FROST: Let me ask you about someone else taking some knocks. I can understand that for you, having Linda in the band was a way of having her on the road with you. And people probably would have objected to anyone you married – unless it was Princess Di, probably. But having Linda in the band really set her up.
PAUL: What happened, really, was that the Beatles broke up and there we were, left with the wreckage. I just thought, that’s the end of me as a singer, songwriter, composer – ’cause I hadn’t got anyone to do it with – unless I now work out another way to do it. I looked at someone like Johnny Cash and I thought, well, Johnny Cash just takes a coupla guys and goes around Folsom Prison and has a sing. It doesn’t particularly matter who’s in his backing group. And I thought, Well, I’ll just do a similar thing, I’ll just get a band and it’ll really just be for the playing and singing, just so I don’t forget how to do it. Like an athlete keeping in some form, some kinda condition. All in all, I ended up sayin’ to Lin, “So how’d you fancy it, c’mon, hit a synthesizer for us – just a little wah-wah. Just something simple. We’ll go and have a laugh.” I needja onstage for my confidence, that was really the major point. I, like an idiot, asked her to do it. And like a wonderful person, she agreed. It was mad, really. But in truth, in our own innocence at the time just kinda the first years of like knowing each other – we just thought we could do anything. And we did, for God’s sake. That’s the joke about it. It doesn’t matter who hated her on the way. We did it. On the ’76 tour there she was, by God, doing it all. The thing is, it caused a lot of trouble between us.
FROST: What was interesting was that both you and John appeared to replace each other with your wives as your primary collaborators.
PAUL: It wasn’t serious collaboration. I mean, I don’t even feel like writing with Michael [Jackson] was a collaboration in the same way it was with John. That was a songwriting partnership. We were very special. I could feel it was a special kind of thing ’cause it was dead easy to write. Talk about sitting around for days trying to write songs – in a matter of hours, we felt we’d been at it too long. John and I were perfect, really, for each other. I could do stuff he might not be in the mood for, egg him in a certain direction he might not wanna go in. And he could do the same with me. If I’d go in a certain direction he didn’t like, he’d just stop it [snaps fingers] like that. The thing is, I don’t think Linda and I have ever taken her contribution seriously. So when other people judge it seriously, they’re not really using the same terms of reference we’re using. You gotta imagine these people – the guy’s just lost the Beatles and he’s out of a job. The girl is a photographer. They’ve just suddenly fallen in love. It’s the 60s. They wanna do stuff that suits them, not what anyone else thinks. It’s just some fella, some girl. Just getting married. And we just went and did it [sings] “Our way …”
— Paul McCartney, interview w/ Deborah Frost for Record: “Once there was a way to get back homeward…” (September, 1984)