Interview w/ Chris Salewicz (Excerpt, John Was Hurt)
Paul McCartney

September, 1986 (MPL Communications, London): A candid and emotionally tangential Paul talks about Yoko’s recent capricious contrivances and wonders what he could have done that apparently hurt John so manifestly.

PAUL: I mean, I went at Yoko’s request to New York recently. I went to New York. She said she wanted to see me, and I said I was going through New York and stuff, so I stopped off and rang her, and she said she couldn’t see me that day. I was in New York, I was like four hundred yards away from her. And I said, “Well, I mean, I’ll pop over any time today – five minutes, ten minutes, whenever you can squeeze me in.” She said, “It’s going to be very difficult.” I said, “Well, okay, I understand. What is the reason, by the way?” She said, “I was up all night with Sean.” I said, “Well, I understand. I’ve got four kids, you know, I understand how terrible it is, but you’re bound to have a minute today, sometime.” I said, “I’m leaving soon. Can’t really hang around.” And she asked me to come. Flown in, specially.

SALEWICZ: Wait, you’d gone there specially to see her?

PAUL: Yeah. Yeah, to see her. And she wouldn’t even see me. So I’m kind of a little bit humiliated, but I said, “Okay, nine-thirty tomorrow morning, then, let’s make an appointment.” And she rang up at about nine o’clock and said, “Could you make it tomorrow morning?”

SALEWICZ: But I mean, completely off the record, she’s still suffering, isn’t she? She’s still on methadone, isn’t she? [inaudible]

PAUL: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I honestly don’t know, mate, I honestly don’t know. Um, so that’s the kind of thing. What I’m saying is, it wasn’t all my fault. I’m beginning to let myself off a lot of the guilt.

SALEWICZ: Do you have a lot of guilt, did you take—?

PAUL: Yeah. Yeah. Well, when the world’s greatest entertainer calls you Engelbert Humperdinck, you get feelings of… something. And yeah, I always felt guilty. Always felt guilty. But looking back on it, I keep thinking, okay, let’s try and analyse this. Now John was hurt; what was he hurt by? What was the single biggest thing that we can find in all our research that hurt John? And the biggest thing that I can find is that I told the world that the Beatles were finished. And I don’t think that’s so hurtful. I know he said it was like publicity for my album, but I don’t even think that’s hurtful. Big deal. Four months after—

SALEWICZ: Traditionally, people do do these things a bit [inaudible] anyway, and you might as well—

PAUL: But four months after the group’s broken up, and we’ve waited for four months to see if it would get back together again, I then announced – I’ll tell you what was unfortunate, the method of announcing it all, which again there’s a story behind that. Which was that I said to the guy at the office – which had to be Peter Brown, of book fame – I said, “I’ve got an album coming out, McCartney. And I don’t really want to see too much press. Can you do me some question-and-answer things?” I answered them all, and had them printed up and put in the press copies of the album. But I think the perception of that, when it arrived on the journalists’ desks, was, “Oh, this is McCartney really [doing a number].” I look at it now and really kind of shudder. At the time it was me trying to answer some questions that were being asked and I decided to not fudge that question. [Note: Where John’s hurt is concerned, Paul may or may not be referring specifically to his answering “Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?” with a definitive “No.”]

And I say, looking back on it, I don’t think… I mean, if that’s the most hurtful thing I did, I haven’t really heard much else beyond that. We didn’t accept Yoko totally, but like I say, how many groups do you know, these days [who would]? I mean, it’s a joke. It’s like Spinal Tap! I mean, it’s Spinal Tap! A joke!

SALEWICZ: Of course. Actually as I was saying, I always thought – I always have this assumption when I go interview groups, say you interview everyone, you think everyone knows what’s going on, but you talk to individual members and you find no one knows what’s going on. They don’t communicate at all. And then you start seeing it on stage, you know, like you suddenly see how separate they are onstage. What, The Clash is the… [inaudible]

PAUL: Daltrey and Townshend. Daltrey and Townshend on Live Aid. And Pete started copying Roger’s movements, because he knew exactly what Roger was going to do, and so in the end Roger started doing Pete’s movements. They pissed each other off something terrible, actually.

But anyway, generally speaking, you know, what I’m saying is, I loved John. I was his best mate for a long time. Then, the group started to break up. It was very sad. I got the kind of rap as being the guy who broke the group up. But that’s not actually true.

My Emil buttons made some friends!~ ✨

I honestly couldn’t resist making a button based off the Machine Lifeforms from NieR: Automata. They make great a great companion to my Emil button if you ask me! 😀

I’m so excited to meet any new NieR fans at MechaCon Anime Convention this coming weekend! Look for me at Rusty Bee Productions (Table 107) in Artist Alley! 💖 And even if you aren’t able to attend the con, do not fret! I’ll be putting these for sale on my Etsy shop within the next month! 👌

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