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Antonia Brickell: Last time I saw you was Sunday 6 April, you were doing your soundcheck and I was chomping at the bit to talk to you. What a build up – and here you are now.
Paul McCartney: And I lost my voice, but here I am now, yeah.
Antonia Brickell: And we cried.
Paul McCartney: Why did we cry, because I lost my voice? It was very weird, you know. I’d never had to cancel a show before and I had to walk around with a pad and a pen, writing things down. The doctor said, just don’t talk for two days and that’s not easy. But anyway I’m glad to be back, it’s really great and the penultimate night of the tour now, so it’s fabulous.
Antonia Brickell: So how’s the tour been? You’ve been to Moscow, you’ve been to Rome….
Paul McCartney: Well at least I’ve got more to talk to you about now. Yeah, Moscow was fantastic. We played in Red Square and Heather and I got invited to the Kremlin with Mr Putin and all that. It was really great – the weather was great, the Russians were fantastic. I’d never been and Heather had never been, so it was a great first visit. We got to see St Petersburg and Moscow and everything. Then we were in Rome, which was unbelievable, by the Colosseum playing a gig inside one night and then outside the other. And the outside gig was like five hundred thousand people – so it was just a mile of people. Unbelievable – they had screens going down so everyone could see and hear and it just worked out great. So we’ve been having a great time.
Antonia Brickell: Do you not feel that the pressure is on when you drive past and you see these thousands, these millions of people waiting to see you – you and Heather?
Paul McCartney: Well, not really you know, because you get used to it, to tell you the truth. It’s normally not millions of people, that takes a bit of getting used to. But it is normally thousands. I think when you don’t do that – a lot of my friends don’t do that and they’re ordinary – well not ordinary, they’re normal people, whatever you call people…
Antonia Brickell: Whatever you call normal…
Paul McCartney: Well that’s what I mean, it’s hard to describe people like that. But they’re people who don’t do what I do. And they say “Oh you must be really tired.” And I say “No I love it, y’know”. ‘Cos I think the idea for them of getting out of a traffic jam and getting out of work each week and going and doing all this stuff would be really exhausting. But I say to them “No, it’s great really, we have a good time, we love playing the music, we travel in real style.” So half the time it’s like being on holiday. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Antonia Brickell: You played in Sheffield in 1964 with the Beatles at the City Hall and obviously things have changed a little bit. Now you’re here, what do you see the differences as for you as a performer?
Paul McCartney: I feel lovely about the whole tour, obviously and coming to Sheffield after losing my voice and stuff. I was always very disappointed not to do that second night. It’s great y’know – I didn’t really notice enough the first time around to be able to say to you well that’s new, or that’s been built or that wasn’t here… But the feeling was, we’re talking about the 60s, so Sheffield was a little northern town, or seemed like. And now it seems bigger and more modern – all the obvious stuff.
Antonia Brickell: But did you imagine when you were here with the Beatles, that you’d still be packing them in at 60?
Paul McCartney: No, no, I really didn’t. We didn’t think any of that was going to happen. We thought we might have about five or ten years tops with the group, but it just continued. When the 10 years was up we thought “Well now we’re coming up to 30, it’s time to retire isn’t it?” But it wasn’t y’know because we were still doing stuff, then I went on with Wings and that ended up to be a big success. I think the truth is I just always enjoy it; and if you really enjoy what you do you don’t want to stop. So people say “Are you going to retire?” and stuff. I say “Well you know, even if I retire I won’t stop singing. I just love it too much. I won’t stop writing songs.” So it’s just a natural thing for me to do this. Obviously the audiences are coming and it’s still as big as this tour has been. Which is phenomenal….
Antonia Brickell: And internationally as well. I mean people love you in the States, you’re away….
Paul McCartney: Aw gee, thanks for saying that! No it is true though – it is fabulous, it’s quite surprising. I do love what I do and as long as they love what I do, I’ll continue to do it?
Antonia Brickell: So do you look back on this tour and see it as a Paul McCartney tour or a Beatles nostalgia tour, because you do do a lot of the Beatles numbers don’t you?
Paul McCartney: Well I actually think it’s a Paul McCartney thing, because I always do ‘after the Beatles’. So it was Wings and then solo stuff. But the thing is, what I do is my songs out of the Beatles, the ones that I sang like Hey Jude and Let it Be. I feel that in one way those are Beatles songs, which they are, and it was due to the Beatles that they were successful. But in another way, because I wrote them, they’re my songs. Just as if John had been here now, he would’ve been doing Strawberry Fields, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Nowhere Man, Day in the Life – you know, his selection. I do my selection. So I do feel it’s like a Paul McCartney tour yeah, but it means I’m very lucky – there’s a lot of Beatles songs, a lot of Wings songs and a lot of my own…
Antonia Brickell: You were a member of the Quarrymen, then the Beatles, then you went solo, then you were with Wings, then you went solo again. Which is the most enjoyable phase, is it now?
Paul McCartney: It really is very enjoyable now. I don’t really like to think of any of them being more enjoyable than the other. They’re all different and they’re each really enjoyable for different reasons. When we were starting off as kids, just the idea of maybe going to do this as a living instead of getting what we thought was going to be a boring job, was exciting. So that, doing it for the first time was like “wow, really exciting.” And then getting into the Beatles and that building into a phenomenon was like, “Oh my god, this is really exciting.” And then instead of just not doing anything, re-doing the whole thing with Wings and then that being a success, y’know, with Linda. That was really exciting, but in different ways. And now, with this new band and the success we’ve had with this tour it’s in a new way again. So I just feel amazingly lucky to be part of all these different phases and still be loving it.
Antonia Brickell: You’ve recently got married and I’m just wondering why you don’t fancy being relaxed at home putting you feet up with the beautiful Heather. Drinking, eating, being kind of domestic bliss orientated….
Paul McCartney: Well I do fancy that, and I fancy her, and I fancy drinking and eating! You know what? The truth is we actually do that quite a lot. We were in Dublin the night before last and Heather and I were out at a little restaurant last night. We went for a little bike ride during the day, we went for a little drive out in Dublin. So I mean that’s what you do when you’re together and we do that on our days off. But every so often there’s this little thing called a gig. And I kind of enjoy it y’know, but mainly we’re at home watching the TV and stuff. We have quite a long time off coming up now so we’ll do a lot of that then. But actually on this tour, you’d be surprised. In America we did three months, which is quite dotty. It’s not like we’re slaving away: we’re down in Miami, we’re on the beach, we’re in a posh hotel in Miami for two days and then we do a show. So it’s not a slog.
Antonia Brickell: I know you don’t want me to talk about this too much but congratulations, a dad at 60! How do you see the next five years mapping out? Because we are so excited.
Paul McCartney: Well I’m excited too. I never look forward and say this is how the next five years are going to be, because to tell you the truth I have no idea about how any of it happened to getting here. So I’ve no idea how the next five years are going to be. Heather and I are very excited and we don’t really want to add anything to that, but we’re very, very happy about having a baby. It’s lovely news.
Last updated on January 11, 2021