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Eric Stewart, from CultureSonar, December 3, 2018:
Q: You are one of a handful of people to write with McCartney after Lennon. He had written with Linda and Denny Laine and would later write with Elvis Costello. How was it different than writing with Graham Gouldman and Lol Creme?
A: Lol’s a bit wilder with his work. He’d come in and say something, which might make you stop. Then you would say, “Life! It is a minestrone!” The ups and downs of life, summed up in a title! He had some nice riffs too. I loved playing guitar on Godley and Creme songs like “Rubber Bullets”… That was a song that was written about American prisons, where you would shoot a rubber bullet to hurt — but not kill — an inmate. It came out when rubber bullets were being used in Northern Ireland. Lol could come out with lines that started the musical bent… Lol was very creative. Paul could be like that. You’ve probably heard this story: I went to his place telling him how beautiful it was walking through three feet of snow with the sun shining. He started singing “it’s beautiful outside” which became “Footprints.” An amazing experience for me! The second track on my album [Eric Stewart / 10cc: Anthology] is “Code of Silence” which came about when Paul was in my music room. He had come around for lunch. We went to the music room where I could go to record. He started playing a beautiful string section, then put down an electric piano part. I said it was brilliant, and he left it with me. I did the vocal and sent it to him. He liked it and said, “hope I get credit” [laughs]. He did put the backing down, so, of course, he did!
Eric Steward, from interview with Amped, October 2017 :
SPAZ: A lot of people seem to be interested in your work with Paul McCartney – what was it like to work with him?
ERIC: Well, there’s a whole great chapter in the book about me and Paul McCartney (see link below for book details). First time I met him, we were both doing an audition for BBC Radio. We passed the audition – our group was called Jerry Lee and The Stagger Lees – but The Beatles didn’t. And I sat there and watched them- the audience was made up of people who had been in the auditions. I was looking up at them and I said to my mates, “That is the future of English music”, and they all said, “No, no, no man, Cliff Richards and The Shadows, far better”. I said, “Well there’s something here that is so special!” They released “Love Me Do” about six weeks later. And it was so fantastic. And I talked with Paul many, many times after that because we were locals. Manchester and Liverpool, we were just 30/40 miles from each other. I kept in touch with him all the way through his career and all the way through my career, and he actually came up to Strawberry to record some songs up there when we had the 10cc thing going – it was about the time of SHEET MUSIC. We also lived close to each other, which we still do now, – he lives within half an hour of me. So I got involved with these songs, on the TUG OF WAR and the PIPES OF PEACE album. He asked, “Do you want to come and do some backing vocals with me and Linda?”, I said “I’d be delighted.” And then he said, “We’re going to pay you.” I thought, “Thanks a lot, but I’m just delighted to do it anyway”. So going and working with him and with George Martin, the fifth Beatle, and watching the influence of George on Paul was terrific – he could bring something out of him. So, he’s been one of my heroes all of my life, Paul. He usually comes up with the most brilliant ideas just right off the top of head. I remember a time, it was snowing here in winter, and we were supposed to be writing together so I said, “I’m going to try and make it down there”. The snow was three feet deep and I got down to his place and the sun was shining outside and was gorgeous and I walked to this little studio at the back of his house and I walked through this little door and I said to Paul, “It’s beautiful outside, Paul look at this beautiful…”, and he sang “It’s beautiful outside”. That was the basis of the song “Footprints” and we started writing it. His brain worked in that way which really got my brain working as well when I was doing my solo stuff, so a great debt is owed to Paul by a lot of people but especially by me.
Last updated on September 15, 2019