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2002-Jan-06: An Australian Interview

In an interview with Sydney, Australia's The Sunday Telegraph's Kathy McCabe, Sir Paul talked about his new album, Driving Rain, dedicated to his two loves, Linda and Heather:
 "There's a song called Magic, which was remembering the night I met Linda, and side by side, a song dedicated to Heather.  I suppose, in a way, it's strange having songs for two women I love on the same record, but it's just my circumstances. It's a reflection of my circumstances, and I just like to be honest about that. And I think they sit quite well side by side.

"When it comes to doing an album, I will either get a definite idea of a concept I want to do, or I'll just write a bunch of songs and, when I have enough, I'll record.  The latter was the case with this one.  Someone in my New York office asked who was going to produce it. When I said I didn't know, he sent me a bunch of CDs to consider.

"I love going on long drives, and just me and Heather were taking the car from London up to the Lakes District with sandwiches, a big flask of tea and a bunch of CDs. That's how I found this guy David Kahne."

David Kahne hired a few musicians to be on stand-by for last February's first recording session in Los Angeles.  After the initial jam session, a band was formed:
 "I met the guys on the first morning and said: 'Let's have a go at this little rocker, About You.' After a few takes, David said he had enough to work with. We found we enjoyed working this way so much that it became the style of the album.

"When I'm in LA, one of my little treats for myself is to hire a Corvette.  I got this little black Corvette when I was recording the album, and the minute I got to the parking lot, I was off. It's the fastest thing on the street -- although there are speeding laws that say I should go slow.

"I would get home and have dinner and a drink or go out to see a movie. And I'd be so excited to get to the studio the next day, to see what David had done and get in there and do some more music."

Before the L.A. session, Sir Paul had traveled to India - his first visit since his 1968 Beatles' journey there to study meditation with the Maharishi.  During his first 10 days swimming and relaxing in Goa, Sir Paul wrote three songs in his hotel room, About You, I Do, and Lonely Road:
 "It wasn't intentional, but I've just been moving around a lot.  Somebody said to me that I work even when I'm on holidays, but it's not really work -- you play music, not work music.  When I go on holiday, I take a guitar with me just for my own pleasure.  So, after spending the morning at the beach in Goa and then having some lunch, I'd grab the guitar. Three songs popped out there."
It was also in India that he lost his voice, just before the recording sessions were to begin:
 "I was worried that I'd screwed up the sessions we'd booked when I lost my voice ... it was a bit scary.  By the first session, I could talk, and I thought: 'I've just got to have a go.' I let it rip, and it started to work. Rather than wrecking my throat, I actually sang it into shape.  David would get excited if I did a good vocal, and that encouraged me to keep raising the bar."
With a wedding in his near future, Sir Paul isn't too keen on embarking on a world tour:
 "I have said that if I enjoyed doing the Madison Square concert, and if the audience enjoyed it, then it would be a good sign for me. I'm now talking about doing some dates, maybe in March in America and the UK. If that goes well, maybe later in the year I might get elsewhere. It would be nice to get down to Australia -- you blink, and it's been 10 years."
Then Sir Paul explained the stories behind each the songs on the album:
 "Lonely Road was written in Goa. To me, it's a defiant song against loneliness.

 "From A Lover To A Friend was a rather tired demo, but it had an intimate quality in the voice, so I tried not to clean up the record so much that I'd lost that.

 "She's Given Up Talking was inspired by the daughter of a friend who refused to talk at school. I thought that was a pretty good strategy.

"Driving Rain was written during the recording in Los Angeles, and there was a lot of rain in L.A. in February. On our day off, we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway, and that night I was sitting by the piano and started writing something half-based on the day.

 "I Do was also written in Goa and it's one of those 'If you only knew' songs.

 "Tiny Bubble came from a stream-of-consciousness demo I made in Scotland. We left in a few of the rough edges.

 "There Must Have Been Magic is about the night Linda and I first met in a London club in 1967. As she went to leave the club, I stood in her way and introduced myself.

 "Your Way sounds country but was written in Jamaica during another holiday. It was the first song on which we tried  harmonies with the guys in the band.

 "Spinning On An Axis is the first song written by me and my son, James, to make a record. We were in New Hampshire, the sun was going down and James got a little riff going. I was goofing off, doing a parody rap, and taped it as a little reminder.

 "About You is another afternoon-in-Goa song.

 "Heather was written when I was jamming at the piano one morning in London and Heather, who doesn't know all the Beatles' songs because she's young, asked which one it was. When I said I was just making it up, she insisted I got it down.

 "Back In The Sunshine Again is the second song composed with James.  It was written in Arizona about five years ago, and finished off in California before we made the album. It's about leaving behind all our troubles and moving forward into the sunshine, which fits with my present mood in life.

 "Your Loving Flame was inspired when I walked into my room in the Carlyle Hotel in New York and there was a grand piano and a window overlooking Central Park. I wrote it really fast, because I thought I'd just walked into a Cole Porter movie.

 "Riding To Jaipur was written in two parts: the melody, when Linda and I had a holiday in the Maldives, then the lyrics this year when Heather and I took an overnight train through India.

 "Rinse The Raindrops was edited to 10 minutes after a half-hour jam session in L.A."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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