul, will you sing with me in the shower? a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-ringo-6

 

LOL. No thread is complete without.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

9 January 2014
12.59am
meanmistermustard
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parlance said

meanmistermustard said
Did we get one for December by the way? 

Oh, yes. Christmas-themed.

parlance

Oh, yeah. Totally forgot about that. Thanks.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
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