Interview for The Star • Friday, August 6, 2010

Paul McCartney keeping himself gleefully busy

Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
The Star
Interview by:
Ashante Infantry
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Songs mentioned in this interview


Officially appears on Help! (Mono)

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Word is that Paul McCartney, erstwhile Beatle and one of the world’s most lauded composers, may appear on the hit TV show Glee.

I was in my New York office and my people in the office said that the people at Glee had rung up and maybe wanted to use my songs,” confirmed the legendary performer in an interview with the Star.

I said, ‘the Beatles songs?’ They said, ‘No, your songs.’ So, I said, ‘That’s great. Let’s do that.’ That’s the connection so far; I don’t know if it’s going to come off, but I think it’s a good show. This might sound a little patronizing, because (at the time) I hadn’t seen it, but I thought, ‘Well, it’s a hit with the kids,’ but I actually saw a couple of episodes and I think it’s a pretty good show.

Well, if Glee doesn’t work, American Idol is looking for a new judge.

No, I’d have to give up my day job for that. I don’t think my shaking it up stretches to that,” McCartney said.

The brief phone chat took place earlier this week as McCartney drove himself through a U.K. suburb.

I’m on hands-free in the car on a country lane and lord knows if the signal will hold,” he said. “I’m actually going to pick up my little 6-year-old daughter for a movie date.

The done-it-all, seen-it-all 68-year-old billionaire who isn’t touting a new album on the tongue-in-cheekily titled Up and Coming 2010 Tour returns to the Air Canada Centre this Sunday and Monday with the same band he played with here in 2005.

They’re a good band; we get on well and we enjoy playing together,” he said of his nearly decade-long band comprised of guitarists Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson, drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and keyboardist Paul Wickens.

I am very lucky, because I always have a lot of side projects on, so I get to shake things up,” he said. “I have a sideline called The Firemen, I do orchestral music . . . In fact I’ve just come from my studio where I’ve been on the computer with a music program doing some orchestral music, which is probably going to be for a ballet. I’ve been doing that for the last four hours. So, all those things shake it up.

And he’s ready to begin the follow-up to 2007’s Memory Almost Full.

I’ve been writing a bunch of songs and I’m thinking about who to work with now, so I’m looking around for a producer. Like you say, if you want to shake things up, that’s the kind of area you can think, ‘Well, what would happen if I work with so and so?

There’s no particular theme yet, but McCartney’s got a few new tunes banked.

More often than not, you just pick up a guitar, or sit down at the piano when the mood strikes. The latest songs I’ve been writing, I found myself with some time off just in the mornings for a few hours. So, I’ve been getting in a routine of just sitting down at the piano, or with the guitar by my side and just plunking around seeing if something comes, and often it does. So, I’ll spend the next couple of hours just working on it, then I kind of leave it alone and try again the next day. That’s what’s been happening on the latest bunch of songs, but it can happen anyway.

One of my most famous songs, ‘Yesterday,’ was a song that I dreamed. I woke up one morning and I’d actually dreamed that melody. That was a pretty lucky dream.

In June, McCartney performed a batch of his other famous tunes for U.S. President Barack Obama, during his first White House visit and performance for a sitting president. He also became the first non-American to accept the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He rated the event as a highlight in a life filled with highlights.

We had some great things in the early days, playing for the Queen, later playing on the Ed Sullivan Show and many great concerts in between, but this was a particular high, because I’m a big fan of the President and his family.

I was a supporter before he got elected, so it was a great evening for us, very special, quite emotional. Those of us who lived through the ’60s and saw the struggles over civil rights were very gratified to find ourselves in the White House with the first black president. And I think he’s a great man, smart, steady. He’s got a hell of a lot on his plate, unfortunately; he’s been dealt a very bad hand, but I couldn’t think of a better man to handle it.

Last updated on November 21, 2020


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