Club Sandwich feature

The Spring 1988 edition (#85) of Club Sandwich, McCartney’s fan club publication, contained an interview of sorts with Geoff Baker, his publicist, about the album.

Rumours have reached the Newsroom that new sounds have been heard emanating from Paul’s studio. To investigate further we despatched Geoff Baker on a mission to explain. The jury is still out on whether he accomplished his mission.

A mobile phone rings in the back of beyond.

Editor: “So, Baker, what gives?”

Baker: “Err, I’m down at the studio.”

Editor: “I know that, what’s going on down there?”

Baker: “He’s working on a new album.”

Editor: “Would you care to be more specific?”

Baker: “Ah… he’s mixing an album.”

Editor: “Well! Aren’t you the deep throat today? Do you think you may be able to squeeze a fact into this conversation? Would it be asking too much for you to tell us what it is?

Baker: “Err… that’s the problem. I really can’t say.”

(I would have loved to have told him, honest I would. Trouble is, though, having talked to Paul about it, he doesn’t want to talk about it. Macca’s in deep cover on this one, he’s going underground, which makes it a tad difficult to file a report. I could tell him, the Ed, what I’m hearing down here; what I’m hearing is more trance than dance music. Though you could dance to it. I could. Or you could trance to it. Easily. Give me a late night, a glass of wine… it’s pipe music. That’s it, I’ll tell him…)

Baker: “Hello, Ed?”

Editor: “What’ve you got? Got the scoop? What’s he doing?”

Baker: “Um, it’s a little difficult to explain. Uh, do you think it would be OK just to say he’s making pipe music for trancing in the streets?”

Editor: “Do what? How do you think our readers going to understand that? Have you stopped liking your job? Have you found an alternative method to feeding your wife and kids? What does the album sound like?”

Baker: “Well, aahhh, it sounds like… it sounds… err. You know like when you’re floating and – ”

Editor: “Did you say floating? What on earth do you mean, floating! Do you mean like on a boat?”

(You see my problem? For some people the Sixties just never happened. What I meant was, it’s music that floats your mind, lets it sail and bob, lets you wander and wonder. It’s wanderful.)

Editor: “Are you still there? Hello? You’ll be floating in a minute – face down in a river! Look, just-tell-me-in-simple-English-what-it-is-he’s-doing. Is that too difficult? Is it a rock and roll album? Pop? Can you dance to it? Is it AOR or MOR? Give me a clue!”

Baker: Well, it’d be great driving music, y’know; late night, on the freeway, yeah, whack it on the cassette and float away. Yeah, it’ll be great for driving and – ”

Editor: “Are you telling me that Paul McCartney has recorded new music aimed at people who want to drive their cars – or their boats – while in a trance? Because that’s all you appear to have told me so far, you blithering idiot! Do these tracks have titles?”

Baker: “Umm, yeah. Well… one’s called ‘Bison’. And there’s ‘Plum Jam’ and ‘Fluid’. And ‘Through The Marshes’.”

Editor: “And what do they sound like?”

(What’s the point? How do you explain to a guy who has never heard a lemon peal that Plum Jam sounds like double cream? How can I tell this to those who have never known what Timothy Leary called ‘the breen curtains, the darsh walls and an emerdeen sky’?)

Editor: “Hello-o, Earth calling Planet Baker. Are you still there? Who’s he making this with?”

Baker: “Ah, well there lies another slight problem.”

Editor: “Which is?”

(Which is that I can’t say. I could but I can’t. Shan’t. I could have told him that when I got down here Macca was overdubbing all sorts – bass, guitar, keyboards, cymbals, all very Flaming Pie in that ‘who plays what?’ sense. Just him and Linda and a mate laying down a groove and Pepper-/z’fee taping of anything that comes to mind; looping the sounds oj horses clip-clopping through mud, taping a snatch of some film girl’s memory of a UFO, tapping and taping into a chat with one of those ‘Live 1-2-1′ sex lines. There’s all sorts here, really. And licorice.)

Editor: “Oh come on, for crying out loud – give me something good on this. Is it controversial? Groundbreaking? Please, give me a line on it.”

Baker: “I think there’s some sex in it.”

Editor: “Did you say sex? Sex is good. What sort of sex? How? Who?”

Baker: “Can’t say, sorry. And there’s mud too”.

Editor: “Mud?”

Baker: “Yeah, he’s taping mud”

Editor: “What, like ‘ Tiger Feet’? ‘Lonely This Christmas’?”

Baker: “No, not Mud. Mud.”

Editor: “That’s what I said. Mud. Sex and Mud, eh? Sex and Mud is good. I’ve got it, he’s taping Mud having sex, right?”

Baker: “No, no! When I say mud I don’t mean Mud the group. I mean mud as in what you walk in, what wellies are for.”

Editor: “Let me get this straight – he’s recording the sound of mud?”

Baker: “Yes.”

Editor: “And mud has a sound?”

Baker: “Yeah.”

Editor: “OK, so what’ve we got from this alleged story of yours? That Paul is recording something, possibly with persons unknown, which will be great for driving or for trance classes and it may involve in some way some sex secret and the sound of wet soft earth? Great. Hold the front page. I don’t suppose you have any idea when the release date for this mystery album will be announced?”

Baker: “It won’t.”

Editor: “It won’t what?”

Baker: “It won’t, sir!’

Editor: “Don’t get cute.”

Baker: “The release won’t be announced. It’ll just happen, low-key. It’ll just be out there.”

(Actually, between us, I did hear talk of an equinox release, but…)

Editor: “But when? When?”

Baker: “Err, when the Moon is right. Look, I can’t say; my hands are tied. But they’ll know.”

Editor: “Who’s they?”

Baker: “They who are not you.”

Editor: “Oh forget it! Just write about what you did on your holidays…”