You couldn’t ask Paul McCartney about his full catalogue of hits in a full week of shows, let alone one appearance. Howard tried his best to get some stories from as many Beatles, Wings and solo hits as he could.
Helter Skelter – Howard felt that this was the song that gave birth to heavy metal music. Paul accepted it - it was before Led Zeppelin - but the song really just grew out of an interview he read with Pete Townshend where he claimed that the Who were about to come out with the dirtiest, filthiest song ever. Paul rushed to the other Beatles and said we’ve got to beat them to it.
Get Back – Howard asked if the story was true that Paul sang the song as he stared at Yoko Ono, sneering “Get back to where you once belonged.” Paul denied it, but admitted that wives and girlfriends weren’t really welcome in the studio, it was place for the guys. Paul also named this song as the only hit that he didn’t think had hit potential.
Maybe I’m Amazed – This is the song that Paul has said he wants to be remembered for. His late wife Linda helped him cope with the break-up of the Beatles and allowed him to express his feelings and pulled him out of a depression. The Beatles, Paul said, were the only thing he’d ever known. They had phenomenal success and all of a sudden it was gone. He didn’t know what to do next, but Linda made him feel better.
It’s Getting Better All The Time – Paul remembers sitting down with John and throwing that line out there “It’s getting better all the time.” John came back at him with “It can’t get no worse” and they had the perfect balance and took the song from there.
John accidentally took LDS during the recording session, when he took the wrong pill out of his pill box. They didn’t want to tell George Martin (“George was the grown-up”) so they just told him John wasn’t feeling well. George suggested he go up to the roof for some air, which might not have been the best idea for someone tripping on acid. Paul took John home, then went home and took some acid himself. “I wanted to be with my friend.”
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road – Paul saw wild monkeys making love in the jungle and it inspired him. “It was like jungle porn.”
Carry That Weight – Howard thought this was about Paul taking on the business responsibilities of the Beatles, but Paul meant it more a commentary on life in general. He said that it was the period where everything was “heavy, man” and that inspired the song.
Live and Let Die – The producers of the James Bond film wanted Paul to write the theme song, but not perform it. Why on earth they didn’t want one of the greatest voices in rock to perform the song is a mystery, but Paul definitely sings the track. He read the novel that the movie was based on Saturday, wrote the song on Sunday and Wings recorded it on Monday.
Does Paul ever write any bad songs? Yes, he wrote a song called “Etcetera” that he calls bad and will never see the light of day. He gave it to Marianne Faithfull, who asked him for a song. Unfortunately for Marianne, she heard him humming Eleanor Rigby and thought that was the song he was writing for her. It wasn’t.