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Paul McCartney is interviewed for the BBC’s Scene And Heard

Paul McCartney gave an interview on this day to David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 series Scene And Heard.

The interview was mainly to promote the Abbey Road album. It took place at the Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, London.

Wigg began by asking McCartney which songs on the album were his favourite. McCartney chose ‘Come Together’, ‘Something’ and ‘Because’, adding that he liked “the whole of the long one” on side two.

He then told the tale of seeing the lyrics for ‘Golden Slumbers’ in a piano songbook owned by his stepsister, and making up the music. He explained how the tune “fitted with another bit of song I had, which is the verse in between it”.

Wigg then asked about ‘Her Majesty’. McCartney said he wrote it in Scotland “as a joke”, and a discussion about the royal family followed. McCartney spoke about The Beatles’ 1963 appearance at the Royal Command Performance and collecting their MBEs in 1965. He said the group didn’t wish to perform again at the Royal Command Performance as they didn’t want to invite comparisons and to repeat past glories.

Talk then turned to family life, and McCartney complained about his lack of privacy. He described his three-week-old daughter Mary as “the best-looking baby you’ve ever seen”, and Wigg asked if he might write a song about her. McCartney replied that one was already complete, although it was written before her birth.

McCartney said that The Beatles’ hangers-on normally fell by the wayside, and that true friends didn’t rely on special treatment. Asked about the group’s waning popularity among older people, McCartney said they were unconcerned, and said during every stage of their career they lost fans who felt they had sold out, while gaining new admirers.

The delicate subject of Apple and Allen Klein was then broached by Wigg. McCartney confessed a dislike of “doing the business bit”, but said it was a necessity. Wigg then said the organisers of the Isle of Wight festival wished The Beatles to headline the following year’s event. McCartney’s response was: “I just don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’ll be all right, though.”

The interview was first broadcast in two sections. The first lasted 2’45” and was heard on Sunday 21 September 1969, while the second lasted 4’55” and was broadcast the following week. Both programmes were transmitted from 3-4pm. More from the tapes was later released on the album The Beatles Tapes With David Wigg.

Last updated: 10 December 2011
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