Interview for WIRED • Thursday, September 13, 2018

Paul McCartney Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions

Interview of Paul McCartney

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Hi there it’s Paul McCartney. I’m doing Wired autocomplete interview.

Google is Paul McCartney.

No I am Paul McCartney, Google is Google. 

Why is Paul McCartney nickname macca

Cause I’m from Liverpool and they abbreviate everything in Liverpool. Oh
McCartney is too formal for a mucker. So George Harrison a classic John Lennon
Lenny so they just abbreviate everything
there and so that’s why it’s a deviation
derivation of McCartney

where’s Paul
McCartney wearing an opp badge well if I
knew it or not badge was I would tell
you I suspect it’s the thing a badge I
had on the Sergeant Pepper thing just
like a Canadian thingy I never found out
what it was I just liked the badge why
did Paul McCartney write let it be I had
a dream it was in the years when we’re
probably overdoing everything drinking
and getting staying out too late and
getting crazy so I was a bit so
exhausted I went to bed and he had a
dream and my mother who died probably
about ten years previously was in the
dream she came to me in the Train
it’s a magic moment because you’re
actually there with your mother so she
seemed to know that I was a bit stressed
out and she said don’t worry it’s gonna
be fine
just let it be myself Wow and just felt
really great that my mother had given me
that advice and woke up and was just
remembering the dream and I thought what
did she say she didn’t let it be and so
I thought that was a great idea for a
song so I went to the piano and wrote it
now I’m gonna look at the last question
unfortunately you won’t at home won’t be
able to see this last question how dare
you ask me that
when did Paul McCartney become sir few
years ago I don’t actually remember what
year it was well it’s amazing because
the first thing you hear you’ve got a
letter through the post saying you’re
going to be knighted but don’t tell
anyone so that’s a pretty buzzy letter
to get it’s very exciting actually you
have to be a bit of a Royalist you have
to think that the Queen is cool some
people actually turn it down
but anyway it’s great you get to visit Buckingham Palace and you go in there and you’re in a room full of people who are getting honoured and the guy comes in the aquarii some kind of military guy  explains what you have to do how you have to approach the Queen you have to kind of walk in and then look at her and then walk straight ahead and then just bow your head a little bit the Queen takes a sword at this point you have to be very trusty she could do anything with that sword one shoulder the other shoulder and then says arise Sir Paul
McCartney okay

when did Paul McCartney
write yesterday
60 19 or something like that I’m not
very good on dates it was in the 60s
shortly before we recorded it so you can
look it up great thing about yesterday
was it kind of wrote itself people say
to me do you believe in mysticism and
magic with that story I kind of have to
because I just woke up one morning I was
this dude what’s that I like that tune
after a couple of weeks of asking
various people like John the eyes in the
band George Martin everyone said well we
don’t know you know must be yours
and it was it’s very special because I
say I just dreamed it what a gift I
think a lot of people dream and this
music in the dream they just go oh I was
at a Stones concert and they were doing
this you know I’ve done that too and
they’ve been doing a song I don’t know
can I wake up Wow and they sometimes you
can’t remember yeah so that’s how
yesterday happened in early 60s that’s
as close as I can get
all right Wendy Paul McCartney and wings
breakup 70s sometimes no I’m you know
the trouble is I’m too busy doing stuff
to remember all the days just ask a fan
they know the dates and you know the
loads of people actually know stuff but
when we broke up I think it’s not an
exact day I think it would be after a
trip when I went to Japan and got busted
I think that didn’t help right when did
Paul McCartney learn to play the piano
when I was a kid we had a piano in the
house my dad played it I’ve read stuff
that lots of people in those days all
over the world really had pianos in the
houses it was it’s like having a
computer these days everyone’s got one
and that was the way people entertained
themselves because there wasn’t much
other entertainment you know the going
back before TV even you know so yeah we
had a piano in the house a nice and just
noodle on it and I asked my dad to teach
me but he wouldn’t he said you’ve got to
get proper lessons so I took proper
lessons and couldn’t really get on with
it because the music I was hearing in my
head wasn’t do-do-do-do do-do-do-do-do
do-do-do-do-do this is like extremely
you know I couldn’t do that now you know
I think kids learning continue I don’t
want to tell you not to but I just
couldn’t ever get it we get with it I
kind of learned myself I just picked out
chords on the piano that would have been
when I was about 14 also when did join
the Beatles I should know that yeah I
mean I was like a teenager
and John had a group that was actually
called the quarry man and I joined them
and when I was a teenage so I would be
sixteen seventeen or something and then
that became the Beatles the quarry man
some of the members fell away George
joined and then eventually Ringo joined
so that would be like I I think the
Beatles was when I was about 19
did the Beatles play at Woodstock no
they didn’t did the Beatles and Elvis
ever meet yeah we did he was in
Hollywood and he was renting a house
while he was doing movies and we had
wanted to meet him for years we rely
massive fans of Elvis even though the
sad thing was we kind of knocked him off
his perch we didn’t mean to you know he
was the star and we became the stars and
kind of his ii-era sort of ended you
know we never liked that so he was so
keen to meet him and we went to this
house and the four of us all together
and he came to the door which is a
matter of dispute because we did this
story once and Ringo said no we didn’t
he was sitting on the couch I say no he
didn’t he came to the door so my story
which I leave is the correct one sorry
Ringo is that he came to the door
looking great looking really cool slacks
and a kind of uh I think it was like a
red red jumper it was amazing I mean it
was just like a dream really meeting
Elvis we’d fantasized about him since we
were kind of young teenagers and here he
was in the flesh so it was great it was
lovely I I knew that he played a bit of
bass so he and I chatted about what pace
is he playing a more place I played and
stuff and the most amazing things beside
actually just meeting him but he had the
first remote television channel changer
that we ever seen you know because it
you know it was that year when they came
out and he was just aiming it at the TV
and the channels were changing he is
indeed the mighty God if we can turn the
channels without approaching this
television set so we were very impressed
by their did the ripples and stones get
along yeah we did it and we do to this
day because the thing was we were all
young guys who were just coming into the
music business we all had a lot in
common and we would meet each other in
clubs or TV programs that we were all
doing and we’d hang out socially you
know yeah we we knew them quite well you
know and a lot of fun and stuff I don’t
quite know how the room
got started that you know we were rivals
I mean me and John actually wrote their
first hit which is I want to be your man
so we couldn’t have been that much
rivals no we really liked I’m going to
say to this day yeah I go to the shows
and we sometimes get to hang out a bit
good group not as good as the Beatles
but good okay did the Beatles use a
click track no because there were no
such things click tracks and in actual
fact it was a good thing because you
just had to hold the tempo and if you
ever went off if you’re a good band you
just go with that little you know
drummers notoriously speed up I don’t
really think Ringo ever dead he held a
really good temper but if he did we just
go with him we could absorb that little
thing but he hardly ever did and you
know it’s a great trauma so we didn’t
need a click track we can also we didn’t
have one even if we needed one did the
beatles were wigs yes and i’m wearing
one of them now I’ve had it colored to
be appropriate to my age and this is a
no it isn’t and no we didn’t wear wigs
you know how that came no they really
would there were no wigs involved but
what used to happen people would tell us
when we went on The Ed Sullivan Show
first appearance on American TV all the
dads who were probably very jealous of
these fine heads of hair that we had and
we were shaking and doing things with
them and the dads of a lot of kids you
saw the wigs wearing wigs
oh no they would have talked to American
ah there were wigs hey there me I wasn’t
wearing wigs so anyway they weren’t wigs
and I but I think that’s maybe worth is
the rumor started okay can Paul
McCartney speak German yeah and best
you’d be covered ask him Shula gallant
okay give it up little word if you ever
trying to go to Germany you need to know
he’s okay now
I mean it’s like yeah okay okay now you
say that’s virtually everything can Paul
McCartney play violin no it’s a
completely different ball game from
guitar I mean if you can play guitar you
can kind of play bass because that’s the
same ball game but violin is different
and a much more difficult instrument for
me to play so I can’t play violin can
Paul McCartney read can Paul McCartney
pull tapes off component can’t read
sheet music kind of I can I can kind of
follow it really it tell you the truth
with sheet music we looked for guitar
chords well if the lyrics and the guitar
chords and all the dots passed us by you
can see it goes up on boom boom yeah
boom boom boom I mean to that extent I
can I can read it but not really if it
gets complicated know what instruments
can paul mccartney cell can Paul
McCartney eat play well it’s probably
play guitar which is kind of what I
started on actually I started on trumpet
so I can’t play when the saints go
marching in so yeah then I learned to
play guitar and then after that bit of
piano and you know when I say I can play
them people say oh we can play these
things I’m not really a great pianist or
great guitarist but for my purposes and
you know when you write a song I can
play the stuff I write but then if
someone says to me yeah oh you know play
stairway to paradise I wouldn’t know how
to play well yeah I can roughly play
piano I play drums but again you know if
you put me in whiplash that guy would
kill me I can’t really do that kind of
drumming but I don’t really like that
kind of drum but I can do that kind of
drum and I can do and I’ve learned a bit
of mandolin or ukulele you know it’s a
few little instruments like that is Paul
McCartney happy oh yes at this moment
don’t get me mad is Paul McCartney a
Liverpool fan okay now that’s a long
story my dad was born in Everton which
is the other Liverpool team so
officially I’m an Everton fan because
that’s our family team what I knew the
players and the managers of Liverpool
years ago and they they did so great and
they were big fans of mine so I’m a
Liverpool and
ever than you fan I know it’s not
strictly allowed but I got special
dispensation from the Pope okay
is Paul McCartney a vegan no he isn’t
he’s a vegetarian but eats cheese I’ll
tell you why it’s it’s a compassion
thing for animals and it’s a kind of
thing that I recognize that a lot of
people think it’s dumb I mean actually
less people these days than before but a
lot of people think oh yeah but to me
all the creatures on the planet that
live on this planet this one little
sphere in space we’ve all got a shot at
our life and so many animals don’t I
like the idea of giving them their
little shots
plus I’m very happy being rich saying
you can get loads of vegetarian options
these days so it’s not like it wasn’t
the old days when you just got the
boiled sprout is Paul McCartney it’s
public and he’s huffed and often based

Is Paul McCartney’s Höfner bass the original?

It’s one of the originals. I had two but one got stolen and we still don’t know where it is. Just somewhere along the way the one I was using just vanished with no idea where it went, but the one I’m using is one of the originals. It’s one that I’ve used for a long time. It’s an interesting note to think ‘where did that one go’ because no one can bring it out, because everyone knows it’s mine, they’ve got pictures of it. So my theory is and it’s kind of half fantasy but it’s that you go to some German Castle way in the hills of Bavaria and you’ll have a dinner and then the host will say ‘come let me show you something’ and you go up into this little room and there’s my bass over his mantelpiece…

there could be just a fantasy do you
know I always like hearing what people
have are interested in and interesting
for me it’s interested to hear what
people don’t know you know a lot of
hardcore fans know these answers
actually better than I do but it’s nice
I like that people are even bothered to
write into to join in the conversations I think that’s a cool thing
so my new album is called Egypt station and you can check out my live performance from Grand Central Station on my youtube channel check it out

Last updated on February 18, 2024


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