‘It’s easy to get caught up with this idea that you must please everyone, ‘ he tells tiny crowd
Paul McCartney got back to where he once belonged today by playing an intimate mid-morning set at the BBC’s tiny Maida Vale studios, where the Beatles recorded several early sessions.
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Arriving onstage twenty five minutes later than expected (despite the set being broadcast live on the BBC’s modern rock station), a relaxed-looking McCartney cheerfully greeted the 200 “random citizens” who would been selected from over 66, 000 ticket applications. The group, which included Star Trek and Shaun of the Dead actor Simon Pegg, was certainly more up-close and personal than normal. McCartney had to turn down a mid-gig autograph request from one fan, quipping, “As if I don’t have enough to try and do! ”
The particular set began with a hard-rocking take on “Coming Up, ” followed by “Save Us, ” from his new album New. Backed by their full band, he also played a raucous version of 1974’s “Junior’s Farm” before the first Beatles song of the morning, “We Could work It Out. ”
“I think we might did this one in this studio many years back, ” McCartney said with a smile. “But then again, we might not… ”
But if their recollections of the Beatles’ time here were a little vague, he had been supremely focused on his new songs, sitting at the piano for foot-stomping versions of “New” and “Queenie Eye, ” the latter featuring a few falsetto vocals.
He then returned to the Beatles for your grand finale, prompting a huge singalong on “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Get Back” before leaving to crazy applause. With another set to do straight afterwards for Radio 2, another BBC station, he ignored calls for an encore.
During the set, McCartney shattered off regularly to chat with speaker Lauren Laverne, telling her that his return to Maida Vale had been “amazing” and pointing out an image on the wall of “four really handsome young boys – and it is not One Direction! ”
The Beatles would often record multiple tracks during short sessions at the studios, McCartney said. “We didn’t know any better then. People said go there, do this – and we did. ”
He also revealed that he still gets nervous about how exactly his new music will be received. “When you make a record, you do this for yourself, ” he said. “Then, towards the end, you realize you’re entering it for an exam that you did not want to do. ”
McCartney said it had been important to work together with four strong producers – Giles Martin, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth – upon New .
“I say, ‘I really need your feedback, ‘” he said with a laugh. “If I actually do a rubbish vocal, tell me… and I’ll ignore you. ”
McCartney also required questions from the audience, advising one aspiring musician to “keep doing the work. Because the more you do it, the more you learn, and hopefully you’ll get better. You might not, though! ”
Asked to recommend a Beatles-related name for one couple’s unborn child, he chose Valerie, as mentioned in “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. ”
Whenever asked the best advice he’d ever been given, he turned to Shakespeare. “To thine own self be real, ” he said, quoting Hamlet . “You have to follow your own instincts. It’s very easy to get caught up in this idea that you need to please everyone. You have to remind yourself that you’ve got to love it – then there’s a chance they will love it as well. ”
“We Could work It OUt”