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            John and I gradually started to write stuff together. Which didn't mean we wrote everything together. We'd kind of write 80% together and the other 20% for me were things like 'Yesterday' and for John things like 'Strawberry Fields' that he'd write mainly on his own. And I did certain stuff on my own.
            When I first started writing songs I started using a guitar. The first one I ever wrote was called 'My Little Girl' which is a funny little song, a nice little song, a corny little song based on three chords - G, G7 and C. A little later we had a piano and I used to bang around on that. I wrote 'When I'm Sixty-Four' when I was about 16. I wrote the tune for that and I was vaguely thinking that it might come in handy in a musical comedy or something. I didn't know what kind of career I was going to take.
            So I wrote that on piano and from there it's really been a mixture of both. I just do either, now. Sometimes I've got a guitar in my hands, sometimes I'm sittin' at a piano. It depends whatever instrument I'm at - I'll compose on it, you know.

            Do you start with a title or a line, or what?

            Oh, different ways. Every lime it's different. 'All My Loving' I wrote like a bit of poetry, and then I put a song to it later. Something like 'Yesterday' I did the tune first and wrote words on that later. I called that 'Scrambled Egg' for a long time. I didn't have any words to it. (Sings the melody with the words "scrambled egg... da da da da... scrambled egg...") So then I got words to that; so I say, every time is different, really.

            When did you get the idea you were going to bring in a string quartet on 'Scrambled Egg?'

            First of all, I was just playing it through for everyone - saying, how do you like this song? I played it just me on acoustic, and sang it. And the rest of the Beatles said, "That's it. Love it." So George Martin and I got together and sort of cooked up this idea. I wanted just a small string arrangement. And he said, "Well, how about your actual string quartet?" I said great, it sounds great. We sat down at a piano and cooked that one up.

            Do you feel stronger about that song than the others?

            I do, actually, you know. I really reckon 'Yesterday" is probably my best. Don't know why, really, but I think if you do a song that lots of people know, like when you're sitting in a bar and the pianist includes it in his repertoire... I was in a shop the other day in Regent Street (London) and they had a pianist in the foyer. I was just looking for some sweaters, and Christmas presents. The pianist was playing all Noel Coward hits. So I went and did all my shopping and he was piped through to all the departments and I thought he was doing a grand job, working his bottom off. On the way out I just leaned over and said ''Thank you." I thought he might appreciate it. And he said "You're welcome," and he did appreciate it, actually, and he recognized me and as I'm going out he went (sings melody of 'Yesterday').
            I like it not only because it was a big success but because it was one of the most instinctive songs I've ever written. I just rolled out of my bed one morning and there was a piano next to the bed in the place where I was living at the time, and I rolled out of bed and just got the tune. I was so proud of it. I felt it was an original tune, it didn't copy off anything, and it was a big tune, it was all there and nothing repeated.
            I get made fun of because of it a bit. I remember George saying "Blimey, he's always talking about 'Yesterday', you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody." But it is the one, I reckon, that is the most complete thing I've ever written.
            It's very catchy without being sickly, too. When you're trying to write a song, there are certain times when you get the essence, it's all there. It's like an egg being laid, it's just so there, not a crack nor a flaw in it.

            That song helped make the ballad respectable for rock bands.

            I remember old Mick Jagger, saying "Oh, I wish I could sing like that," because at the time he didn't reckon he could. Later, Mick's voice improved a lot.
I like ballads, and I know people like them, too. I'm hip to the fact that people like a love song.

            If that's your favourite of your songs, do you have any favourites that you wrote with John?

            Lots, actually. I liked 'In My Life.' Those were words that John wrote and I wrote the tune to it. That was a great one. I'm just singling out one there, but there's lots, really. 'Norwegian Wood,' that was mainly John's. But you go through so many... I like lots of them. (Thinks a moment.) I like 'Eleanor Rigby,' too, I thought that was a fair one.

            Who put the "yeah"s on 'She Loves You'?

            John and I wrote it into the song. 'She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.' But the idea of having the sixth chord when it finishes was George's. George Harrison's. And George Martin said "That's funny. That's very old fashioned." And we said ''Yes, but it's nice, isn't it?" He said "Yes, OK."

            Then you were praised for your intervals.

            Yes, that's right. Aeolic (sic) cadences.

            Had you ever heard of them before that?

            Nope. Still don't know what it means.

            How would you see George Martin's contributions in those songs in those days?

            George's contribution was quite a big one, actually. The first time he really ever showed, that he could see beyond what we were offering him was 'Please Please Me.' It was originally conceived as a Roy Orbison-type thing, you know. George Martin said '"Well, we'll put the tempo up." He lifted the tempo and we all thought that was much better and that was a big hit. George was in there quite heavily from the beginning.
            The time we got offended, I'll tell you, was one of the reviews, I think about Sgt. Pepper - one of the reviews said, "This is George Martin's finest album." We got shook. I mean, "We don't mind him helping us, it's great, it's a great help, but it's not his album, folks, you know." And there got to be a little bitterness over that. A big help, but Christ, if he's going to get all the credit... for the whole album... (Paul plays with his children.)

            It was one of the first albums that had a continuity. Did you have that in mind when you wrote it?

            No. It was just a song called 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.' made up to open the album. Then we went on to the Billy Shears idea at the end of it and went segue into Ringo's number, and it made the whole thing seem integrated. So we finished the album with it to kind of top-and-tail it, a bit like we've done on Band on the Run and, there you go, everyone said "Ah! A concept album!" It was the first time I'd heard the word.

            So you didn't see any risk involved in making an album that turned out to be a standard-

            It's a goodie.

            - And when I say a standard I mean not only on its own merits but a standard against which other albums are compared. Do you laugh when you see that?

            No. I'm like most people. You don't laugh, you don't cry, you just see it, you say, oh yeah, 'Sergeant Pepper of the Seventies.' You just go along with it, you don't think anything.

            You wrote the middle bit of 'A Day in the Life' from that album. Had you intended "had a smoke" as a reference so marijuana?

            Yeah, it was a kind of risque reference to it. Yes.

            Do you think, looking back, that that inspired some people to do something they shouldn't have done?

            Probably did, yes. There was a question at the time as to whether we should put it in, publishing be damned, or whether we should be cool and leave it out. It was at the lime when everyone was just starting with grass and to just kind of dabble. We thought, "Ah, come on, what the hell, let's put it in." It worked nicely in the song and it was a bit of a thrill for us, just putting something in a song that was like putting something sexy in a song. I didn't realize and I don't really know whether it had that big an effect. It possibly did. We knew that people who knew about it would know what it meant when it said "Love to turn you on," you kind of have a smoke, but there was such little reference that probably the only people who could understand it were people who were turned on anyway.
            It was banned (by the BBC) on the basis of the line about how many holes does it take to fill the Albert Hall. Somebody got the idea it was how many holes there are in their arm. I think they heard it was something to do with drugs and that was the only part they could find that sounded like drugs. So that proved that the people who didn't know anything about drugs couldn't have been corrupted by it. "Turn you on" and "smoke" in normal language didn't mean anything. I suppose it might have corrupted a few people, but you can't really worry about that. We didn't at the time, anyway. We just thought, it'll be a nice in-joke for our friends.

            Seeing that Let It Be was released basically after the fact, do you wish it had not been released?

            Oh, no. I don't wish that about anything. Everything seems to take its place in history after it's happened and it's fine to let it stay there.

            It was a Phil Spector salvage job, wasn't it?

            Sort of. He was in with Allen Klein and Klein sort of brought him in. We had all lost interest, nobody was that interested in the record, so it was a bit of a salvage job for him. I was given a copy for approval and I rang up and found out he had already left and the album was coming out pretty much that way.
            I'm not struck by the violins and ladies' voices on 'The Long and Winding Road.' I've always put my own strings on. But that's a bit of spilled milk. Nobody minded except me, so I shut up. When we first got it, Linda and I played it at home. It was a bit rough after Abbey Road had been very professional.

            It was the first album to have little bits on, like the type that also appeared on 'McCartney'.

            I rather fancied having just the plain tapes and nothing done to them at all. We had thought of doing something looser before, but the albums always turned out to be well-produced. That was the idea of the whole album. All the normal things that you record that are great and have all this atmosphere but aren't brilliant recordings or production jobs normally are left out and wind up on, say, Pete Townshend's cutting floor. It ends up with the rest of his demos.
            But all that stuff is often stuff I love. It's got the door opening, the banging of the tape recorder, a couple of people giggling in the background. When you've got friends around, those are the kind of tracks you play them. You don't play them the big finished produced version.
            Like 'Hey Jude,' I think I've got that tape somewhere, where I'm going on and on with all these funny words. I remember I played it to John and Yoko and I was saying, "these words won't be on the finished version." Some of the words were "the movement you need is on your shoulder", and John was saying, "It's great! The movement you need is on your shoulder.' " I'm saying ''It's crazy, it doesn't make any sense al all." He's saying "Sure it does, it's great." I'm always saying that, by the way. That's me. I'm always never sure if it's good enough. That's me, you know.
            So when McCartney came along I had all these rough things and I liked them all and thought, well, they're rough, but they've got that certain kind of thing about them, so we'll leave it and just put it out. It's not an album which was really sweated over, and yet now I find it's a lot of people's favourite. They think it's great to hear the kids screaming and the door opening. It's lovely.
            In the back of everyone's mind there was always that kind of thing. The sound of a tape being spooled hack is an interesting sound. If you're working in a recording studio, you hear it all the time and get used to it. You don't think anything of it. But when the man switches on the tape machine in the middle of a track and you hear that kind of "djeeoww", and then the track starts, I'd always liked all that, all those rough edges and loose ends. It gives a kind of live excitement.

            When you do have rough edges on an album, you're open to interpretation. There's the famous example of John and Yoko's 'Wedding Album', where the reviewer reviewed the tone on the test pressing and said that the subtle fluctuations in this tone were very arty.

            The whole analysis business is a funny business, it's almost like creating history before it's been created. When a thing happens you immediately start analyzing it as if it was fifty years ago, as if it was King Henry VIII who said it. It is daft, actually, but you can't blame anyone for doing it, they've got to write something. Unless they can say "I was around at his house and he gave me a nice cup of tea... funny little blue cups he gave it in...'' they've got to say, well, what did you mean by this, or what was that tone.

            With one song you mentioned just a few minutes ago, 'Hey Jude,' everyone was trying to figure out who Jude was.

            I happened to be driving out to see Cynthia Lennon. I think it was just after John and she had broken up, and I was quite mates with Julian (their son). He's a nice kid, Julian. And I was going out in me car just vaguely singing this song, and it was like "'Hey, Jules." I don't know why, "Hey, Jules." It was just this thing, you know, "Don't make it bad/Take a sad song…" And then I just thought a better name was Jude. A bit more country and western for me.
            In other words, it was just a name. It was just like "'Hey Luke" or "Hey Max" or "Hey Abe", but "Hey Jude" was better. To one fellow Jude meant Jew, "Juden Raus," "Jew Get Out." At the time we had the Apple shop. I went in one night and put whitewash on all the windows and rubbed out 'Hey Jude' as a big ad. I thought it was a great thing, nothing happening in the shop, let's use the window as a big advertising thing for the record. So I did this 'Hey Jude' right across the window and some feller from a little Jewish delicatessen rang up the office the next day. He said "If my sons vere vif me, I'd sent von of them round to kill you. Yuu are doing this terrible thing with the Jewish name. Wat you want, Juden Rans, you trying to start the whole Nazi thing again?"
            Those are the kind of things, you know, that do happen. But really in nine cases out of ten, even when all this bit went down after the Beatles, John writing a song at me, me supposed to be writing songs back at him... OK, there was a little bit of it from my point of view, certain little lines, I'd be thinking, "Well, this will get him." You do, you know. Christ, you can't avoid it. 'Too Many People,' I wrote a little bit in that, "too many people preaching." That was actually the only thing I was saying referring to John at the time.
            What I meant to say was, once you get analyzing something and looking into it, things do begin to appear and things do begin to tie in. Because everything ties in, and what you get depends on your approach to it. You look at everything with a black attitude and it's all black.


“It’s High Time Our BILLY Received The Credit He Deserves” - DAD

(Editors' note: Lee Merrick, an old friend of ours, sent this RAT exclusive by cable just a day before publication.)
by Lee Merrick

            London - October 26. Paul McCartney is dead. All the Beatles, of course, know it but they aren't talking. All the insiders at Apple Corporation have known it for a long time without ever leaking a word. It's been the world's best-kept secret. But, in the last few days I have discovered absolute proof of Paul's death; and I think it's time that the world knew the truth. The hoax has gone on long enough.
            I have gotten to know a lot of people at Apple Corp, pretty well during the six months that I've hung around jamming and doing various studio gigs.
            I had seen the Beatles, including ‘Paul’, many times around the studio and offices. Rumors about them are a dime a dozen. I had heard the one about Paul's death, but it was just one of scores that went around. Even when the death rumor received international press coverage, I didn't take the whole thing very seriously.
            But my opinion changed radically as a result of a party I attended last Wednesday. The party, at the house of a London rock musician, included the usual assortment of hip writers, rock-stars and hangers-on. Several Apple friends also showed up. The latest Beatle rumor was, of course, the main topic of conversation. Everyone there considered himself to be very in with the Beatles, and they all joked about the obvious foolishness of the latest out-cropping of Beatlemania.
            After a while, several of my Apple friends and I decided to split to one of their apartments to smoke a little dope and check out some new tapes that had just come in. People eventually drifted off to crash or ball, living only myself and my friend. I had noticed earlier that the light talk about Paul's rumored death had put him very up tight, and the idea to leave had been his in the first place. In the past few months we had grown pretty close - and we were pretty stoned - so I began to question him about the whole affair.
            The story I drew out of him over the next few hours went like this:
            Remember the first cut on the Sgt. Pepper album? The one with the line "And now we introduce to you the one and only Billy Shears"? Did you ever wonder just who ‘Billy Shears' actually was? Of if he even existed?
            Billy Shears was a young London rock musician who did short gigs in London nightclubs and occasional tours, waiting for the chance to make it big. As the fifties rock-and-roll craze spread across to Europe, he got a chance to play various clubs on the Continent. In 1962 Shears played on the same night­club bill as Paul McCartney. In fact, he was virtually a dead ringer for Paul. Of course, you could tell the difference if they stood side by side. Billy had a somewhat over-sized, beak-shaped nose. But in photographs or at a distance, they were absolutely indistinguishable.
            Their friendship remained intermittent over the next year or so as their respective tour paths occasionally crossed. When fame came to the Beatles in 1964, however, they lost touch with obscure Billy who drifted from small bandsman to studio musician.
            In November, 1966, Paul McCartney was involved in an auto accident - a fatal accident. John, George and Ringo first wanted to stage a gigantic funeral in memory of Paul. But super-sharp mana­ger, Brian Epstein, feared that Paul's death would destroy the Beatles mystique and managed almost entirely to suppress the news. Epstein's calculating mind had already devised a scheme for keeping the Beatles intact - at least for the public. With a minor nose job, Billy Shears would make a perfect replace­ment for Paul. Though hesitant at first, Shears soon accepted Epstein's offer. What musician could resist the oppor­tunity to step into the shoes of one of the superstars of the rock world.
            In the first album after Paul's death, Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles cryptically introduced the new "Paul" in the first cut. The album closes with "A Day in the Life", the story of Paul's death. (" ...He blew his mind out in a car/He didn't notice that the light had changed/A crowd of people stood and stared/They'd seen his face before ... ")
            Knowing perhaps that the ruse couldn't last, the Beatles have hinted at the truth in every successive album. On the Sgt. Pepper album centerfold, only 'Paul' faces away from the camera. Epstein did not want a large close-up of 'Paul' to be shown until people became accustomed to the slight difference from the deceased Beatle. On the Magi­cal Mystery Tour insert, only 'Paul' wears a black rose. "Revolution Number Nine", on the double album, contains the phrase "I buried Paul" when played backwards. The cover picture of the most recent Abbey Road shows the Beatles walking single file. The first two, Ringo and John, wear mourning clothes; 'Paul' is barefoot and dressed as for burial; George follows in the work clothes of an English gravedigger.
            Even though I knew that my friend, who asked to remain un-named, had known and worked with the Beatles from the early days in the fifties, his story seemed almost too fantastic to believe. And certainly people who did not know him would have no reason to believe that Billy took Paul's place three years ago. So, for the next few days, I searched for evidence to absolutely confirm the story.
            My search ended in the quiet Chelsea section of London where I talked with Philip Shears, father of the new Paul McCartney. At first, Mr. Shears hesitated to discuss the matter. He had kept his lips sealed for three long years in the pleasant, middle-class home his son had bought for him. But after I repeated the story my Apple friend had told me, the elderly Mr. Shears relented and confirmed the facts. "Mums and me always knew that it couldn't stay secret forever. The Beatles are a bunch of wonderful lads and have made a whole new world for us." But, he added, "It’s high time that our Billy received the credit he deserves."
            And now he has.

            This other idea of Paul Is Dead. That was on for a while. I had just turned up at a photo session and it was at the time when Linda and I were just beginning to knock around with each other steadily. It was a hot day in London, a really nice hot day, and I think I wore sandals. I only had to walk around the corner to the crossing because I lived pretty nearby. I had me sandals on and for the photo session I thought I'd take my sandals off.

            Linda: No, you were barefoot.

            Oh, I was barefoot. Yeah, that's it. You know, so what? Barefoot, nice warm day, I didn't feel like wearing shoes. So I went around to the photo session and showed me bare feet. Of course when that came out and people start looking at it they say "Why has he got no shoes on? He's never done that before." OK, you've never seen me do it before, but in actual fact, it's just me with my shoes off. Turns out to be some old Mafia sign of death or something.
            Then the this-little-bit-if-you-play-it-back-wards stuff. As I say, nine times out of ten it's really nothing. Take the end of 'Sergeant Pepper', that backwards thing. "We'll fuck you like Supermen." Some fans came around to my door giggling. I said, "Hello, what do you want?" They said, "Is it true, that bit at the end? Is it true? It says 'We'll fuck you like Supermen.' " I said, "No, you're kidding. I haven't heard it, but I'll play it." It was just some piece of conversation that was recorded and turned backwards. But I went inside after I'd seen them and played it seriously, turned it backwards with my thumb against the motor, turned the motor off and did it backwards. And there it was, sure as anything, plain as anything. "We'll fuck you like Supermen." I thought, Jesus, what can you do?

            And then there was "I buried Paul."

            That wasn't "I buried Paul" at all, that was John saying "cranberry sauce." It was the end of 'Strawberry Field Forever.' That's John's humor. John would say something totally out of synch, like "cranberry sauce." If you don't realize that John's apt to say '"cranberry sauce" when he feels like it, then you start to hear a funny little word there, and you think "Aha!"

            When you were alive and presumed dead, what did you think?

            Someone from the office rang me up and said "Look, Paul, you're dead." And I said, "Oh, I don't agree with that." And they said, "Look, what are you going to do about it? It's a big thing breaking in America. You're dead." And so I said leave it, just let them say it. It'll probably be the best publicity we've ever had and I won't have to do a thing except stay alive. So I managed to stay alive through it.
            A couple of people came up and said "Can I photograph you to prove you're not dead?" Coincidentally, around about that time, I was playing down a lot of the old Beatle image and getting a bit more to what I felt was me, letting me beard grow and not being so hung up on keeping fresh and clean. I looked different, more laid back, and so I had people coming up saying "You're not him!" And I was beginning to think, "I am, you know, but I know what you mean. I don't look like him, but believe me."

            You were supposedly Billy Shears, according to one of the theories.

            Ringo's Billy Shears. Definitely. That was just in the production of Sergeant Pepper. It just happened to turn out that we dreamed up Billy Shears. It was a rhyme for "years"... "band you've know for all these years... and here he is, the one and only Billy Shears." We thought, that's a great little name, it's an Eleanor-Rigby-type name, a nice atmospheric name, and it was leading into Ringo's track. So as far as we were concerned it was purely and simply a device to get the next song in.

            In the film 'A Hard Day's Night' there were the stereotypes - if you remember John the thinker, Ringo the loner, Paul the happy-go-lucky. Did you object to that?

            No, I didn't mind it. No, no; I still don't. I was in a film. I don't care what they picture me as. So far as I'm concerned I'm just doing a job in a film. If the film calls for me to be a cheerful chap, well, great; I'll be a cheerful chap.
            It does seem to have fallen in my role to be kind of a bit more that than others. I was always known in the Beatle thing as being the one who would kind of sit the press down and say, "Hello, how are you? Do you want a drink?" and make them comfortable. I guess that's me. My family loop was like that. So I kind of used to do that, plus a little more polished than I might normally have done, but you're aware you're talking to the press... You want a good article, don't you, so you don't want to go slagging the guys off.
            But I'm not ashamed of anything I've been, you know. I kind of like the idea of doing something and if it turns out in a few years to look a bit sloppy I'd say "'Oh, well, sloppy. So what?" I think most people dig it. You get people living in Queens or say Red Creek, Minnesota, and they're all wiped out themselves... you know, ordinary people. Once you get into the kind of critical bit, people analyzing you and then yon start to analyze yourself, and you think, oh Christ, you got me, and things start to rebound on you, why didn't I put on a kind of smart image… you know, why wasn't I kind of tougher? I'm not really tough. I'm not really lovable, either, but I don't mind falling in the middle. My dad's advice: moderation, son. Every father in the world tells you moderation. (Linda laughs hysterically in the background.)

            British parents aren't different...

            No, they're exactly the same. My dad could be the perfect American stereotype father. He's a good lad, though. I like him, you know.
            I tell you what. I think that a lot of people worried about that kind of stuff often didn't have very good family scenes, and something happened in their family to make them bitter. OK, in the normal day-to-day life a lot of polished talk goes on... you don't love everyone you meet, but you try and get on with people, you know, you don't try and put 'em uptight; most people don't, anyway.
            So to me that's always been the way. I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. Why should I go around slagging people? I really didn't like all that John did. But I'm sure that he doesn't now.

            Have you talked to him about that?

            No, but I know John and I know that most of it was just something to tell the newspapers. He was in that mood then and he wanted all that to be said. I think now, whilst he probably doesn't regret it, he didn't mean every single syllable of it. I mean, he came out with all stuff like I'm like Engelbert Humperdinck. I know he doesn't really think that. In the press, they really wanted me to come out and slam John back and I used to get pissed off at the guys coming up to me and saying, "This is the latest thing John said and what's your answer?" You know, really limp things, I'd answer. But I believe keep cool and that sort of thing, and it passes over. I don't believe if someone kind of punches you over you have to go kind of thumping him back to prove you're a man and that kind of thing. I think, actually, you do win that way in the end.

            What was your reaction when you read that stuff at the time?

            Oh, I hated it. You can imagine, I sat down and pored over every little paragraph, every little sentence. "Does he really think that of me?" l thought. And at the time I thought, "It's me. I am. That's just what I'm like. He's captured me so well; I'm a turd, you know." I sat down and really thought, I'm just nothing. But then, people who dug me like Linda said "Now you know that's not true, you're joking. He's got a grudge, man; the guy's trying to polish you off." Gradually I started to think, great, that's not true. I'm not really like Engelbert; I don't just write ballads. And that kept me hanging on; but at the time, I tell you, it hurt me. Whew. Deep.

            Could you write a song or songs with John again?

            Anything could happen. I like to write with John. I tike to write with anyone who's good.

            The Wings tour in 1972 was the first time you had toured in six years, wasn't it?


            Had you intended to keep it that long?

            Oh, no, no, no. With the Beatles we did a big American tour, and I think the feeling, mainly from George and John, was, "Oh, this is getting a little bit uhhh..." But I thought, "No, you can't give up live playing, we'd be crazy to."
            But then we did a concert tour I really I hated and I came off stormy and saying "Bloody hell, I really agree with you now."

            Where was that?

            In America, somewhere, I can't remember exactly. It was raining and we were playing, under some sort of big canopy and everybody felt they were going to get electric shocks and stuff. We were driven off in a big truck afterwards and I remember sitting in the back of the truck saying, bloody hell, they're right, this is stupid.
            So we knew we were going to give up playing but we didn't want to go make some big announcement, that we were giving it all up or anything, so we just kind of cooled it and didn't go out. When anyone asked we'd say "Oh, we'll be going out again," but we really didn't think we would. So we recorded a lot of stuff and nobody felt the need to go out and play.
            I remember at the end of the Beatles thinking that it would be good if I just went out with some country and western group. To have a sing every day surely must improve my voice a bit. Live shows are a lot of what it's all about. If nothing else, you get out there...

            At your Oxford press conference you mentioned your four-year-old daughter liked the Osmonds. Linda says your ten-year-old daughter is a bit off them now...

            Yes, she is a bit...

            ...but I understand you met the Osmonds in Paris, which is a very unusual situation. It must have been as much of a thrill for them to meet you as it would be for a four-year-old to meet them.

            A layer cake of generations.

            As we're talking today three of the Top Six here (England) are by them, which is the greatest chart domination in by a group since 1964.

            They're very liked here by a lot of the record buyers, who in Britain are the young kids.

            From your personal experience, do you think they can understand how much they mean to people?

            Sure they know, sure. I think Little Jimmy probably knows less than the others what's going on, but they seem to. They've got that kind of American showbiz family feeling, which does work. Yon can put it down, but it really does work. They've been doing it for years on The Andy Williams Show, and they're troupers already. You know, the kid's only eight or something, Little Jimmy, but he's already a little trouper. He has what a seasoned performer has.

            When you were in their position, did you feel a sense of responsibility, or did you feel the world had gone crazy?

            No, no. We were a band who'd been trying to make it big for a long time. When you're trying to get to the top, when you start to get there, that's probably the biggest thrill. You don't think the whole world's gone crazy; you think it's great that they like you and you're well-chuffed that you're going down so well. That's all that enters your head. I think that even Little Jimmy just thinks, "Hey, man, that's great, that's far out.'' You know? He just loves it. And that's really the best way.
            When you get thinking too heavily about all of this stuff, like anything, you can do so many double thinks on it all you end up with is not liking it, which is the only hang-up. When you end up not liking it then you start to do it less well. I always thought, just great, great band, great things, kids screaming, fantastic, fabulous, great, everyone's having a good night out. That sort of thing, basically.

            Now that you have your US visa, I suppose the rumours will start again. There'll be a Beatles reunion of some sort?

            Well, I must say, like as far as getting together as we were, as the Beatles were, I don't thing that'll ever happen again. I think now everyone's kind of interested in their little personal things. I like the way we did 'Band on the Run.'
            But I do think that I for one am very proud - although I don't like the word proud, it tends to be... ex-servicemen have used the word, if you know what I mean... "proud of my country"… but I will use the word - I am proud of the Beatle thing. It was great and I can go along with all the people you meet on the street who say you gave so much happiness to many people. I don't think that's corny. At the time obviously it just passes over; you don't really think they mean it. Oh yeah, sure, and you' shake their hand or whatever.
            But I dig all that like mad now, and I believe that we did bring a real lot of happiness to the times. So I'm very proud of that kind of stuff and consequently I wouldn't like to see my past slagged off. So I would like to see more co-operation... if things go right, if things keep cool, I'd like to maybe do some work with them; I've got a lot of ideas in my head, but I wouldn't like to tell you before I tell them. We couldn't be the Beatles-back-together-again, but there might be things, little good ventures we could get together on, mutually helpful to all of us and things people would like to see, anyway.
            I wouldn't rule everything out, it's one of those questions I really have to hedge on. But, I mean, I'm ready. Once we settle our business crap - there was an awful lot of money made, of course, and none of it came to use, really, in the end. Virtually, that's the story. So I'd kind of like to salvage some of that and see that not everything's ripped off.
            Through all the bitterness I tended to think like John a bit. "Oh, the Beatles... naww... Crap." But it really wasn't. I think it was great. So I'd like to see that cooled out and restored to its kind of former greatness, agree that it was a good thing and continue in some kind of way. I don't see gettin' the Beatles back together - there's certain things we could do quite quietly and still produce some kind of ongoing thing. I don' think you'll ever get anyone to give up all their individual stuff now; everyone's got it going too well now.

            Would you consider the Ringo album an example of that kind of cooperation?

            Yeah, but I think more than that. I think that's a beginning. Than shows what someone can do just if he asks. That's all he did. He just asked us all. So that's what I like, no one says, "Naw, you go on and make your own album." So if it's that easy then lots of things could be done in the future. And I'd like to see some great things done.

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