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Issue 15 - September 1973

When the Beatles broke up the villain of the piece was one Paul McCartney - the music press was full of articles denouncing him as the man responsible for breaking up the "greatest band in the world" and a flood of letters from Lennon were printed in which he denounced McCartney, plus of course the references in 'How do you sleep' from the LP 'Imagine'.

Since that time the four Beatles have moved on to produce their various solo albums with varying success - Harrison's initial album 'All Things Must Pass' was a very fine set, but since then he has done little to substantiate this success, his new album is a little more than a carbon copy of 'All Things'. Ringo has gone his happy way in films plus a few self-indulgent but not very successful albums and Lennon, apart from 'Imagine', has done little of any great value and would appear to be suspended in limbo in the States surrounded by the 'in-crowd' who produce microphones whenever their guru so much as grunts.

I am not forgetting the concerts that the above have been involved in (Bangladesh, Toronto etc) but to an extent were just the charismatic influences exerted by the former Beatles which drew people to them - the best of 'Bangladesh' for example was Dylan and the group that was formed for the occasion (Clapton et al).

I met the evil McCartney in Newcastle recently when he was playing the gig that had to be postponed during the recent tour. He was tanned, relaxed and obviously very much at ease with himself and the world in general. (Compare that to Lennon!)

There was little of the tension that surrounded Beatle gigs, apart from the fans leaning through the dressing room window, dropping in cameras, autograph books and flowers, and Paul and Linda answered questions in an easy style.

I first asked Paul about the TV film shown recently which was almost universally slated by the critics and he said it was a start but it was only a beginning and they wanted to do more filming and improve on this rather shaky start. "I'd like to make a western with a few friends, like Dustin Hoffman, set it in Montana, 'cos it's a great place to film and we (the band) would be sitting in the square under sombreros playing and then ride out of town? - that's all really - I don't want to do much acting - just riding in and out of town!

I enjoyed making 'Hard Day's Night' because it was a very free film but I didn't enjoy 'Help' so much 'cos we were more confined to the script but I want to make more TV films 'cos it's the media of the people and we can get to the maximum number of people."

MG: "Do you enjoy playing in public?"

Paul: "Yeah - it's great. I get real fits of nerves in the dressing room before we go on stage, and think 'What the hell am I doing here' but the moment I see the audience I feel OK - I enjoyed playing in public with the Beatles and now I'm doing it again I'm really happy - it's almost like being famous again playing in these big halls, Odeons and things."

MG: "What sort of halls are you going to play in, in the future?"

Paul: "I like playing where we can be near the audience - tonight is a good size but we'll play anywhere for anybody if we feel that it's right. All we need is 4 hours' notice and we'd play a benefit or a church hall - anything! But we'd have to feel right about doing it - we don't want to be part of the machine - I've been through all that before."

MG: "It was reported that you wanted to do that with the Beatles - turn up unannounced at a hall and play - like you did on your first university tour with 'Wings'.

Paul: "Yeah, but it never got off the ground 'cos Lennon wanted to play the big halls - could this be the reason the Beatles broke up folks?!!!"

MG: "Linda, you've come in for some bad press, haven't you?"

Linda: "Yes, but it doesn't worry me - one reporter said I could only play the organ with one hand but as I was playing a Moog at the time it didn't upset me too much - that sort of uninformed comment is just too silly."

MG: "How do you feel the band is going?"

Paul: "Well it took a bit of playing together but the time we played at the Hard Rock in London was the time when it really clicked and we haven't looked back."

MG: "What's your policy on members of the band doing solo albums?"

Paul: "It's alright by me - if they want to play with the band that's all I care about - it's got to be a voluntary thing."

MG: "What of the future?"

Paul: "We're just going to keep on what we're doing - another album - some more filming - but all the time it's got to be what we want to do."

MG: "If John wanted to make an album with the three other Beatles would you play?"

Paul: "Sure, if I turned up! But not as the Beatles - that's finished - but if I felt it was right - yeah, I'd play."

Paul McCartney is obviously very happy with things - he has learnt from the Beatles the dangerous aspects of the music industry and is cautiously progressing along his own chosen route. One could accuse him of a negative attitude to a lot of things - no 'Attica State' for him but who knows what next year will bring?