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Paul McCartney on 'Beatles 1,' Losing Linda and Being in New York on September 11th

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But what can you do about it?
I apologize in advance for this — this is a crazy little pet peeve of mine. I'll try and keep it short. "Lennon-McCartney" was always cool. I like it. It's a logo. But what was happening was, for example, my poem "Blackbird" appeared in an anthology, and it appeared as "By John Lennon and Paul McCartney." I mean, wait a minute, I wrote that.

Sort of like "Yesterday," which none of the other Beatles even performed on.
Same thing, but this was being reproduced as a poem. I thought, "That should really say, 'Written by Paul McCartney.' Or at the very worst, 'Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.' I should get front billing." So when the [Beatles] Anthology came out, after thirty years of always having John's name in front, I thought it should say, " 'Yesterday,' by Paul McCartney and John Lennon." So I rang up and asked Yoko. This is when Linda and I were going through our real horror times. I rang Yoko up and said, "Couldn't I, on the Anthology, just on this one song, put my name in front? Could we put, 'Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon'? It would be a great favor to me." Linda actually rang her and said, "Do this as a favor." Well, it became a major issue — and listen to me talking about it, like I'm trying to make it little. But in the end, she just said no.

Then, after that, I was in Rome, late at night in a bar. And there was a pianist's fake book in the corner. Well, I have to go and look at it, don't I? I open the page, and it says, " 'Hey Jude,' written by John Lennon." There was no room on the page, and "Paul McCartney" got left off. That was the killer blow. It was like, "Awwrrrgh!" So I thought, "This is what's going to happen." This is what I meant when people said, "Don't worry, Paul."

So I say: Put me first, man. But, listen, I'm in deep therapy. I'm seeing a therapist every three hours about this. [Laughs] No, no, seriously, I do think it would be not a bad thing for me to be allowed to do that — and only when our names are used in full. When it's Lennon-McCartney, John should always come first.

How would that ever happen?
Yoko has to say, "What a good idea, Paul."

That's unlikely.
It's slightly unlikely. [Laughs] But this is why we don't have a great relationship. That, and the fact that Linda rang her personally during the height of her chemo shit and asked her, and Yoko said, "That's never going to happen."

And, you know, I don't have a hard time with her. She's a good lady. She's a great artist. [Looks away and laughs] I should get off it — there are more important things in the world. But it's become sour, and it never was when John and I worked together. We were the two guys who knew it didn't matter. So, that's enough gossip for one day, loves!

You talked about possibly touring. What else is coming up for you next year?
I'm getting married.

You've set a date?
Well, we did, but we didn't tell a date. [Laughs] We just said to people, sometime next year. So that's the main thing for me. You know, my nephew's wedding was a week after the bombing, which actually worked out fine because people wanted a release. You had to do the "In these difficult times..." speech, but after that, everyone was, "Ah, let's try and enjoy ourselves." Which is one of my big philosophies.

Years ago when the Beatles were with the maharishi, he gave us a book. He wrote in mine, "Radiate bliss consciousness." I thought, "That's pretty good." And then he just put, "Enjoy." I took that to heart. If at the end of each day — or most days — you could say, "That was a good one," it builds into a reasonably successful life. So I do try and enjoy, even when things are looking grim, as they have been for the last mo11th. If you can, try and enjoy it, because it's moving by fast. And in the meantime... [laughs] listen to my record!


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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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