Paul's 70th Birthday Page
My girls all smarten themselves up when Johnny Depp pops in
The Sun talks to Sir Paul McCartney
about his famous pals and ... jazz
By GORDON SMART, Showbiz Editor
AS A former member of The Beatles Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most
recognisable faces on the planet.
But when he sits down at the breakfast table with his close family, rubbing sleep from his eyes,
no one gives him a second look.
It’s a completely different story when his close pal Johnny Depp pops round. In fact, the icon has
noticed the McCartney household acting in an entirely different fashion when he rocks up.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Sir Paul, acknowledging the name drop, laughs: “John
— if I can just drop a name there — comes visiting quite a lot.
Bottoms up ... Sir Paul McCartney directs Johnny Depp in Kisses On The Bottom video
“It’s cool. I had my daughter and her husband and the kids staying there recently, and my little
“I said to them all, ‘By the way, Johnny Depp is coming round’. They all perked up — ‘Oh yeah?’
I said, ‘Yeah, he’s coming round tomorrow’.
“That morning I come into breakfast and the first guy coming in is Mary’s husband, and I say,
‘You look very smart today’.
“Then Nancy comes in, she’s all smartened up — make-up, you know. Normally, everyone
bowls in bleary-eyed.
“Then suddenly they are all laughing at me because I’m in a waistcoat and I’ve done it too —
subconsciously made a real effort. Everyone, Beatrice, all smartly dressed for our special
“Then Johnny comes in like he’s an old cowboy. He just hung out, it was really nice. He brought
me this funky little guitar as a gift. He’s a really decent player. Before he was an actor, when he
was about 17, he was in a group.”
Back on track ... recording sessions at Capitol Studios
Johnny, 49, became close friends with Sir Paul after taking a leading role in the video for
Macca’s single My Valentine earlier this year.
That song, written for Sir Paul’s wife Nancy Shevell, came from the album Kisses On The
Bottom, which topped charts around the globe. Macca, 70, recorded a live performance of the
album with jazz musicians at LA’s Capitol Studios, which can be seen in an ITV1 show at 11pm
tonight. The live album, Kisses On The Bottom — Complete Kisses, is out on Monday.
Despite a long and prestigious performing career, the chart legend admits he found the live
He confesses: “Doing this project is the most scared I have felt for years. It is nothing that I know
“It was frightening. The very first day was the worst because I didn’t know anyone. I’ve been with
a band, we’ve been together for ten years, and suddenly I’m the new boy.
“When I was trying the songs out I had been using a much more full voice — kind of like a Rat
“I suddenly realised I was doing an impersonation — it was like something Rory Bremner might
have done, only he would have done it better than me.
“There was a moment of panic in the studio actually on the day.
“I suddenly thought, ‘This isn’t going to work. Oh f***.’
All You Need Is Love ... Paul with wife Nancy Shevell
“The band are listening to me. And they are jazz players who have worked with good people. It
was a moment of insecurity and I was out of my element.”
Of all the people in the world, Sir Paul has earned the right to walk with a bit more of a
swagger than everyone else. But he is still remarkably humble.
He says: “I used Nat King Cole’s microphone for the gig. It was quite intimidating. But once I
found my way, I loved using it.
“We recorded in Capitol Studios, which has a rich history. So much great music has been
made there. I started asking myself if I’d be able to live up to it.
“I’m actually amazed that I still feel like that. There is so much stuff that has remained in my
personality since I was a kid. I was talking the other night about some thing we were doing and
how much money it was going to earn.
“I said a few things and one of the people said, ‘You still sound interested in all this’. I said,
‘Yeah, I am’. They said, ‘But don’t you feel like you’ve got enough?’
“I said, ‘Yeah, you could say that. But I am a working-class guy and that is still in me’. I don’t
think I would ever want to outgrow that fact.”
It’s been another incredible year for Sir Paul. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk Of
Fame and he played his part in the Olympic Opening Ceremony and the Queen’s Jubilee
Performing ... Sir Paul McCartney used Nat King Cole’s microphone while recording Captiol session
He has played all over the world with his regular band and earned great reviews for his latest
In February I went to a fundraiser for the MusiCares charity in LA in honour of Macca’s career,
with a stellar line-up of musical talent playing some of his biggest hits. It was an incredible
spectacle — and something he will never forget either.
He says: “It was amazing when I saw Coldplay, Neil Young, Katy Perry, Tony Bennett and all
those guys singing my songs. I think someone who didn’t have the same instincts could sit there
and say, ‘I’ve written all these songs. It’s very kind of you to come along, but I deserve this
recognition. This is great’.
“I was sat there, thinking, ‘I can’t believe it. Alison Krauss doing No More Lonely Nights?’ I’m not
jaded. I am still thrilled by things that still thrilled me back then.”
Chat ... Sir Paul McCartney with The Sun's Showbiz Editor, Gordon Smart
As recently as this month, Sir Paul had a reminder of how lucky he is, after a narrow escape
from Hurricane Sandy.
He says: “I actually just escaped Sandy. I was so jammy. I had taken my little one on holiday to
the Bahamas. The day I was supposed to be leaving, they told me there was a storm blowing
in. I’d just flown out of there and that evening the storm hit. I heard something like 28 people
were killed. It was terrible. I just scraped out of that.”
Sir Paul’s film producer pal Harvey Weinstein — who put together the concert for New York
after 9/11 — has now organised the Concert For Sandy Relief on December 12 at Madison
Square Garden and Macca is on the bill, along with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Kanye
West and The Who.
Sir Paul says: “Harvey asked if I’d like to do it, and I had a few ideas. I’ve got a couple of
special moments up my sleeve.”
Another huge performance, raising bundles of cash for a good cause — he’s a great man,
with no sign of slowing down. And long may that continue.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
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