‘Driving Rain’ was written out here in Los Angeles – there was a lot of rain out here in February and so on our day off we went off for a drive in this little Corvette that I hired, we drove off up the Pacific Coast Highway and went on up to Malibu and had a bit of lunch. In the evening, feeling great after a nice day out, I was sitting around at the piano and I just started writing something half-based on the day out. People say ‘how do you get your creativity?’ and I think the answer is that you just have to be open to stuff. It’s like a photographer; Linda could see a great photograph just because the light was right or it was an unusual object, or somebody’s face was relaxed, Jimi Hendrix yawning – she’d snap it, whereas somebody else might wait for him to stop yawning. For me it’s the same thing; I’m always on the look out for just interesting stuff, either visually or musically or lyrically. The funny thing about the song ‘Driving Rain’ was that the alarm system in the house we were renting in Los Angeles was always on. There was a little electrical, LED box on the wall and it always said ‘Something’s Open’. I thought what the fuck good is that? And no matter if you shut every window and door in the whole bloody place, this alarm always said ‘Something’s Open’. Not very reassuring, but in the end I thought fuck it – and I took the words into a song; I thought, right, ‘Something’s open – it’s my heart’. I just used is as an opening line of ‘Driving Rain’. So in that case the creativity came from this junk of an alarm.
paulmccartney.com, November 2001
‘Driving Rain’ was recorded by McCartney at Henson Studios in Los Angeles in February 2001, during a three-week block of sessions.
Recorded 27th February 2001 onto 16-track analogue tape, then loaded into Logic Audio for overdubs. Paul played Hofner bass and sang a live vocal then overdubbed Martin acoustic guitar and another vocal. Abe played his drum kit then overdubbed Paul’s Ludwig drums. Rusty played Gibson 12 string guitar and overdubbed Dan Electro electric guitar. Gabe played Wurlitzer electric piano. David overdubbed synths.
McCartney performed ‘Driving Rain’ throughout his Driving World Tour in 2002. A recording from Chicago’s United Center on 11 April 2002 can be heard on the live albums Back In The US and Back In The World.