He likes to take occasional walks in public by himself, he noted. “I walk down streets. They’re for walking down,” he said. “‘People say, ‘Oh no. You’ve got to have acres of security behind you and stuff.’ I like to just get out. Just so you feel like yourself instead of like a rock star.”
Where he does feel like a rock star is at his concerts, which routinely run three hours and also include a pre-show soundcheck where he and his band play numbers not in the show. “We always do that. We need to check the instruments we’re going to use just to make sure they’re all plugged in and they all work,” he said. “We just use the same instruments we’re gonna use, but we switch the numbers about. We do any old thing. So we’ll do kind of like skiffle things, folk things, early rock ‘n roll things.” He added, “It’s nice. Keeps it all fresh.”
McCartney credits his record company, Capitol, for being receptive to ideas for different promotional events for his latest album, “Egypt Station.” “We had a meeting and I said, ‘Look, guys, let’s make it something that we’re excited about.” The events included a concert at Abbey Road Studios and the Cavern, among others. “So you know, it made it fun,” he said. “I was happy with the ideas we were cooking up together. As long as they were good ideas that were exciting everyone. We had a blast.”
He talked of his belief in climate change and the song on the album “Despite Repeated Warnings,” which is about Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. “As far as I’m concerned it’s reality,” he said of climate change. “I believe scientists. They study a bit harder than I do. They’re clever, man.”
He also gave an explanation about the song “Fuh You.” “If you give someone a present, you don’t say, this is for you. You go this is ‘fuh you.’ F-u-h. So this is my story and I’m sticking to it.” He discussed another song where the lyrics have also been re-interpreted. “When I did the song ‘Hi Hi Hi,’ there’s a line in it (where) I was kind of writing kind of surrealist lyrics. I wrote ‘Lie on the bed and get ready for my polygon.’ It doesn’t mean anything. I mean, what’s a polygon, you know? But people thought it was ‘Get ready for my body gun.’ I thought, ‘You know what, that is better.’”
The album debuted at No.1 on the charts in the U.S. McCartney says the evening that the achievement was announced already planned to be a relaxing one, but turned into a party. “After the show sometimes if the guys don’t have to load out, I’ll say, ‘Let’s all get together, have a little drink, have something to eat,’” he said. “And then suddenly that afternoon right after soundcheck right on my phone I get the message, ‘Congratulations, record’s gone to No 1.’ So that party that evening that was special. We danced the night away, baby.”
In November, the Beatles will release a box set for the 50th anniversary of the White Album with a new 2018 mix and outtakes. McCartney said despite legend, the album was made by a group that was four people working together and not as separate individuals. “Towards the end of the Beatles, all the forces that were later going to break the Beatles up were just mainly business, to tell you the truth. There was a lot of arguing about business. And we didn’t like that,” he said.
“But you know, the great thing was when we got in the studio, it all changed because we were just these four guys again. And it wasn’t to do with business. It was now to do with music. And so sometimes we did record separately. I would do ‘Blackbird’ but only because it was a solo song.” But, he said, “We were at peace when we were playing music in the studio. And you know we argued like families argue. I mean, in the early days, it was always John and George arguing about who would have his amp loudest. But other than that, when we played music, it came [out] good.”