Interview for • 2014

You Gave Me The Answer (2014)

Press interview • Interview of Paul McCartney

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If you were ‘Gonna sit right down and write yourself a letter’ what advice would you send back to your younger self about your future?

Relax, don’t sweat it. And be true to yourself, kid.

If you became a full time student, what would you study?

Good question, thank you Brendan. I love reading and would be interested in studying English literature or history. Or computer studies, which is such a useful skill.

Where do you get your energy from?

Thank you for your question, Kevin. My energy comes from… Sex & drugs!… NO! I’m joking! It’s simply from having enthusiasm for life. It never runs out!

Who are your favourite British writers and poets?

Thank you for your question, Anastasia. I’ve always been a big fan of British writers, but two of my favourites are Charles Dickens & Dylan Thomas.

Paul, who were you with and where did you watch man first land on the moon?

Thank you for your question, Bill. As I remember it, Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon in the middle of the night and I was in bed with Linda in London while we watched it. A pretty amazing night!

When you have barbecues, what kind of food do you like to cook for your guests?

I love to cook Linda’s veggie burgers and sausages, which I have got down to a fine art. I also like to BBQ asparagus brushed with a little olive oil, but you have to keep an eye on these (like everything in life!)

You’ve had a Detroit Red Wings sticker on one of your acoustic guitars for years now. How did you get it and why have you kept it on there for all these years? Being from the Detroit area I’m very curious.

We were on a Wings tour quite a while ago and when we played Detroit somebody gave me a Red Wings sticker, which I liked the look of, so I stuck it on my guitar and I have kept it there ever since.  It does make it a little awkward when I go to places like Pittsburgh and the Mayor of the town offers me a Penguin sticker to put alongside!

As a child, what was your favourite holiday and why?

When I was about 11 or 12 our family went to a holiday camp in Wales called Butlins Pwllheli.  It was the first time we had done anything like it and I was very excited.  We were given daily bulletins listing all the events happening in the camp, these might have been a Beauty Contest or a dance in the Rock and Calypso Ballroom or a talent show. My brother, Mike, and I ran around all day trying to go to everything on the list.

Are you an early bird or a night owl, and what effect does this have on your work?

Thank you for your question Kristen. When I’m taking my youngest daughter to school, I’m an early bird but when I’m not I like to lay in bed in the morning. I often end up getting to bed at a reasonable time but occasionally have a night owl moment, but these are much less frequent than they were in the 60s! That said, it doesn’t really have to affect my work in any way. “What is your favourite Christmas song and by what artist?”

Paul: [sings ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’] “But which version is your favourite?”

Paul: “Nat King Cole’s. So that is called ‘The Christmas Song’, but known by a lot of people as ‘Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire’. I think that’s my favourite. Nat King Cole’s version is so atmospheric. Not a bad singer, and I used his microphone at Capital Studios in LA for ‘Kisses On The Bottom’. And the guy came up to me and said, ‘Did you know that this is the microphone that Nat used?’ [Inhales heavily] ‘Ah, so no pressure!’” “What is your favourite Christmas movie?”

Paul: “I think it’s got to be ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, which is the one you see the most and it still works after all these years.” “What’s your favourite Christmas memory?”

Paul: “I think waking up as a really little kid on Christmas morning, and just seeing the white pillowcase that we used to get.” “Like a Christmas stocking?”

Paul: “Yes, it was like a stocking but Mum and Dad used to put it in a white pillowcase, and it would be a present, a couple of nuts and a tangerine.” “We still get the tangerine!”

Paul: “Yes, it’s funny what they put in! We weren’t well off so it wouldn’t be like kids today with their serious couple-of-hundred-quid presents. But yeah, it was just so exciting it was the ‘He’s been! He’s been!’ Just totally buying into this idea that Santa had been in your bedroom and left this white pillowcase. Nuts, tangerine and a present or two. It’s funny though; it’s not so much the value of the presents – though that was good too! – it was just this idea of, ‘He’s been!’” “It has a really nice innocence to it.”

Paul: “I think that’s what it is. The favourite memories come through your childhood innocence.”

Last updated on April 10, 2021


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