McCartney Q&A: Paul remembers working with Stevie Wonder
'You Gave Me The Answer’ - PaulMcCartney.com asks...
This past month, PaulMcCartney.com has been fully immersed in the forthcoming reissues of Tug of War and Pipes of Peace, two of Paul’s classic ‘80s solo albums and the latest works to receive the Paul McCartney Archive Collection treatment.
We have been busy digging through the archives and getting the general scoop on some of the artists who collaborated with Paul on the original releases - Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson being two we were particularly interested in! Our curiosity got the better of us, so we hope you will accept our apologies for hi-jacking this month’s ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ with our own question!
We recently spoke with Paul about the Tug of War album and asked him, “What was it like working with Stevie Wonder?”
“Stevie was great, it was different from working with Michael Jackson. With 'Ebony and Ivory', I’d sort of written it with Stevie in mind and I’d written it on my own in Scotland. Then I thought if I do this with anyone, Stevie would be the perfect person. I’m a big fan of his. So I got in touch and said, ‘I’m going to be recording out in Montserrat, are you interested? Would you like to do it?’ So he said yes, and came out to Montserrat.
“I must say it was kind of difficult because he was coming, then he wasn’t coming – I think that’s all in the album notes[the Deluxe Edition of Tug of War features an in-depth essay on the recording of the album]. So there was a bit of doubt about whether he was coming and stuff and he did, eventually. It was great fun, we really struck up a great friendship and he suddenly, surprisingly, said he would like to drum! So I said OK, not knowing how good a drummer he was. He’s a great drummer! Once I heard him that was it! So he drummed and it was just a really great experience, putting it together with him, taking a verse each and getting inspired by his interpretation and feeding off each other.
“It was great and we ended up having a great time. I got to know him well because we were in a casual situation rather than being backstage at the GRAMMYs or somewhere where there’s not much time. Like we were working all day and we did the other track, ‘What’s That You’re Doing?’, which was more co-written. It was written during the time we had in Montserrat. He was a very funny guy. I heard stories from his childhood and we had a lot of fun together.”