Interview for Scene And Heard • Sunday, September 21, 1969

Interview for BBC Radio 1

Radio interview • Interview of Paul McCartney • Recorded Sep 19, 1969
Scene And Heard
Published by:
BBC Radio 1
Interview by:
David Wigg
Timeline More from year 1969

Album This interview has been made to promote the Abbey Road LP.

Master release

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On September 19, 1969, Paul McCartney gave an interview to David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 series “Scene And Heard“, to promote the “Abbey Road” album. It took place at the Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row, London. A first excerpt lasting 2’45” was broadcast on September 21 and a longer excerpt (4’55”) on September 28. The full interview was officially released in 1976 on the album “The Beatles Tapes With David Wigg“.


[…] Wigg began by asking McCartney which songs on the album were his favourite. McCartney chose ‘Come Together’, ‘Something’ and ‘Because’, adding that he liked “the whole of the long one” on side two.

He then told the tale of seeing the lyrics for ‘Golden Slumbers’ in a piano songbook owned by his stepsister, and making up the music. He explained how the tune “fitted with another bit of song I had, which is the verse in between it”.

Wigg then asked about ‘Her Majesty’. McCartney said he wrote it in Scotland “as a joke”, and a discussion about the royal family followed. McCartney spoke about The Beatles’ 1963 appearance at the Royal Command Performance and collecting their MBEs in 1965. He said the group didn’t wish to perform again at the Royal Command Performance as they didn’t want to invite comparisons and to repeat past glories.

Talk then turned to family life, and McCartney complained about his lack of privacy. He described his three-week-old daughter Mary as “the best-looking baby you’ve ever seen”, and Wigg asked if he might write a song about her. McCartney replied that one was already complete, although it was written before her birth.

McCartney said that The Beatles’ hangers-on normally fell by the wayside, and that true friends didn’t rely on special treatment. Asked about the group’s waning popularity among older people, McCartney said they were unconcerned, and said during every stage of their career they lost fans who felt they had sold out, while gaining new admirers.

The delicate subject of Apple and Allen Klein was then broached by Wigg. McCartney confessed a dislike of “doing the business bit”, but said it was a necessity. Wigg then said the organisers of the Isle of Wight festival wished The Beatles to headline the following year’s event. McCartney’s response was: “I just don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’ll be all right, though.” […]

Q: How is the baby?

Paul: She’s fantastic, yes, she’s beautiful. She’s about the best looking baby I’ve ever seen. Nicest. Just started on cereal, took every drop! For all the mothers and fathers listening.

Q: And now, are we going to have a Mary song?

Paul: I don’t know.

Q: Soon?

Paul: I don’t know. There’s, we did a song which has Mary in it, but it was written before she was born. So I mean, I suppose she’s already immortalized in a song.

Q: (laughs) Do you plan to have more? Do you want a large family?

Paul: Oh yeah. As many as…

Q: Would you like to have a son?

Paul: I don’t know. Yeah. I like to have anything, you know. I love kids, you know. They’re great. We’ve got two now, which is like instant family. And it’s great, you know. It’s lovely, ’cause I love them both.

Q: Do you feel a different person through marriage, I mean, do you feel sort of, matured?

Paul: Yeah, I’ve never had a kid before, so that, you can’t help to feel different. It takes a bit of time to click. It still hadn’t really clicked that we’ve got a new daughter, you know. It takes a bit of time. I feel different, yeah. I don’t feel any sort of steadier than I have ever felt, you know. I don’t, I’m waiting for me to settle down.

Paul McCartney: I don’t like doing the business bit that much. But you can’t avoid it. See, the thing is, like, we were once a band, just a band. But then, because we were successful, you can’t help it being successful. Money comes in. You can’t help that, again. When money comes in, income tax is to be paid. So you can’t really help just turning into a businessman because someone says to you, “Where’s your income tax, mate?” You say, “Well, I better go on to someone,” you know. “I hope I’ve got a bit to pay you” and stuff. So you got to get all that together, you know. So it’s just force of circumstance. You can’t help it.

David Wigg: Paul, what about the future of The Beatles? I happen to know that the organisers of the Isle of Wight pop festival are going to ask you and the rest of The Beatles if you will top the bill next year at the Isle of Wight. Now, what’s your reaction to a thing like that? Are you likely to go back on stage and perhaps do a show like that?

Paul McCartney: I don’t know, you know.

David Wigg: Does it appeal?

Paul: I’ve never known. I didn’t know when we were playing the Cavern that we’d be on the Royal Variety Performance. And after that all the papers said, “Well, what’s left for them?” So then we went to America. They said, “What’s left for ’em?” then, you know. And we got into making better albums and stuff. I mean, I just don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’ll be all right, though.

Last updated on March 26, 2022


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