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The Macca Lad: Paul McCartney On Being A Punk And Avoiding The Credit Crunch
The Quietus , November 18th, 2008 07:51

Speaking to our friends at the Stool Pigeon newspaper this week, Paul McCartney revealed that he is a fan of the Sex Pistols and that even he worried about the credit crunch. Interview Phil Hebblethwaite. Cover Photography: Steve Gullick

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Former Beatle Paul McCartney revealed that he is a fan of punk music – in particular The Sex Pistols and their snarling 1976 yob anthem, 'Pretty Vacant'. The multi-millionaire also confessed that he was briefly worried about the credit crunch – even though he is one of the world's richest musicians.

When asked what he thought of punk when if first emerged in 1977 he replied: "At first it was shocking, because until then you'd known the status quo. It hoped to be shocking and in some ways it was. But the thing was thtat the music was great and suddenly realised, after a day or two of horror – [ADOPTS POSH VOICE] 'My God! What's going on! What's happening to our England?!' – that these guys were just shaking it up and it needed shaking up."

He added that his eldest daughter Heather was a big fan of the music saying: "My daughter was really into punk at the time. She went to Clash concerts and Damned concerts, Billy Idol and shit . . . she went to the whole thing. You couldn't deny that it sounded fresh, but I was coached by my eldest daughter. I understood that it needed to happen and it was a great thing and something like 'Pretty Vacant' as a record, is really good. It was produced by Chris Thomas, who we knew – he was George Martin's assistant and had worked on some Beatles stuff.

"The sound of 'Pretty Vacant' is really good and, of course, the energy of the band is sensational. It's not to be denied."

Fab Macca also added that he had worried – albeit briefly – about the credit crunch, saying: "For my own thing, I actually did phone my guy up and say, 'How exposed are we?' He said, 'You're as exposed as everyone. If the banks all go broke . . .' But, generally speaking as far as the way we do business, there's not a huge speculative exposure."

He added that he wasn't worried now though and said he was "unhappy" for other people, blaming the situation on the "irresponsibility" of yuppie debt culture.

McCartney was speaking on the eve of the release of his new album under the guise of Fireman. It is perhaps one of the more unlikely pairings in dance music. The former Beatle and Wings frontman has teamed up with Killing Joke and Verve and Gn'R producer Youth to make their third album together Electric Arguments.

Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising however, both made their names as bass players and both are perhaps not as renowned for their experimental work as they should be. Macca, often seen as the 'cute' one from The Beatles, was actually responsible for some of their wildest tracks, such as the proto-heavy metal 'Helter Skelter' and the proto-electroclash 'Temporary Secretary'. Youth may be a production go to guy for stadium rock/pop bands, but he is also an electronic/house musician of no little talent, most notably with The Orb, Client and Blue Pearl.

Speaking about the making of the album he said the pair had adopted a Beat poet, 'first thought, best thought' aesthetic: "The whole album was very 'first thought, best thought', and that's a little risky, but it's just the way we work.

"That's the great thing about it and you've got to remember, it's Fireman. Anything goes and it sort of doesn't matter. I mean, obviously when we think we've made a really cool record then it starts to matter, which is a bit of a problem."

For the full interview with Paul McCartney pick up a free copy of Stool Pigeon. The current issue also features interviews with the likes of Slayer, Grace Jones, Tony Christie, Dead Kids, Of Montreal, RTX, Q-Tip, Brightblack Morning Light, along with the best opinion, reviews and commentary on inky printed paper. To find a list of stockists, visit the Stool Pigeon website.

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Lubiana Jentolli
Nov 18, 2008 2:23pm

Love the album! Macca RULES!

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Peter O'Rail
Nov 18, 2008 4:57pm

We should not forget Chris Thomas co-produced (with Paul) the final Wings album "Back To The Egg" famous for contribution from musicians of Led Zeppelin, Procol Harum and The Who. The record was released 1.5 years before John Lennon's death and included the first McCartney punk-rocker "Spin It On". In December 1979 Paul McCartney invited The Clash and one of new wave heroes Elvis Costello to his concerts for Kampuchea. Later Macca and Costello composed more than ten songs together (starting from "Back On My Feet") and six of them appeared on "Flowers In The Dirt" and "Off The Ground". So Paul's punk/new wave connections are evident and widely documented!

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Michael Solis
Nov 19, 2008 8:42am

what a brilliant album Electric Arguments. i guess recording as his alter-ego freed him up to be creative. i really like McCartney's renaissance of sorts lately. his previous two albums are amazing, in my opinion. they sound as fresh as anything new that's out there. but Electric Arguments manages to outshine both of those. McCartney has been quoted as saying that if he knew the album was going to be as critically acclaimed as it is, he would have preferred to realease it as another McCartney album instead of as the Fireman. but we know it's him and that's all that matters. it's amazing how McCartney is almost 70 and still as relevant as ever. certainly more relevant than any of his contemporaries. sometime last year Bob Dylan commented on McCartney's amazing ability to rejuvenate and come up with fresh ideas and new melodies and how much in awe is he of McCartney's talent. and now just this week McCartney released a statement saying he would like to record with Dylan. from listening to old interviews of both of those guys i used to always get the feeling that one was intimidated by the other. McCartney's got a huge ego, and so does Dylan. but maybe that's a good thing. it seems that McCartney works best under that kind of pressure. just listen to the music he made with Elvis Costello. regardless, i'm forever curious as to what Paul McCartney will do next. ever since i was 11 years old and waiting for the first McCartney album to come out, i have eagerly anticipated the release of every album since. there was a period of disappointment, just like every artist. but the majority of McCartey's work is very palette able. i always feel a sense of satisfaction after listening to Bealtes or McCartney music. it seems to play a purpose in my life. it's an essential part of my life. like blood, water or food. i feel much more stronger after it. my IQ is higher after listening to it. i smell much better afterward. i am cleaner afterward. i am wiser afterward. i have been told than i am more handsome afterward. i sleep better afterward. it improves my horoscope. i make less spelling errors afterward. it makes me feel more confident. i can drive better while listening to it. my pets seem to feel happier listening to it. my bird will sing along with it. they all dance to it. my grandmother still refers to them as the Monkees, but she loves it. she lived longer because of it. my mother's cancer was cured by listening to it. my father controls his blood pressure by listening to it. the Russian family next door learned how to speak english by listening to it. and everyone learned how to write songs and start a band because of it.

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_____ _____
Nov 19, 2008 9:57pm

Apparently Zane Lowe has decided this is "The Hottest Thing In The World Right Now" which fucks things up rather, doesn't it? Oh well...

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Dec 4, 2009 9:05pm


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