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Paul McCartney: Never too old to learn new tricks

Paul McCartney and Youth

Paul McCartney and Youth

The AJC spoke to Paul McCartney this weekend for a story that appears in Living & Arts next Sunday to preview his “Green Concert” benefiting the Piedmont Park Conservancy on Aug. 15.

The playlist is sure to contain lots of nostalgic favorites, but his upcoming show inspired me to break out one of McCartney’s newer, more experimental CDs. If you haven’t heard The Fireman, the pseudonym for McCartney’s electronica work with Youth, a London DJ and producer, you don’t know what you’re missing. The first two releases were wholly instrumental and McCartney was uncredited. In 2008’s terrific “Electric Arguments,” vocals were introduced and the secret was out. If there’s any doubt that a 67-year-old musician can still innovate, this is proof.

About The Fireman, McCartney told the AJC:

“It was going in and just completely making it up as we went along, just playing any instrument I wanted, putting in anything I wanted, and we would just make something of it. [Youth] would say: “What if you go in the studio and pretend to be a DJ on American radio?” So I’d just go in and say (imitating an American accent): “All right, everybody now, come on, time to wake up, get it goin’, come on, it’s a beautiful day out the-ah.” And he would just choose, you know, “Beautiful day out the-ah,” “Beautiful day out the-ah,” loop it up, “Beautiful day…” And for me it was very, very easy and very free-ing. We did crazy stuff. We’d just use bits of pieces of things. We’d get people, just someone who came to the studio to fix the plumbing, we’d give them little questionnaires. There was one question where we asked: “Have you ever seen a UFO?” And we got this girl who said, “Yes, I have.” And we said: “Oh, tell us about it.” And so on one of the Fireman records this girl says (imitating her voice): “I was sitting out there, and I saw a great big light…” So we used all of that. It was a kind of improvisational, experimental.

4 comments Add your comment

cowo

August 4th, 2009
8:21 am

Lovely, lovely man – was fab @ 20, still fab at 67!What more could you ask for: great looks, great personality, love of animals, environmental, a sunny, happy personality, and of course, the biggest all-around talent ever. The whole package. Love him forever!

sissi

August 4th, 2009
10:32 am

the best musician ever can’t wait for boston show

Jungleland2

August 4th, 2009
10:37 am

Firemen record is as strong as his best from the last 20 years (Flowers In The Dirt, Flaming Pie, Chaos & Creation In The Dark) I’ve seen him three times and all were fantatic shows.

tupac elliot

August 4th, 2009
10:49 am

You Go Paul! See ya in the ATL!