Paul McCartney

If you’re a musician, a songwriter, or simply a lover of music, you’ll find Paul McCartney’s extended interview/Q&A on BBC Radio 4’s “Mastertapes” fascinating.

The longer, downloadable radio version is here.

The video version is edited, with about 10 minutes removed, so, if you like A Day in the Life, find 24:25 minutes into the radio interview. McCartney talks about the shared songwriting with Lennon, about John Cage’s influence on the sound and about George Martin persuading the orchestra to follow unusual musical instructions. Paul says one member of the orchestra walked out in disgust when he was asked to ‘clap on the end of Hey Jude‘.

There’s something for everyone! If you teach music to children,  Paul has suggestions for inspiring lessons here.

© Sing Better English, 2016



5 thoughts on “Paul McCartney”

  1. What an intimate and authentic interview! And what a privilege to hear about his life and accomplishments in his own words. His creative process did come as a surprise, though: I expected there to be more of a method than “sometimes it starts with an idea; other times with a chord I like.” Well, we always knew he was a genius. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Heather – yes, I was surprised by that too. I liked the bit (25 minutes into the longer radio version) about George Martin having to coax the orchestra on A Day in the Life to play ‘from the lowest possible note straight up to the highest possible note’. And about the string section being ‘like sheep’!

      I was very taken by the honesty and openness of the interview too. Pearls of wisdom and experience in there for musicians of any stripe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a treat to get into the head of such a songwriter! Wonderful 45 minutes. The Beatles were such a influence. Just look at the number of tribute bands out there. Even Christofer Tin in his latest “The Drop That Contained the Sea,” a 10-song cycle, pays tribute to one of his favorite bands, the Beatles. If you haven’t heard that story, I’ll be more than willing to relate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, we followed two of the performances of the three of the Angel City Chorale and a York choir as they premiered “The Drop That Contained the Sea” in Scotland and England: Our son was one of the singers. Prior to one of the two concerts we attended, Christopher Tin presented a composer’s talk, and the subject of The Beatles came up. He paid homage to “A Day in the Life:” by embedding that wild Beatles build-up and chord in the first song of the “The Drop” cycle. Marvelous stuff. As much as I enjoy reliving the concerts via recordings, there is no substitute to being there.

      Liked by 1 person

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