Former Beatle Paul McCartney on this edition of Fresh Air. His song lyrics include "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Yesterday," "Fool on the Hill," "Paperback writer" and many more. They are collected along with his poems in a recent volume, Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics 1965-1999. His latest album is called Driving Rain. (Broadcast Date: January 18, 2002)
I think I've heard most of Paul's interviews over the years. This one doesn't cover anything new, Paul seemed willing to reveal a bit more emotion than he often does. In my view, Terry Gross is usually very good at covering a wide scope of questions, but in this case she did so at the expense of the interviewee's dignity, and for this reason I can't rate the interview any higher. Terry Gross touched on the deaths of John and Linda, and Paul seemed to be nearing a teary response in both instances, especially in talking about his lyrics to Here Today, which was written about John after his death. It was obviously difficult for him to read the song's lyrics in detail, and I felt like she didn't pick up on that at all. She just plowed ahead. She did it again in talking about Linda's death and then ended the interview somewhat abruptly. By the end of the interview, I felt bad for the guy. I understand she had limited time to conduct the interview and that she probably had a list of topics she wanted to cover, but I would have preferred that he be treated with more sensitivity. He's willing to revisit painful memories to satisfy our curiosity, and this deserves respect, not careless questioning like you're just trying to get through a checklist.
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