Sir Paul McCartney has spoken of how the birthday of his former bandmate, John Lennon, helped him reflect on fond memories of his late friend.
Last month, Lennon would have celebrated his 80th birthday on October 9th, prompting an array of heart-warming tributes from famous faces.
In an interview with Uncut, McCartney discusses the celebrations and explains how Lennon’s birthday had sparked a mixture of emotions from him.
“That was happy sad. It reminds me he was murdered, but it also reminds me of the fantastic times we had. I tend to think back to early times,” said McCartney.
McCartney recalls the time John and himself tried to hitchhike to Spain, only to get as far as Paris.
“We liked it so much, we stayed there, just the two of us. We were in this little hotel in Paris; it was so cheap it had fleas. My mum was a nurse, we were very hygienic, then you end up there….bloody hell! Those things bring you together.”
McCartney reflects on having some great hitchhiking experiences with John and another Beatle, George Harrison.
“George and I went to Wales once, we ended up in Harlech. Another time, we decided to head south from Liverpool. We ended up in Exeter. We found a British Legion club where we could get a beer. So when I think of John’s 80th, those are the things I think of. It makes me happy to have shared all that with him.”
McCartney also reflected on how he still mentally consults Lennon while writing.
“We collaborated for so long, I think, ‘OK, what would he think of this? What would be say now?’ We’d both agree that this new song I’m taking about is going nowhere,” he explained.
“So instead of sitting around, we’d destroy it and remake it. I started that process yesterday in the studio, I took the vocal off it and decided to write a new vocal. I think it’s heading in a better direction now.”
McCartney’s new solo album McCartney III will arrive on December 18th, a week after it was due to release as a result of production delays. In a recent fan Q&A session on McCartney’s website, the singer explained that it was “quite liberating” to work on the forthcoming album during lockdown.