Sir Paul McCartney almost turned his back on music after the Beatles split.
In a new BBC interview, the Mull of Kintyre singer reveals he turned to drinks and went wild in the years after the Fab Four called it quits, and his band Wings helped him straighten out and rediscover his love for music.
“I was breaking from my lifelong friends, not knowing whether I was going to continue in music,” he said. “I took to the bevvies (alcohol). I took to a wee dram. It was great at first, then suddenly I wasn’t having a good time. It wasn’t working. I wanted to get back to square one, so I ended up forming Wings.”
Macca accepts the band, which featured his wife Linda, wasn’t “that good”, adding, “We were terrible. We knew Linda couldn’t play but she learned and, looking back on it, I’m really glad we did it.”
“I could have just formed a supergroup and rung up Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page and John Bonham,” he smiled, “but we graduated from playing universities to town halls, which was quite funny as I’d been at Shea Stadium quite recently (with the Beatles).”
And Sir Paul admits he can still remember the terrible early Wings reviews: “You still remember the names of the people who gave you really bad, vicious reviews – (New Musical Express journalist) Charles Shaar Murray shall ever be hated!”
During the Mastertapes chat, recorded at the BBC’s Maida Vale studio with Brad Pitt and Paul Weller in the audience, McCartney also opened up about his songwriting partnership and friendship, revealing he was glad he got the chance to repair their relationship before Lennon’s death in 1980.
“I was really grateful that we got it back together before he died,” he said, “because it would have been very difficult to deal with if…”
And he revealed his song Here Today was a special tribute to Lennon, adding, “When I was thinking of all the things I never said to him. I’m quite private and don’t like to give too much away. Why should people know my innermost thoughts? But a song is the place to put them. In Here Today I say to John, ‘I love you’.
“I couldn’t have said that to him unless we were extremely drunk… but you can put these emotions, these deeper and sometimes awkward truths, in a song.”
The interview will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday (28May16).
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