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Paul McCartney, new-style businessman of Apple, took time off from creative planning last week and talked about the Beatles recording plans. Paul spoke to MM the day before the group started recording sessions for a new album and possibly a new Beatles single. He revealed that they were starting recording with 30 completed songs.
“Twenty were written while we were with the Maharishi in India,” said Paul at Apple’s Wigmore street headquarters. “The other ten we have written in the time since we came back to London.”
There is no central theme to the songs. “They aren’t about anything in particular, they’re just songs. There not even particularly connected.” They are in fact just examples of Lennon and McCartney’s wide ranging melodic ideas and embrace different themes and ideas, reflecting all the influences taken in since their momentous Sergeant Pepper album.
The Beatles are not sure how long their sessions will take, but it’s a fair bet that they want to complete recording in far less time than Sergeant Pepper took. “We have no time schedule, we’re just recording until we are finished. We have the studio booked for a couple of weeks initially and then go on from there. We might record all 30 songs and pick 14 or so for an album, or it could turn out to be two albums or even a three album pack. We just don’t know until we have finished. We are going in with clear heads and hoping for the best. We had hoped this time to do a lot of rehearsing before we reached the studios rather than rehearse actually on the instruments, but as it happened, all we got was one day.”
While the group is recording, Apple activities will be more or less suspended. They will probably carry out most sessions at the usual time, which is evening.
“Some nights we may record through until five in the morning, if things go well. It depends on what happens. If one night does go well, the next night we’ll stay later — until eight a.m. and so on until we disappear up our own ———!”
It is also hoped that the sessions will produce the next Beatles single. But again, that’s a matter of chance. “Until we start we don’t know what’ll happen. A song that looks good on paper might turn out to be a flop when it’s recorded. Or we might cock it up in the studio. For the first week, we’ll just record and see what happens. If nothing good comes out of the songs, we’ll get the Scaffold to write one for us!”
But Paul promised that the music will be either simple or very complicated. “It’ll be one extreme or the other — it’ll either be very simple or it’ll have everything on it“.
“We haven’t booked any musicians. All we have is a handful of songs and four boys to sing them. That’s all there is — a band called the Beatles.”
But their hard work seems to have got their Apple project off the ground: “It seems to be going okay. We’re happy with things the way they are progressing. Like all things we do, it started as chaos but now it’s going quite well. It always takes up time to see our mistakes and put them right. But now things are starting to fall into place. They’re going smoother and it’ll keep on getting better until it’s perfect.”
And, Beatle Paul revealed, the group is not following transcendental meditation with spiritualism.
Reports appeared in the national press that the Beatles had been attending seances to contact their late manager, Brian Epstein. Paul explained what happened: “Some time during this mad summer, George and John got a call from a medium who said that Brian was trying to contact us — that he had something to say to us. We didn’t want to pass up any chances, so John and George went along to a seance. But they didn’t believe it all. There was nothing in it.”