Singing hits from his Beatles and Wings heyday is a bittersweet experience for Paul McCartney. While he revels in performing such classic songs, each tune ignites memories of his deceased bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison, and his late wife Linda McCartney.
At a launch of his new CD and DVD set Good Evening New York City, which he recorded during a three-night stint in New York’s Citi Field, Sir Paul, 67, was asked if his concerts were in some way a tribute to his fellow Beatles and his wife of 30 years, reports the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“Yeah, it is you know,” he said. “If I’m doing songs by the Beatles I obviously remember the sessions we recorded, there’s always an element of that.
”But if I’m doing something like “Something”, the song, obviously I’m thinking of George. It’s great actually, I really like it. In a way I’m revisiting them.
”I’m sort of thinking about George… similarly with John and Linda. In a way you’re kind of in contact with them again you know.
”And it’s sad, it’s emotional. There’s a song I do called “Here Today” which is specifically written for John and that sometimes catches me out. It catches me out in this film version where I realize I’m telling this man that I love him. I’m publicly declaring this in front of all these people I don’t know.
”It’s a good thing to do. I couldn’t have done it when I was 18 because I would not have allowed myself to cry or go anywhere near that … Now it’s okay. I’m used to it.”
Paul reflected on his emotions when he sings Beatles songs, nearly forty years after the band split up. ”Yeah. I still think I’m in the Beatles. It’s something you don’t want to lose.
”For a while there with Wings I didn’t do Beatles songs on purpose because I wanted to create a new thing.
”But once we’d done Wings, and once I’d got beyond that phase I started to think it’d be nice — and I know the audience would like to hear the Beatles’ songs, so I started to enjoy doing that.
”When you’re doing them you could be thinking of the session, when you did it, you could be thinking of a little memory that is only going on in your head.”
Asked what McCartney song Sir Paul would like to hear John Lennon sing, he says, “‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ came into my mind. That would be interesting to hear him sing that.”