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Monday, June 12, 2023

Interview for The One Show

Interview with BBC 1's The One Show programme

TV interview • Interview of Paul McCartney

Last updated on June 24, 2023


  • Published: Jun 12, 2023
  • Show: The One Show
  • Published by: BBC 1
  • Interview by: Lauren Laverne


  • Interview location: National Portrait Gallery, London, UK


This interview remains the property of the respective copyright owner, and no implication of ownership by us is intended or should be inferred. Any copyright owner who wants something removed should contact us and we will do so immediately.

Amidst the promotional campaign for his new photography book and accompanying photo exhibition “1964: Eyes of the Storm,” Paul McCartney participated in interviews with BBC1BBC Radio 4CBS Sunday Morning, and the online magazine, The Face. Additionally, he took part in an on-stage conversation at The Tribeca Film Festival, where he shared the spotlight with renowned American TV personality Conan O’Brien. Moreover, he partook in a live-streamed conversation alongside Stanley Tucci.

On this day, June 12, 2023, Paul was interviewed by Lauren Laverne for BBC1.

Q: Sir Paul, thank you so much for inviting us to this fantastic exhibition, going back an incredible 60 years to that initial explosion of Beatlemania. What do you remember about the time that these photos come from?

A: To me it’s just exciting seeing us. We’re like on an upwards ramp going to London, Paris, New York, Washington, Miami. It’s just great memories for me.

Q: And why are you sharing them with the world now?

A: Because I just discovered them. But you know, there’s pictures I took in the 60s. I didn’t realize how many there were. Loads of them.

Q: And there are also a book, which is called “Eyes of the Storm”. Tell me about the title.

A: Well, the four of us were like the eyes looking out at the storm. And then you had the cameramen who were eyes looking in on us. And then there was the audience, or the fans. So everywhere you went, there was eyes in the storm, you know, so that’s how the title came about.

Q: What was it like to be the subject of that attention and what were you trying to capture in these photos?

A: Well, you know, it was great because we’re kids from Liverpool. I mean, I look at it, I think we’re like early 20s when these are taken. It was like such a thrill to be going to like places like New York, where all the music that we loved was coming from. Just seeing all the people in the streets, screaming and waving at us and stuff. It was like, wow. I mean, it was what we’d hoped for. It was what we were working for. We wanted fame.

Q: But I think you had delayed going to America because you said, let’s not go until we’re number one.

A: Yeah. I thought the worst thing would be to just go over and be just these four guys having a little play. Thank you, good night. So I said, we should have a number one.

Q: How was it for you looking back through these images and going back to that time and all of those early passions?

A: To actually go to Paris and take pictures of the street and pictures of people, it’s like we were in a groovy French film or something, you know. And each place we went to had a character. So now looking back on it, it’s my history, it’s the Beatles’ history, and just the style of how things were then.

Q: Exactly, and some of the images are actually quite poignant. For example, in some of the American images, we get a sense of your unease at seeing armed police. What was that like for you?

A: You’ve got to imagine what our heads were. We’re English guys, and we’ve never been to America. And I’ve got my camera on, taking pictures like a tourist, you know. And we’re in the car, then a motorcyclist escort pulls up right next to the window, or he’s got like, his gun in a holster, and he’s on this cool motorbike. So to me it was like, jaw dropping. So I had to get that picture. I only took one, just bingo.

Q: It’s a great shot. And then when you get to Miami, we see yet another side. As I think you say in the book, only a Beatle could have taken these pictures and it’s so true, you get those intimate, unguarded moments. And there’s one picture that you really love of George. Why do you love that shot so much?

A: So he’s by the pool, he’s got himself a drink, he’s got a tan, he’s got the shades. So it’s like, that’s it, he’s living the life.

Q: You know, we see images of, particularly the black American artists who’d inspired you and you befriended. Of course, in the 60s, the time was defined by the civil rights struggle in the States. How much of that were you exposed to and how did you react to it?

A: We got to America, we’re down in the southern states and we suddenly get told that we’ve got to play to a segregated audience. That’s the way we do it down here. What, you mean the black people in one bit and the white people in the other? No, we don’t do that. So we just refused to and we said no, we’re not going to play unless it’s a non-segregated audience and there’s a lovely story later there was a girl, a black girl, who went to the concert so she’s sitting amongst all the white fans and they’re all just loving the show and they’re screaming and everything and she said I’ve never sat with white people ever before. She said and here they They were like friends, and we’re all loving this group. For me, I think that was very emotional. It still is… So all these photos bring back all those little memories.

Q: I wonder if there’s anything that you wished you’d had your camera to hand, but didn’t manage to capture.

A: Meeting the Queen. Would’ve been good just to say, yes, Mom. [Mimicking taking a photo] Woo, quick take. You know, but those are in what we call your soul’s camera. You haven’t got your, you take it in your soul’s camera… So that’s great.

Q: Sir Paul McCartney, thank you.

A: You’re very welcome, Lauren.

From Lauren Laverne sur Twitter: On tonight’s @bbctheoneshow : I was lucky enough to sit down with @paulmccartney to discuss the extraordinary story behind a new exhibition of previously unseen photographs which he took sixty years ago as Beatlemania swept the world… join us: 7pm on @bbcone and @bbciPlayer
From Paul McCartney sur Twitter, June 12, 2023: Tune in to @BBCTheOneShow at 7pm BST to see Paul discuss his new exhibition and book #EyesOfTheStorm with @laurenlaverne at @NPGLondon
Paul McCartney writing

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