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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)
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2002-Nov-26: "USA Today" Interview

During an interview that took place backstage before one of the Driving USA tour's final shows, Sir Paul commented on the the warm reception both he and fellow British veterans the Rolling Stones and The Who have received from audiences and critics alike:
''I'm just happy it happens.  haven't seen the Stones show, but I hear it's great.  'I think ours is, uh, better, just because we're cooler. No, no, no, just kidding. Well, I do really think ours is better. It's uplifting at a time when people are looking for that.''
Early in the tour, Sir Paul decided the tour should be saved for posterity:
''I said, 'Let's record a show or two because this is going to be over soon.' If you're feeling really good on a holiday, you want to get a camera and make a home movie.

''I didn't want a cumbersome thing with a huge film crew and makeup and lights. I wanted to imitate the Maysleses. So we got a couple of guys. They're still hanging around. We can't get rid of them. I wasn't keen to have them invade my privacy, but they've become friends, so we started letting them into intimate situations.''

One intimate situation caught on film is the scene of the tour crew holding up posters of big red hearts  while Sir Paul sings The Long and Winding Road.  Sir Paul remembers:
''Well, I lost it completely.  'I was overcome with emotion, and I couldn't get the notes out. I didn't sing it well.  But (director) Cameron Crowe (news) saw it and told me, 'God, we wait thousands of hours to get a moment like that. You can't pay an actor to do that.' I said, 'I couldn't have acted it.' It was a very lovely moment. So the solution was I added a bit of commentary: ''If you're wondering why I sang that so lousy, it's because I love these people.' ''
Today, Sir Paul feels comfortable going back to his Beatles roots:
''I didn't have Beatles nostalgia when I was in Wings because we had to establish new ground.  I put The Beatles to one side. Having proved I could have a group that didn't do Beatles songs, I'm able now to look at all my songs and see them as equals. It's opened up a real interesting door.

''Some of these songs are more emotional now. Until this leg of this tour, I had never sung She's Leaving Home live. When I sing, 'She breaks down and cries to her husband, Daddy, our baby's gone,' I know the depth of feeling, having had babies. When I wrote it, I was just imagining it as a novelist would. I'm awakening to new possibilities.''

Sir Paul also spoke of other events that took place this year:
''I had some important things to do during the summer - a wedding, a honeymoon and a birthday. Sweet little 60.''
And why are we seeing so many barefoot photos of Sir Paul these days?  Acting embarrassed, he explains:
''Heather likes my feet.  She says, 'You've got very cute feet.' I say, 'Oh stop it!' But when your girlfriend, now wife, says you've got great feet, you know what? Your shoes never go back on again.''

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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