Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let's Talk with Paul

The last of the four part series of interviews with individual Beatles and Derek Taylor and Dave Hull on the beach in the Bahamas in March 1965.

Dave Hull wins the "Beatle Award"  (who gave him this award? How can I win the Beatle award?)    

Let’s Talk with Paul
KRLA the Beat interview
April 21, 1965

Derek:  Paul McCartney just came down on the sands.  He probably looks the smartest of the three this morning.  He’s got on grey trousers, light blue jacket, blue checked shirt, deep take film makeup, and I think his feet are bare.  Good morning, anyway, Paul.

Paul: ‘Morning, Derek?

Derek:  How have you been?

Paul:  Well, you know, Derek, what it’s like…fine dandy, everything’s going great.  You knew I’d say that, didn’t you?

Derek:  Well, you see, I just sort of let you walk through the opening, because I don’t need to tell you what to say, and never did.  Or did I.

Paul:  No. Of course you didn’t, no.

Derek:  How many people are in this film who were in the last film besides you, Paul, besides the Beatles?

Paul:  Victor Spinetti was in the last one—he was the TV producer – and this time he’s one of the baddies.  Dick Lester and Walter Shenson, really.  I think that’ all.  The actors are all different except for Victor Spinetti.

Derek:  I don’t know whether the plot has ever been published so I don’t  want to go into tremendous detail because it would spoil things; but could you just give me a bit run-down what it’s all about?
Paul:  Yeah, it roughly people trying to get hold of Ringo’s’ ring for some reason or other, so that he can be sacrificed or something.  It’s very funny.  And they keep trying get a hold of him and get the ring and we keep trying to rescue him, etc. etc and it goes on.  It fills ninety minutes worth of screen time. 

Derek:  There are a lot of new songs.  I think in “A Hard Day’s night” there were six or seven brand new ones. How many in this one?

Paul:  There’ll be about the same – six or seven new ones.  In  actually fact I don’t’ think we’ll stick in old ones  like we did in “A Hard Day’s Night.”  I think it’s better if we got some completely new songs. 

Derek:  You mean you wouldn’t use any old ones as background music?

Paul:  I don’t think so.  We might as well --- we’ve recorded eleven new songs.

Derek:  Those are actually already on tape are they/?

Paul:  Yes, and the could all be done for the film.   What Dick Lester is going to do is pick the best seven --- the seven he likes best – or that fit best in the film.  And if we do need any background music we’ll put the others in.

Derek:  George Martin, presumably, is cooperating completely on the score ad the background and that sort of thing?

Paul: Nobody’s got round to the score yet because we’ve only just done the numbers and he’d write the score around the numbers.  Anyway we’ve only just started filming so there’s no particular panic for that. 

Derek:  No.  I think when I last saw you when I left you in December, there were no songs at all.  Is that right?

Paul:  Right.

Derek:  You must have worked pretty hard since then.

Paul:  No. Not really.   We just sort did a couple a week.  I know I wrote a couple on holiday and John wrote a couple on holiday too.  And we did a lot together.  So when we go back we have quite a bit ready.  We have about fourteen songs in all to record.  We’ve done about eleven of them  There are still one or two that we haven’t done  actually .  Might do those when we get back to England.

Derek:  It’s widely known now that a lot of the songs which bear both your names were, in fact, written by one or the other on your own, and then arranged jointly later.  Of the songs in the film, are several of them single records or have you written them alone or are they joint endeavors. 

Paul:  Well there are a couple of single efforts and couple of joint.   What normally do, though, even if I go away and write a song…normally the reason I write it on my own is ‘cause its daft to sit around waiting for the other one to came up and finish the song.  If you happen to be off on your own you might as well finish it off yourself, cause we don’t’ have words and music as you well know.   So what normally does happen is that if I get stuck on the middle of the song, I‘ll give in, knowing that when I see John he’ll finish it off for me.  And it’ll be a fifty-fifty thing.  That’s what happens even with a lot f the single efforts.  I just sort of forget about the middle eight until I see John and then say, “I need a middle eight for this one” and he says, “Right.  Okay!”

Derek:  I think “I saw her standing there” was written almost entirely by you, but John put in one word which sort of made it right.

Paul:  Yeah, that’s it.  What happened was, he took out one word, which would have made it very wrong.  The first two lines…I did it going home in a car one night, so I wasn’t really thinking too much about it.  The first two lines, originally were “she was just seventeen and she’d never been a beauty queen,” which just sounded like it rhymed to me. 

Derek:  How’d you happen to write a line like this?

Paul: You try writing a song going along in a car and, I don’t know, you sort of think of things like that.  Anyway , when I saw it the next day and played it through to John, I realized it was a useless line.  So we sat down and tried to think of another line which rhymed with “seventeen” and meant something.   We eventually got “you know what I mean,” which means nothing…completely nothing at all.

Derek:  On the other hand it’s not an embarrassing line like “beauty queen” would have been.
Paul:  No, but on the other hand it could have been a deep and sort of involved line, “you know what I mean,”  you know, seventeen year old girls….you know…..great…you see.  It’s just a Liverpool expression as it were, Derek.

Derek:  That’s what I thought, a Liverpool expression.  A lot of your songs could actually be conversation piece  Liverpool:  “She loves you, “  “I saw her Yesterday,” and that sort of thing.

Paul:  Yeah.  Actually there was some fellow in England who was thinking of doing that, speaking our songs just to use them.  Call John Junkin.  Do you know him?  He was in our last film, played “Shake” the road manager.

Derek:  Yes.

Paul:  He wanted to do a record of something like “She love You….Yeah….Yeah?”

Derek:  Probably work, I think.

Paul:  It might do, yeah.

Derek:  But it seems to me it might be the only thing left to do now…an exploitation of Beatle material.  I would like to say that during the time I was with the Beatles I never saw any professional jealousy.  Paul came along with a song that became the “A” side, and John had one which he thought might have been the “A” side.  There was never any sort of nonsense or a back biting or jealousy.  Paul, for instance came up with “She’s a woman,” and thought it was an “A” and other people did, and then John came up with “I feel Fine,” so Paul’s “She’s a woman” went on the back.  Did you mind?

Paul:  I didn’t mind at all.   In fact, I wouldn’t have liked it to have been an “A.”  As it happened afterwards, it was quite well received.  A lot of people just thought I was singing too high.  They thought I’d picked the wrong key.

Derek:  Probably less commercial anyway.

Paul:  Yes, might have been.  I don’t know.  You get those people who come up and say, “Why did you sing it that high, you should have done it in a lower key,” because it sounds like I was screeching it.  But, ladies and gentlemen, that was on purpose, honest.   It wasn’t a mistake, honest.

Derek:  Maureen Cleve, who is a London journalist, had a very good line in the piece on the disc and when she wrote, “How can a dirty great voice like that come out of such a face?”  I think it’s often surprising that with a face like yours…sort of angelic face…the face of a delinquent choir boy, someone once said…that you have actually got many voices.  One of them you might call a “colored voice.”  That was your “colored voice” in “She’s a woman,” wasn’t it?

Paul:   No, it was my green voice.

Derek:  What would you call your anti-lovely voice?

Paul:  I don’t know…soppy, I suppose.

Derek:  Away from song writing since you’re now actor….

Paul:  Me James Cagney one, isn’t it?

Derek:  Yeah he’s playing a James Cagney face, which isn’t recording too well on tape.  Could you give us a James Cagney line?

Paul:  No.  I’m afraid not.

Derek:  Would you do us a quick imitation of any of your friends?

Paul:  Any of my friends?  I couldn’t really.  I’m not very good on these imitations.

Derek:  You don’t’ like being prompted to do it. 

Paul:  You’re right.

Derek:  I see Bob Freeman over there.

Paul:  He’s done the cover for our latest album in England.  I don’t think it was in America, was it?

Derek:  No, it wasn’t, but the disc is on sale in America.

Paul:  But they changed the cover.

Derek:  They did.  But the English disc has another name, “Beatles for Sale” and has a bonus of two numbers over and above the American album.

Paul:  That’s it, you see, better value.  Buy Britain, folks, buy Britain!

Derek:  When you come back to America you know you’re going to Hollywood again…

Paul:  Yes, see you there.

Derek:  Well, I’ll see you there if not before.  Thank you very much indeed, Paul and it’s nice to see you again.

Paul:  Okay Derek, see you.

Dave: Hi Paul.

Paul:  Hi Dave.

Dave:   the last time you were in Hollywood you appeared to be a little put out with me because of the addresses I gave out. 

Paul:  I was, yes.

Dave:  Are you still put out with me?
Paul:  Well for that, yes.

Dave:  you still think I’m a rotten guy, do you?

Paul:  No, I just didn’t like the idea, of your giving everybody’s addresses out just because if you’re trying to keep quiet ever—not that I particularly am – but if I was trying to keep quiet and you were giving the addresses out it would be a big drag, you know. 

Dave:  Really the addresses I gave were your folks’ addresses, as you know, and not your hotel.

Paul:  That doesn’t matter at all, I don’t mind.   It’s just that I know a lot of people who have sort of been cursing you  because it’s caused them a lot of inconvenience.  It’s okay, and it’s good news for you to give our addresses out, I agree.  I would probably do the same thing if I were in the same position.  But if you were in my position and other people’s position, you’d probably think the same as me giving out addresses as I thought then.  Actually it doesn’t worry me too much.  I don’t hate you or anything because of it.  In fact, we’re quite good friends.

Dave:  What about your getting around the islands here.  Have you been other places besides Nassau? Have you been jumping around the island?

Paul:  Well, we’ve been out here on Paradise Island and to Nassau and a little bit around the island location with the film.  We’ve been out to nightclubs in the town.  It’s pretty quiet here, you know.  Nobody seems to bother you.  There doesn’t seem to be  an awful lot of people actually on the island.  It’s a quiet place.  So we’re having it pretty easy.

Dave:  The people who do bother you, are they mostly Europeans or Americans?

Paul:   Mostly Americans, really.  I think mainly because the main lot of the tourists here are American.  The natives here don’t bother much.  They just sort of go out and…”Ho-ho the Beatles.”  And they have big grins on their faces.  That’s good enough for them.  But the people ask you for autographs I think mainly are Americans or Americans living here or American tourists.

Dave  Do you have many problems getting around when you’re on vacation?

Paul:  It depends on where you go.  Last time I went to Tunisia and had no problems at all.  It’s so quiet here, really.   As I was telling Derek before about the phones.  They’re cut off in Tunisia it’s ridiculous.    I mean a man from a newspaper came around when we were in Tunisia and spoke to me and everything and it didn’t get back to England.  It was ridiculous.

Dave:  You mean nothing of the material got out?

Paul: No, because all the liens were so bad.  I couldn’t speak to anyone in England.  It was a fluke if you managed to get a good line to England. 

Dave:  Isn’t it a please, though, if you’re away on vacation?  You get away…

Paul:  Yeah, right, it was this time.  I enjoyed it.   Went away for two weeks, lazed around, went to the little soukhs, which are little market places the Tunisian’s have.  In fact, this very pair of sandals was bought for one dinar.  It’s about fifteen shillings in English—I think about two dollars.

Dave:  When you go on vacation do you turn into a tourist like most tourists do?

Paul:  Yes, mainly.  Like Tunisia I did.  Sometimes you don’t.  You go to somewhere where it’s not so quiet, then you don’t really get a chance to go out and turn into a tourist.  I was completely tourist with a movie camera and snapshots.

Dave:  When you are returning to Hollywood—of course the itinerary hasn’t’ been planned yet, meticulously-but I understand you’re going to do a couple of shows in Hollywood, then you’re going to San Francisco, then you’re returning to Hollywood for a couple of days’ vacation.  Is that true?

Paul:  I think that’s true.  I’m not really sure about the itinerary myself yet, but that sounds like it.

Dave:  Were you interested in seeing Hollywood?  Remember last time you didn’t a chance to see much.   You were locked n the house and really didn’t…

Paul:  Well that was good enough really.  We saw Bel-Air and we stayed in a nice house in Bel-Air and we enjoyed ourselves.  That was good enough.  That was really all I wanted.  Like when I went to New York we saw skyscrapers.  That’s about all we wanted to see in New York.  In Hollywood we wanted to be in Bel-Air for a bit.

Dave:  When you returned, Derek told me you were impressed with the performance at in Hollywood and also that you were impressed with the other place, and that was the Red Rock Stadium in Denver.  Is that correct?

Paul:  Yes, actually we were impressed with a lot more places than that.  But we enjoyed Red Rock.  It was funny because it’s the mile-high city and the air is different a mile high.  It’s must harder to breathe.  We felt sort of drunk or something on stage.   We were sort of falling about.

Dave:  Because of the oxygen, I suppose?

Paul:  Somebody said it was that.  Sounds feasible.  Might not be true Might be we were just imagining it.  Very hard to sing.  I couldn’t get any breath.  None of us could get any breath.

Dave:  When you return to Hollywood, a great many stars, as you know, listen to KRLA…any particular stars you’re looking forward to seeing this time.  You really didn’t get a chance last time…
Paul:  We met Burt Lancaster last time and he’s a great fellow…marvelous bloke and his kids great.
Dave:  What about some of the others. Of course during the lawn party in Beverly Hills you met a lot of them.  But are you looking forward particularly to being with some particular star, this time around?

Paul: Well, I’ll tell you…I’m just like anybody else.  When I meet any stars.  I haven’t changed that much that it doesn’t impress me.  I always say, “Great” you know, seeing them in the movies or “I saw him on television” But I’m always impressed.  So it doesn’t matter, really, who I meet.

Dave:  We’re on the air at this time, broadcasting to Hollywood.  Is there anything particularly you can think of to say to the fans—the millions of fans in Hollywood and Los Angeles and Southern California?

Paul:  All I can say is—it sounds corny—but just thanks for being nice last time and wanting to come and see us.  Because it still knocks me out if people want to come and see us.  It’s great.  I don’t’ think anyone can get that blasé that they don’t care who comes to see them.  So I just like to say thanks to everybody and everybody who looked after us while we were there, and to people like Bert Lancaster who invited us over to his house.  We had a great evening.  In fact, to everybody in Hollywood who came to see us or who met us at one time or another    Even the people who didn’t meet us who brought our records.  Great.

Dave:  I want to thank you, too Paul, for taking moment to talk with us.

Paul:  Okay Dave.

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