Interview for CBC • Friday, August 6, 2010

Q host Jian Ghomeshi interviews Paul McCartney

Radio interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
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Jian Ghomeshi
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Canada is a great music loving country. I love it. When I was growing up in Liverpool so many people were emigrating to Canada. We would see a lot of friends and family leaving and we’d see them off from the docks. I’ve a lot of relatives and friends who have moved here over the years so it’s always a brilliant place for us to visit.

Q: Paul has been thinking over what Malcolm Gladwell said about him in Outliers, a non-fiction book that tries to define the ingredients of success.

A: It’s funny — I was talking to someone about that, because I’ve read the book. I think there is a lot of truth in it.

Q: There is the Beatles rule. That one of the predictors of success in any field is practising the task for 10,000 hours, just as the Beatles did in the 1,200 gigs they played in Hamburg from 1960 to 1962.

A: I think in our case, we always said ‘Man, we had so much practice that by the time we got famous, we really knew what we were doing, and we were a good cohesive unit as a band. I’m in a very interesting stage. I’m loving singing, I can’t believe that I’m doing nearly three hours without taking a [breather] or anything, I mean there are a lot of bands that were out in Hamburg who put in 10,000 hours and didn’t make it, so it’s not a cast-iron theory. I think, however, when you look at a group which has been successful. you always will find that amount of work in the background. But I don’t think it’s a rule that if you do that amount of work, you’re going to be as successful as the Beatles.

Q: You were at the Radio City Music Hall concert on Ringo’s 70th birthday.

A: I’ve never actually seen his All-Starr show. I was enjoying the show along with the audience, but when it got to ‘A Little Help from My Friends’, the people in the row in front of me were looking at me like ‘What’s happened? Shouldn’t you be up there as one of his friends?’ I’m going ‘Shh!’ Ringo did not know. I swear he was just so gobsmacked. Ringo said ‘I’m going to the dressing room.’ Barbara [his wife] said ‘Hang on just a minute.’ And then we started up ‘Birthday’ with Joe Walsh and the band, and then he finally realized what was going on. He came leaping back on stage and said ‘l wasn’t going to sit that one out.’

Q: You said you appreciate your friendship with Ringo more as he gets older.

A: We went through a kind of sticky patch when the Beatles were breaking up, and there was a lot of talk, and people were setting us against each other. Outside of that patch, we’ve always had a really good relationship. I think as you get older, you just realize how valuable your friends are.

Q: You have a six year old daughter: Beatrice

A: Because of my personal circumstances, I spend a lot of time looking after my six-year-old girl, and for that, I’m a pretty hands-on dad. So I said to my promoter ‘These are the weeks I can work, and these are the weeks I can’t work, because I’ll be getting up in the morning seeing my little one off to school and stuff.

Last updated on November 24, 2020


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