'THE LYRICS: 1956 TO THE PRESENT' out November 2nd
In this extraordinary book, with unparalleled candour, Paul recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career.
Edited and Introduced by Paul Muldoon
Published 2nd November, 2021
'You Gave Me The Answer' - Instagram Asks...
Earlier this month, Paul invited his Instagram followers to ask him questions about the three following themes; recording, Liverpool and performing live...
We caught up with Paul just before his Abbey Road performance, backstage at LIPA in Liverpool, and even sneaked into his dressing room at The Cavern to film his answers. If you didn't manage to watch the Q&As on Instagram Stories, you can watch again below...
Q&A 1: Abbey Road, Monday 23rd July - Ask me about recording...
Favourite song on the new album?
Paul: I like all the songs on the new album, but if I had to choose one… ‘I Don’t Know’!
Do you hear the entire song in your head before going into the studio?
Paul: You know when you’re writing a song you get a feeling of how it’s going to sound and then you record it and it changes. It kind of morphs into the record.
Oddest item you have used to create a sound in a recording?
Paul: We used to use one of those pipes that goes [holds imaginary pipe and spins it around]. That was pretty odd!
... and the oddest item used on the new album?
Paul: It’s not really an odd instrument but the harpsichord is used a lot on the new album, and it’s got an interesting sound.
How did The Beatles perfect your group harmonies?
Paul: With the Beatles we started off years ago doing harmonies and I think just as we went on we got better and better. And for something like ‘Because’, which I think was the epitome of it, we did it a few times until we got it right!
Why are you not wearing shoes on the Abbey Road cover?
Paul: Well, the thing was, I turned up and like today it was a very hot day. And I happened to be wearing sandals, like I am today! So, I just kicked them off just because it was so hot and so I crossed barefoot. There was no special meaning behind it. It was just hot!
Q&A 2: LIPA, Wednesday 25th July - Ask me about Liverpool...
Did Liverpool make you the person you are today?
Paul: Yes, it did. Liverpool and the people of Liverpool and the humour, made me who I am today.
Favourite memory of Liverpool?
Paul: There really are too many to pick one! But I’ll pick one right out of the hat, which is meeting John at Woolton Village Fete.
Where did you and the boys hang out in Liverpool?
Paul: All over! We used to hang out in either John’s neck of the woods. Or him and I would hang out at my house. But we pretty much got around everywhere.
The one smell you associate with Liverpool?
Paul: Oh dear! The docks. Down by the docks there is a particular tugboat-across-the-Mersey smell. It’s very evocative.
Say something in a Scouse accent?
Paul: (In Scouse accent) Wha? Talking in a Scouse accent? I can’t do that! Go ‘ed! Alright, love?
Q&A 3: The Cavern, Thursday 26th July - Ask me about playing live...
Tips to combat nerves before a show?
Paul: Nervous before a show? Not really, I think just take it easy, breathe and remember the audience probably likes you.
Which do you prefer playing: the guitar or piano?
Paul: I like them both for different reasons. But if I had to choose one then the guitar, because I do more songs on there.
Hardest song to play live?
Paul: The songs where I need to sing and play a complicated bass part at the same time. Like ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’ is quite difficult and for years I wouldn’t do it. But I ended up learning it and now we do it!
Thoughts on phones during concerts?
Paul: There’s nothing you can do about it, is what I think about it! I tell you what though, we did something yesterday [at LIPA] where phones weren’t allowed and the people in the audience said how great it felt not to have loads of cameras [in the way]. So that would be good if we could control that somehow. But it’s hard to control.
Most important concert of your career?
Paul: I think every time I play for the Queen has been important, because she’s important. And I think the opening of the Olympic games was pretty important. So, I’d go for those two, three, four shows…!