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Paul interviews
21 June 2015
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Paul has given an interview to Esquire which is up on their site.

Not quoting the full interview but one of the more interesting sections is the subject of John's legacy after his death and the impact on Paul, George and Ringo's role in the Beatles, and the Lennon/McCartney songwriting credit (nothing new but still interesting). 

ESQ: Your name and John Lennon ’s will forever be linked.

PM: Hopefully.

ESQ: But it’s something you chafed against for some time. Did it frustrate you, the constant comparisons between you two?

PM: Yeah. I always looked at life from a point of view of the public. I think I’ve got a good sense of that. The Beatles split up and we were sort of all equal. George did his record, John did his, I did mine, Ringo did his. It was as we were during the Beatles’ times. We were equal. When John got shot, aside from the pure horror of it, the lingering thing was, OK, well now John’s a martyr. A JFK. So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, “Well, he was The Beatles.” And me, George and Ringo would go, “Er, hang on. It’s only a year ago we were all equal-ish.” Yeah, John was the witty one, sure. John did a lot of great work, yeah. And post-Beatles he did more great work, but he also did a lot of not-great work. Now the fact that he’s now martyred has elevated him to a James Dean, and beyond. So whilst I didn’t mind that – I agreed with it – I understood that now there was going to be revisionism. It was going to be: John was the one. That was basically the thing. And when I would talk to mates they’d say, “Don’t worry. People know [the truth]. It’s OK, they know what you did.” But then strange things would happen. Like Yoko would appear in the press, and I’d read it, and it said [comedy Yoko accent], “Paul did nothing! All he did was book the studio...” Like, “Fuck you, darling! Hang on! All I did was book the fucking studio?” Well, OK, now people know that’s not true. But that was just part of it. There was a lot of revisionism: John did this, John did that. I mean, if you just pull out all his great stuff and then stack it up against my not-so-great stuff, it’s an easy case to make.

ESQ: There was some controversy over the fact that the songs are credited to Lennon-McCartney, rather than the other way around.

PM: What happened, when we were kids we were looking for what to call our songs. We had a meeting with Brian Epstein, John and me. I arrived late. John and Brian had been talking. “We were thinking we ought to call the songs, Lennon and McCartney.” I said, “That’s OK, but what about McCartney and Lennon? If I write it, what about that? It sounds good, too.” They said, “OK, what we’ll do is we’ll alternate it: Lennon and McCartney, McCartney and Lennon.” Well, that didn’t happen. And I didn’t mind. It’s a good logo, like Rogers and Hammerstein. Hammerstein and Rogers doesn’t work. So I thought, “OK”. But what happened was the Anthology came out [in 1996, with Epstein and Lennon now long dead]. And I said, “OK, what they’re now saying is, ‘Song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney .’” I said, if you’re doing that, it’s not Lennon and McCartney, it’s not the logo any more. So, in particular cases like 'Yesterday ', which John actually had nothing to do with, none of the other Beatles had anything to do with – I wrote it on my own, sang it on my own, they’re not on the record, nobody is even involved with it, and they didn’t mind that and I didn’t mind, nobody minded, but that’s very much mine – so I said, “Could we have ‘By Paul McCartney and John Lennon ’, wouldn’t that be a good idea? And then on ‘Strawberry Fields’ we’ll have, ‘By John Lennon and Paul McCartney ’. ‘Nowhere Man ’, ‘John Lennon and Paul McCartney ’. ‘Penny Lane ’, ‘Paul McCartney and John Lennon ’. Seeing as we’re breaking it up, can we do that?” And at first Yoko said yeah. And then she rang back a few days later and she had this guy Sam Havadtoy who she was living with – she was co-Havadtoying – and she said she’d decided it wasn’t a good idea and no, no, no, no. And it became a bit of an issue for me. Particularly on that particular song, because the original artwork had 'Yesterday ' by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and a photo of John above it. And I went, “Argh! Come on, lads!” Anyway they wouldn’t do it.

ESQ: Did you ever get to a point where you were able to stop worrying about this?

PM: Well, what happened was there was a backlash from people who didn’t see where I was coming from. “Dancing on a dead man’s grave” was one of the phrases that came up. “What a bighead!” “Why does he want his name in front of John’s?” But it was nothing to do with bighead. It’s just to do with identifying who wrote what. John did a really good Playboyinterview where he did that: “This is mine, this is Paul’s.” So I thought, “Just use that! John said it!” I thought that was perfectly reasonable and I still do, by the way. But I don’t think it’s achievable for some reason. The arguments I used was these days I’ll get a cinema ticket and I will go to a film called “Miss Congeni-”. The “-ality” is missed off. What starts to happen is, “A song by John Lennon and-”. You know how on your iPad there’s never enough room? So it’s kind of important who comes first. Late at night I was in a hotel room looking online and I happened to see this music book, which has got all the songs in it, and it was 'Hey Jude ' by John Lennon and…” and the space ran out. There’s a poetry book, Blackbird  by John Lennon and Paul McCartney .” No! He didn’t write those lyrics! So, at the risk of seeming like… I tell you what, if John was here he would definitely say that’s OK. Because he didn’t give a damn. It wasn’t anything that worried him. But I’ve given up on it. Suffice to say. In case it seems like I’m trying to do something to John.

Another is the the amount of Beatles material Paul plays in concert nowadays and why it changed from the early days of Wings

ESQ: It’s a retrospective, with a heavy emphasis on The Beatles. You spent many years not playing Beatles’ songs, trying to escape from that. What changed?

PM: Well, that was very specifically the period after The Beatles when I was trying to establish Wings and I had to say to myself, “Yeah, you’re an ex-Beatle but you’re trying to do something new so you’ve got to leave that alone.” It’s a risky business because the promoters didn’t like that. They said, “Can’t you just do 'Yesterday ' at the end of the show?” “No!”

ESQ: Presumably it wasn’t just the promoters. The audience must have wanted 'Yesterday ', too.

PM: That’s right. But for me it was, “Too bad, I’ve got to do it this way. I don’t want to rely on the Beatles’ stuff.” It was round about 1976 when Wings had a big successful American tour that I thought, “You know what? It’s OK now.” I felt that I’d succeeded in having a life after The Beatles. And then I was able to think what I’d known all along and you touched on there. Which is, “If I’m in an audience I wanna hear the hits. I don’t want to see the Stones do their new album. I want ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Ruby Tuesday’.” I rationalised that at a certain point.

Its well worth reading.

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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 That was some of the most highly enjoyable reading I've read since I can't remember when. heart

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Yeah, what she said a-hard-days-night-ringo-8

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meanmistermustard said

ESQ: There was some controversy over the fact that the songs are credited to Lennon-McCartney, rather than the other way around.

PM: What happened, when we were kids we were looking for what to call our songs. We had a meeting with Brian Epstein, John and me. I arrived late. John and Brian had been talking. “We were thinking we ought to call the songs, Lennon and McCartney.”

Does anyone know if this is the infamous Paul-was-taking-a-bath-and-showed-up-late meeting? Because I've read a theory that Paul showing up late was a power play. And if so, and if that is the same meeting, I wonder if Paul forever regrets making that move?

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I've read the same theory (that Paul's lateness was an attempted show to gain some power and upmanship) but i dont know it if was the same meeting.

Wasn't Paul's bath when they were going to sign the contract for Brian to become their manager and when Brian said he was late George replied "yes, but he's very clean" (or words to that effect)?

Edit: from wiki

In a meeting with the group at NEMS on 3 December 1961, Epstein proposed the idea of managing the Beatles. John Lennon, Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the meeting, as they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Mathew Street, but McCartney did not arrive on time, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was "taking a bath". Epstein was upset, but Harrison placated him by saying, "He may be late, but he'll be very clean."

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I'd caught snippets of the interview before.......Glad I read the whole thing.

Thanks

 

I feel very happy for Paul. The balance he's found.......

Best interview I can recall. 

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meanmistermustard said
Two clips from an interview Paul gave at LIPA back in May 2015.

His accent sounds much better there than anywhere else I can think of since the Beatledays. In other videos it seems like his once-pristine Liverpudlian has been worn smooth by years of living elsewhere and hearing/reciprocating other accents, but I suppose in Liverpool he's getting the influence of all the other Scousers. a-hard-days-night-john-6 

I know my own speech takes on a slight Southern (US) colouration when I'm around folk who have Southern accents; for example, when visiting family. 

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meanmistermustard said
I've read the same theory (that Paul's lateness was an attempted show to gain some power and upmanship) but i dont know it if was the same meeting.

Wasn't Paul's bath when they were going to sign the contract for Brian to become their manager and when Brian said he was late George replied "yes, but he's very clean" (or words to that effect)?

Edit: from wiki

In a meeting with the group at NEMS on 3 December 1961, Epstein proposed the idea of managing the Beatles. John Lennon, Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the meeting, as they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Mathew Street, but McCartney did not arrive on time, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was "taking a bath". Epstein was upset, but Harrison placated him by saying, "He may be late, but he'll be very clean."

Would it be correct to think this is also the inspiration for the running gag in A Hard Day's Night ? If so, I thank Paul for taking that bath and George for being so witty, because I found that whole 'clean' theme very amusing.

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Silly Girl said

I know my own speech takes on a slight Southern (US) colouration when I'm around folk who have Southern accents; for example, when visiting family. 

He doesn't sound that Scouse to me there, but did he ever? I recall an interview in which he said Jim (maybe Mary too, I don't remember) made him and Mike use the Queen's English, and that he didn't like it al all when his sons would talk Scouse. I know he can do a Liverpudlian accent that would even challenge George's, though! (Do Serchin' Paul, do Serchin'!)

I agree with your observation, though. I no longer live in the town I grew up in either, and accents differ from town to town here. Years ago, I discovered one of the merchants at the weekly market was from my birth place, and we began to talk. As the conversation progressed, I my original accent became more evident. When I speak to anyone not from that place, you'll detect all kinds of different influences in the way I speak: the towns I lived in, but also where I went to school.

 

Edit: sorry for double posting... a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

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For such a small country like England.....there are a multitude........a veritable plethora of accents....... 100's. They say accents change every ten miles or so.......dating back to the time when communities lived only as far away from a market town as it took to walk your produce or drive your livestock there and get back home the same day.

Thick scouse is pretty different to Sir Paul's poshed up version but he's still I'm pleased to say recognisably Liverpudlian. I'm convinced The Beatle's accents were a part of their attraction all over the English speaking world including other parts of England.

To demonstrate thick scouse......It's said that the Iraqi missiles in the gulf war were named by a scouser......Who watched a launch and commented how good it was......which came out from the sides of his mouth as....... 'Scud that"

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JPM-Fangirl questioned this 

Silly Girl pointed out 

I know my own speech takes on a slight Southern (US) colouration when I'm around folk who have Southern accents; for example, when visiting family. 

He doesn't sound that Scouse to me there, but did he ever? I recall an interview in which he said Jim (maybe Mary too, I don't remember) made him and Mike use the Queen's English, and that he didn't like it al all when his sons would talk Scouse. I know he can do a Liverpudlian accent that would even challenge George's, though! (Do Serchin' Paul, do Serchin'!)
<snickety snack>

Well, he isn't seriously Scousey like some of the other Beatles *cough* George *cough*, but he certainly has that Liverpudlian thing. Just listen to, say, Penny Lane or Wait : in the former he goes 'the barber shaves another customer' with that Scousey 'U', and in Wait he does the same thing on the word 'trust'. If he had enough of an accent to come out in singing, then you may be sure he had an accent. 

Also, in this early interview he sounds pretty Liverpudlian. I think it wore off later, after he stopped hanging out with his bandmates who were all quite Scouse and married Linda who was American. I'm sure her accent influenced his speech some. 

Wigwam orated in the tones of a native UK-er 
<snippety snap>

Thick scouse is pretty different to Sir Paul's poshed up version but he's still I'm pleased to say recognisably Liverpudlian. I'm convinced The Beatle's accents were a part of their attraction all over the English speaking world including other parts of England.

<trim>

Definitely. I think I listen to a lot of their interviews just to hear them speak.... a-hard-days-night-paul-7

What a fascinating derail this has been... are there any threads where we can discuss the Beatles' accents to our hearts' content? 

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JPM-Fangirl said

meanmistermustard said
I've read the same theory (that Paul's lateness was an attempted show to gain some power and upmanship) but i dont know it if was the same meeting.

Wasn't Paul's bath when they were going to sign the contract for Brian to become their manager and when Brian said he was late George replied "yes, but he's very clean" (or words to that effect)?

Edit: from wiki

In a meeting with the group at NEMS on 3 December 1961, Epstein proposed the idea of managing the Beatles. John Lennon, Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the meeting, as they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Mathew Street, but McCartney did not arrive on time, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was "taking a bath". Epstein was upset, but Harrison placated him by saying, "He may be late, but he'll be very clean."

Would it be correct to think this is also the inspiration for the running gag in A Hard Day's Night ? If so, I thank Paul for taking that bath and George for being so witty, because I found that whole 'clean' theme very amusing.

The "he's very clean" gag in 'A Hard Day's Night ' was a joke based on the character Wilfred Brambell played in a massively popular (to this day) comedy called 'Steptoe and Son'. Wilfred played Albert Steptoe, father to Harold who always called his dad a "dirty old man" - for instance Albert rarely bathed and if he did would happily eat pickled onions in the bath, not minding if they dropped in the water first. Its well worth watching; complete episodes are on youtube.

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This is what Meanmistermustard was talking about.........He should know..'keeps a ten bob note up his nose'

All of us in the Uk associated Albert with filth.......He celebrated dirt. He was typecast and it was hard for us to put aside his TV character when we saw him in AHDN .

Even when I saw him as an old cuckold  in 'The Canterbury Tales' in the West End it was impossible for me to put aside 'Steptoe'

 

 

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Ah well, you can't blame me for not knowing, as I'm not from the UK *and* my brain has recently been reduced to liquid. Nice bit of trivia though; thanks!

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Harry H Corbett hated, and was deeply frustrated, at being typecast as Harold. Interesting article from the Express on how Wilfred and Harry's relationship ended in them hating each others guts.

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meanmistermustard said
Harry H Corbett hated, and was deeply frustrated, at being typecast as Harold. Interesting article from the Express on how Wilfred and Harry's relationship ended in them hating each others guts.

My mate got propositioned in his early teens by Wilfred ......a 'shirt-lifter' of some renown...... So I could understand if Harry H felt that way......Gay or straight kids are off limits.

Though I read elsewhere, (wiki) that they got along ok. I have to say that the only negative for me in AHDN is the casting of Wilfred Bramble. 

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Wogblog reports that Uncut has an exclusive interview with Paul in its latest edition.

They visit Sir Paul at his studio in Sussex where he talks openly about working with and without John Lennon – and discusses extensively the relationship that revolutionised music.

“When I think of John, I think of us writing together,” says McCartney. “‘A Day In The Life ‘… stuff like that.”

I get the feeling there will be little of anything new in the interview. I hope I am wrong. If anyone bothers to read it can you let me know if there is. Ta. apple01

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Paul talked about the day John was shot with BBC Radio 2's Dermot O'Leary.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/mus.....les-music/

The 73-year-old also talked tenderly about the day his Beatles band member John Lennon was shot dead in New York on 8 December 1980 by Mark David Chapman. McCartney recalled that he had a studio session booked in London that day, and that when his manager phoned him with the news he was "floored".

He spent the day with producer and friend George Martin in the studio, so he could "be with people who could help you grieve and that's what I decided to do so it was a very strange day in the studio".

He added: "You just try to work through it and obviously every second of the day was drenched in the fact because you just kept stopping and going 'oh my God '.

"You know it was so shocking and you couldn't put it into words. None of us could say anything at that time, it took a while before you could say 'ah remember that, remember John, wasn't that great'.

"I could put my anger into words for the guy who killed him. That's about all I could do that day."

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Interesting extract from Paul Du Noyer's new book Conversations With McCartney. The talk is of whether Paul can claim to be an "ordinary man" and what it is to be "Paul McCartney ".

I sometimes hear myself in interviews, going, "I’m just an ordinary guy, really." And I think they go away and think, “Did he really say he was an ordinary guy?” Cos there’s a lot of evidence to the contrary. No ordinary guy is as famous as I am. Or has the money I’ve got. So, difficult to claim you’re ordinary.

You can get a table in any restaurant. I’d ring up and say, Have you got a table? "Sorry sir, we’re fully booked." It’s Paul McCartney here. "Oh! Certainly! Mr McCartney, please! Come at 8 o’clock!" You get used to that, and I’ve never been comfortable with it. Oh yeah? You’ll let me in now, will yer? Bastard. I don’t like that.

 

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