AUDIO: McCartney’s first radio interview after the Beatles broke up, 1972.

I remember hearing the Jann Wenner interview with John Lennon that was podcasted last year.  It was the first major interview that he gave after The Beatles broke up.  It was quite in-depth and very candid.  It is one of my favorite pieces of Beatles’ audio.  It is sometimes scathing, it is honest, and it is hopeful.  This McCartney interivew talks about hopes for the future, and putting a solo career, with a new band in tow, forward.  It is almost the polar opposite if Lennon’s lengthy Rolling Stone interview that had taken place earlier.  It is as if Paul and John are the Ying and the Yang even in the early parts of separate solo careers.

Here’s what we’ve heard and read.

Steve Haigh was a reporter at BBC Radio Leeds from the early days of the station, starting in 1969.

He was just 19 years old when he got the phone call that would lead to the scoop of a lifetime…

He says: “It was 1972, the Beatles had broken up. I was going home, it was about 6.30pm, when the phone rang on the newsdesk. I picked it up and it was somebody ringing in to say they thought they’d seen Paul McCartney in a Leeds hotel.”

Grabbing a tape recorder, Steve want to the hotel and gave a BBC Radio Leeds card to a waiter to pass on to Paul McCartney.

To his surprise the ex-Beatle came out to meet him.

Steve remembers: “I said ‘I can’t believe this. How did you come to be here?’

He said ‘Well, I’m relaunching myself, Linda and myself have gone back on the road as a new band called Wings. What else do you want to know?'”

Paul McCartney agreed to do an interview and Steve found a quiet room where he, Paul and Paul’s wife Linda McCartney could talk.

It was the first interview that he had given since the split of the fab four, and his first public announcement about his new band Wings.

Paul talked openly about the new band and new single and about how unlikely it was that the Beatles would ever reform.

Steve remembers that the interview caused a storm and brought the radio station national fame: “It was a world exclusive for Radio Leeds. It made all the newspapers and the newspapers couldn’t get hold of Paul McCartney and so the articles everywhere quoted the interview from Radio Leeds.”

Listen to parts of the interview.
(Real Player required.)

Source: BBC Leeds

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