April 15, 1964 - 8:30 P.M.
Interviewed By David Frost
Scala Theatre, Studio 4, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, United Kingdom
Broadcast May 18, 1964 On A Degree Of Frost
On BBC1 Network
This was Paul McCartney's first solo television appearance.
DAVID FROST: Paul, it's great to have you here, and one thing that I've been wondering is whether you ever expected things to be as good for you as they have been. When you started as a group, did you expect things to go like this?
PAUL: No. We used to sort of think of things in stages... still do I think. When we first started off, playing in the Cavern, I thought first of all 'Let's get a record contract.' We all did. When we got a record contract, we said 'Let's get a number one hit.' ...Got one of them.
FROST: (laughs) So I hear... yeah.
PAUL: So we do it in stages. So we never thought of it being this big.
FROST: After you got a number one hit, you hoped for another number one. Then what?
PAUL: Umm, something like the Royal Variety performance. Something sort of big. Then... what came after that.... America, I think.
FROST: ...which was marvelous.
PAUL: And a film.
FROST: It's fairly close to the film being as big of a success as everything else, I should think. Now if it is, a bit later this year, a big success... What will be the next ambition then?
PAUL: I don't know. Another film probably.
FROST: And what about after that.
PAUL: (jokingly) Oh, don't ask me... I'm only doing it.(laughter)
FROST: Have you got any ambitions in other spheres completely? I mean, do you want to be Prime Minister one day?
PAUL: (shakes head and laughs) No! No, nothing like that. I'd like to... retire.(laughter)
FROST: And when do you think you'll achieve that ambition?
PAUL: (jokingly) The way things are going, about a couple of years or so.(laughter
FROST: When people usually ask you, 'What's the best thing about being one of The Beatles at this stage, you usually reply 'The money' as the first quip. But what after that is one of the good things?
PAUL: Being able to do things that you enjoy doing. You get a bit of power when you, sort of, reach a certain stage. And then you can suggest things that you want to do. I mean, we can turn to Brian (Epstein) and say, could we do such-and-such a thing... like a
film. And he'll say, 'Well, I'll try and fix it, boy.' He's good like that, you know.(laughter)
PAUL: (laughs) He's great.
FROST: So the power it gives you is the power to do what you want.
PAUL: Yes. So, rather than sort of being struggling unknowns and trying to do things that we'd never be able to do, we can now do more things that we'd like to. I think that's sort of a good part of it.
FROST: And when you write music... which you do a great deal with John Lennon... you write it very much, and marvelously, in the current idiom. Do you feel that later on, when you move into another period... say in five years time... you'll be writing in the same idiom? Or different? Will you change with the times?
PAUL I think the point is, the tunes that we write... (stumbles over his words) ...on, in, any iddum. Idiom. (looks at the audience) Idiot...(laughter)
PAUL: (chuckles) I think it's just the arrangements. For instance, 'From Me To You.' It could be done as an old Ragtime tune... especially the middle-eight. And so, we're not writing the tunes in any particular idiom. So, in five years time, we may arrange the
tunes differently... but we'll probably write the same old rubbish!!(laughter)
FROST: How do you judge a good song when you've written it?
PAUL: By us liking it. You know, John and I. If we like it, then we think it's a 'good'n'. It's a combination of liking it... and what is commercial... what we think other people will like.
FROST: Can it be a good song if you like it and nobody was to buy it? That hasn't happened to you.
PAUL: It always is for us: If we like it. And in fact we don't like bad songs, that's all there is to it...
FROST: Of course, I imagine, everybody says to you that the Pop world is very short-lived... and 'What will you do when the phase passes.' Or 'Do you think the phase will pass?' Does it worry you?
PAUL: No. I couldn't care less, really, if we flopped tomorrow. It'd be sad, you know... but it wouldn't really worry me.
FROST: Could you go back to doing something else?
PAUL: I'd miss doing this. But I think I'd think of something else to do.
FROST: What would you like to do?
PAUL: Write songs for other people.
FROST: Completely different?
PAUL: Completely different. Or... retire, you know.(laughter)
FROST: Well, it will be a great pleasure to watch Paul McCartney in retirement, but it will probably be in the year about 2010 I should think.
[size="1"][ Jul 07, 2003, 09:45 PM: Message Edited By: Jerry ][/size]