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Join Date: Apr 20, 2000
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2002-11-23 - TV Guide - Paul McCartney
November 23, 2002
Interviewed By Holly Millea
Los Angeles, California, United States
Published In TV Guide Magazine, Issue 259
HOLLY MILLEA: You’re 60 years old and still making the girls scream.
PAUL McCARTNEY: The pantomime thing exists. The older people scream because they remember screaming. And younger girls have seen it on films, so it’s like a tradition.
HOLLY: The concert is more than two hours long, but you seem to have more energy at the end of the night than at the beginning.
PAUL: Insane, strange, paradoxical are all the right words to use. When I was working with the Beatles, we were on for about half an hour. I’d have roughly half the numbers, John roughly half, and George and Ringo had a number each. So I was doing 15 minutes tops. So it’s not right that I should now be doing the amount of time I do 30 years later—and really enjoying it. It’s the end of the tour and nobody wants to go home!
HOLLY: You’re a good advertisement for vegetarians.
PAUL: You got it. 25 years now. The tour catering is all veggie. Everyone on the crew eats it. I’m not paying for meat. They all get an allowance. I say, “You want meat? Pop out to McDonalds.” But nobody does. They eat here because it’s free and it’s from the best restaurant in town.
HOLLY: Heather’s a vegetarian too.
PAUL: Yeah. She wasn’t always.
HOLLY: Would you have married her if she still ate meat?
PAUL: That’s a good question. I certainly wouldn’t have liked her as much. If she smoked cigarettes I wouldn’t have liked her as much either. But I was lucky.
HOLLY: There are some surprising, intimate moments in the concert when you remember John and George.
PAUL: When you’re 18, particularly if you’re a guy, you hide your emotions. I’m not like that anymore. So I put “Here Today” in, the song I do for John. “I really loved you, I’m glad you came along. Then you were here today because you were in my song…” We played a show on John’s birthday [October 9], and the fans all knew. So after singing “Here Today” I said, “We all know what today is, let’s do it.” And the whole audience sang “Happy Birthday” to John. It was very moving, very emotional.
HOLLY: There’s a great bit when you sing George Harrison’s “Something” on a ukulele that he gave you for Christmas five years ago. Do you ever regret not having written a song with him?
PAUL: We were both thinking we’d get around to it. It would have been nice. But I’m not one for regrets. It was good just to have time with George. Heather and I were just remembering when he and Olivia took us from L.A. to Las Vegas to see the Cirque du Soleil show. And he obviously must have been ill, because it wasn’t that long ago. But he seemed great. We all thought he was healthy. And it was just after that that he got a bad diagnosis. He was just going in for some tests. So we went to see Cirque du Soleil that night. And it was very happy. We had some lovely moments, that being one of the top ones. And when he got ill, we had some lovely moments too. So I just take what I can get.
HOLLY: You sing “My Love” for your former wife Linda, who died in 1998, and “Loving Flame” for Heather, whom you married last June. How did you know Heather was the one?
PAUL: The day I met her [May 20, 1999], she was running up on stage in a red top. Well I’m telling you, I went “Whoa!” I was physically attracted to her at first. I own up. And the joke was, I had a recording session and I went back to the guys, “You should have seen this babe!” And later I was going, “This is not a babe, this is the woman I’m going to marry.” I was trying to get all dignified. But I was babed out. And I told her later, “Hey it’s not the first time a guy’s been attracted physically.”
HOLLY: She says she’s bossy. Do you need bossing around?
PAUL: Well she seems to think so. I think I’m fine.
HOLLY: You must be very secure with yourself.
PAUL: I think it is that. I’m ok with gay people too, because I’m essentially comfortable with my sexuality. I can goof around with gay people. I sort of know who I am by now. And it’s about time.
HOLLY: Heather has taken some flak in the press lately. Do you think it’s mostly because she married an icon?
PAUL: Exactly. All you’ve got to do is think back to Linda. Linda got rubbished in the first year or so. And then she was established and people got over it. It’s a bit par for the course. But you know, get over it! That’s what I say.
HOLLY: It wouldn’t be easy being married to you. You’ve got your own baggage, beginning with millions of fans.
PAUL: Not easy at all. It’s difficult with the show. I have to say, “I can’t stipulate who’s going to be in the audience.” There might be some good-looking girls out there. I say, “Look, there’s one consolation—I’m not Tom Jones.” We don’t get knickers. And I don’t court knickers. I’m not that kind of guy. “Hi baby, you in the third row.” But we did have a bra the other night. I was so embarrassed I threw it on Brian [Ray]. He threw it back to me, “No, it’s for you!” It was pink.
HOLLY: You took a rain check on your Kennedy Center Honors tribute.
PAUL: I’ve got a family wedding, my niece. I told them that on this tour I don’t really touch base with my family enough. I said, “Thanks, it’s a huge honor, but…” And they’ve been nice enough to say we can do it another time.
HOLLY: Will you sing at the wedding?
PAUL: Who knows? It depends on how many drinks I have. Probably not. But I well might.
HOLLY: Your daughter Stella is getting married too.
PAUL: She’s engaged to Alasdhair [Willis]. And my daughter Mary’s husband is an Alistair. They’re spelled differently. I’ve memorized both. They’re nice guys.
HOLLY: Did you see the 2000 VH1 TV movie Two of Us, which fictionalizes you and John spending three days together in 1976, talking about the breakup of the Beatles?
PAUL: Yeah! It’s cool. I thought it made one good point, which was, at that time, I was getting accused of being a bit, sort of, “Oh the cute one and all he wants to do is sing happy songs.” Which is a very difficult rap. Because you go, “What’s wrong with that?” But in the movie, my character says to John, “At least I’m bloody touring! You’re just sittin’ in the bloody Dakota!” I’m glad they said that for me, although I never said it to him. but that was a good answer to that sort of criticism at the time. [But] they made up [most of the film]. I wish we’d gone to Central Park and smoked dope and listened to the musicians. We had some good times, but [they were] much more regular.
HOLLY: When was the last time you got stoned?
PAUL: I don’t get stoned. I used to smoke a lot. But it doesn’t seem necessary anymore. I have no problem with people doing it.
HOLLY: You do seem to be a well-adjusted happy guy.
PAUL: Well, when something’s very depressing, I don’t laugh. I mean, Linda died, and I didn’t get in big happy moods. You better believe it.
HOLLY: How do you feel when you see a commercial set to a Beatles song, such as the health insurance spot using “When I’m Sixty-Four”?
PAUL: I didn’t know about that. But I have mixed feelings. At first I always thought it was very uncool because in some ways it’s a bit demeaning to the song. Now I don’t mind quite as much because I think it’s a way young people get to hear the songs. So I think it’s not too bad, really.
HOLLY: What would people be surprised to know about Heather?
PAUL: That she’s a very lovable, fun woman who is a serious cook. My favorite thing is coming home from work and she’s there, and she’s got a great meal on. And the smell! And she looks great. Life is not bad at all.
[size="1"][ Jun 16, 2003, 07:25 AM: Message Edited By: Jerry ][/size]