Monday, May 3, 2010

Abbey Road: The Hidden Interviews

Don't ask me how I find these things (because you know I didn't make them up, for crying out loud). Let's just say I have friends of friends of friends who are very well-connected. Or maybe I should just stop eating sushi before I go to sleep at night. That's possible, too.


George Martin: "With Abbey Road, there was a general consensus among the other three that Paul had finally gone completely, utterly, bat-shit insane. And, I suppose, if you look at the songs he contributed to that particular record, it's difficult to deny."

John: "I thought maybe it was just me at first, you know, because I was strung out on drugs during that time, but George and Ringo were saying the same thing. Paul would come bouncing into the studio with a wild look in his eyes, pacing in the corner and muttering to himself about how no one would give him any money, or a pillow, or a number, or whatever it was he was on about."

Ringo: "I just remember he was very excited about this new tune he'd worked up, and he showed me the lyrics, 'Boy, you're gonna carry that weight a long time.' And that was all there was. I kept waiting to hear the rest of it, but he was over the moon about it just as it was, you know, he'd just babble on and on, 'Aw, ain't it great Rings? It's all about weight and how we carry weight and everyone can relate to that - f*ckin' hell, weight! It'll be a hit!' I think he was very tired at that time and needed a good holiday."

George Martin: "Eventually, of course, Paul convinced the others to turn the last few songs into a medley, which was something of a concession on their parts. No one, I think, wanted to do or say anything that might set him off, because he was becoming very obsessed with silver hammers, and if anyone said anything contrary to him, anything a-tall, he would look at you - right in the eye, mind you - and just say, 'bang-bang.' It got very unnerving."

George Harrison: "Yes, we did agree, in the end, to let him have a go at making an extended medley for the second side of the record. It was a compromise, really, just to get him to come out of his crazy tree, because he had originally wanted to turn the entire album into a single, uninterrupted medley."

John: "I didn't know what to say to him, because he just brought in this stack of papers of words and music, all the stuff we'd written for the album, and he had a title for the medley all worked out. He wanted it to be, 'Oh Darling, Something Came Together in an Octopus's Garden over Maxwell's Silver Hammer Because the Sun King Never Gave Me any of Her Majesty's Polythene Mustard, and now She's So Heavy She Can't Fit Through the Bathroom Window, but in The End I'll Carry Her Weight until I Slip into a Golden Slumber.' I just thought, 'My God, Macca's gone off his nut!'"

Ringo: "I was just concerned for our safety. The night he drank six bottles of wine and then went tearing around the studio, looking for the Queen's phone number, I just ... I thought, 'Well, this is it, our sexy days are over.'"

George Martin: "When it was all over and done with, I think we got lucky and made a very lovely album. But history proves that our concerns were correct, because Paul immediately went out and locked himself in a barn for months on end, where he wrote a whole slew of musical oddities that he then unleashed on the unsuspecting public under the title McCartney."

Ringo: "Oh, yeah, sure, it got worse before it got better. He really embraced the madness with 'Kreen-Akrore', 'Monkberry Moon Delight', 'Bip Bop', and 'Magneto and Titanium Man.' When he wrote 'Waterfalls' and showed it to me, I almost killed him right there. That song was a brazen act of unnecessary hostility against the world. But I think he eventually got it back together and started writing real songs again."

John: "He should have been committed after he wrote 'Wild Honey Pie.' But that's hindsight, I guess."

Paul: "It doesn't matter to me, really, and I think the thing about it is ... you know, I'm filthy rich, so you can hate my songs all you want or whatever. I think I'm a f*cking great songwriter, and people still buy my albums today, so let's just leave it at that."

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