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As befits a veteran of Saturday Club, Paul was heard promoting All The Best on good old steam radio before popping up on our TV screens. Interviewed by Mike Read at the International Christian Community Studios, Eastbourne, Sussex on the 12th and 13th of October, last year, he told the stories behind almost every track on All The Best (only 'Say Say Say' was missing), spiced with relevant anecdotes and glimpses of the McCartney philosophy of life.
The results closed Mike's Radio One programme with a flourish on three successive Saturdays from 24th October. We thought you would enjoy the highlights.
'Another Day': "I'd been working in New York with Phil Ramone. [Yes, he was in there once upon a long ago.] Linda and I were having a great time, working pretty hard, and one of the songs we had that was sounding good was called 'Another Day'. It just felt like the first one that I thought 'That could be a single.' It was as simple as that, really."
'C Moon': "I was looking for a reggaeish kind of song. ‘L’ and ‘7’ put together mean 'square' in American jive talk: the 'L' had been one part of the square and the '7’ had formed the other part. I thought, what's 'cool' then? So we had a 'C’ and a half moon for the other half [of the circle] and we figured that 'C Moon' meant cool."
'My Love': [Mike quotes sarky comment by John Lennon.] "Obviously it was a put-down: 'Paul's the crooner, doing the ballads' - and a lot of that has stuck. ... I also know from Yoko that John had sat down in other moments and cried when listening to that stuff."
'Live And Let Die': "I had do that before I'd seen anything of the film, so I read the book and wrote it next day, I think. I got to George Martin, recorded it all up, did the final version; then he took it out to the Caribbean, or somewhere out there, where they were filming. One of the producers heard it and said 'That's a nice demo, George. When are you gonna do the real one?' ...And that's the version you hear."
'Jet': "I thought it'd be good to get out of the country to record, so I asked EMI where they had studios round the world. There were some amazing countries where they had studios and I thought ' Lagos... Africa... rhythms... yeah', 'cause I've always liked African music."
'Band On The Run': "One night me and Linda got mugged. We'd been told not to walk around, but in those days we were slightly hippie - 'Hey, don't worry'. About five fellers jumped out of a car and one of 'em had a knife, so all me tapes went. These were all the songs I 'd written, so I had to try and remember 'em all. The joke is, I'm sure the fellers who took 'em wouldn't know what they were. They probably chucked them away, so lying in some Nigerian jungle there's little cassettes of Band On The Run."
'Listen To What The Man Said': "My stuff is never 'a comment from within'. Basically I'm saying: 'Listen to the basic rules, don't goof off too much.' But if you say 'The Man', it can mean God, it can mean 'Women, listen to your man', it can mean so many things. Later I did a song with Michael Jacbon called 'The Man' and again, it's quite nice leaving things ambiguous: I'm sure for Michael, probably 'The Man' meant God."
'Silly Love Songs': "I was getting slagged off for writing Lurv songs. You see, I'm looking at love not from the perspective of 'boring old love', I'm looking at it like when you get married and have a baby. That's pretty strong: it's something deeper. For me, that's what always makes me write the next love song - that I love it. I don't mind being sentimental, I love the old movies. I've never been too ashamed of all that stuff."
'Let 'Em In': "It sort of said: let's have a party, why keep 'em outside? So in listing the kind of people who might be outside the door, I just naturally went to.. .Auntie Gin, brother Michael - they all exist - Phil and Don, being the Everlys. I just wanted a parade of people that we could imagine outside the door, so I drew on all the people I knew."
'Maybe I'm Amazed': "It became quite a few people's favourite song of mine. I remember talking to Liza Minelli at the London premiere of That's Entertainment! I remember her saying, 'You know my favourite song of yours?' and I was expecting 'Here There And Everywhere', 'Yesterday' or something like that. She said: 'Maybe I'm Amazed'."
'Mull of Kintyre': "My love of Scotland, I got off John Lennon. John had relatives in Scotland and when he was a kid he'd gone to a croft. I'd never done the likes of this: the furthest we got was Butlin's. So I'd heard him talk about it and got involved with the swirrl of the mist...I'd eventually got a farm up there, and being up there I'd heard some bagpipe music. I thought, the problem with this is it's very nice, but it's all old: there's no music being written for bagpipe or Scottish singers. I couldn't relate to it and I thought it'd be nice if there was a newer Scottish song.
"So I thought, I'll try and write one. I had to find out what key the bagpipes play in - got my guitar out and asked Tony Wilson, the leader of the Campbeltown Pipe Band at the time. So we went out into the garden and I said, 'Basically, you seem to be in A or D', and I found out what notes he could do and set about writing it. The funny thing is, the two modern Scottish hits - 'Amazing Grace' by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and 'Mull of Kintyre' - were both written by Sassenachs.
"It was great fun doing it. We converted this barn just for the night, with a mobile studio brought in - moved the barley out. So we had a couple of McEwans and off we went. It was great."