Interview for • 2024

You Gave Me The Answer (2024)

Press interview • Interview of Paul McCartney

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Mogi on Facebook: How do you deal with writers’ block?

Paul: I don’t really get it. I’m quite lucky with that – touch wood! I hardly ever sit down and go, ‘I’m going to write’. It’s nearly always when I’ve got some time and there’s nothing else I particularly want or need to do. I can just sit down and noodle around with something because it’s come from my own desire and not somebody else’s, or of a requirement. It often comes reasonably easy.

Sometimes I might block out the words in order to get the tune and shape of the song and then think,‘God, they’re bloody awful those words, I’ll have to fix them!’ Then I’ll revisit them and get some great lyrics, and that’s always a good feeling.

So, I don’t really have writer’s block. I’ve been blessed with that. I sometimes tell the story of John and I having written just short of three hundred songs, and every time we sat down to write we came up with a song. Which is incredible! Do you ever have the opposite problem, where you need to stop what you’re doing because you had a sudden idea and must write it down?

Paul: Sometimes, yes. I’ve got endless bits of paper stuffed in places, which one of these days I swear I’m going to get to! But most things these days are written on my phone.

I find that I don’t have to worry too much about writing, unless I’ve got a deadline. I’m lucky that I’m my own boss! I was talking to a young singer recently, who asked me, ‘Can you stipulate what you want to write? Can you decide what you want to do, and what you want to record?’ I said, ‘Yeah! Why, can’t you?’ And they said, ‘No! Not so much these days’. Because there’s a lot more involvement now, with record labels and people saying, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that…‘

So, I’m very lucky in that respect too. I can decide what I want to do and when I want to do it, and that helps with the writing.

Will: Given that you live on a farm for a lot of time, what are some of the special encounters that you’ve had with animals?

Paul: We used to have rescue-deer, and one day I needed to move one from one paddock into another. So I thought, “Well, I’ll just pull him in there! I’ll just get hold of his antlers,” – he was a male – “And I’ll just pull him into the next paddock.” Oh, they are strong! This ended up like as a wrestling match with me and this guy. I didn’t realise how strong he was. I think I did get him into the paddock eventually, but after quite a struggle. With Easter coming up, and lambing season, we wondered if you’ve ever birthed a lamb? Or if you’ve helped birth one?

Paul: Yeah. You occasionally do that when you live in the countryside. The person who’s done that recently is Arthur, my grandson, who’s been brought up around the farm. He lived in London but visited the farm a lot and so is used to being around sheep and stuff. Well, he and his mum, Mary, were horse riding one day when they noticed a sheep was lambing, and it looked like she was having trouble. So Arthur got down off his horse and helped to birth the lamb, which was very slow. I was most impressed, ‘cause it’s a bit of a messy job! But I thought that was very good of him. That’s my most recent ‘lamb story’.

Last updated on March 31, 2024


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