Make your own free website on Tripod.com

PAUL McCARTNEY, AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN, FEBRUARY 2, 1990


QUESTION: You made a comment last night about how you took a lot of your musical roots from this city. Were you referring to Motown or were there other things?

PAUL: I mainly meant Motown, yeah. We were major fans of black American music, a lot of which came from this city, so ...

QUESTION: You've met a lot of Motown people over the years. Any particular favorites?

PAUL: Oh, I love them all, you know. This kind of happened alongside us happening. The English people and the black Motown boom was great. So we were good mates, like Diana Ross and the Supremes. We were kind of contemporaries happening together.

QUESTION: Did you think of having any Motown artists do a guest shot with you last night?

PAUL: It's kind of difficult to work in guests. We've sort of got the show set now. Really the only person who's guested so far is Stevie [Wonder] in LA, who is very much Motown, as you know. But that was easy because we do "Ebony and Ivory" in the set. It's not too easy to open up the set when you get to this stage with the production.

QUESTION: What made you decide after to tour after thirteen years?

PAUL: Maybe the fact that I got a good band. You know, I've been recording and doing solo stuff and little guest spots like Live Aid and shows like that but the recording of the Flowers in the Dirt album the band felt really good. We've got a sense of humor in common and they're good musicians, too. So, it was either a question of saying good-bye, see you next album, or, like, should we stay together and if we stay together, what should we do - Let's go on tour.

QUESTION: A lot of critics are quick to judge anything that you or any of the other Beatles do. How did you go into this LP mentally? Do you ever get to the point where you thought the heck with them?"I'm going to shove one down your throat?"

PAUL: Yeah, I get to that point. I was not pleased with the album before it, which is Press to Play. So I wanted to make this one better and shove it down a few people's throats. I'm quite happy with the album itself. It has some of my best songs on it.

QUESTION: Has coming out on the road reinspired you to go back in the studio a little earlier than you have in the past?

PAUL: Not really, but it's good for you, getting on the road. It's a stimulating thing, actually seeing your fans instead of just getting letters from them. It really lifts you.

QUESTION: In your program last night I noticed you said the best thing about touring is the audience. Was the audience last night as good as you expected?

PAUL: It was a serious audience last night, really, because we've always been playing ...

QUESTION: What do you mean by that?

PAUL: Seriously good, seriously fab. Seriously doody. We've just come from England and Wembly, which was a great series of concerts. We did eleven on the trot, I think, but the English are a bit more reserved, you know. They get going, but it takes them like half an hour. This audience, it didn't take them but a second and then screams.

QUESTION: Paul, a lot of people said your show was an emotional experience. Why did it take twenty years for you to come back out and finally play the classic Beatles songs?

PAUL: When the Beatles broke up, it was a little difficult. It was a bit like a divorce and you didn't really want to do anything associated with the ex-wife. You didn't want to do her material So all of us took that view independently and John stopped doing Beatles stuff, George, Ringo, we all did. Because it was just too painful for awhile. But enough time's gone by now. On the last tour I did in 1976 with Wings we avoided a lot of Beatles stuff because of that. So now it feels really kind of natural to do those songs. It's a question of either getting back to those songs or ignoring them for the rest of my life. And as I say, some of them I haven't actually done before and i didn't realize that until we were rehearsing with the band and i said, "This feels great, 'Sgt. Pepper.' I mean, why is this so great?" And someone reminded me, they said, "You've never done it." it's like a new song to me. It's just the right time to come back with that stuff.

QUESTION: Will there be a time when you get together with George and Ringo? Not really a reunion without John but kind of a jam maybe?

PAUL: I don't know. That's always on the cards, but a reunion as such is out of the question because John's not with us. The only reunion would have been with John. But, like you say, we might easily get together. There are a couple of projects that are available now that we've solved our business differences. I don't know, I haven't actually seen them. I've been living this whole thing through the press. People say to me, "George said he won't do it." I haven't spoken to him yet.

QUESTION: Why did it take so long to resolve your business differences?

PAUL: Have you ever been in a lawsuit? I was in one for the last twenty years. It just took forever. What happens is you get your advisors and they get theirs and then lawyers, I think, are trained to keep things like that going. The first rule in law school, you know : keep it going.

QUESTION: Do you regret that the four ex-Beatles never got together again before John died?

PAUL: Well, I regret it, you know, but, I mean, this is life. It just didn't happen for a number of reasons. It would have been great, but John not dying would have been even better.

QUESTION: What's going on in Eastern Europe?

PAUL: I think it's very exciting. To me it seems like the sixties kicking in again. That's my point of view. It's all the stuff that was said in the sixties : peace, love, democracy, freedom, a better world, and all that stuff. It's finally kicked in. The way I look at it, people like Gorbachev grew up with the sixties and I don't think you can be unaffected by it and I think it's all kicking in now. Look at those people who are coming across the border and a lot of them are wearing denim. It's us coming across that border. I think it's very exciting. I think China's next.

QUESTION: Are you going to play any dares in Eastern Europe now that the Iron Curtain is history?

PAUL: I'd like to, but we've got so many dates on this tour and they don't include Eastern Europe. I'd like to go to Russia, but the promoters say it's too cold, so we went to Italy.

QUESTION: What are your plans after this tour?

PAUL: I'll be writing after this tour. I've got a lot of writing I want to do. I'm doing a very interesting thing. It's a classical thing for an orchestra which is due to be performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the Liverpool Cathedral in 1991 and that's like a serious work, so I've got a lot of writing to do.

QUESTION: Why don't you write your memoirs?

PAUL: I don't know, really. I always thought that you had to be like about seventy before you did.

QUESTION: What new things are you listening to right now?

PAUL: Um, I listen to everything. I listen to all sorts of things.

QUESTION: James and Stella are traveling with you right now. Would you ever invite eithe of them on stage?

PAUL: Not really. It's too sort of show-bizzy, that kind of thing. I know a lot of people do that. If they really deperately wanted to do it, then I'd help them, but it's got to come from them. I'm not going to push them onstage because it's a tough game.

QUESTION: How do you compare the thrill of performing in the sixties with performing today?

PAUL: It's very similar actually. That crowd last night was strangely sixties. It's very good, you know.

QUESTION: But now you can hear yourself.

PAUL: With the new technology, yeah. I mean, you compare all this equipment here and you've got like Cape Canaveral. But when we started out it was like two guitars and a bass in one amp.

QUESTION: What was your inspiration for the film presentation before the concert? How did you go about putting the film footage together?

PAUL: I talked to Richard Lester, who made A Hard Day's Night and Help! and we were thinking of having a support act before our act, but the promoters told me that was going to get difficult. So I suggested, "Well, what about if we do a film?" So I rang Dick Lester and said to him, "Could you do a film that says, 'First there was the Beatles, then there was Wings, and then there was now?' He said, "Let me think about it," and he came back with the film, which I like - it's kind of uncompromising; it's a very grown-up film, gives people something to think about.

QUESTION: Are you going to change the show when it comes to stadiums?

PAUL: Yeah, we will magnify it a little bit. This style of show is fine in an arena like this, but when you get into a forty-thousand [seat] arena it starts to look a little small, so we'll just make it bigger. But basically keep the same show.

QUESTION: There's been a flood of unreleased Beatles recordings, very high quality like the Ultra Rare Trax you probably heard about. What are your feelings on the release of those things and would you like to see EMI release them officially?

PAUL: That's kind of a difficult question. It's like as far as the Beatles were concerned, we  released all our good material, except for maybe one or two little things that at the same time we didn't like. And there are one or two tracks that I think are worth looking at. "Leave My Kitten Alone," John sings, which I think is very good. But in the main we released all our best material, so now you know, it's like memorabilia. People just like to hear the tracks that were the takes we didn't use or something. If people are interested, it's fair enough. I mean, I don't get uptight about bootlegs. What are you going to do?

QUESTION: I just wondered if you plan to tour after this.

PAUL: Yeah. It's funky because I think a lot of people come to the show and think, "Well, it's the last time you'll see him." I don't know why they think that, but, yes, the Stones and I, well, we're getting up there kind of thing, but as far as I'm concerned I feel twenty-seven, not forty-seven.

QUESTION: Will you rock 'n' roll after you're fifty, do you think?

PAUL: I think there is probably life after fifty, yeah.

QUESTION: Paul, of all the songs you've written, what would be your favorite if you still have one.

PAUL: That's a very difficult question. I mean, musically, I might say, "Here, There, and Everywhere," but as far as success is concerned, it has to be "Yesterday," because it's just done more than I could have ever hoped for.

QUESTION: Does "Yesterday" mean something different to you now that you're forty-seven?

PAUL: Yes, it sure does. When I wrote it I was a twenty-year-old singing, "I'm not half the man I used to be." It's like, it's very presumptuous for a twenty-year-old. At forty-seven, however it means something.

QUESTION: At that time did you ever think you'd be rocking now?

PAUL: I didn't think we'd be still rocking now. The great thing, as I say, is you look at what a lot of us have done recently and you look at people like Muddy Waters and you think, It didn't matter that he was seventy, he's still singing the blues. Instead of a youth-oriented thing, it's become a music-oriented thing, so I think as long as you can still deliver, I mean, you look at the age of these audiences, I'm very surprised, the sort of young people  I thought it just would be my age group mainly, but there's a lot of young kids and they know this material.

QUESTION: Are they simply looking for nostalgia?

PAUL: I don't know, I'm always talking to my kids about that. You tell me. What songs are going to be remembered? It's going to be, I don't know, some rap song ...

QUESTION: Are you enjoying all this, Paul?

PAUL: Yes, it's great. I really am.

QUESTION: How do you like your music today?

PAUL: My music? I still like it.

QUESTION: How do you feel when you look out in the crowds and you see parents holding their children to see you?

PAUL: It's really beautiful because I've got four kids and the great thing about me and my kids is that there isn't this generation gap that I thought would be there.

QUESTION: Do they listen to any music that bothers you?

PAUL: No. But I know what you mean. I thought they'd get into some old punk music and I'd be saying, "Well, the sixties was better," but they're not. My son loves the Beach Boys. His new big turn-on album that I turned him on to is Pet Sounds. And he loves James Brown, Otis Redding, the Commodores, he's got good taste.

QUESTION: Are you surprised how many young people on this tour are responding to your music?

PAUL: Well, kind of. But a couple of years ago I started to notice how kids like my nephews, who are eighteen now, but who've I've known since they were two or whatever, started getting into the Grateful Dead. Now they're all Deadheads, it's incredible. I think maybe it is because modern music is a little bit synthetic and shallow that they're looking back to the sixties. And the great thing about a lot of that sixties stuff is that it does stand up still.

QUESTION: Are your children musically inclined?

PAUL: Yeah, they are, but Linda and I have always said that we'd never push them because it's a tough game and unless they're really keen ... But they're all very good, they're all interested in music and they can carry a tune and stuff.

QUESTION: When you get away from this for awhile, is there anything that strikes you that would like to effect, being a father and with your stature in the world?

PAUL: The thing we're doing on this tour is hooking uop with the Friends of the Earth and mentioning the environmental issues a lot. I mean, I'm no expert, but I've got four kids and I see this Exxon spill and how well they cleaned up ... joke. I don't think anyone wants that to happen. I don't think anyone wants the hole in the ozone layer to get any bigger. But I was like anyone else, I thought, "Well, the government will fix it for us," but last year it became apparent that no one was going to fix it and we've got to address the problem ourselves. So that's what I'm doing on this tour, I'm mentioning it just to give the issues publicity because I really think we got to get serious on all that stuff.

QUESTION: What are you trying to do with Friends of the Earth?

PAUL: Friends of the earth are basically trying to clean up the planet; instead of putting your toxic waste in your water, instead of blowing a hole in the sky, instead of having acid rain ... If someone had told me when I was a kid that when I grew up the land would have poisons in it, the rain would have acid in it, the sky would have a hole in it, I would not have believed them. But here we are, we're at that point now and my hope is that going into the next century we really address the problem and get the planet straight. My point is that we are definately the species that's won. Man has definately beaten all other animals hands down, and what I'd like to see is us to be cool dudes about that. But instead we're still blasting the hell out of everything. It's time we realized we're the only ones on Earth that fouls its own nest. Everything else, the birds and stuff, go over someplace else to take a dump, but we don't. we do it right here, right where we live. We put all our toxic waste in our lakes and put all these poisons in cans and dump it under the sea, saying, "It will be all right for a hundred years." But what about a hundred and one years, when it blows up?

© THE LOST BEATLES INTERVIEWS