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You are viewing PAUL MCCARTNEY


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It is not every evening you’re in the presence of a Beatle.
On Tuesday night Paul instantly turned 2017 into 1964 by opening his AAMI Park show with A Hard Day’s Night.

You are immediately reminded the humble 75-year-old on stage is responsible for some of the most-loved and most successful songs of all time.
And McCartney shoehorned as many of those as possible into his near three-hour, near 40-song concert in front of 30,000 fans.
It was one of the most enjoyable rock history lessons imaginable, complete with running commentary of the songs and the eras, courtesy of the man who was there.
Paul goes way back to his pre-Beatles band, the Quarrymen (1958’s In Spite of All the Danger), and right up to his surprise No. 1 hit with Kanye West and Rihanna, 2015’s FourFiveSeconds, and pretty much back to back classics.

Where do you start? Sixties songs that need no introduction beyond their titles — Yesterday, Hey Jude, Love Me Do, Lady Madonna, Eleanor Rigby, Can’t Buy Me Love, And I Love Her, Back in the USSR, Blackbird, You Won’t See Me, Birthday, Lady Madonna, Let It Be.
Then there’s the Wings anthems Live and Let Die, Junior’s Farm, Let Me Roll It and Band on the Run, or the stunning Maybe I’m Amazed. He points out his baby daughter in the vintage video playing during the song has “four kids herself now.”
At one points early on Paul paused between songs to take in the audience, noting “I’m gonna take a second for myself to drink it all in”.

He would have seen what he no doubt witnesses each night — three generations all united by his music.Watching that pure communal joy nightly would surely explain his lack of retirement plans. Some may grumble his voice at 75 doesn’t sound exactly like it used to singing songs recorded when he was 25 or 35. That’s a fact of life.
More songs: Can’t Buy Me Love has iconic Beatles footage playing on the screens throughout and a burst of Foxy Lady is followed by an anecdote about Jimi Hendrix learning and playing Sgt Peppers within two days of its release.

And he doesn’t even have to mention the surname of his “dear friend John” before introducing his Lennon tribute Here Today — and asking for a round of applause for his partner in rhyme.He plays George Harrison’s Something on a ukulele his other late Beatles bandmate gave him.

Ahead of the night’s only recent songs Queenie Eye and New (both fine tunes that fit nicely into the set) McCartney tells the crowd “We can tell what songs you like from up here. When we do an old Beatles song it lights up like a galaxy with all the phones. And when we do a new song it’s like a black hole. But we don’t care; we’re gonna do them anyway!”

Adding to the night’s palpable excitement was the fact Macca fans thought they’d never see this.
Paul hasn’t toured here since 1993, with tour after tour bypassing Australia.
For the diehards there were a few off Broadway moments like Wings’ great Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five while the Beatles’ frantic Helter Skelter and Wings’ No. 1 Mull of Kintyre have been added for the Australian tour.

Prompted by a sign from a fan Paul spoke of singing Strangers in the Night to dolphins he swam next to in Perth.
And could there be a better ending to a concert than the triple whammy of Golden Slumbers, Carry that Weight and The End?

There are limited tickets left for McCartney’s final AAMI Park show on Wednesday night.



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He’s one of the most famous people on the planet and has been performing on stage for almost six decades. But at 75, Paul McCartney still has anxiety dreams about getting up in front of a crowd.

“Ever since I started performing there’s like a recurring dream which is, and I still have it to this day, which is you’re in a stadium and you’re playing with The Beatles or with a band and people start leaving and it’s like, ‘OK, what are we doing wrong?'” he said.

“And we’re trying to pull out the big one like, ‘Quick, play Hey Jude, quick!’ And they’re still leaving.

“My old bass, my Hofner bass, is the one I played in The Beatles. It’s got a good sound. I would play it anyway because there’s no point in getting a new one. “New ones don’t sound as good. And I played it so long that it’s got me in it. And when I plug it in to a recording studio the engineer says: ‘This sounds good’.”

He also has an acoustic guitar from the same era that he plays Yesterday on.

“[It’s] the same one that I played on The Ed Sullivan Show, would you believe?” Paul said.

With a face as recognisable as his, popping down to the pub or shops presents challenges. And he’s not a fan of selfies.

“I’ve kind of developed a strategy over the years,” he said.

“At first people are, ‘Oh, oh’, and everyone’s reaching for their phone. I say: ‘No, it’s private time, I hope you don’t mind. Let’s not do any pictures. Let’s hang out’.

“And pretty soon everyone settles down and we’re just talking. ‘Want a drink, Macca?'”

Watch the full interview here.


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Paul’s Wonderful Christmastime makes Top 25 Holiday Songs list – Quite a few classic-rock artists have penned memorable Christmas tunes, but only one has made it onto the 2017 list of the top 25 most-played holiday songs compiled by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Paul McCartney’s 1979 “Wonderful Christmastime” sneaked onto the tally at #25.


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Airs Monday 4th December at 7.30pm on ABC TV and iview


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One of the questions I’m most often asked is, “If you could interview anybody in the world, who would you pick?”

It’s a difficult question.

When somebody asks it, they imagine that it must be a thrill to meet somebody of whom you are a huge fan.

It is, of course, but it also comes with fear.

What if the person is horrible? What if it’s a bad experience?

What if every time you then hear one of their songs, or read one of their books or watch one of their films, it’s then a little bit soured by the fact you met them and they were mean or ill-mannered or egotistical?

This happened to me when I interviewed the American author Jonathan Franzen in 2010 about his book, Freedom. I found him difficult from the first question. Now every time I consider re-reading The Corrections, one of my favourite books, all I think about is how snippy Jonathan Franzen was. If the question is really, “Of whom are you the most massive fan?”, the answer is former Beatle, Paul McCartney. But do I want to interview him? His work means so much to me, do I really want to risk discovering that he’s a Franzen? This week, I was forced to answer that question. My producer Callum rang me with a mind-blowing offer: McCartney will do his only television interview in Australia with you if you want to do it. When the offer came, it turned out it really wasn’t a dilemma at all. It was a risk that simply had to be taken.

Soundcheck in Australia

I desperately hoped he would be a lovely person but I also said to myself, “He’s achieved so much musically, if he turns out to be awful, and that’s the price of being the genius that is Paul McCartney, that’s okay, I’m not going to let it affect how I feel about his music.”

On the day of the interview, I arrived in Perth — the first stop on his Australian tour — five hours before we were scheduled to head to the stadium.

“You’ve got plenty of time to have some lunch and then lie down and have a rest,” I told myself.

I ate two bites of a sandwich before I couldn’t stomach another mouthful and then I spent the two hours before my make-up artist arrived pacing around my hotel room in nervous anticipation, periodically grinning like a lunatic and hugging myself with glee. I’m going to meet Paul McCartney! I’m going to watch his rehearsal from backstage! As soon as we arrived at the stadium, we met his team (including his right-hand man Stu, who caused the entire ABC crew to audibly gasp when he mentioned that before McCartney, he had been with David Bowie). In a good sign, everyone we met was warm and friendly. Usually if a team is polite and accommodating, the person at the top is likely to be the same. Paul’s stage manager, Keith, showed me the collection of guitars with which McCartney tours. (“This is the one he played on the Ed Sullivan show; This is the one they used on Please Please Me”). Then I met his piano technician, who was sitting at the replica Magical Mystery Tour piano (the original is in Sir Paul’s house, he told me, but this is the one they’ve used on tour for 30 years).

“Can I touch it?” I asked him.

“Sure,” he said.

I reached over and tentatively played a C chord.

“Remembering your old music lessons?” he asked.

“I can play a little bit,” I replied.

“Why don’t you play it?” he said, sliding off the piano stool and gesturing that I should take his place.

“No way,” I replied, “I can’t!”
“Yes, you can, have a play,” he said.

So I slid onto the stool and played the opening chords of For No One from the album Revolver.

The piano technician smiled; I think because it was obvious then that I was truly a fan, not just somebody going through the motions for an interview.

I played about four bars before I lost it and couldn’t play another note correctly, my hands were shaking so hard. This is the piano Paul McCartney plays, I was thinking!

We then went around backstage and Sir Paul arrived to start rehearsals. I stood in the wings watching as he and the band played Another Girl and then Day Tripper. When the opening riff for Day Tripper started, I looked at my producer, Callum, and said, “Oh my god,” with tears in my eyes. It was absolutely thrilling to stand in the wings and watch Paul McCartney practise that.

Paul hugs Leigh Sales at the end of the interview

The band finished rehearsing and as I chatted to the crew, I turned around and Sir Paul was about a metre away, walking towards us. He came and introduced himself and shook everybody’s hand.

For almost 60 years, he’s had starstruck people standing in front of him, so he’s very adept at putting everyone at ease and being warm and charming. We went on stage and did our interview together.

He was delightful and interesting. He has lovely kind eyes and a gentle way of speaking. I was so happy to see that I was going to walk away with my admiration of him enhanced.

“Sir Paul,” I said at the end of the interview.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career that I’ve had the chance to interview world leaders, like Aung San Syu Kii and the Dalai Lama, every celebrity you can think of, Elton John, Patti Smith, but I’ve never interviewed somebody of whom I’m a bigger fan than you.

“Thank you for all those songs and thank you so much for making time to let us come and talk to you.”

“Oh, luv, give us a kiss, come on” he replied and he kissed me on the cheek and gave me a hug. Every time I listen to a Beatles song now, I’ll remember the incredible experience of getting to meet Sir Paul in person and what a beautiful soul he was. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Leigh Sales’ interview with Paul and that amazing backstage access will be on 7.30 on Monday night.


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A gift from Paul is to be auctioned to raise funds for two Scottish families affected by the Manchester Arena attack.
Eilidh MacLeod, 14, died and her friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, was badly injured in the terrorist attack which killed 22 people on 22 May.
The pair from the Isle of Barra were attending an Ariana Grande concert with thousands of other music fans.
Paul has donated a special edition box set of music by The Beatles. He has offered to personalise the 50th anniversary Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band collection of discs, which is being auctioned by Bonhams.
Eilidh was passionate about music and was a piper with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band.

Her parents, Roddy and Marion MacLeod, said: “We are extremely grateful for Sir Paul’s kind gesture.”People’s generosity has helped us greatly in the aftermath of our loss and we can’t thank them enough.”
Laura’s father Michael MacIntyre added: “This an amazing and brilliant gesture by Paul McCartney in donating this personalised Sgt Pepper album for auction to help Laura’s recovery and her future. “We are grateful to Sir Paul and the many others who have helped financially to what has been an unbelievably difficult situation that we found ourselves thrust into.”This kindness will help us move on in the future and to ensure Laura lives as full a life as possible after the awful events in Manchester.”

The classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the highest bidder at a Bonhams auction scheduled for December 13 in London.