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September 28: Driving Rain's Producer Speaks

According to the album's producer, David Kahne, Sir Paul's new Driving Rain album is going to really rock:  "It's a more aggressive record, definitely.  It's got real energetic guitar songs. They're all original, and there's a lot of power there. I think he really loved doing that because he hadn't done it in a while. There's a lot of variety, more than he's had on a lot of records. It's White Album-ish.  It's very broad, and he hops from one style to another."

Playing along with Sir Paul on this album is session guitarist Rusty Anderson, and session keyboardist Gabe Dixon.  According to Kahne, son James plays guitar on only one track, Back in the Sunshine Again.   David Kahne himself joined the band, playing guitar and keyboards on some of the tracks.

The album was recorded at the Henson Studios in Los Angeles.  During two half-month sessions in March and July, Sir Paul recorded and mixed 22 new songs, 15 of which appear on the album.  David Kahne describes the recording sessions:

"It was all very spontaneous.  There were no rehearsals. He just brought the songs in and we started playing them. Basically, he'd show us a song on the acoustic guitar and we'd learn it. He wanted to do it very much in the way the Beatles used to record. Ringo and George never really heard the songs before the Beatles recorded them. So we just did it on the fly starting the first day."
Kahne also talks about the first single from the album, From a Lover to a Friend :
"His voice is very emotional in that song. It starts kind of quietly but has a great Come Together-type bass line in the bridge. He sings, 'How can I walk when I can't find my way?' and there's a really great sound he makes. It has a sadness to it, but it's actually a real hopeful song."
Is it really an ode to Linda?
"There are a lot of ways to take the song.  There's a lot of emotion there. When you hear it, you think of his pain and what he and Linda went through together, but it's not spelled out."
The album also features a 10-minute experimental epic called Rinse the Raindrops:
"That's just one verse repeated over and over, but he never sings it the same way twice.  The song goes through different cuts back and forth between different takes. It's a very aggressive, pushy song where he sings real low then real high — all over the place. It's a great vocal performance. The whole record is really great."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 28: Sir Paul loves New York!


Sir Paul announced yesterday:  "I am doing this benefit gig because, to borrow a phrase, I love New York."

Sir Paul has a special fondness for the city since New York was Linda's home town.  Now he says that he has been enjoying introducing Heather to this magnificent city.  In interviews granted yesterday, Sir Paul described the horror he witnessed on September 11 in New York city:

"I was there when the tragedy occurred and I watched the last moments of
the World Trade Center.  I was on the runway at JFK airport when the captain announced we were grounded. We couldn't believe what was happening."
He added more details in another interview:
 "I was sitting in an airplane at the airport in New York and watched the whole thing happen.  We were just taxiing out on to the tarmac at 8:45am. Suddenly the captain said 'look' and we saw the tower in flames - Heather and I couldn't believe what had happened.  On our side of the plane we could see the twin towers smoking. I thought 'what can I do?' But there was nothing.

"A tragedy like this affects everyone and everything. A few days after the
attack we went down to the Canal Street area and you could smell it and
feel it, people were still in a daze.

"At first I felt useless. I thought 'what can I do?' I knew I had to do
something to help. So I'm going to do this concert. Although the events are
dreadfully sad, in a way I was glad I was in New York when it was all
happening because I was able to witness the tremendous heroism that has
come out of the city since the disaster.

"This concert will honour those heroes and heroines and I'm very proud to
be doing that. It will benefit the families of the victims, including the
families of the firefighters involved. I feel a connection with the
firefighters because my Dad was a volunteer fireman in Liverpool during
World War Two.

"So I'm going to do this benefit show to show solidarity. The thing is that
people may disagree with how we live, but this attack has crossed the line;
it is a real no-no and you have to show the people who have done this that
we are not going to put up with it.

"You've got to stand up and do something. I can't fight fires, but I can do
a concert. It will be a difficult night, but it needs doing and I hope to
help raise a lot of money for the families of the victims."

Sir Paul went on to speak of his deep respect for the rescue workers:
"I am honored and proud that I might in some way be able to do something to benefit the families of the victims - including the New York firemen. I have a special connection with the fire-fighters because my dad was a volunteer fireman in Liverpool during the war.  Like the rest of the world, I have great admiration for the amazing courage those guys showed.

"I know if I was faced with what happened I'd want to run the other way. But those brave guys can't and they didn't.  They actually have to run into the building.  A friend said why don't you do a concert and I thought 'yes'. I can't fight fires but I can put on a gig."

In order to focus on this project, Sir Paul has canceled the biggest concert of his career.  He had been working on plans for a free concert to be held in Moscow's Red Square.  He said those plans have been put on hold for now because :"The New York concert is very important and I want to show my full support."

Sir Paul's plan for a small benefit concert snowballed after film boss Harvey Weinstein got behind the project.  One thing we know for sure - he will sing Let It Be:  "It's a song for people to put their emotions into."

Tickets for "The Concert for New York" will go on sale Sunday, October 7 at 12 noon through Ticketmaster phones, outlets and  Tickets range from individual seats to VIP packages. Proceeds from the event will go to the Twin Towers Fund, which was
established by New York City's  Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to assist and support the families of uniformed services members and other government personnel lost in the tragedy, plus other unnamed charities.

The concert will be aired live and commercial free on VH1 On Saturday, October 20th, 8pm (ET/PT) From Madison
Square Garden.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 27: New York Concert Date Set for October 20


Geoff Baker announced today that Sir Paul will headline "The Concert for New York", an all-star rock 'n' roll extravaganza to be held in New York City on October 20 to benefit the families of the firefighters and rescue workers who were lost in the World Trade Center attacks.  Ringo Starr has offered to perform with his former Beatle mate.  Elton John, Mick Jagger and Neil Young have also been invited to the event along with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, David Bowie, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, Macy Gray, James Taylor, Melissa Etheridge, Santana, Jon Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, Matchbox 20, Limp Bizkit, Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, India.Arie, and Eminem.  The Who and Led Zeppelin have been asked to re-form for the show.  Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have been asked to serve as hosts.  John Cusack and Jim Carrey have also agreed to participate.

Miramax movie's Harvey Weinstein is organizing the 4-hour event which will be held in New York City's Madison Square Garden, and broadcast around the world on MTV, VH1 and other networks. Hundreds of radio stations around the world are expected to broadcast the show live.  AOL will provide a live Web cast.  A phone number will be provided to members of the home audience who wish to donate money to aid the attack victims and their families.

A spin-off album of the concert may also be released.

Tickets will go on sale on October 7.  Among the invited guests will be 5,000 members  of the New York fire, police and rescue crews and their families.

Sir Paul still intends to hold his October 4 poetry reading at London's Queen's Theater
for an audience of 600 people.  Geoff Baker said: "It's like chalk and cheese. Just two weeks earlier he will be at a poetry reading at the request of the organizers of National Poetry Day to raise its profile. He was in New York when the tragedy happened and like everyone has been affected very deeply by it and wants to do what he can to help those who have been affected by this appalling tragedy."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 25: Listen to the upcoming single "From A Lover To A Friend"

You are now officially entitled to listen to Paul's upcoming single "From A Lover To A Friend". Links to real audio and windows media player files can be found on the official homepage: Enjoy!

Additional comments:
Pirated recordings of the US radio premiere of this single have been making their rounds on the internet as a low quality real audio file. Furthermore, high quality MP3s of THE ENTIRE ALBUM have been spotted on a usenet newsgroup. Judging from what we've heard so far, the album "Driving Rain" is going to be what "Flaming Pie" tried to be, but wasn't. This is another McCartney hit album and probably amongst his top five albums - but also a very different one! Now, a rush release seems appropriate - before Russian, Korean and Chinese pirate CD pressings flood the market!

Driving Rain - details:

Driving Rain

Driving Rain

Tr Title Time
1 Lonely Road 3:16
2 From A Lover To A Friend 3:48
3 She's Given Up Talking 4:57
4 Driving Rain 3:27
5 I Do 2:56
6 Tiny Bubble 4:21
7 Magic 3:58
8 Your Way 2:55
9 Spinning On An Axis 5:16
10 About You 2:54
11 Heather 3:25
12 Back In The Sunshine Again 4:22
13 Your Loving Flame 3:43
14 Riding Into Jaipur 4:07
15 Rinse The Raindrops 10:08
16 Freedom  

Pre-order this album

USA order from amazon
United Kingdom


September 24: When the Rain Comes

Reports are circulating that Sir Paul's new solo album, Driving Rain, is scheduled to be released on November 12.  Son James joins his father on guitar for two of the fifteen tracks, She's Given Up Talking and Rinse the Raindrops.

A new single, From A Lover To A Friend, is set to be released on October 29.  Radio stations will begin playing the tune this week.  This ballad, a plaintive tribute to Linda, will also be featured in Cameron Crowe's new film, Vanilla Sky, which opens in theaters in November.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 21: Sir Paul in New York City

During a radio interview this morning with New York city's WPLJ (95.5 FM) radio's Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill, Sir Paul announced that he is planning to stage a concert to benefit New York city's brave firefighters, many of whom lost their lives during the rescue efforts following last week's attacks on the World Trade Center.

Sir Paul is still in New York city.  He was on an airplane about to leave the city on September 11 when the terrorists attacked, forcing all the American airports to close.  Sir Paul has remained in New York city ever since.  He said that he has been deeply touched by the heroic work of the rescue workers "In a way, I was pleased to be here to witness all the heroism."  

Sir Paul said that he has postponed a concert he had planned to hold in Moscow's Red Square because at this particular time it no longer "seemed appropriate".  He will offer the benefit concert in New York instead:

"What I am going to do is a concert here in New York within the next month to benefit all the firemen.  I also have a connection there, because my father was a fireman in Liverpool during World War II.''
During World War II, Sir Paul's father. James,  served a volunteer fireman in Liverpool. Between August 1940 and January 1942, Liverpool endured 68 air raids, which killed or injured more than 4,500 people and destroyed more that 10,000 homes.

Sir Paul ended the interview saying:

"I'd also just like to take a second to say to all the people of New York - God bless everyone and good luck to us all and my thanks to all the heroes and heroines who have been helping with the situation."
God bless you, too, Sir Paul - and thank you!

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 20: RIP Dougie Millings

Dougie Millings, the tailor who designed the Beatles' famous collarless suits, died today at the age of 88.  In 1963, Beatles manager Brian Epstein brought the group to Mr. Millings' shop at 63 Compton Street in London's bohemian Soho district with hopes that he could create "something different'' for the band. The resulting collarless conception was a brainstorm of both Mr. Millings and Paul McCartney.  According to Millings' son, Gordon, the Beatles "were elated -  just knocked out" with the unconventional design - round necked jackets in silver gray with braided edges, three pearl buttons on the jacket, single-button flared cuffs and flat-front pants with no side pockets. The price of each suit was about $90. Dougie went on to become the Beatles' house tailor, making everything they wore as a band - some 500 garments in all.  You might remember seeing Dougie Millings in his role as the frustrated tailor in A Hard day's Night.  After the breakup of the Beatles, Millings continued to design fashions for Wings, including the outfits they wore on the cover of their Band on the Run album.

Over the years, Sir Paul remained close friends with Dougie Millings, who also write poetry in his spare time. Shortly after John Lennon's death he presented Sir Paul with a tribute he had composed for John.  Sir Paul framed the verse and it hangs in his Soho Square office,  which is located just a few yards from Dougie Millings old tailor shop.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

Sept 10: Another New York Awards Ceremony

Sir Paul was still in New York city today, this time to attend an awards ceremony honoring Heather Mills for her efforts in providing land mine victims with new limbs.   Responding to reporters' questions about being a groom-to-be, Sir Paul replied,  "It's great!  It's very nice.  A little romance never hurt anyone."  But he resolved to keep his wedding plans a secret:  "We're not saying anything.  That way no one has to lie."

Heather, along with 12 other women including Senator Hillary Clinton, Sarah Ferguson, Marlo Thomas, and Christy Turlington, received the American women's magazine Redbook's Mothers & Shakers women of the year award recognizing women's work to improve health care.  Sir Paul looked on proudly.  Standing on the background with a purse slung over his shoulder he said: "I'm extremely proud.  See - I'm holding her handbag.  That's how proud!"

Before the ceremony, Sir Paul declined to be photographed with Senator Hillary Clinton.  "I don't pose for pictures with anyone," he told the photographers.

Later, Sir Paul performed a little impromptu concert for Hillary Clinton, Marlo Thomas, Lilly Tartikoff and Heather as the women waited in the Green Room before making their appearance at the luncheon held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.  Sir Paul sat down at the piano and treated them to a preview of his new unfinished tune called  "Heather".  The women were delighted - or, as Lilly Tartikoff described it: "The whole room froze!"  And since there were no photographers around,  Hillary Clinton sat down beside him on the piano bench.

Sir Paul beamed proudly at Heather from their table while she accepted her award.  In her acceptance remarks Heather explained how she has learned to "have no fear and be very, very pushy" to gain support for her organization, which gives new limbs to amputees, and her Adopt-a-Minefield work.  Later, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who had just met Heather for the first time, asked her,  "What is it about the British girls?  Heather, you're right about no fear and being pushy!"

The Redbook magazine featuring Heather and the other honorees will appear on newsstands tomorrow. 

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 4: "Hey, got to go to Venice"

Sir Paul and Heather Mills made an unexpected appearance today at the Venice Film Festival.  Sir Paul had been scheduled to attend the festival on Monday, but had to cancel at the last minute.  However, he did arrive, quite appropriately, on Tuesday for the showing of his 13 minute animated film Tuesday.   Sir Paul is the executive producer of the film as well as the composer of the film's score.  Tuesday is a little magical mystery film about the adventures of some small-town American frogs who fly across the United States on their lily pads to attend the "Late Night With David Letterman" television show. The film, featuring the voice and music of Paul McCartney, is dedicated to the memory of Linda McCartney.

Sir Paul and Heather were mobbed as they arrived at a photocall (in the driving rain with umbrella in hand) at the Festival center in the Venice Lido. Sir Paul serenaded the cheering crowd with a few bars Yellow Submarine as well as the classic Italian song Volare accompanying himself on air guitar with the help of his rolled-up umbrella.

This was Sir Paul's first visit to Venice in 20 years having been there once before with his band Wings.  Interviewed as he lounged in the famed Cipriani Hotel, which sits on its own island in a Venetian lagoon, Sir Paul recalled:

"We did come here in the '70s to do a concert to raise money to stop the city from sinking -- and it looks like we've saved it so far. I remember the city got quite upset with us then as one of our vans cracked a paving stone... It's such a pretty place, but unfortunately I do become a tourist attraction'' (Sir Paul and Heather had gone for a stroll in St. Mark's Square and soon realized that hundreds of tourists were filming him rather than the square with their video cameras.) "Luckily we're always doing good things when that happens.''
Although the primary purpose of his visit to Venice is to promote his film, Sir Paul also has another reason to visit the city:
"Oh yeah, it's a romantic outing as well. It's a romantic city, and now that Heather and I are engaged it was like, 'Hey, got to go to Venice'.''

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 4: Say No to Milk?

Sir Paul wants children to stop drinking milk. Reports today indicate that he is backing a campaign by the animal rights group PETA telling children that milk is bad for them.

On Saturday, Sir Paul will be presenting the second Linda McCartney Memorial Award to Chrissie Hynde at the PETA benefit in New York city.  (see July 2 below)

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 3: Fire

The church hall where Paul McCartney first met John Lennon 44 years ago has fallen victim to an arsonist. It took firefighters just under two hours to control the blaze at St. Peter's Church Hall in Woolton, Liverpool, after being alerted at 11.15 pm. last evening.    Merseyside fire brigade spokesman Mike Harris reports: "When we got there the lecture room was well alight. There was fire damage to the roof and floor. The adjoining hall suffered smoke damage.  It took the crews about 90 minutes to bring it under control. It is being treated as suspected arson."   The  lecture room was badly damaged, but the main part of the hall, including the stage where the historic meeting took place, suffered only smoke damage, having been protected by a locked green door. The door linking the two rooms was partly burned through, but kept the worst of the flames at bay.  According to  Rector of St Peter's, Canon John Roberts:  "Luckily, the door was closed otherwise the whole building would have gone up.  The fire brigade reckon that within another 20 minutes the whole lot would have gone up in flames."

You may recall that the church had been planning to refurbish the church hall, a project which included the removal of the famous stage. (see June 12 below) The church plans to sell the stage at auction, however the Liverpool council is hoping to keep the it in the city as a tourist attraction.   Canon Roberts said: "We have been given the go-ahead to get the best price for the stage. We are legally obliged to sell it. We can't give it away.  We have 450 people who use the hall each week, and we need the space that a modernized hall will give us. The refurbishment will still go ahead."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

September 1: Keep Your Cell Phone Handy

While Sir Paul and Heather were dining with Gwyneth Paltrow and her boy friend, Luke Wilson, in Long Island's Nick & Toni's Café last week, a fellow dinner approached to tell him that his son was a big McCartney fan.  Sir Paul asked the fellow to call his son on the cell phone.  He did and Sir Paul spent the next half hour chatting with him.

The two Nick & Toni's Cafés (in East Hampton and on Manhattan's upper West Side) are said to be favorite hangouts of Sir Paul when he is in New York.   On sad footnote to this story, the café's owner, Jeffrey Salaway, was killed in East Hampton, Long Island, early Friday morning when he apparently lost control of his Volvo and ran into a tree.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 30: Second Thoughts about Linda's Statue

Last year, we reported that Sir Paul had commissioned his cousin, Jan Robins, to create a life-size statue of Linda cradling a dog in her arms to be displayed in the Linda McCartney Memorial Gardens near his Mull of Kintyre home (see October 2, 2000).    Although the GBP 20,000 sculpture has been completed, plans have been scrapped to erect the statue in this location.  No reason has been given for this decision.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 29: The Mathew Street Hoax

Today's Liverpool's Daily Post contains a story about last week's widely circulated rumor that Sir Paul McCartney would make a surprise appearance at the Liverpool Mathew Street Festival  (specifically Monday afternoon on Castle Street ).   The Daily Post ran a quick check with his publicist who confirmed that Sir Paul was not even in the country at the time. So if you thought you caught a glimpse of Sir Paul when you logged on to the live web cast, it wasn't him.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 28: She's Going Home

In an interview published in this month's issue of the French fashion magazine, Numero, Sir Paul's daughter, Stella, talks about her new responsibilities as she prepares to launch her own designer label in October:
"The main difference has been employing people and being the boss.  It's a complete different scenario now -- you have to be responsible for other people's livelihoods ... Gucci are helping me with production and logistics, but nobody is creatively involved in my company apart from me and my team.
The McCartney family is pleased that Stella has returned to her hometown of London after living in Paris during her tenure as chief designer for Chloe.
"I feel very privileged to have been on rue Saint-Honore (where Chloe is located). It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. Having said that, I don't think I'm likely to be back there anytime soon. Chloe was me, so I'm not going to start doing something minimalistic or totally different. Certain little things will change."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 25: More on the Hard Day's Night Hotel

On a future trip to Liverpool, you may be able to spend the night in an hotel room with a Paul McCartney theme.  As reported here in Beatletext News all those years ago (back on March 13, 1977) plans were being made by Cavern Cities Tours Ltd to construct a Beatle themed Hard Day's Night Hotel in the heart of the city of Liverpool.  It was announced today by Bill Heckle, chairman of Cavern City Tours, that: "All the funding is now in place and we are delighted to have been given the go-ahead for the project.  Full planning permission and listed building consent has been granted and work should start almost immediately."  The work will take at least one year to complete.

The Hard Day's Night Hotel is the concept of Cavern Cities Tours Ltd and has been designed by Liverpool trained architect John Tweedie.  The pounds 8m hotel has been awarded a European Regional Development Fund grant of pounds 2.3m through the Merseyside Objective One program.

The developers say the hotel will be lavish, but the decor will be tasteful. Each of the hotel's 120 rooms will be designed around a different theme beginning with the first meeting of Paul McCartney and John Lennon in Woolton. Twin rooms are expected to start at around pounds 60 per night.   The hotel will be connected at basement level to the famous Cavern Club.

According to the hotel's marketing director Steve McGriskin: " The opportunities for promoting, advertising and marketing are almost limitless. The Beatles are a world class brand and the knowledge of the product is universally recognizable. The Beatles are synonymous with the city of Liverpool and the Cavern Club.  "

Liverpool Council Leader Mike Storey added: "This themed hotel will add to the city's status throughout the world.  It will bring extra jobs for Liverpool, substantial investment and attract even more tourists."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 23: All The Best Goes Multi-Platinum

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently announced that as of July 26 of this year, Sir Paul's 1987 compilation All The Best  has gone multi-platinum, meaning they have certified that the album has sold over 2 million copies in the USA.  Congratulations, Sir Paul!
(Information kindly submitted by Edward Crawford)

August 21: Two McCartney Tribute Albums

On October 9, Oglio Records will release a tribute album featuring the solo material of Paul McCartney on an album entitled Listen To What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney. Proceeds from the sale of the recording will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Memory of Linda McCartney. Each of the participating recording artists waived their studio costs and royalties to ensure that a larger portion of proceeds will go directly to the Komen Foundation.

The track list features:

Owsley, "Band On the Run"
SR-71, "My Brave Face"
Steven Page and Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), and Stephen Duffy (the Lilac Time), "Junk"
Semisonic, "Jet"
The Merrymakers, "No More Lonely Nights"
Robyn Hitchcock, "Let Me Roll It"
Finn Brothers, "Too Many People"
Minus 5, "Dear Friend"
Matthew Sweet, "Every Night"
Sloan, "Waterfalls"
World Party, "Man We Was Lonely"
The John Faye Power Trip, "Coming Up"
Virgos, "Maybe I'm Amazed"
Judybats, "Love In Song"
Linus of Hollywood, "Warm and Beautiful"
They Might Be Giants, "Ram"
Performers on the recording shared the following reflexions:

Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson:

"McCartney is less like an influence and more like the air we breathe.  I think we couldn't anymore choose to be a fan of his than we could choose to need oxygen. Those melodies, that voice, are imprinted in our brains somewhere near the deepest part. His sense of melody is the standard of beauty."
Jay Ferguson, singer/guitarist for Canadian rock act Sloan:
"You really begin to appreciate what a truly great singer Sir Paul is when you try to cover one of his songs. Apologies ahead of time for any cracked notes."
They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh:
"It is daunting to try and reinterpret any McCartney song. I was always a huge fan of the first couple of McCartney solo albums in part because, like the Stevie Wonder albums of the same era, they were great examples of the intensity of homemade recordings. You can hear a lot of the experimentation and discovery right in the tracks, and that makes the recordings a kind of event in themselves."
Matthew Sweet:
"I grew up making four-track recordings on a cassette four-track, so I enjoy hearing recordings where one person plays a lot of the parts.  It just had a fresh homespun approach, and I tried to keep my cover of 'Every Night' in that same intimate real that the original inhabited."
Two weeks later, on October 23, Oglio Records will release a second compilation of McCartney covers.  Coming Up: Independent Artists Pay Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney will contain the following tracks:
  "Let 'Em In," Starbelly
  "Take It Away," Jellybricks
  "Every Night," Mark Bacino
  "This One," Cliff Hillis
  "My Brave Face," Star Collector
  "Temporary Secretary," the Andersons
  "Mull of Kintyre," Kyf Brewer
  "With a Little Luck," Masticators
  "Somedays," Phil Keaggy
  "Getting Closer," Michael Carpenter
  "Maybe I'm Amazed," Gadget White Band
  "Helen Wheels," the Shazam
  "Oh Woman, Oh Why," Ray Paul with Emmit Rhodes
  "Another Day," Cherry Twister
  "Back on My Feet," Cockeyed Ghost

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 19: A Visit to New Orleans

Last Sunday, Sir Paul and Heather Mills popped into the balcony of the intimate New Orleans Frenchmen Street jazz club, Snug Harbor, near the end of the first set of the Brent Rose Power Trio.  The couple arrived while Brent Rose's 8-year-old daughter, Ximone, was onstage singing "You Are My Sunshine" and stayed through the set break and most of the second set.  They were even treated to a piece of Rose's birthday cake. This was only the third gig for young Rose"For me, it was like, 'This is your chance to impress somebody'.  I wasn't really nervous -- I was just trying to make good music."  Sir Paul and Heather left Sung Harbor with a copy of the jazz CD Quintology , featuring Rose.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 15: Sir Paul's Celebrity Endorsement

At this summer's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Live! Girls! Sketch Show!  is playing to packed audiences thanks to the backing of Paul McCartney.  According to the show's actress-writer, Beth Kilcoyne:

"We were performing our old show The Ghost of Aunty Pat at the Canal Theatre in London and I was doing the sound at the back when a girl popped her head round and asked if it was okay to come in.  She came in with this middle-aged guy and they had their backs to me. They sat down and totally wet themselves laughing.  Then at the end he turned round and I was like 'Oh my God, it's Paul McCartney'. He said it was a great show, dead funny, then he and his daughter Mary took us for a drink and he scribbled his endorsement on one of our posters."
Note: Sir Paul wrote: "Go and see these girls - they're dead funny."  
"When we were coming up here with our new show I thought it would be great if we could use his quote on the posters, so I wrote and asked if he would mind. He wrote back saying he didn't mind at all, and what's more he wanted to see the new show and would maybe come to Edinburgh.  Then two weeks before we came up he called me and I nearly died. He was still saying he wanted to see the show but I think he's more likely to come when we play in London again. He has been amazingly supportive and genuinely interested, and people do enquire whether it is the real Paul McCartney on our posters. We're very lucky to have his support and it does help us stand out a bit from all the other shows."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 15: Sir Paul, Radio Pick of the Day

This evening in part six of The Bob Dylan Story (see July 11 below) Sir Paul recreates the atmosphere of Dylan's legendary 1966 world tour for BBC Radio2.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 13: Some Good Rockin' on the Way

London-Sire Records is gearing up for the release of their tribute to the Sun Sound - Good Rockin' Tonight - The Legacy of Sun Records on October 16.  A highlight track of the album will be Paul McCartney's rendition of "That's All Right Mama" on which he is reported to sound "like the feisty 20-year-old mop top of yore".  The album release will be followed by the film, Good Rockin' Tonight to be televised on PBS worldwide on November 28.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 13: Sir Paul's Lovely Meter Maid

Even multi-millionaires don't always have the money to park their cars in Los Angeles.  Today's Mirror features a photo of Heather Mills scrounging for some loose change to fill up a parking meter as Sir Paul looks on.   The couple continue to be described as "blissfully happy" as they stroll through Hollywood.  An onlooker reports that "the pair seemed contented and completely at ease" as Sir Paul draped his arm around Heather's shoulder before entering a bookshop.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 12: Café Stop

Today's Sunday Express features a photo of Heather Mills looking "blissfully happy" as she gives a tender caress to Sir Paul's cheek.  The couple were spotted during the week in West Hollywood at the trendy Urth Café on Melrose Avenue.   Known as a trendy hang-out for writers, Urth claims to be America's first organic coffee shop.  Its owner, Shalom Berkman boasts, "We have only eight farms that meet our standards, and it's the lowest of acid of any coffee in the world."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 11: Sir Paul's Russian Invitation

Sir Paul has received an invitation from software billionaire, Paul Allen, to join 200 of the world's rich and famous for an extravagant long weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia.   Details of the three-day event are being kept a closely guarded secret, although the co-founder of Microsoft has a reputation for being  "like a Medici, a grand seigneur, who entertains in the old style".  It is not known if Sir Paul excepted the invitation.  What is known is that his sumptuous invitation arrived in a polished wooden box emblazoned with the Romanov crest.  Inside the box, cushioned in purple and gold satin, was tucked a replica of a jeweled Faberge egg and a parchment invitation containing details of the trip.  The guests were asked to report to their local airport where private jets would whisk them off to Helsinki, and then on to St. Petersburg, Russia to board a luxury cruise liner, the Seven Seas Navigator, moored in the St. Petersburg harbor.  From there, guests could entertain themselves  with a variety of activities including a tall-ship cruise, a helicopter ride to the Estonian capital of Tallinn and a private tour of the Hermitage Museum. The highlight of the weekend is to be this evening's grand ball.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 10: Family Photos

Shortly before her death in 1998, Linda McCartney finished putting the finishing touches on a book of photographs she had taken during the previous thirty years.   Light From Within, which took her two years to compile, will be released in October.  The book will open with forward written by her husband, Paul and will contain intimate portraits of the McCartney family.  The collection will also feature shots of musicians such as Pete Townshend, Beach Boy Al Jardine, Jani Joplin, and Frank Zappa  all photographed by Linda during a period in the late Sixties when she served as the house photographer for the legendary Fillmore East Theater.  According to Pete Townshend,  "I love her pictures of me from that time. I remember her as being very straight and direct, but kind of swirling, blond, limpid. I was such a fan of hers -- everything about her."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 9: Dining on Melrose Ave

Sir Paul was spotted this evening dining with Heather Mills at West Hollywood's "new Yorkish" Italian eatery, Ago (pronounced AH-go, named after its chef, Agostino Sciandri.)  The restaurant is owned by actors Robert De Niro ("Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull"), Christopher Walken ("The Dead Zone," "The Deer Hunter"), Miramax's executive producers Harvey & Bob Weinstein ("Scream," "The English Patient," and "Pulp Fiction"), and director Ridley Scott ("Alien," "Blade Runner," and "Thelma & Louise"). Noted for its Tuscan cuisine, one can spend well over $100 for a dinner for two.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 8: At Home in Hove

Sir Paul has purchased a one million pound early wedding present for Heather Mills.  It is a four bedroom Edwardian home in Hove, Sussex.  Located not far from Sir Paul's farmhouse in Rye, the house looks out across the English Channel where Heather can enjoy walking her dog along the sea.  Sources report that:  "The vendor is very pleased it's gone to Paul McCartney."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 7: Happy Birthday, Irene

Irene Hansell received two wonderful surprises on her 80th birthday.  First was the surprise party given to her by her family at one of Britain's Lake District's premier restaurants.  The second surprise was from Sir Paul who happened to be dining at the same restaurant that evening.  According to Irene's daughter-in-law Maryon, of Sheffield, Sir Paul came over and joined the family for the singing of the Happy Birthday song, then "He gave Irene a bunch of flowers from his table. He made it so special."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 6: An Amazing Letter

An undated emotional six page hand written letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney will soon be going up for auction at Christie's.  Beatles biographer Hunter Davies says : "It's an amazing letter. It is at a period when their company, Apple, is breaking up, they are all suing each other and horrible to each other."

According to Carey Wallace, a consultant to Christie's who catalogued the work, it is a significant item: "It's a historical document. It's the two key Beatles and epitomizes their relationship during this bitter feud.  It is not just a rant, there is still affection there. It's vintage Lennon written straight from the heart."

Littered with spelling errors and expletives, the letter was composed at his Berkshire mansion in Tittenhurst Park, but it is unclear if the draft was ever sent to the McCartneys.  What is clear is John's criticism of Paul's behavior at the time.  In the letter he writes:
 "I'm not ashamed of the Beatles, but some of the (expletive) we took to make them so big...Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles?  I don't believe you're that insane.  Didn't we always say we were part of the movement, not all of it? Get off your gold disc and fly.

"I hope you realize what (expletive) you and the rest of my kind and unselfish friends laid on Yoko and me since we have been together -- It might have sometimes been a bit more subtle or should I say 'middle class' -- but not often."

Angered by Linda's response to some derogatory comments John had made about the Beatles in the press, John retaliated, saying referring to Mrs. McCartney's "petty little perversion of a mind. ... I was reading your letter and wondering what middle-aged, cranky Beatles fan it was who wrote it. I kept thinking who it was: Queenie (Brian Epstein's mother)? Stuart's mother? ... What the hell, it's Linda!...Obviously if they keep asking Beatle questions -- I'll answer them.  I know some of it gets personal -- but whether you believe it or not -- I try and answer straight ... I don't resent your husband --I'm sorry for him."

In spite of all the bitterness, he closes the letter with affection: "In spite of it all, love to you both from us two."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 5: Back to California

Members of the McCartney family arrived together at London's Heathrow airport en route to the USA.  Stella McCartney slipped quietly off to New York city while Sir Paul and Heather Mills happily smiled for the cameras as they left for a vacation in California.

In this week's People magazine, Linda's friend Carla Lane attests to Paul's newly found happiness: "Paul looks like the Paul I once knew. He's so happy, he has the face of a teenager."  She also feels that Heather Mills is comfortable living in the shadow of Linda:  "She knows wherever Paul goes Linda's name will follow, but she's accepted that. And I know Linda would approve. She'd say, 'Yeah--Heather's great.'"

Another family friend hints that the wedding will take place around this time next year:  "It's going to take about a year to organize.  Heather wants to have something big."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 4: An Invitation from Her Majesty

Sir Paul has been invited to perform (free of charge) next summer (on Monday, June 3) in celebration of Queen Elizabeth's fifty years on the throne.  This will be the first time her majesty has hosted a pop concert in her garden at Buckingham Palace.  The 14,000 tickets to the event will be free and awarded to the public by ballot. The concert will also be televised and broadcast worldwide by the BBC.

According to a Palace source: "A pop concert is appropriate because, during the Queen's reign, one of the things that Britain has been outstandingly good at is popular music.  We don't want to give the impression that we have moved in a wildly populist direction; it was the Queen's own desire to open her home to the nation."

The concert will close with a spectacular firework display set off by the Queen herself.  She will also also light the first beacon in a chain across the Commonwealth.

As details of the concert become available, they will be posted on the Queen's official jubilee website:

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 4: He Can't Always Get What He Wants

Sir Paul has confessed to The London Times that during a recent stroll through Soho, a piece of second-hand furniture caught his eye.  He told the reporter:  "I see the potential beauty in objects, whether it's just walking on a beach or walking around London. I was walking through Soho the other night when I spotted this really nice cupboard which had been discarded on a skip, and thought 'that's a nice piece of wood, I could use that'."  Fans looked on aghast as Sir Paul prepared to hoist the cupboard on to his shoulders.  That's when Heather Mills intervened. "What are you doing? You don't need it," she insisted.  "No I don't need it, but I want it," replied Sir Paul as she drew him away reluctantly.

Apparently, this woodworking is not a new hobby.  The New Musical Express reports that back in their Hamburg days, Paul and Ringo we constantly late for their gigs because the pair were so engrossed in fierce "craft competitions".  They report that the band nearly split up in 1961 when Paul accused Ringo of copying a table design he had worked on for several weeks.   John settled the spat saying that although Ringo's nest of tables was "really nice", it was in fact Paul's design. 

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 2: Two Rings

According to the London Times, Sir Paul will continue to wear the gold wedding band he received from Linda in 1969.  When asked if he'll wear both his old and new wedding rings on the same finger, "Yeah, probably", was his response.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

August 1: New Album: No More Blue Skies

According to several reports from agencies, the new Paul McCartney album was going to called Blue Skies. Until Paul took a drive down the California coast in a rain storm.  The new 14-track album now carries the title Driving Rain and is said to be a tribute to the two loves of his life, Linda and Heather.  The three songs inspired by Linda are called "Lonely Road",  "From A Lover To A Friend", and "Without You".  His new love has inspired the songs called "Heather", "Riding Into Jaipur", and "Loving Flame" which sources describe as a classic McCartney romantic ballad: "It's a classic Paul-style, slushy but beautiful tune. In the song, he talks about kissing Heather and how great it makes him feel. He also says how he wants to be with her - for ever."  The new release date for the album is November 12. 

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 30: Tuesday to Premier Next Month

Premiering next month at the Venice Film Festival will be an animated film by British director Geoff Dunbar called Tuesday.  It features the voices of Dustin Hoffman and Sir Paul McCartney.  Mr. Dunbar was also the director of Daumier's Law.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 28: A Scottish Cruise

The Scottish press reports today that Sir Paul and Heather are about to set off on a cruise around Scotland aboard a luxury yacht which is currently moored off the coast of Clyde.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 27: Greeting Their Well-wishers

Sir Paul stepped outside his North London home today with Heather at his side to greet a gathering of the press and the public following the announcement yesterday that the couple are to be wed next year.  Sir Paul, dressed in a casual blue shirt, blue trousers and sandals, beamed with happiness.  Witnesses remarked that Heather, wearing black cords, a sleeveless black blouse and black sandals, seemed noticeably more at ease than her husband-to-be.

Sir Paul encouraged Heather to displayed her engagement ring, a huge sapphire nestled between two large diamonds set in a band of white gold:

"Would you want to show them the ring, darling? Would you like to show them the ring? There it is. It's a sapphire >from India. It's an Indian sapphire.  We're very happy, and we'll get married sometime next year. That's about it."
Heather added, "It was a very romantic proposal.  It just all happened all of a sudden. My brother and sister were very pleased. It was very romantic. I am still in shock but I am really happy."

Sir Paul said that he is "over the moon" about the engagement:

"When I proposed I was a bit nervous but I managed. We've had a good reception from relatives and friends and from the media.... We are standing here for the cameras and we are very happy. We will get married some time next year. We're very happy. That's about it for details."
(The British media are speculating about the details -  that the ceremony will take place in Rye, Sussex, where Sir Paul has his farm, followed by a honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica.)

The couple accepted gifts and flowers from well-wishers, but when the photographers asked the couple to kiss, Heather replied: "We don't kiss on demand, it's spontaneous."  Heather also declared that "I won't be using the title Lady - I'm not into all that pretense."

Then it was time to go.  "We have got to go to work now," said Sir Paul, as he slid into the driver's seat of a green Mercedes estate.  Heather waved good-bye to the well-wishers, giving them another look at her ring.  "Right then, we're off down the boozer," Sir Paul said with a laugh has the happy couple drove away."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 26: "Paul McCartney and Heather Mills are pleased to announce ..."

Today, Sir Paul directed his London office to release the following statement:
"Paul McCartney and Heather Mills are pleased to announce their engagement. The couple are looking forward to being married some time next year.  Paul and Heather said they would like to thank their relatives and friends for all the great support they have shown them since they met two years ago."
Spokesman Geoff Baker stated that he had no idea when the wedding might be, or if it would be a large or small affair.   He did say, "They are both delighted, as are the kids and as is everyone."

Throughout the day, the stories surfaced that Sir Paul went down on one knee to propose to Heather on Monday evening following a romantic dinner at Sharrow Bay Hotel at Ullswater in Britain's Lake District where they were enjoying a short walking holiday.   Heather wept as she immediately replied, "Yes".  Sir Paul then presented her with a large sapphire and diamond ring, which he had secretly purchased last February when the couple were in Jaipur, near Rajasthan, India, where Heather was attending to some children who had lost limbs in an earthquake.

The couple returned to London from their Lake District holiday on Tuesday to break the news to Sir Paul's children Stella, Mary and James, and Heather. They are said to be "delighted".

Also pleased by the news is Sir Paul's brother Mike.  With his wife, Rowena, at his side, he announced from their home on the Wirral: "We were very happy.  Heather's a lovely girl down-to-earth girl.  All his Liverpool family are delighted.  And after what Paul has been through it is great to have some lovely, happy news for a change."

This evening, Sir Paul appeared briefly outside his home in St. Johns Wood, London looking happy and relaxed in his white shirt and casual trousers.  He joked with the press, accusing them of having married him off months ago.  When asked how he proposed to Heather, he refused to provide the details saying, "That's private, that's just for me."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 25: Ringo Speaks

Ringo Starr appeared on ABC television's Access Hollywood program this evening to dispel the rummers about George Harrison's failing health and to share some exciting news about some forthcoming Beatle activities.  Speaking from Toronto, Canada where he's preparing to launch a 28-date North American tour with his All Starr Band, Ringo stated:
"I did see George a few weeks ago and he was fine.  And if it had been bad, he would have told me.  All these years we've been around - you have to watch what's in the press.  I didn't panic because I wait 'til it becomes reality.  I mean, the news is real when either Paul calls me or George calls me and says, 'This is what it is'. And we do that to each other.  We say, 'Watch out.  Something's happened.  They'll be calling you', because that's what happens.  Everybody still thinks we have this one body with three heads!"
Ringo also revealed that he'll be meeting with Paul and George in October to plan some big Beatles projects:
"There are two ... there's a couple of projects in the works and nothing will be out 'til next year.  We're all going to meet up again in October to finalize what it will be.  You know, everybody wants a Number 2."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 24: Duet at the Lennon Airport

At Liverpool's John Lennon Airport last Friday, a fan knocked on the window of Sir Paul's Jaguar in hopes of obtaining an autograph.  As the window rolled down, he was treated to much more than that.  Sir Paul and Heather were singing along to Back in the USSR which they had playing on their car stereo.  "They were having a great time," reported a witness to this impromptu concert.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 20: Only 72 Hours Notice

Be prepared to work fast!  Sir Paul is only giving 72 hours advance notice for his tour dates and venues for the month of October.  His staff reports that he is doing this both for security reasons and to prevent scalpers from buying up tickets to resell at ludicrous prices.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 20: Sir Paul Bestows Honors

Today, Sir Paul bestowed the honor of LIPA Companion to songstress Joan Armatrading, lyricist Benny Gallagher, and the architect of punk, Malcolm McClaren in recognition for the dedicated work they do for the students of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.  The ceremony was open only to the 200 graduating students and invited guests.

Earlier in the day, Sir Paul paid tribute to the human rights group Amnesty International.  He was on hand at LIPA to help promote the book Like Water On Stone - The Story of Amnesty International, written by his former Liverpool Institute schoolmate Jonathan Power.

Sir Paul addressed a small gathering of Mr. Power's family and Amnesty International colleagues,
and thanked the organization for its 40 years of campaigning:

"I would really like to thank Amnesty for being there for us all. There are so many injustices that would go un-noticed but by putting the spotlight on them, they are brought to the attention of the world and the people are released.

"When we were growing up Nelson Mandela was in prison and now he is a free
man who was president of his country.  To see things like that is very moving and I would like to thank everyone involved.

"Thanks as well go to Jonathan, who I'm very proud of for the great work he
has done and the great spirit and perseverance with which he has done it.

"What was it that made us, the Beatles, and Amnesty, the way we were? I think it is in us all. It is a very powerful thing and I thank God, or whatever you believe in, for that. It is within us all and it is real."

Jonathan Power also had a few words to say: "Between us we have had 40 years of righting wrongs and 40 years of writing songs. Today I think the world is a better place for them both."

Sir Paul, wore a beige suit, brown open toed sandals, and his new digital camera wristwatch which he delighted in demonstrating to the band of photographers who were there to cover the event.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 18: Tidying Up Abbey Road

So sad.  Abbey Road is no longer tidy enough to cross, even when one is wearing shoes.  Today London's Evening Standard published a photo of the world's most famous bare foot Abbey Road street crosser picking up litter near the famous intersection. It seems Sir Paul and Heather Mills were waiting to cross Finchley Road near the Wellington Hospital in St. John's Wood, when they found themselves stormed with rubbish swirling around their feet.  Deciding not to let it be, they stooped down and started collecting and disposing of it in the nearby litter bins.   And what did the Westminster Council have to say about their distinguished street cleaners?   "It is always heartening when local people help to clear up litter others have left behind."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 17: The Last Will of Linda Louise McCartney

Today's London Times published the following details of Linda's last will:

"Linda Louise McCartney, of Tucson, Arizona, US, left estate valued at Pounds 3,884,731 net. She left her estate to a trust fund, the net income of which is to be paid at least quarterly to her husband, James Paul McCartney, for as long as he lives and then to her children, Heather, Mary, Stella and James."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 15: How Sir Paul Met Those Super Furry Animals

In a recent Sunday Times interview, Furry Animals guitarist Huw "Bunf" Bunford recalled how he met Paul McCartney.   The band was attending a recording industry awards evening.  Their keyboard player, Cain Ciaran, had excused himself to use the lavatories and returned to the table with a new friend:  "He had his arm 'round Paul McCartney's shoulder, as if to say, 'Look what I've found!'"  That evening Ciaran asked Sir Paul if the band might remix one of his songs, and two weeks later, the Furry Animals found themselves sitting in a studio with some of the music world's most valuable items - the original master tapes of the Revolver sessions.   Does this mean that Sir Paul is a huge Super Furries Fan?   "I doubt it," says Bunf. "I think he was just shocked. He's got such a huge entourage that for Cian to get through to him, I just think he thought, 'the cheeky little monkey'."

So how did Sir Paul end up chewing on carrots and celery on the Receptacle for the Respectable track of their new Rings Around the World CD?  According the the Furry Animals, it was to prevent a law suit.  They claim that their Liverpool Sound Collage remixing work was published without their permission, so they threatened to sue Sir Paul unless he made a contribution to their next album.  Although this may be true, even the interviewer feels it might just be a Furry Animal story.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 13: With Heather in Hampshire

Sir Paul has accompanied Heather Mills to Hampshire where she appeared as the guest speaker at the Institute of Directors annual dinner held at Winchester Guildhall.  The topic was young entrepreneurship and according to chairman Mike Pawley, "Heather talked for three quarters of an hour and held us all spellbound" as she spoke of how she transformed her own personal tragedy into triumph.

Earlier in the day, Sir Paul and Heather went shopping in Elliotts boutique in Lymington where Heather bought herself a pair of trendy Rebecca Sanver sandals.  The shop's staff, surprised and delighted by the visit, reported: "They were only here for a short while but they were really pleasant people to talk to. They were both very polite and very down to earth, and after buying the shoes they just went on their way."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 12: Blue Skies, A Birthday Gift for Linda

It has been announced that Sir Paul's new "Blue Skies" album will be released on September 24, Linda's birthday. Apparently it's going to be called Driving Rain, like the potential first single which was performed live recently.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 11: Sir Paul Talks About Bob Dylan

At 22:00 this evening, Kris Kristofferson launches ten half-hour programs on The Bob Dylan Story for BBC Radio 2.  One of the programs will feature an exclusive interview with Sir Paul McCartney.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 10: He Is the Junk Man

Not only has Sir Paul been enjoying the sand and surf of the Malibu beaches this month. He has also been indulging his habit of junk collecting - a hobby he discovered when he found an old wheel during a Long Island holiday.   He claims he finds inspiration in these treasures, much in the in the same way that Picasso was inspired to paint Bull's Head when he found a bicycle seat:   "I see a bit of old bicycle and think of Picasso"

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 10: Paul and Heather: Engaged?

According to several German teletext services, Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills are finally engaged! It was announced by the very happy couple during a secretly held party where stars like David Gilmour, Crissie Hynde and Twiggy attended. Paul proposed marriage during the vacation in Malibu. [Ed: apparently, this wasn't totally true at this time]

July 9: Sir Paul and Lady Madonna

During her Earl's Court concert in London this evening, Madonna tossed her cowboy hat into the audience.  To whom was it directed?  To Stella's dad, of course!

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 8: August in Kintyre

Sir Paul's visits to his High Park Farm in Kintyre are usually low-key.  He arrives by private jet at Machrahanish and is rarely seen by his neighbors.  However, the locals will be watching for his next visit for a very special reason.  As one neighbor reports:  "Sir Paul is due to come in a few weeks for a break. He always comes at this time of year, but this time he's bringing Heather. He'll probably do some of the things he used to do with Linda here such as a bit of horse riding and walking. This is a special place for him."

In the past, Sir Paul has enjoyed visiting the local cattle auctions at the end of July, an event which has been cancelled this year due to the foot and mouth epidemic.  It is not only the area farmers who are suffering.   Sir Paul will find the Mull's capital, the little port of Campbeltown, in the midst of a grave economic crisis, suffering the highest unemployment rate in Scotland.  The residents hope this visit will bring their plight to the attention of those who may be able to offer them help.  One resident stated:  "We don't want Paul McCartney's money.  He's given a lot to the area, most of it anonymously, and we're not beggars. To be honest, we're all very grateful that he still has a home here. But Campbeltown needs his support. MPs, government ministers and other agencies tend to listen when Sir Paul McCartney is on the phone.  All we need is him to say, 'Hey, this wonderful little place called Campbeltown has got some great people willing to work hard. Can you do something for them?'  That's all we would ask of him."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 8: Centre Court at Wimbledon

If you were watching the women's singles tennis finals on television today, you may have spotted Sir Paul and Heather Mills viewing the matches from  Wimbledon's Centre Court stands, seated not far from Jack Nicholson and Lara Flynn Boyle.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 7: McCartney Defined

According to the critics, Microsoft's new Encarta College Dictionary is inconsistent, misleading and sometimes inaccurate.  To see what they are talking about, just look at the various Beatle entries:

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 4: McCartney and Clapton Tie for the Gold

Sir Paul's Wingspan CD has earned him his 21st gold disc in the United States.  Geoff Baker reports: "According to Billboard magazine Paul and Eric Clapton are tying with 21 gold albums each.  He'll be dead chuffed, and I'll tell you what - he'll get his 22nd (gold disc) when his new album comes out."  This total includes only those gold records earned since he left the Beatles in 1970 - 11 as a solo artist and 10 with his group, Wings.  Twenty-one is highest number of gold discs ever awarded to a recording artist.  Number twenty-two will break the record!

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 4: California Beachboy

Today, Sir Paul took a break from his regular six-day-a-week Los Angeles routine (a morning jog followed by an afternoon in the recording studio to put the finishing touches on his new Blue Skies album which now has a tentitive release date of September 25.)  Sir Paul jumped into his speedy Chevy Corvette with Heather at his side and drove down the coast to Malibu's Will Rogers State Beach, where many of the television series Baywatch episodes were filmed.

The couple obviously enjoyed their day at the crowded beach, and didn't seem to mind the onlookers who watched them play in the sand and surf.  At one point Sir Paul stood in the ocean waves and struck a silly muscleman pose for a giggling Heather who recorded it on her wristwatch camera.

Back in the U.K., Sir Paul's friends have been asked to keep Saturday, July 7 free to attend his belated private birthday party with an Indian theme.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 3: The John Lennon Airport A "Good Move"

The idea of renaming the Liverpool airport in honor of John Lennon has received the full backing of Sir Paul who is quoted as describing the tribute as a "good move". Neil Pakey, commercial director of the airport, said Paul McCartney's name had not been included in the renaming because it was a celebration of a full lifetime:  "Around the world airports named after individuals tend to be a celebration of their entire life and that is a trend we decided to follow. We have had messages of support from Sir Paul McCartney's agent and his brother, who both seem to recognize that it is a good idea."

Mike McCartney, Sir Paul's brother who still lives on Merseyside, agreed that it was a great idea. "They already have the American airport named after John F. Kennedy, so why not name Liverpool after John Lennon? I am sure the people of Liverpool will be very pleased about it," he said.

During her Liverpool visit yesterday for the unveiling of the new airport logo (a cartoon self-portrait of John with the strapline "above us only sky"), Yoko Ono told the Liverpool Echo newspaper that she would also like to see John Lennon's childhood home preserved and opened up to the public:   "That house meant an awful lot to John. I heard so much about it from him. When I came here with John and we drove past Mendips he would always point at it and say 'that's it, that's it'.  I am aware that it is up for sale and I think it should be properly honored like Paul McCartney's place.  John's childhood home is just as important as Paul's and maybe the city of Liverpool should look at opening it up as some sort of landmark."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 2: EMI Celebrates 50 Years of George Martin

Today EMI will mark Sir George Martin's 50th anniversary in the music industry with the UK release of a numbered, limited edition 6-CD box set retrospective of 153 of his recordings produced called Produced By George Martin.   It will be released in the USA on July 17. Sir Paul does not hide his respect for Sir George who is best known, of course, for his work as the Beatles producer, a skill Sir Paul claims he learned back in 1943 in the British Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm where he was trained as an observer in Trinidad :
"I think it is an incredible stroke of fate that he had that experience. That's what a producer does. He doesn't write the songs or play them he doesn't fly the plane but he is in charge.  And that, tied in with his music, made him the perfect producer for the Beatles.  The producer's role is not to come up with ideas.  That is one misconception about people who worked with the Beatles, that they gave the ideas. Most of the ideas came from within the group. George assimilated it all. He accommodated us. I think a lesser producer might not have done."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 2: Sir Paul to Appear at the PETA Gala

On July 5, tickets will go on sale for the September 8 PETA 21st Anniversary and Humanitarian Awards Gala during which Sir Paul will present the second Linda McCartney
Memorial Award to Chrissie Hynde.  He is also reported to be providing some of the " musical entertainment" for the evening.

PETA has also announced a release date of September 4 for the DVD of their previous gala, Paul McCartney and Friends: the PETA Concert.  The September 18, 1999 concert, filmed on the back lot of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles features Sir Paul singing Honey Hush, Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, Try Not To Cry, Lonesome Town and Run Devil Run.  Among the "friends" who also performed that evening were Sarah McLachlan, Chrissie Hynde and the B-52s.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

July 1: A Mojo Solo Beatles Special

The July issue of Mojo features four different covers - one for each Beatle! The issue contains over 40 pages of interviews including one with Sir Paul in which he talks about life after Beatlemania.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)

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