11:44 AM GMT 21/05/2013
MOJO: There's something I've been curious about for 45 years. On And Your Bird Can Sing, is that you or George playing the guitar riff?
PAUL: I think it's me and George playing in harmony. That was one of the things we used to do. It's a harmony riff. I remember talking to Rusty [Anderson], my guitar player. He'd go, Ahhh, that's how you do it! George and I would work out a melody line, then I would work out the harmony to it. So we'd do it as a piece. And Your Bird Can Sing - that's what that is. That's me and George both playing electric guitars. It's just the two of us, live. It's a lot easier to do with two people, believe me. It's another one of our little tricks!
MOJO: Any other moments where George really brought something to the song?
PAUL: I think George always brought something to all the songs. Me, George and John originally had a little set-up with just the three of us on three guitars. That was our first kinda little incarnation. And we would go to talent shows and lose them with that line-up. [chuckles] So what I mean is, any of us could take the guitar parts. So, for instance, I Feel Fine was John's riff and started off by him leaning the guitar inadvertently against an amp and it fed back so we used that into the... [sings the opening riff]. But often opening riffs - certainly solos - would be George. I could go through 'em all and just say, That's George, that's George, that's George. 'Cos I was there, you know. [chuckles]
MOJO: Of George's compositions, which was the first one that knocked you out?
PAUL: He never brought anything to the studio until Don't Bother Me and we thought, Wow, that's really good. Later when he brought If I Needed Something...
MOJO: If I Needed Someone?
PAUL: If I Needed Someone. Yeah, Something's another one. I've melded 'em. [laughs] I thought that was a landmark. I think then Something and Here Comes The Sun - he'd gone right up there and was now a top standard writer.
MOJO: Did George's increasing songwriting output by The White Album contribute to his unhappiness with the Beatles.
PAUL: Yeah, possibly. I remember him talking about All Things Must Pass as diarrhoea. That was his own affectionate way of describing that he'd had a lot of stuff stored up and it had to come out. I mean, I don't think I'd describe it like that. [laughs] But I know what he meant. He now was writing furiously - great things - like Isn't It A Pity. Some of them made it with us. Within You Without You is, like, completely landmark, I would say, in Western recording. Norwegian Wood - the sitar on that. They were definitely huge influences in Western music. Inner Light is a beautiful song.
It probably did make George feel left out. But there was only so much room on an album. You gotta remember we made albums that were only 40 minutes long. And John and I were writin' some... [pauses]... good stuff. And Ringo had to have a track. So it didn't leave as much room for George as perhaps he would've liked. But you know, you can't have everything. It was the Beatles career and for each of us to have been in the Beatles was pretty amazing and pretty cool. If it didn't work out how each individual would've wanted it to, then it's... [pauses] ...it's just too bad really because what happened was so good. I think what George did within the Beatles was phenomenal, so I think you kinda have to leave it there.
MOJO: The bickering doesn't matter at the end of the day, does it?
PAUL: No. You know, I remember having an argument with a member of my family, one of my kids once, in front of someone. And it was a bit, Oh my God, what's going on here? It was embarrassing but we both had a fairly strong point of view about something. And I was brought down by it - we both were. A friend of mine said, 'Y'know what Paul, it proves you're a family.' It proves you're a real family. And that's the truth about the Beatles, y'know. You have to look at it like that. We each had very strong opinions. If you look at us individually, I mean y'know, c'mon - give it up. John Lennon. Paul McCartney. George Harrison, Ringo Starr. You look at us all individually - that's a bunch of talent in a room. And a bunch of egos. So they're not just gonna get on like apple pie. There is going to be the odd argument - and there were. Sometimes they were minor about, ya know, turning up guitars. [laughs] George and John were very cute because they both had their amps side by side and you'd see George just sort of sneak over to the amplifiers, just add one degree and then you'd see him walk back like nothing had happened. And then you'd see John had noticed and John would casually walk over and put his up two degrees. [laughs] 'You've fucking turned up man!' 'Wot, I never did!' 'Yeah you fucking did!' So there's all that and then there was more serious things towards the end which were basically business things, y'know. And of course I had the ultimate bad role of having to save everyone from the wolf. That led to all sorts of unpleasant arguments and things.
MOJO: I'm assuming that's Allen Klein.
PAUL: Yeah, yeah. He's not with us anymore so I try not to walk on the dead man's grave. But it was the truth and everyone knows it. We had to be saved and unfortunately it fell to me. But I think it was the right thing. I think the current success of the Beatles has proved that. We wouldn't have anywhere near the amount of control we have now. Rather like the Rolling Stones don't. On Hot Rocks. Which they don't own. [laughs] We were headed that way. So that caused a lot of unpleasantness. But as I say, in the end it proved we were a family.
Interview by: Michael Simmons
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 10:21 AM GMT 28/09/2011