Paul McCartney’s lockdown album
The singer-songwriter used his time spent indoors during the pandemic to record a new album, “McCartney III,” with him playing nearly all the instruments and handling all the production. It’s out Dec. 18. He spoke to our columnist David Marchese.
“At no point,” McCartney said, “did I think: ‘I’m making an album. I’d better be serious.’ This was more like: ‘You’re locked down. You can do whatever the hell you want.’” Which was a gas, as always. “What I’m amazed with,” McCartney explained, “is that I’m not fed up with music. Because, strictly speaking, I should have gotten bored years ago.”
Is there anything different about the nature of your musical gift today at 78 than in 1980 or 1970 or when you first started writing songs?
It’s the story that you’re telling. That changes. When I first said to John, “I’ve written a few songs,” they were simple. My first song was called “I Lost My Little Girl” — four chords. Then we went into the next phase of songwriting, which was talking to our fans. Those were songs like “Thank You Girl,” “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me.” Then came a rich vein as we got more mature, with things like “Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road.”
But basically I think it’s all the same, and you get lucky sometimes. Like, “Let It Be” came from a dream where my mother had said that phrase. “Yesterday” came from a dream of a melody. I’m a great believer in dreams. I’m a great rememberer of dreams.
The Beatles broke up 50 years ago. You were in it for roughly 10 years. How central to your own story of your life are those 10 years?
Very. It’s like your high school memories — those are my Beatles memories. This is the danger: At a dinner party, I am liable to tell stories about my life, and people already know them. I can see everyone stifling a yawn. But the Beatles are inescapable.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
— Melina and Dani
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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