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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)
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2001-Oct-24: Sir Paul on "60 Minutes II"

Sir Paul's interview with CBS newsman, Dan Rather, was aired this evening.  They talked why Sir Paul organized the "Concert for New York City":
"I wanted to do something. Like a lot of people, I felt helpless. I'm not a firefighter but my dad was in World War II.  He was a volunteer firefighter in Liverpool, which got a lot of heavy bombing."
How did his parents deal with the war?
"My parents' generation went through World War II, so I know how they dealt with it.  And it was with humor, it was with courage, it was with strength. It was also with music. They had to have something to keep their courage up. So they did. There was a lot of humor, a lot of music. And if it was good enough for them, I think it's good enough for us."
Dan Rather took Sir Paul back to the Ed Sullivan studio and showed him a film of their February 9, 1964 appearance.  As Sir Paul watched, he said:
"Good group. Wow you had to take me  back there, didn't you?

"It doesn't feel like 37 years ago. It's one of those staggering things about life, you can just literally seem a few years ago. And it isn't - it's a long time ago. But I have memories. It was very exciting for us as Liverpool kids to come to America and then to suddenly be involved in something like that. A really big show. And then the reaction to it, I love. I still meet people who say, 'I know where I was, I was in our sitting room and their dads invariably say, 'Those are wigs. They're wearing wigs.' You look at it now. It looks pretty short, it looks pretty tame."

After living through the painful experience of losing Linda, Dan Rather asked Sir Paul if he any advice to those who are grieving for loved ones now:
"All I can really say is that I think it's important to let it out, and to not hold it in. That was really the single most important thing I found. As a guy, you like to think you're tough, you can take these things, and you can give me your best shot. But, of course, when you lose someone it's not really possible. You can put it inside yourself and hide it if you want, but I don't think that's a good thing. So, for me, what I found was to talk to people. A lot. Not worry about crying, like a baby sometimes if that's what you had to do. And not worried about who was looking at you. And just really let it all out.

"After Linda died I didn't really do anything. Some people said to me, 'Get back into work. That's what you should do, put yourself into work.' I just couldn't. I thought, 'I don't want to.' Didn't seem like the thing to do. After I'd sort of spent the year grieving, I said, 'You know, what? I'm really blessed to have 30 years with that girl. She's such an amazing woman.' And it's not everyone has 30 great years of married life. So I looked at the positive aspects of it, tried to kind of rationalize it. And felt that that helped me."

And how does he answer the critics who accuse him of being an opportunist, taking advantage of the terrorist attacks to hype his album?
"If we listen to them, we'll all just be pessimists. And no one will ever write an up word ever again. No one would be able to go back to work. I know why I'm doing it. So end of story for me. I want to do it because the Mayor and the President have told me that this is the way to go, and what, who am I to argue with that? Let's listen to the bosses, for one. Let's show some respect.
"I think the day it happened I heard someone say, 'Well, we got this knuckle head for a President.' I said, 'Okay, listen to me, stop there. Yesterday he might have been a knucklehead. Today he's not. Listen to me, he's your President. Get with it.' I'm not normally that political, but I think that you've got to do that in these circumstances.
You certainly don't want the Indians fighting the Indians. I mean, people have got to rally. So I'm doing it and if one or two people might think it's cynical, so what? I don't care. I'm doing it for good reasons. And it will help people.

"I'll get people on the streets, particularly here in New York, 'Yo, Paul! All right, man. 'Let it Be.' You know, truck drivers, taxi drivers, just people everywhere. It obviously hit a chord, like it had done for me. That's something I really feel very lucky to be part of."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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