Interview with Derek Jewel • Monday, January 16, 1967

Interview with Derek Jewel

Interview of Paul McCartney • Recorded Jan 16, 1967
Interview by:
Derek Jewel
Timeline More from year 1967

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At tea time, in the drawing room at his home in St John’s Wood, Paul holds a frank conversation with the journalist Derek Jewel

From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

Derek Jewel “Paul put on the solitary tune yet recorded for a new Beatles album. It’s basically Lennon’s, and is called ‘Strawberry Fields’, named after a Liverpool approved school for girls. One repeated phrase runs, ‘Nothing is real, nothing to get hung about.’”

Paul “We’ve, all of us, grown up in a way that hasn’t turned into a manly way. It’s a childish way. That’s why we make mistakes. We’ve not grown up within the machine. We’ve been able to live very independent lives. But now, we’re ready to go our own ways. We’ll work together only if we miss each other. Then it’ll be hobby work. It’s good for each of us to go it alone. Two years ago I was worried about money, but now, I’m surprised to find that I’m rich, yet, I’m not miserable. I’ve noticed, over the last five years, how people are clinging more and more to the material things. I’m sad, because Britain is going the American way in this. I know we four would be scruffy, dirty and obscene to the Americans if we didn’t have money.”


Paul “How can you be specific in politics? Everybody is trying to do the same thing, get power! The idea of people fighting en masse over land is so maniac, so chaotic, that, in the end, everyone must be intelligent enough to see the madness of it. I’m desperate about what is happening in Vietnam. But what happens if you identify with the other side? You lose the power to sway people. What could we do? Well, I suppose that, at a Royal Command Performance, we could announce a number and then tell people exactly what we thought about Vietnam! But then, we’d be thought to be lunatics! The only way I can see is to talk to people straight, at a professional level, and say, ‘Look, I’m not a nut. This is what I believe.’ If you keep saying it, may be people will see you’re not a nut. All this, ‘Pull together now for England’ is great, till you know what the people who run things really think of you, the plebs. Just like Parliament now, ‘We’ve got to rule you,’ they’re saying, ‘So let’s get on with it! We don’t want you seeing us on TV!’ Isn’t it ridiculous?”

His ambitions?

Paul “I have no ambition to be a writer. I couldn’t write more than a couple of words without being embarrassed. For me, it’s too flowery. I have no ambition to be a conventional film-score composer, because it’s too regimented, you know, fitting music into small slots. There’s no freedom. In the end, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll have a go at anything. Something will turn up.”


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