2013年2月24日 星期日

Paul McCartney: 70 and beyond

A Grammy-Winning Formula for Paul McCartney: Don't Show Up

Would you have any interest in speaking to Paul McCartney about the Grammy Award he won on Sunday, a publicist asked over e-mail the other day. O.K., O.K., twist our arms, why don't you?
Mr. McCartney won the Grammy for traditional pop album for "Kisses on the Bottom," a collection of his covers of standards like "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," as well as new songs like "My Valentine," which he wrote for his wife, Nancy Shevell. It is one of at least a few distinctions Mr. McCartney has received in a career that includes numerous solo offerings, several albums with Wings and, before that, his records made with a pop quartet called the Beatles.

Mr. McCartney spoke from Britain about his Grammy victory and why, by design, he wasn't at this year's ceremony. The conversation (excerpts below) began just before 7 a.m. Friday morning, when an unlisted phone number appeared on this reporter's cell phone and a voice responded, "Hello, David."
Q.Is this who I think it is?
A.Yeah, sorry, this is Paul. Yeah, Paul McCartney.
Q.[after ecstatic laughter] Good morning, how are you?
A.You're in a jolly mood this morning. I'm very well, thank you. How can I help you?
Q.So you've just won another Grammy Award. Don't you ever get tired of these things?
A.Nope. You don't get tired. It's very nice. And the Grammys have become more and more important, media-wise. It's a bigger, better show. When you look at all the people in the musical field who are up for them, it's gratifying to think that you've picked one up.
Q.It's been reported that this is your first Grammy for an album of new recordings since "Let It Be." [Mr. McCartney has also since won Grammys for individual songs, and the "Band on the Run" album won a Grammy for its engineer, Geoff Emerick.] Does that sound right to you?
A.You know what? I don't keep count. I'm the worst on facts about me or facts about the Beatles. It's like, "It's 50 years to the day--" And I go, "Oh is it?" What am I supposed to do? Keep a little diary and watch every little event? So, no, I'm always pleasantly surprised at these facts or these fictions. I can't help you on that. I'm sure there's a million experts who could verify that. It's nice, because I don't have to keep track. There's a lot of other people who keep track for me. It's a luxury.
Q.I imagine it must be gratifying to be recognized for this album in particular, which was such a departure for you.
A.It is a completely different kind of album. I'm very pleased, also, for the producer, Tommy LiPuma, and Al Schmitt, the engineer, they're such cool guys, very old school. And we had such a ball with Diana Krall. There was a moment in the studio where we were struggling with an intro, I think - although I must say, we didn't struggle too much on this album - but it wasn't like it was all charted. We just had the chords and the words, and we did pretty much improvisations. And there was a moment where we were struggling with an intro - should it be this or should we open like this? And Diana was looking a little bit worried. And I said, "Diana, look. I'm from Britain and I'm in L.A., the sun is shining, I'm in Capitol's famous Studio A where Nat King Cole recorded. Diana, I'm on holiday."
Q.The victory is its own reward, of course, but you weren't at the Grammys ceremony this year. Why not?
A.We started to get a theory that when you don't go, that's when you win. But Nancy likes the event, and I do too, because she does. In some ways, it's better than the Oscars - the Oscars are great and super-important, but the Grammys is like a really cool concert and you get some very good performances. But this is what happens: We went a couple of times and sort of sat there, and graciously accepted defeat. With that moment you look for at the Oscars or the Grammys, when the cameras go to the people who didn't win, and they're smiling wonderfully and applauding. "And the winner is - John Mayer!" And you go: [through clenched teeth] "Oh, wonderful. How wonderful. What a good singer." Secretly you're thinking, "He's not as good as me though." It's a very human moment.
This year I was actually presenting at the Baftas, they'd asked me to present a film music award that night. And then coming home from that, I got a text saying "You've won a Grammy." So the car was alight with triumph. Hence the theory, you mustn't go if you want to win. But having said that, we might go next year.
Q.Do you have one place where you keep all your awards and trophies?
A.No, I don't. I'm particularly lax on that. I don't know where they all are. I'm just not organized. I said to someone the other day, "Would you believe the Beatles were up for an Oscar, for 'Let It Be,' and we didn't even know we were up for it?"
Q.Is that even possible?
A.Well, exactly. In those days, it was. Because it was less of a global ceremony. And the Beatles were very much in a - "Let It Be" was the time that we were breaking up, so the news had not reached us. If you take that as indication, how unconcerned - how unplugged - we just weren't plugged into that. Nowadays it's very hard to avoid it. I don't think any of us ever collected all of our gold discs, to put them up on walls. So I don't have a trophy room. Some of them go up in my office, which I think is an appropriate place to intimidate businesspeople. [laughs] Which is my aim in life.
I'm very honored to get them. I don't organize them and catalog them. The excuse is always - which is the truth - I'm too busy doing it. I'm talking to you now before I go into the recording studio to record new songs of mine. I love that - I love that I still am enthusiastic, I've still got the energy and the desire to keep doing it. So the analysis has to take a back seat.
Q.What's the album you're working on now?
A.It's a new studio record, my new songs. I'm always writing songs and I've got a bunch that I want to record. I've been working with a variety of producers, and today I'm actually working George Martin's son, Giles. I'm actually just going down the road to the studio. I'm just going to pull over, have a little walk down the road, pull into the studio and start thrashing about on my guitar.
Q.Those fellows that you worked with at the 12-12-12 benefit concert, will they show up on your new album?
A."Cut Me Some Slack," which I did with the Nirvana boys, will be on Dave Grohl's album. That's his project. He just rang me up, said: "Do you want to come over for a jam? I'm working on this project about the old Sound City days." I was in L.A., so I went over with my wife and two of my daughters and they just hung, the gals, while me and Dave went over to the studio, feeling like two little teenagers escaping. Dave got on the drums, I got on guitar, Krist Novoselic got on bass, Pat Smear got on guitar. I just shouted some words - [demonstrates] "Mamaaaaaaaa!" - got into that mode. What was so lovely about it was that it really was just, "Hey, do you want to have a jam?" It was totally organic. It was like an improv afternoon. Really if you think about it, it should be something that a major label would dream up. [executive's voice] "I want you boys to get together, and we're going to put a lot of money behind this." But it wasn't, it was just our idea and we did it in one afternoon.
Q.Well, you've got my number now. Feel free to give me a ring if you'd ever like to jam in New York.
A.What do you play?
Q.I play the plastic guitar in Rock Band.
A.Oh, cool. I bet you're better at it than I am. My grandkids always beat me at Rock Band. And I say, Listen, you may beat me at Rock Band, but I made the original records, so shut up.


你願不願和保羅·麥卡特尼(Paul McCartney)聊聊他在星期日獲得格萊美獎的事?那天,一個公關人員給我發郵件說。沒問題,沒問題。我們被說服了,為什麼不呢?
麥卡特尼以一張傳統流行專輯《信末的吻》(Kisses on the Bottom) 而獲得格萊美獎,專輯中收錄了他翻唱的標準曲,如《紙月亮》(It’s Only a Paper Moon)和《最愛美好》(Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive),此外還有《我的情人》(My Valentine)等新歌,這首歌是獻給他的妻子南希·舍維爾(Nancy Shevell)的。這個獎項至少是麥卡特尼先生在作品眾多的音樂生涯中所獲得的榮譽之一——他的有些專輯是與雙翼樂隊(Wings)合作完成,而在那之 前則是作為一個流行四人樂隊的成員錄專輯,樂隊的名字就叫做“披頭士”(Beatles)。





問:有報道說這是自從《隨它去》(Let It Be)以來,你第一次因為新專輯而獲得格萊美獎(麥卡特尼此前曾有單獨的歌曲拿過格萊美獎,他的《奔跑中的樂隊》[Band on the Run]專輯亦為其製作人喬夫·艾默里克[Geoff Emerick]贏得過格萊美獎)?
答:你知道嗎,我根本沒數過。我對自己和“披頭士”的事實最糊塗了。比如所謂“到現在已經有50年了——”(“披頭士”首張專輯Please Please Me發行50周年——譯註),我說,“啊,什麼?我該做點什麼?寫點日記,參加所有大小活動?所以,不,這些事實和虛構總能令我驚喜。這件事上我幫不了 你。我敢肯定,有一百萬個專家能確認這個事實。這很好,因為這樣我就用不着去記住了。有很多人幫我記着。這真是一種奢侈啊。”

答:它完全是另一種專輯。我也很為專輯的製作人湯米·利普馬(Tommy LiPuma)和音響工程師艾爾·施密特(Al Schmitt)高興,他們是很棒的傢伙,作風非常老派。我們和戴安娜·克勞(Diana Krall)好好玩了一次。我記得有一次,我們在錄音室費勁錄一段前奏——雖然我必須說,我們錄這張專輯沒怎麼費勁——但是聽上去好像不是所有東西都定下 來了。我們有了和弦和歌詞,然後即興演奏了很多。還有一次,我們也是費勁錄一段前奏——想不出應是這樣開始還是那樣開始好。戴安娜似乎有點擔心。我說: “戴安娜,你看,我從英國過來,來到洛杉磯,陽光那麼明媚,我在國會唱片公司最有名的A錄音室,納特·金·科爾(Nat King Cole)也在這兒錄專輯。戴安娜,我是在度假呢。”

答:我們有了一個理論:只要你沒去,那你就能獲獎。但是南希喜歡這個活動,我也喜歡,因為她喜歡。在某些方面它比奧斯卡強——奧斯卡很偉大,也非常 重要,但格萊美有點像一場真正精彩的音樂會,你能看到非常精彩的表演。但事實上,我們去過好幾次,基本就是坐在那兒,優雅地接受失敗。你能在奧斯卡或者格 萊美的頒獎禮上找到這樣的時刻,攝像機對準那些沒獲獎的人,他們開心地笑着鼓掌。“獲獎者是——約翰·梅爾(John Mayer)!然後你就(咬緊牙關地)說:“啊,太棒了。真不錯,他是個好歌手。”私底下你覺得:“可是他不如我啊。”這是非常顯人性的時刻。


答:就是這樣。在那時候是可能的。因為當時它還不是一個全球性的盛典。而“披頭士”那時候非常——錄《隨它去》的時候我們就快解散了,所以我們沒聽 說那個消息。如果你把這當成一個象徵,就能明白我們那時候有多麼冷漠,多麼與世隔絕——我們根本就不關心這個。今天這種事是不可能發生的。我覺得我們都沒 搞收齊自己的所有金唱片掛在牆上這一套。所以我沒有專門的榮譽陳列室。我把有些獎品放在辦公室里了,我覺得放在那裡,用來恐嚇生意上來往的人很不錯 (笑)。這可是我畢生的目標。

答:是一張新的錄音室專輯,收錄的是我的新歌。我一直都在寫歌,現在有了不少我想錄的。我和很多製作人合作過,今天是和喬治·馬丁(George Martin)的兒子蓋爾斯合作。其實我正在往錄音室去的路上呢。我馬上就把車停在路邊,走一小段路,一進錄音室就開始拚命彈吉他。

答:我和“涅槃”(Nirvana)的小夥子們合作的那首《放過我吧》(Cut Me Some Slack)會收錄在戴夫·格羅爾(Dave Grohl)的專輯裡。這是他的項目。他給我打電話說:“你想過來即興玩一下嗎,我在搞一個項目,回憶過去在‘聲音城市’(Sound City)錄音室的日子。”我當時在洛杉磯,所以就和妻子還有兩個女兒過去了。我和戴夫在錄音室里,就像兩個逃學青少年,姑娘們在那兒閑逛。戴夫打鼓,我 彈吉他,克里斯·諾沃斯利克(Krist Novoselic)彈貝斯,帕特·斯米爾(Pat Smear)彈吉他。我按當時的調子吼出一些歌詞——(展示)“媽媽——”最好的一點就是,事實上它就是“嘿,你想玩即興演奏嗎?”完全是有機的。就像下 午的即興演出。仔細想想看,這可是大廠牌夢寐以求的東西。(模仿行政人員的聲音)“我希望你們這些小夥子們一起做東西,我們要在這上投很多錢。”但並不是 這樣,這只是我們的創意,是我們在一個下午做出的東西。

Happy Birthday, Paul McCartney: 70 Iconic Images for 70 Years

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Rock and roll band 'The Quarrymen' later known as 'The Beatles' perform onstage at their first concert at the Casbah Coffee House in 1959 in Liverpool, England.
Today, Paul McCartney turns 70. To celebrate the legendary rocker, TIME looks back at that faithful day when McCartney, then a cherub-faced 15-year-old, asked John Lennon if he could borrow a guitar…
An incised sandstone plaque on the wall of St. Peter’s Church Hall in Woolton, a sleepy suburb on the outskirts of Liverpool, commemorates the event as if it had religious significance—as indeed it very nearly does:
In This Hall On
6th July 1957
John & Paul
First Met
No need to ask about last names.
The afternoon was oppressively hot and humid. The occasion was a church fete, a few -summer hours of festivities in the yard next to St. Peter’s cemetery: lemonade and ice cream and cakes and musical acts and performing horses and police dogs. Lots of kids. One of the acts was a group of local boys called the Quarrymen, named after the public high school they attended, Quarry Bank (itself named after Woolton Quarry, where sandstone was mined). The band played skiffle—kind of an English variety of jug-band music popular in the ’50s, thumped out on guitar, banjo, drums and tea-chest bass—along with a little rock ’n’ roll. Its singer and lead guitarist, a sideburned, eagle-nosed 16-year-old in a checked cowboy shirt with the collar turned up, preferred rock ’n’ roll. John Lennon could barely play his guitar—it had only four strings, and he used banjo chords—but with his hoarse yet tuneful voice and cheeky attitude, he was spellbinding. Among the band’s rock repertory was the Del-Vikings’ “Come Go with Me.” Lennon, not really knowing the words, simply made up his own: “Come go with me/ Down to the penitentiary . . .” Somehow he made it work.
After the fete, there was to be a grand dance in the Village Hall across the road. George Edge’s Orchestra would play for the adults; the Quarrymen would entertain the kids. As the long summer twilight faded, thunder rumbled portentously; the heat wave would break that night. As the skiffle group took its instruments into the hall, a close friend of Lennon’s named Ivan Vaughan approached him with a request: Did he have any interest in meeting another friend of his, a boy who could sing and play guitar? The boy was good, Vaughan said.
In a few minutes, Lennon found out how good. The boy, a cherub-faced 15-year-old with big hazel eyes, pouty lips and his dark hair slicked back rock-’n’-roll style, was ceremoniously dressed in a white sports jacket backed with silver threads: a showy touch that Lennon, in his tight teddy-boy jeans and cowboy shirt, would have found disconcerting.
Then Paul McCartney asked to borrow a guitar.
(MORE: Happy Birthday, Paul McCartney: 70 Iconic Images for 70 Years)
The Quarrymen’s instruments were strung for right-handers; McCartney was a lefty. No matter. He’d dealt with this problem before: you simply played upside-down. And that’s what he did, performing a near letter-perfect cover of Eddie Cochran’s fast-moving mouthful -“Twenty Flight Rock,” to the astonishment of Lennon and his bandmates. “I knew a lot of the words,” McCartney later recalled. “That was very good currency in those days.”
Then the young natural showman decided to top that.
McCartney sat down at the hall’s upright piano and blazed through Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” “It was uncanny,” Quarrymen guitarist Eric Griffiths told Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles, many years later. “He could play and sing in a way that none of us could, including John. He had such confidence; he gave a performance. It was so natural. We couldn’t get enough of it. It was a real eye opener.”
For his part, Lennon recalled (to Beatles biographer Hunter Davies), “I half thought to myself, ‘He’s as good as me.’ Now I thought, if I take him on, what will happen? It went through my head that I’d have to keep him in line if I let him join [the band]. But he was good, so he was worth having. He also looked like Elvis. I dug him.”
That was an understatement. From that day forward, the two would be inextricably bound, in each other’s minds as well as the world’s.
(MOREOld Paul McCartney Letter Shows Early Search for Beatles Drummer)
The doe-eyed phenom who rocked John Lennon’s world that hot July afternoon was, underneath the white sports jacket and the bravado, far more vulnerable than he let on. Paul McCartney’s adored mother, Mary, a midwife and visiting nurse, had died of breast cancer, at age 47, only nine months earlier, leaving Paul, his younger brother, Mike, and their father, Jim, an amateur musician who worked as a salesman for a Liverpool cotton firm, to try to muddle through without her.
For several months, they barely made it: Jim was reeling with grief. “That was the worst thing for me, hearing my dad cry,” Paul remembered. “You expect to see women crying or kids in the playground or even yourself . . . But when it’s your dad, then you know something’s really wrong, and it shakes your faith in everything. But I was determined not to let it affect me. I carried on. I learned to put a shell around me at that age.”
Music was the main component of the shell. It came naturally: the whole extended McCartney family was musical. As a young man in the 1920s, Jim had fronted a dance band, and he still played a mean piano by ear (“His left one,” Paul McCartney liked to joke).
The McCartneys made music whenever they got together, and at first, trumpet was Paul’s instrument. But he was also beginning to listen to American rock ’n’ roll late at night on Radio Luxembourg—there was no rock on English radio in those days—and to grow intoxicated by its rhythms. Rock ’n’ roll wasn’t about trumpets. And then there was the fact that you couldn’t sing while you played a horn.
(MORE: McCartney Comes Back)
Rock was hitting England like a slow-moving tsunami in the mid-’50s. Prior to 1950, as Liver-pool local historian Joan Murray explains, “there were no teenagers.” Especially in that rough-hewn, northern port city along the River Mersey, where working-class and middle-class kids mostly just got out of school and got on with life. But Liverpool, so red brick dingy and looked down upon by London, was also peculiarly receptive to rock ’n’ roll—in part, because of the steady inflow of American culture through the docks. Now, suddenly, amid the postwar recovery, Liverpool kids had a couple of shillings to rub together, and with the records they were buying—records by Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and, especially, Elvis—came new dreams.
Shortly after his 14th birthday, Paul went to a downtown music shop and traded his trumpet for a Zenith acoustic guitar. He practiced obsessively, struggling to teach himself chords, but everything felt backward to the left-hander, until he hit on the idea of restringing the instrument—with the bass and treble strings reversed.
In the wake of his mother’s death, his obsession with the instrument redoubled. He would lock himself in the bathroom and practice for hours at a time. Initially a promising student—English literature and languages (Spanish and German) were his best subjects—at the prestigious public Liverpool Institute, he began to neglect his studies for the one thing that could take him away from all his troubles. When John Lennon sent a message (through a bandmate named Pete Shotton) asking him to join the Quarrymen, Paul McCartney didn’t have to think twice.
Skiffle stayed in the group’s repertoire for a while, but Lennon had little patience for it. Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” had electrified him (as it had McCartney). That—the sound, the look, the attitude—was what he was after. Meanwhile, the band started to break apart, as Lennon and his original mates graduated from Quarry Bank in 1958, and all but John, the dreamer and misfit, drifted off toward real life. But McCartney had introduced Lennon to a younger schoolmate from the Institute, a tiny, cocky 14-year-old, with jug ears and big hair. His name was George Harrison. “George was my little friend,” McCartney recalled many years later, with fond condescension. “But he could play guitar.” And George liked rock ’n’ roll.
(MORE: That Old Feeling: Meet the Beatles)
McCartney helped Lennon advance on the instrument, and with the big-eared little guy playing lead, all at once they were a rock-’n’-roll trio. On Sept. 18, 1959, a front-page story in the West Derby Reporter covered the recent opening of the Casbah, a new club for teenagers in the Liverpool suburb. The club was in the windowless basement of a huge, rambling old house in a residential neighborhood—the performance space, such as it was, the size of a coal bin. The account went on to mention “a guitar group which entertains the club members on Saturday nights . . . [T]he group, who call themselves ‘The Quarrymen,’ travel from the south end of the city to play. They are: John Lennon, Menlove Avenue, Woolton; Paul McCartney, Forthlin Road, Allerton; and George Harrison, Upton Green, Speke.”
A photo with the story shows McCartney, soulful in dark shirt and light tie, -confidently strumming his guitar and singing into a mike while Lennon, seemingly a little less sure of his playing, stares down at his instrument, carefully fingering a chord. Two girls and a boy sit on a bench to the right, paying careful attention. The caption reads: “Three ‘cool cats’ listen to ‘The Quarrymen.’ ” The polite-looking, well-dressed young English people resemble anything but cool cats. The girl on the left, smiling at McCartney, is Cynthia Powell, who will later marry Lennon.

Astrid Kirchherr —Courtesy of Vladislav Ginzburg
Astrid Kirchherr's first group photo of The Beatles taken at the Hamburg fairground, just blocks away from the Reeperbahn district where the group played nightly. Pete Best, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney Stuart Sutcliffe. Hamburg, Germany 1960.
Click here to find out more!
In honor of Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday on June 18, LightBox culled various photography archives to feature 70 iconic images of the Beatle—one for each year of his life—with text from the introduction of TIME’s new book, Paul McCartney: The legend rocks on, by James Kaplan.
He is the most ordinary of extraordinary men: a historical figure with a common streak, a genius who’s still not entirely sure where it all comes from, or came from.
“I’ve always had this thing of him and me,” Paul McCartney told Barry Miles, his authorized biographer, in 1996. “He goes onstage, he’s famous, and then me; I’m just some kid from Liverpool … this little kid who used to run down the streets in Speke … collecting jam jars, damming up streams in the woods. I still very much am him grown up.
“Occasionally, I stop and think, I am Paul McCartney … hell, that is a total freak-out! You know, Paul McCartney! Just the words, it sounds like a total kind of legend. But, of course, you don’t want to go thinking that too much because it takes over.” And yet, “when I go on tour, I’m glad of the legendary thing,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to try and entertain 60,000 people in a Texas stadium with just the guy next door.”
No, that wouldn’t do at all. And so—still, in 2012—he steps out on the stage of whatever arena he may be playing, in whichever corner of the world—it scarcely matters where or what language they speak; everyone knows him and loves him, everyone knows the words to all the songs—and, as the roar rises to the rafters, begins singing, for the umpteenth time and with undiminished joy:
Roll up, roll up for the magical mystery tour, step right this way …
Today—inconceivably—he turns 70, and he’s still rolling. Fast. In the months before the big day, he seemed to be everywhere at once: touring in Helsinki and Moscow and Liverpool. Getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Playing at the MusiCares benefit (where he was honored as Person of the Year). Playing at the Grammys. Attending his daughter Stella’s fashion show in Paris. Vacationing in St. Barts with his wife Nancy Shevell—and then touring some more, in Rotterdam and Zurich and London.
It was almost as though, if he moved fast enough and squeezed in enough events, he might sideslip the 18th of June altogether and proceed to the next golden stage, untouched and untallied. Exactly the kind of dream a little kid running down the street in Liverpool might dream.
Except that no one, in his wildest imaginings, could have dreamed all that had happened to him in the years between then and now.
All four of them had remarkable faces, but only his was beautiful, the big-eyed, long-lashed looks saved from mere prettiness by a persistent, perhaps willfully untended, five-o’clock shadow and those asymmetrical, ironically arched brows, which seemed to say, I’ve got the goods. No, really. Think I’m kidding?
He had the goods, and then some. “Oh, beyond measure—on a Mozart level,” the musician and record producer Peter Asher told TIME recently, speaking of the musical gifts of the brash young -Liverpudlian who, beginning in 1963, dated his sister Jane and, though already famous, bunked in the attic of the Asher family’s town house on Wimpole Street: the attic where the melody of “Yesterday” came to him one night in a dream.
That, of course, was many yesterdays ago. And while Paul McCartney’s youthful beauty has gone the way of youth, the immense musical talent endures, along with, at the biblical three score and 10, something perhaps even more remarkable: “He keeps on going,” says another longtime acquaintance, the writer and director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. “He doesn’t have to. He’s got all the money and all the success, and he’s written some great songs. In Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real … there’s [a line]: ‘Make voyages, attempt them; there’s nothing else.’ I think that’s Paul.”
At 70, he voyages still, maintaining a schedule that would give pause to a man half his age: a 30-concert tour in 2011-2012, from the Bronx to Bologna, Moscow to Montevideo to Mexico City. “My wife says he’s an alien from the Planet Fab,” says Paul “Wix” Wickens, the keyboardist in the band that has backed McCartney for the past 10 years. (The band also includes bassist Rusty Anderson, guitarist/bassist Brian Ray and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.)
“If you’re enjoying it, why do something else?” McCartney asked Rolling Stone, rhetorically, earlier this year. His pleasure in his art and his craft seems as pure as it was when he first picked up a guitar almost 60 years ago. “He absolutely loves music,” Wickens says. “He loves to play. And he loves being involved. He’s always doing something. When we [in the band] are not working, he is not not-working. He does relax, and he does take holidays. But he puts his head into other places, not just pop music, because he likes a challenge, he likes just to be doing it.”
Funny, the things an ordinary man will come up with.
Excerpted from TIME’s new book; Paul McCartney: The legend rocks on, by James Kaplan, copyright ©2012 by Time Home Entertainment Inc. To buy a copy, go to



Paul McCartney announces Good Evening Europe Tour, including only U.K. date of 2009

Paul McCartney has announced his first European tour in more than five years
Paul McCartney has announced his first European tour in more than five years
Paul McCartney will make his first European tour in more than five years this December, a seven-city run that will include his only United Kingdom concert appearance of 2009.
"This is my chance to bring our current show home to where it all began," McCartney said in a statement on his website. "Starting in Hamburg, ending in London and rocking everywhere in between. I'm very much looking forward to ending the year on a high."
On the heels of this summer's blockbuster U.S. tour, the December dates will see Macca play seven arena shows across Europe, culminating with his first public performance at London's O2 Arena, and his only U.K. date of the year. Other firsts on the tour include shows at Berlin’s O2 World venue and Dublin’s The O2.
Berlin will get their first Paul McCartney concert in 16 years - since 1993's "New World Tour" - and the tour commences in Hamburg, Germany, a city The Beatles made history in 49 years ago. The run will mark his first time in Hamburg, Arnhem, Cologne and Dublin since the "Back in the World" tour in 2003. McCartney's last Paris concert was an intimate club show at the Olympia in 2007.

London's O2 Arena will host the final Paul McCartney show of 2009.

Last week, Paul McCartney revealed the full details of his Good Evening New York City CD/DVD package, due to be released November 17 in America through Hear Music/Concord Music Group. The muli-disc set will include his performances of Beatles, Wings and solo classics during his three-night stand at Citi Field in Flushing, NY, July 17, 18 and 21 on the "Summer Live '09" tour.

Good Evening Europe Tour:
12/02/09 Hamburg, Germany - Color Line Arena
12/03/09 Berlin, Germany - O2 World
12/09/09 Arnhem, Holland - Gelredome
12/10/09 Paris, France - Bercy
12/16/09 Cologne, France - Koln Arena
12/20/09 Dublin, Ireland - The O2
12/22/09 London, England - The O2 Arena
Paul McCartney releases full package details for "Good Evening New York City" CD/DVD