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"You Gave Me The Answer" contest on Paul's website!
28 May 2014
9.24pm
When Im 64
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You Naughty thinker you...a-hard-days-night-george-10

If children are studying the 20th century, I'm in their text books.

                                                                        - Paul McCartney

27 June 2014
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parlance
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The latest (without the padding):

Chris from the UK has been in touch to find out. He asks Paul,
 
“When you have barbecues, what kind of food do you like to cook for your guests?”
 
We caught up with Paul recently to find out. He replied, 
 
“I love to cook Linda’s veggie burgers and sausages, which I have got down to a fine art. I also like to BBQ asparagus brushed with a little olive oil, but you have to keep an eye on these (like everything in life!)”

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.

30 July 2014
6.07pm
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I got a text from a friend this morning that Paul answered her question!

Amy from the U.S.A. has been in touch after noticing something that many of you may have wondered about: 
 
“You've had a Detroit Red Wings sticker on one of your acoustic guitars for years now. How did you get it and why have you kept it on there for all these years? Being from the Detroit area I'm very curious”.
 
We caught up with Paul recently to find out. He replied, 
 
“We were on a Wings tour quite a while ago and when we played Detroit somebody gave me aRed Wings sticker, which I liked the look of, so I stuck it on my guitar and I have kept it there ever since.  It does make it a little awkward when I go to places like Pittsburgh and the Mayor of the town offers me a Penguin sticker to put alongside!”

 

parlance

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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 August 2014
12.39am
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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When they zoomed in on that Penguins sticker during Yesterday, the cheer was deafening (and I was cheering as loud as I could)

(This signature brought to you by Spaghetti Tuesdays. Occurring on Wednesdays since 2013.)

30 August 2014
3.35am
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Latest answer:

We’re coming to the end of the school summer holidays here in the UK (and our unfortunately short summer!). Lots of you will have noticed the additional noise, chaos and excitement that summer brings when school’s out!

It’s certainly a very exciting time and really does seem to last forever through the eyes of a child. It’s a shame that the older you get, the shorter those precious months become!

August’s question for ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ comes from Donna Simmons in the US who asks…

“As a child, what was your favourite holiday and why?”

We caught up with Paul recently to find out. He replied,

“When I was about 11 or 12 our family went to a holiday camp in Wales called Butlins Pwllheli. It was the first time we had done anything like it and I was very excited. We were given daily bulletins listing all the events happening in the camp, these might have been a Beauty Contest or a dance in the Rock and Calypso Ballroom or a talent show. My brother, Mike, and I ran around all day trying to go to everything on the list.”

parlance

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meanmistermustard

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.

30 August 2014
11.32am
meanmistermustard
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 The song those family holidays all inspired

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Ahhh Girl
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30 September 2014
2.04pm
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Latest answer:

Autumn has arrived here in the UK. The days, although golden, are quickly becoming shorter (did you know that there are only 12 more Friday’s left until Christmas – this year has flown by!).
 
Sandals and sunglasses are steadily replaced with boots and coats, and here at MPL towers we’re beginning to find it more difficult to get up in the mornings! 
 
Some folks do love an early start - despite the bite in the air – whilst others prefer to extend their evenings and wrap up inside. 

And this brings us to our latest question for ‘You Gave Me The Answer’. Kristen in the US asks of Paul…
 
“Are you an early bird or a night owl, and what effect does this have on your work?”
 
We spoke with Paul shortly before he left for the US to continue his #OutThere tour to find out. He replied, 
 
“Thank you for your question Kristen. When I’m taking my youngest daughter to school, I’m an early bird but when I’m not I like to lay in bed in the morning. I often end up getting to bed at a reasonable time but occasionally have a night owl moment, but these are much less frequent than they were in the 60s! That said, it doesn’t really have to affect my work in any way.”

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.

30 September 2014
4.08pm
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I'm wondering whether "the 60s" refers to the 1960s or Paul's sixties. I like to think it's the latter, and that he was a massive party animal sexegenarian.

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5 November 2014
5.47pm
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This is a good one:

For nearly two years now, Paul has been answering fan questions for the website’s monthly feature ‘You Gave Me The Answer’. Since launching we’ve received tens of thousands of questions and it quickly became one of our favourite items to work on.

As this week sees the reissue of the remastered Wings albums Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound - and because ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ was released on the former of the two - we thought it would be the perfect time to ask Paul a question about the song.

We had read in the impressive liner notes of the Venus and Mars Deluxe Edition that the song was a tip of the hat to the music Paul's father would play on the piano at home, but we should also hold up our hands and make a confession - we did this for selfish reasons too!

Several of us here at PaulMcCartney.com play instruments and we’ve always been delighted and impressed by how intricate and complex Paul’s arrangements can be. ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ is a great example with Paul employing F diminished, G# diminished and Bb diminished; chords not often found in pop songs!

We wanted to geek out a little, so our question to Paul was this:

"You have famously talked about how you jumped on a bus across Liverpool to learn the chord B7 from a guy who knew how to play it. How did you get from there to using the more complicated diminished and augmented chords that began appearing on the early Beatles albums and have continued to be used in your songs such as ‘You Gave Me The Answer’"?

We sat down with Paul in his London office just before he left to continue his ‘Out There’ tour of the US. And boy, were we in for a treat!

Paul told us,

“It was a combination of three ways, really. Some were from people showing them to us; for example, Jim Gretty who was a guy from a guitar shop in Liverpool called Hessy’s. He had a guitar and was a jazz player, and I remember him showing us a chord that was F, but it had a couple of notes added. We called it F demented!"

Paul then picked up the acoustic guitar that lives in his office and began playing the F demented chord. You have to really stretch your fingers to make the chord, but Paul did it with ease.

“The chord found its way into a lot of things, like ‘Michelle.’  Another chord came in via ‘Along Came Jones’ by The Coasters.”

Paul again illustrated his point by playing 'Michelle' followed by 'Along Came Jones' by The Coasters. (Check out The Coasters' song when you get chance, it's a great tune!)

"Sometimes we would pick them up from sheet music, like, 'Oh! We don’t know that chord'. But mainly it was just figuring it out from listening to songs we liked. We knew that something went up in the chords, so me and George would work it out. Buddy Holly would use an odd chord like that - ‘Raining In My Heart’ - and the second chord in there was augmented. We worked a lot of that out by ear. There’d also be songs like 'Til There Was You’ that would have these chords in too."

Paul then told us whilst laughing, "Sometimes we’d be working with people who knew notation and stuff and they would say, 'Is that C diminished? Is that the chord?' And we’d look at each other, shrug and go, 'Yes!'"

Then, almost as an encore to our question, Paul played us 'Raining In My Heart' by Buddy Holly.

We are always aware of how fortunate we are to work with Paul, but to get our own personal mini-concert was something else! One of the things we love about playing music is that when something inspires you, you want to pick up your instrument and try it out yourself and that evening after work we all raced home to try out the F demented chord (it's really not that easy to play on the guitar!).

I'd be okay with their not returning to the usual format.

parlance

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meanmistermustard

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.

5 November 2014
5.55pm
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Glad to see a question asked that has some relevance, interest and relation to Paul's work. Hopefully there will be more of the same.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
5 November 2014
6.16pm
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Maybe this will be the spark that gets this Q&A thing on the right track!

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12 November 2014
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Paul's people are looking for a Christmas-themed question. Submit here. I guess we're back to the fluff.

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.

12 November 2014
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parlance said

Paul's people are looking for a Christmas-themed question. Submit here. I guess we're back to the fluff.

parlance

Do you ever sit around some cold Christmas nights with friends discussing who sang the Ahhhs in ADITL?

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parlance

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13 November 2014
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Mr. Kite said

parlance said

Paul's people are looking for a Christmas-themed question. Submit here. I guess we're back to the fluff.

parlance

Do you ever sit around some cold Christmas nights with friends discussing who sang the Ahhhs in ADITL?

That could be a fun pass time at the BB house!

Never say never, cause it's never 'never'

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13 November 2014
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Annadog40 said

Mr. Kite said

parlance said

Paul's people are looking for a Christmas-themed question. Submit here. I guess we're back to the fluff.

parlance

Do you ever sit around some cold Christmas nights with friends discussing who sang the Ahhhs in ADITL?

That could be a fun pass time at the BB house!

It would probably end badly! paul-mccartney

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parlance

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13 November 2014
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parlance said
Paul's people are looking for a Christmas-themed question. Submit here. I guess we're back to the fluff.

parlance

Is it possible to get 'Wonderful Christmastime' banned for the next 10 years so folk might become less fed up hearing it constantly over a 6 week period?

Any chance of pulling your finger out and getting Apple to release the Beatles christmas records officially?

What decorations do you put on your tree? (I might as well submit one that has half a chance of being answered.)

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
13 November 2014
3.48am
Annadog40
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meanmistermustard said

parlance said
Paul's people are looking for a Christmas-themed question. Submit here. I guess we're back to the fluff.

parlance

Is it possible to get 'Wonderful Christmastime' banned for the next 10 years so folk might become less fed up hearing it constantly over a 6 week period?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! That is my favorite Christmas song!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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13 November 2014
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8I haven't heard it yet this year and already i'm dreading those horrid opening chords.

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parlance
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27 November 2014
3.54pm
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From Paul's website:

Fans will have seen that on Wednesday 19th November Paul sat down with Lily Cole and a small group of musicians from her Impossible website to discuss his forthcoming new single 'Hope For The Future' and share his thoughts about songwriting. Paul chatted with Lily and the invite-only audience for 45 minutes, taking several questions from the musicians in attendance. (Pssst – we'll be posting the full transcript from the Q&A soon!)

As you might imagine, a room made up of musicians had a great number of things they wanted to ask Paul! So after the talk finished we spoke with them and took note of a few more questions. Later that day, Paul kindly sat down with us to answer them.

Today we publish the first of these questions for November's 'You Gave Me The Answer'. To make it even more exciting, we asked Lily Cole to read out three of the questions sent in via Twitter. Watch the video of Lily asking the questions below:

Would you like to find out where the characters 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'Polythene Pam' came from? Or which lyrics Paul is currently enjoying singing on tour? Read on…

Question: Did Paul and John ever talk about the characters inside their songs and try to get them as real as possible?

Paul: "Some of them you would talk about, some of them didn’t have a provenance; we just made them up. They didn’t come from anywhere.

"But there would be all sorts of examples - like ‘Polythene Pam’ - who was someone John had known. There was a wild night somewhere and this girl was dressed in a lot of polythene [laughs], so she was known as ‘Polythene Pam’. So she was real, baby! And, you know, I'd like to have been a fly on that wall! So she came from somewhere.

''Eleanor Rigby' came from a combination of old ladies I’d known when I was a kid. It was sort of a cross between wanting to do good work, but at the same time a fascination by these older people who had gone through stuff, that I hadn’t. For some reason or another I was drawn to those people.

"There was a woman who lived near me in 20 Forthlin Road, where I used to go and get her shopping for her, just because I was on my way to the shops. I’d just drop in, I knew her. So we became pretty good friends and she was a sort of lonely old lady. But I found out things like she had a little crystal radio set, which fascinated me, because people in the war made their own little radios, "What! You can make a radio?! Brilliant!" So she would be part of the 'Eleanor Rigby' thing. I would occasionally meet other lonely old ladies, so they kind of became 'Eleanor Rigby' too.

"Some of the people – mostly they were made up - but some of them did actually come from somewhere.

'''Father McKenzie' in 'Eleanor Rigby' was going to be Father McCartney. I had [sings to the tune of 'Eleanor Rigby'] ‘Father McCartney, do do do do do’. And I said, ‘I’ve got to change that.’ And John said, ‘No, it’ll be great! Father McCartney!’ I said, ‘No, it’s like my Dad! I can’t relate to it’. So we got the phonebook out, we just went: ‘McCartney, McCartney, McCartney, McCartney, McKenzie!’"

PaulMcCartney.com: "There are many stories about where the name Eleanor Rigby came from, is that someone’s name?"  

Paul: "It’s a strange thing because there is actually a gravestone up in the churchyard of the church, St Peter’s in Woolton - where John and I met on the fateful day of the fete - which apparently says ‘Eleanor Rigby’. So the idea is, subliminally, I might have seen it because I would have walked through that graveyard, just as kids getting from A to B.

"But my theory - of what I can remember of it - was that I liked the name Eleanor, because we’d worked with Eleanor Bron, the actress in the film ‘Help’. But I wanted to have a second name. Names are very important because, you know, like school kids, all the names are authentic. If you think back to any of your school mates - Grace Pendleton was one of my school mates – it works! All those real names; and you can make up ‘Charlie Farnsbarn’ and it just, it doesn’t work as well. It’s an interesting little thing, names.

"So I was really searching around for Eleanor’s second name. And I was in Bristol, visiting my then girlfriend - Jane Asher, who was working at Bristol Old Vic - and I was wondering around waiting for her to finish and I saw this shop: ‘Rigby’. And I thought [clicks fingers] ‘Perfect! Eleanor Rigby’. A real, nice name. It’s sort of original, and yet not too far out. It just sort of fitted.

"So that’s my story. But as I say later, a guy - Geoff Wonfor doing The Beatles Anthology – said, ‘We’ve found this gravestone, what do you think about that?’"

PaulMcCartney.com: "So the name might have already been buried somewhere in your mind, and then you made that connection?"

Paul: "I wonder. I don’t know. My story, I definitely know is true. The other story’s a little bit spooky. A ‘subconscious theory’!"

Question: Do you still like all the lyrics you wrote in the past, and are there any that you don't like anymore? And, of course, I want to know why if the answer is no!

Paul: "There are lyrics I’m embarrassed by. Like in 'Rockshow' - references to ‘axe’ and Jimmy Page – they seem a little bit dated. But they are. That’s exactly what they are.

"What made me less embarrassed was when I said this to a couple of the guys in the band, Rusty and Brian particularly. I said, 'Oh my god, I can’t stand that - An axe! Jimmy Page!’. I’m going, 'Oh God, it just doesn’t seem right now, it seems embarrassing'. They said, 'No, I love that!'

"So it was great. I got their perspective on it, and it sort of made it alright that they didn’t think it was remotely embarrassing."

PaulMcCartney.com: "We know people who still call their guitars ‘axes’!"

Paul: "It’s a period thing. You don’t really call them that now. But you did then. So that was the embarrassing thing."

Question: What are your personal favourite lyrics you've ever written?

Paul: "There’s some nice things about doing the live show now. I kind of run through the lyrics - in my mind - to sing them. So ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is nice, 'Wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door'. I sort of think, 'Pretty good work for a 23 year old boy!' Something like that I think, 'Yeah, that’s really nice’. So I like that.

"Currently I’m liking ‘Another Day’. It’s just very sort of regular life of this girl. [Sings verse 'Everyday she takes her morning bath'.] It’s just all what a girl might do: 'Wraps a towel around her as she’s heading for the bedroom chair'. And then she goes to the office, has a coffee, finds it hard to stay awake, and it all just seems to ring true to me. But it’s just another day.

"So yeah, I’d single those two out as ones that I like."

PaulMcCartney.com will be publishing more Q&As from Paul's Impossible songwriting talk soon, so remember to keep checking back…!

Find out more about Lily Cole's Impossible website by clicking HERE!

parlance

The following people thank parlance for this post:

meanmistermustard, IveJustSeenAFaceo

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.

27 November 2014
6.13pm
meanmistermustard
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Another good Q&A. Hadn't read before that some of the character of Eleanor Rigby came from people Paul know so thats pretty cool to learn.

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