Howard Stern Show: Talks John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Release Date [TRANSCRIPT]
Oct 08, 2013
Paul McCartney (Photo : Reuters)
Paul McCartney appeared on ‘The Howard Stern Show’ today to promote his upcoming 2013 album, New. The legendary Beatle didn’t hold back when he discussed the John Lennon and Yoko Ono feud. Paul also gave all the info about his new music, including the release date. Check out the partial transcript below for all the latest deets.
This isn’t the first time that Paul appeared on Howard. The two heavyweights have become friends, since Paul first appeared on Stern’s SiriusXM morning show. Paul even gifted the legendary broadcaster a signed guitar.
Howard dived in right away, asking Paul:
“I don’t normally get nervous but with you I do. I have so many questions for you and I’m scared I won’t be able to get to all of them...I was just talking about Metallica. You know your song ‘Helter Skelter,’ people have said, and I wonder if you agree with this, people have said that this was the beginning of heavy metal. Do you buy into that?”
Paul’s response was humble, however, he did not dismiss Stern’s thoery:
“I will buy that theory. Um, you know I don’t think of it like that. But when you look back at that period, I can’t remember anyone else who was doing that. It was before Led Zeppelin.”
One of the most captivating moments of the interview came when Howard asked Paul about Yoko Ono and John Lennon:
“This song, ‘Get Back,’ when you were recording it, Yoko was in the studio with you. And every time you sang ‘Get Back,’ John would accuse you of staring at Yoko, and you took it as an insult. Because you were telling her, ‘get back to where you once belonged.’”
Paul didn’t shy away from telling the truth, but did remain diplomatic:
“No, that wasn’t true. Those were very paranoid times. And let’s face it, we didn’t welcome Yoko into the studio. We thought it was a guys thing. I mean, even the guy’s wives and girlfriends were not welcome into the studio. You know they could come to the control room for a quick visit, but to actually sit in the studio with us...it was like, ‘No. Excuse me, we’re working.’”
Howard piped in, asking “Did you have the guts to say that to John?” Paul responded:
“No. It was kind of obvious though...Um. I don’t think we were sniping. We were just fuming and sulking. It was really just the initial shock of seeing Yoko sit on one of the amps. It was like, ‘Excuse me. That is my amp.’ She couldn’t use a stool? It was mind blowing, but later on, we suddenly sort of thought, ‘John is in love with this girl. If he wants to bring her into the studio, we’ve got to cope with that.’ And we learned to cope with that. I now feel that he had a right to do that. It might have been better if he had been more diplomatic...it took some time.
McCartney’s new album, New, will be released on October 15.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 08, 2013
SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY
The legend, the icon, the greatest songwriter of all time, and one of Howard’s biggest influences and heroes, Sir Paul McCartney stopped by the studio this morning to promote his new album, New.
Howard could probably ask Paul enough questions to fill the rest of his SiriusXM contract period, but he focused in on some today and made the most of the hour he had with Paul.
BIGGER THAN JESUS?
When John Lennon made his infamous comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now,” the Christian world was outraged. Howard understands the thought, saying that that everything the Beatles touched became a hit. Paul revealed that John’s comment was more a criticism of the church – people had stopped going, John was telling organized religion to get their act together.
IMAGE AND INFLUENCE
Beyond music, the Beatles had an incredible impact on the culture with their mop-top haircuts and matching suits. Back when they were still dressing like 50’s greasers, John’s uncle gave them 100 pounds and they decided they wanted to get their hair cut. They went to a fancy guy in Paris named Jurgen and asked for him to cut their hair exactly like his. He thought their greaser look was cool and didn’t want to do it, but they convinced him.
The mania caused by the group inspired Madison Avenue to ask them to endorse and appear in ads for all kinds of products, almost all of which the Beatles turned down. There was once exception – the shot one advertisement for jeans and thought they looked “groovy”, but when they saw it in the paper, they vowed never to do it again.
Howard took notice when the Beatles stopped dressing as a cohesive image and realized that there might be something going on. Paul agreed that this was an astute observation.
Other legendary rock bands were influenced by the Beatles, namely the Rolling Stones. Paul noticed that they broke in America, then the Stones headed over to America. The Beatles go psychedelic, the Stones dress like wizards. Paul and John even wrote the early Stones single, “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
ON JOHN AND YOKO
It doubtful that anybody would ever interview Paul McCartney without asking about John Lennon, but Howard took it a little further to try to get an accurate picture of Paul’s feeling about John and Yoko and the deterioration of their writing partnership.
Paul admitted that it was a shock when he came into the studio and she was sitting on one of his amps. He didn’t ask if he could bring her or explain why he needed her, she was just there.
Paul, George and Ringo spent a lot of time “fuming and sulking” about John’s new woman, but in retrospect Paul says that it was John’s right to have her by his side, but he could’ve been more diplomatic about it.
Paul said that Yoko was instrumental in John’s solo career. It was time for the Beatles to break up and she was the muse that took him in another direction.
PAUL MCCARTNEY: SONG BY SONG BY SONG
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.