Paul McCartney

  • Aired:  06/12/13
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Paul McCartney discusses the reissue of "Wings Over America," recalls recording "Band on the Run" in Nigeria and debates the pronunciation of "schedule." (12:04)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY!

MY GUEST TONIGHT NEEDS NO

INTRODUCTION.

HERE TO INTERVIEW MUSIC LEGEND

PAUL McCARTNEY IS STEPHEN

COLBERT!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THANK YOU!

PAUL, GOOD SEE YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU.

WHAT A PLEASURE.

>> NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN

TOGETHER FOR FOUR YEARS.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?

>> I'VE BEEN GOOD, THANK YOU.

AND YOU?

>> Stephen: LAST TIME WE TALKED

I WASN'T THAT FAMILIAR WITH YOUR

WORK.

(LAUGHTER)

>> I REMEMBER.

YEAH.

>> Stephen: I HAVE SINCE THEN,

THOUGH, BONED UP ON MY McCARTNEY

AND JESUS CAN YOU WRITE SOME

DIZZYS!

I MEAN, SERIOUSLY!

SERIOUSLY!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

NOW, WE'RE GOING TO GET TO THIS

WHOLE BEATLES SIDE PROJECT YOU

WORKED ON FOR A LITTLE WHILE.

(LAUGHTER)

BUT FIRST I WANT TO TALK ABOUT

THE NEW -- THE ALBUM, THE

REMASTERED REISSUED ALBUM YOU'VE

GOT OUT NOW CALLED "WINGS OVER

AMERICA: 1976 TOUR OF THE

WORLD."

IT'S THE AMERICA LEG OF IT.

(APPLAUSE)

NOW THIS WAS THE FIFTH

NUMBER-ONE ALBUM YOU HAD AS

WINGS.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

(LAUGHTER)

WALK ME UP TO THAT SPOT.

BECAUSE YOU LEAVE THE BEATLES,

OKAY?

YOU'VE BEEN WORKING FOR YEARS

VERY SUCCESSFULLY WITH A GUY

NAMED JOHN-- I KNOW THE FEELING.

(LAUGHTER)

>> YOU KNOW THAT?

(APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: BUT YOU START YOUR

OWN THING.

WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE?

DID IT FEEL LIKE YOU HAD TO

START FROM SCRATCH AFTER YOU

LEFT THE BEATLES?

>> YEAH.

I DIDN'T WANT TO DO THE SAME

THING AGAIN SO I WANTED TO FORM

A NEW BAND AND TRY AND DO IT ALL

AGAIN ONLY DIFFERENT.

>> Stephen: THERE HAD TO HAVE

BEEN SOME ROUGH PATCHES AT THE

BEGINNING.

>> YEAH, THERE WERE.

>> Stephen: LET'S RELIVE THOSE

BAD DAYS.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE?

WAS IT LIKE McCARTNEY AND RAM?

WHAT WAS IT LIKE?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, SERIOUSLY,

STEPHEN --.

>> Stephen: PAUL --

>> WE DECIDED TO TRY AND DO IT

FROM THE GROUND UP RATHER THAN

DO A BIG SUPERGROUP THING SO WE

KNEW NOTHING AND WE HAD TO JUST

LEARN IT ALL AGAIN, HOW TO BE A

BAND AND THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I

WAS -- IT WAS A GRIND.

THE

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: SORRY TO HEAR THAT.

SORRY TO HEAR THAT.

YOU ACTUALLY -- I UNDERSTAND AT

ONE POINT YOU WERE ACTUALLY

DRIVING TO COLLEGE GIGS IN

ENGLAND IN A VAN.

>> UH-HUH.

YEAH.

>> Stephen: WHY?

(LAUGHTER)

YOU'RE PAUL McCARTNEY, MAN!

>> YEAH, I ASK MYSELF THAT

QUESTION.

>> Stephen: THE OTHER BAND MATES

HAVE THEIR SOCKS UP ON THE

DASHBOARD?

>> WE HAD THE KIDS AND THE DOGS

AND THE BAND ALL IN THE VAN AND

WE LITERALLY DID DRIVE UP THE

MOTORWAY.

WE DIDN'T HAVE A BIG BOOKED AND

WE DIDN'T HAVE A HOTEL.

>> Stephen: WAIT?

SO YOU'D JUST SHOW UP AT A

COLLEGE AND SAY "WOULD ANYONE

LIKE TO HEAR ME PLAY"?

(LAUGHTER)

>> WE SAID "HAVE YOU GOT A

STUDENTS' UNION?"

AND THEY'D SAY "YEAH."

WE'D SAY "CAN WE SEE THE GUY

FROM THE STUDENTS' UNION?"

AND THEN THE GUY WOULD COME OUT

AND LOOK AT ME AND SAY -- AND

I'D SAY "CAN WE PLAY FOR YOU

TOMORROW?"

I TELL YOU, THAT'S HOW IT

HAPPENED.

>> Stephen: IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR

YOU TO BE PRODUCING MUSIC,

CREATING MUSIC AND BE TRAVELING

AROUND WITH YOUR WIFE.

WHY WAS THAT IMPORTANT FOR YOU

TO BE WITH LINDA IN THE BAND?

WAS THAT A WAY TO MAKE A BETTER

MARRIAGE?

>> NO, IT'S JUST I LIKED HER.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, THAT'S A

GOOD IDEA.

YOU GOT A LITTLE BIT OF GRIEF

ABOUT IT.

MICK JAGGER SAID "WHY WOULD YOU

WANT YOUR OLD LADY IN YOUR

BAND?"

YOU EVER SEE HIM NOW AND MOCK

HIM FOR LOOKING LIKE AN OLD

LADY?

(LAUGHTER)

>> I DO, YEAH.

>> Stephen: "BAND ON THE RUN" TO

ME IS THE ALBUM OF THE 1970s.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THE THING THAT AMAZES ME ABOUT

IT IS THAT YOU RECORDED IT ON AN

8-FLAK LAGOS, NIGERIA.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: WHY?

>> WHY?

>> Stephen: HOW ALOFT DID THIS

VAN GET?

(LAUGHTER)

>> THE FASHION WAS TO NOT GO TO

SORT OF LONDON STUDIOS ANYMORE

ANDED TO GO SOMEWHERE EXOTIC.

SO I ASKED MY RECORD COMPANY--

WHICH WAS E.M.I.-- I SAID "CAN I

HAVE A LIST OF YOUR STUDIOS?

I HEAR YOU HAVE THEM ALL OVER

THE WORLD."

SURE ENOUGH, THEY GAVE ME A LIST

AND THERE WAS LIKE BEIJING, RIO

DE JANEIRO.

AND I CHOSE LAGOS.

>> Stephen: FOR THE CLIMATE OR

THE CORRUPTION?

>> THE CLIMATE AND THE DISEASE.

(LAUGHTER)

AND THE TRUTH IS WE -- WE WENT

AND WE DID IT.

WHEN I GOT BACK THERE WAS A NOTE

THAT I SHOULD HAVE READ BEFORE I

WENT AWAY FROM THE RECORD

COMPANY GUY SAYING "ADVISE YOU

DON'T GO TO LAGOS, OUTBREAK OF

CHOLERA."

(AUDIENCE REACTS)

>> Stephen: WOW.

THAT'S A CLOSE SHAVE.

>> A CLOSE SHAVE, MAN.

>> Stephen: NOW, THE CONCERT,

THE FINAL CONCERT OF THE WORLD

TOUR WAS IN SEATTLE AND THAT'S

ON A D.V.D. THAT YOU CAN GET

CALLED "ROCK SHOW."

YOU GUYED STOPPED PERFORMING AS

THE BEATLES.

WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE TO BE BACK

ON STAGE AFTER SO MANY YEARS

PERFORMING FOR A LIVE AUDIENCE--

ESPECIALLY ONES THAT COULD HEAR

WHAT YOU WERE PLAYING?"

(LAUGHTER)

BECAUSE THAT WAS A REAL PROBLEM,

WASN'T IT?

>> IN THE BEATLES IT WAS, YEAH.

YOU COULDN'T HEAR ANYTHING.

>> Stephen: MY SISTER SAW YOU

GUYS AT WASHINGTON STADIUM AND

SHE SAID -- YOU MIGHT REMEMBER

HER.

SHE WAS THE TALL, BANGS.

SCREAMING YOUR NAME.

EXACTLY.

(LAUGHTER)

BUT DID YOU STOP PLAYING BECAUSE

YOU COULDN'T HEAR YOURSELF OR

THEY COULDN'T HEAR YOU?

>> THAT WAS KIND OF THE REASON

AT THE TIME, YEAH.

I MEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU GET TIRED

OF TOURING AND WE HAD A

RELENTLESS SCHEDULE.

>> Stephen: IT'S PRONOUNCED SK

YOU'LL GET YOURSELF TARGETED BY

THE N.S.A. WITH THAT SHH-EDULE

STUFF, MY FRIEND.

>> SHH-EDULE IS CORRECT.

SKE-JULE IS NOT CORRECT.

>> Stephen: WE'LL SEE HOW WHAT

THE EDITS DO.

(LAUGHTER)

>> SO I'VE COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN

WHERE I WAS.

>> Stephen: YOU WERE SHHH-EDULE.

YOU HAD A RELENTLESS SCHEDULE.

>> WE WERE TOURING ON THE TIME.

IT WAS A TERRIBLE SKEJ HCHLYULE

WE WERE ON.

>> Stephen: NOW I KNOW WHAT YOU

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

>> SO IT GOT PRETTY BORING AND

SO -- TOWARDS THE END THE

SCREAMING, YOU COULDN'T HEAR

WHAT YOU WERE DOING AND, YOU

KNOW, WE WERE, AFTER ALL,

MUSICIANS, HAD BEEN THE ORIGINAL

IDEA.

(LAUGHTER)

SO NOW WE WERE JUST KIND OF

PUPPETS GETTING SCREAMED AT AND

WE DECIDED TO, YOU KNOW, CALL IT

A DAY.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE

EVOLUTION OF THE BEATLES BECAUSE

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT

ANYBODY WHO IS BLOWN AWAY BY IS

WHAT GREW YOU GUYS SOUND LIKE IN

'64 AND WHAT YOU GUYS SOUNDED

LIKE BY '69.

DID YOU TRY TO CHANGE YOUR SOUND

THAT QUICKLY?

>> YOU KNOW, WE WERE LEARNING.

AND YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER, ME

AND JOHN WERE NEW TO SONG

WRITING SO THE FIRST SONGS WE

WROTE WERE REALLY ALL AIMED AT

THE FANS.

THEY'RE LIKE KIND OF "THANK YOU,

GIRL FROM ME TO YOU."

(LAUGHTER)

"PLEASE, PLEASE ME."

(LAUGHTER)

"P.S., I LOVE YOU."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WOW, SO YOU KNEW

YOUR AUDIENCE.

YOU KNEW YOUR AUDIENCE.

AND WHAT POINT DID YOU FIND

EITHER THE COURAGE OR JUST THE

NEW FEELING THAT YOU SAID "I'M

NOT GOING TO WRITE FOR THAT

OTHER PERSON, I'M GOING TO WRITE

FOR MYSELF?"

>> DRUGS.

>> Stephen: HONEST TO GOD IN

SERIOUSLY?

NO, THAT'S ALL RIGHT, IT'S

PRACTICALLY LEGAL NOW.

>> IT'S TRUE.

THE ONE THING ABOUT THE BEATLES,

WE NEVER WANTED TO MAKE THE SAME

SONG OR THE SAME RECORD SO WE

LITERALLY WERE GOING INTO THE

STUDIO WITH RINGO AND SAYING

"DID YOU USE THAT SNARE DRUM ON

THE LAST TRACK?"

HE'D SAY "YEAH."

SO WE SAID "YOU HAVE TO CHANGE

IT."

>> Stephen: CHANGE THE ACTUAL

DRUM?

>> TRACK TO TRACK NOT ALBUM TO

ALBUM.

SO THAT'S WHY THERE WAS A LOT OF

-- YOU LIKE THAT?

>> Stephen: I DID.

DID YOU JUST WRITE A BEATLES

HIT?

(LAUGHTER)

WHY WOULD YOU -- SO YOU WOULD

PLAY ANYTHING THAT WAS LAYING

AROUND?

>> YOU PLAY ON PACKING CASES,

YOU GET THE MIC IN, YOU JUST

WOULD MESS WITH SOUNDS SO THIS

WHOLE IDEA OF HAVING THE ABILITY

TO EXPERIMENT AND MESS WITH THIS

AND TRY A NEW SNARE DRUM, TRY A

TOM TOM INSTEAD OF IT.

THE OTHER GOOD THING ABOUT THE

BEATLES IS THERE WAS AN

INCREDIBLE DEMOCRACY.

IF ONE OF US DIDN'T LIKE

SOMETHING WE WERE DOING IT WAS

VOTED OUT.

SO, YOU KNOW, WE COULD THINK

WE'D WRITTEN THE GREATEST SONG

EVER BUT IF RINGO DIDN'T LIKE IT

--

(LAUGHTER)

TRUE.

>> Stephen: SO THERE'S SORT OF A

PILE LIKE "NO, THESE A REALLY

GOOD, NOBODY KNOWS HOW GOOD MY

STUFF IS."

DID THAT PILE SORT OF BUILD UP

NEXT TO YOU?

NO?

(LAUGHTER)

>> WELL, YOU KNOW -- NO, I THINK

THE THING IS BECAUSE WE KNEW

WHAT WAS GOING TO GET VOTED OUT.

YOU HAD TO KIND OF WRITE

SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD ALL

LIKE.

>> Stephen: YOU'VE HAD 71 TOP

TEN HITS, OKAY?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR CAREER DID

YOU SAY TO YOURSELF "WELL, I

THINK I MIGHT BE BETTER THAN

ANYONE ON THE PLANET AT WHAT I

DO"?

DID IT EVER DOUR YOU THAT,

GODDAMNIT, I'M REALLY GOOD.

OR WERE YOU ALWAYS SAYING "I'M

NOT SURE HOW GOOD I AM."

>> WELL, YOU TRY TO BE MODEST.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: AND HOW DID THAT

WORK OUT?

>> NOT EASY.

NOT TOO EASY, NO.

YOU KNOW, I -- I DO PINCH MYSELF

SOMETIMES THINKING I'VE DONE

PRETTY GOOD.

>> Stephen: YES, YEAH, I WOULD

SAY SO.

I WOULD SAY SO.

ARE THERE SONGS YOU WISH YOU'D

WRITTEN -- NOT WITH THE BEATLES

BUT SONGS YOU WISH YOU'D WRITTEN

FOR YOUR TIME?

LIKE EVEN -- LIKE "TIN PAN

ALLEY" VERY SIMPLE SONGS LIKE

THAT?

>> YEAH, YEAH.

"CHEEK TO CHEEK" I LIKE.

YOU KNOW THAT ONE?

>> Stephen: I DO.

>> I LIKE THAT.

>> Stephen:

♪ WE'RE OUT TOGETHER DANCING

CHEEK TO CHEEK ♪

DID I JUST SING WITH YOU?

I SANG WITH PAUL McCARTNEY.

DID I JUST SING WITH PAUL

McCARTNEY.

>> (BOTH)

♪ HEAVEN, I'M IN HEAVEN

♪ AND MY HEART BEATS SO THAT I

COULD HARDLY SPEAK ♪

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

♪ WHEN WE'RE OUT TOGETHER

DANCING CHEEK TO CHEEK ♪

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: VERY NICE.

I SMELL HIT.

WE'VE GOT ALL THIS EQUIPMENT

HERE.

WOULD YOU THINK ABOUT DOING SOME

MUSIC FOR US, PLEASE?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> I'D LOVE TO.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: IT'S AN ABSOLUTE JOY

A PLEASURE.

LOOK AT THAT!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

WINGS OVER AMERICA C.D. REISSUE.

IF WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH PAUL

McCARDNY!

COME ON!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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