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2002-Apr-29: On To Cleveland This Evening

From backstage at Washington D.C.'s MCI Center last week, Sir Paul granted a telephone interview to John Soeder, the Ohio Plain Dealer's pop music critic.  From the start, Mr. Soeder was told not to address him as Sir Paul saying,  "Hey, ho, less of the formality."

Being on tour again, does it feel like a new beginning?

"It feels great. It's just really good to be on the road with the band, playing, seeing the audience and stuff. I don't know about a new beginning. It actually doesn't feel like that. . . . To me, it just feels like being back on the road again, just having a great time."
Does he still have something to prove?
"I don't think so. I don't sort of approach it thinking that. Probably I should. But I just get out there and play."


In the song Lonely Road, do the lyrics "I hear your music and it's driving me wild. . . ." refer to anyone in particular?

"No. I suppose I'm thinking of the music that the band is making, the record. . . . The truth is, when you write songs, you don't always know exactly what they mean, 'cause you're really just stringing words together. Sometimes you know exactly what it means, 'cause it's clear."
What advice does Sir Paul have to offer to someone who is coping with the death of a loved one or a dear friend?
"The advice I had been given, which seemed very good to me, was don't really try to hold anything in. Talk to people. If you really feel like crying, even though you're a guy, go ahead and do it. Then what you can do is sort of have one day where you allow yourself to be particularly emotional. And maybe the next day, you try to be a bit positive. Then you alternate. You wake up one day and say, 'I've got to get positive about this.' Then the next day, you say, 'Oh, the heck with it. I'm just gonna be sad because I'm sad.' You allow the two sides to happen.

"I spent the first year being pretty sad - I'm talking about Linda now, particularly - but I also tried to make sure I didn't just go under. That can happen if you just get too sad. You have to remember the good things. You remember the great times you had together, how privileged you were to be in love with this person. That can boost you up a bit."

Does Sir Paul think that George and Ringo should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the merits of their solo careers?
"I think so. I dunno. . . . Why do they vote people in? Is it just 'cause their music was good? Or is it that they're great people, worthy to be in there? I think certainly if that's the case, then definitely. Obviously, Ringo's got some great solo work. George certainly has. So I would like to see that. I mean, let's face it, man - it is only a hall of fame. It's not, like, heaven (laughs). So if you let 'em in, it wouldn't hurt anyone, I wouldn't think."
George reportedly left behind a more or less finished album.  Is there any chance that he and Ringo will work on another posthumous collaboration?
"I don't know about that. I do know he (George) had a lot of good material. I heard some of the songs. I do know at some point something will be coming out. I understand there is a little bit of work going on about it. But I don't know if people want it known yet. So I'm not gonna go blabbing. . . . And if someone asked me to do something on it, I'd be honored. "
Why is a stripped-down version of the Let It Be album minus Phil Spector's orchestrations and other embellishments being released?
"I always liked the bare version, before it got overproduced. Or I think it was called 'Reproduced for disc by . . .' So before it was reproduced by Phil. I don't blame him, by the way. He was asked to do it, and it was a good gig. The other three were into it, so he was right to do it. But I wasn't very into it at the time. We were having a bit of a feud.

"I always personally preferred the bare version. I thought it was very brave, just the band right there - what you see is what you get. And I like that with a band. I don't like things overproduced.

"Then I was talking to the guy who directed the film, Michael Lindsay- Hogg. He said a lot of people had been asking him when Let It Be was gonna come out on DVD. In talking to one of our guys back at Apple I said to him, 'What about putting those two things together?' Get the film remastered and everything, so it's all nice and clean and the sound's great, and then the soundtrack would be the bare Let It Be sessions. I think that's what's gonna happen."

Has Sir Paul Pauline Sutcliffe's new book about her brother Stuart?
"Um, I've seen some bits of it."
Does Sir Paul believe Ms. Sutcliffe's allegation that her brother died as a result of a fight he had with John Lennon during which John kicked him in the head?
"No. I don't. I definitely don't. It's easy when somebody who didn't know people makes these kinds of allegations. It becomes more difficult when it's a relative. But I know Pauline wasn't around, that's for sure. She certainly wasn't present. I don't know who has given her that information, for her to think that. Pretty sensational allegation."
When will Sir Paul be getting married?
"Sometime this summer. So this is a big year for me."
At this point in his life, is Sir Paul where you hoped you would be?
"That's kind of a difficult question. The tragedies that happen in life, tragedies of people passing away - with Linda, John and George, particularly - I certainly wouldn't have hoped for that. But those tragedies aside, I feel at a better place than I thought I might be at this age.

"You sort of look at 60, and I know kids will go, 'That's really old, man.'  Of course, I don't really think it is. From my perspective, I feel very good. I'm on this tour. It's a really cool tour. It's not taking anything out of me. I feel very energetic. The audience is great. The band is great.

"So I feel at a pretty good point in time. I am now starting to put the story around that someone has been falsifying my birth certificate."

So, how old is he really?
"Oh, I think - well, I dunno. I think it's about 43."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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