There are good days (you make the train on time, your hair cooperates, and ooh, look! someone left donut holes in the breakroom!), and then there are the days when you get a phone call saying that the world’s most famous-amazing-ridiculously-iconic living musician will be waiting for you in an office lobby in midtown Manhattan in one hour. Wednesday was the second kind of day for me.
How to describe meeting Sir Paul McCartney? Well for one, he is obscenely nice. Like, smile-and-shake-hands-and-be-gracious-to-every-dingbat-who-tells-him-the-Beatles-are-a-really-good-band nice (Elizabeth Hasselback, who let you off the ranch?). In the course of an hour and a half, he never refused a single autograph request (except when a briefly-needed police escort prevented it), and happily acknowledged every person he met, treating parking lot attendants and the page who showed him to his dressing room at The View with the same easy, open friendliness with which he greeted Barbara Walters. (Also very friendly, by the way, and pretty great-looking for her age. She had me at “hewwo”!).
FYI, he sings everywhere. Little ditties in the elevator, funny bits of melody in a car zipping through midtown traffic while crazy-eyed autograph hounds weave and dodge in hot pursuit — and to hear that beyond-famous Paul Voice, the voice woven into the fabric of hundreds of millions of people’s lives for the past 45 years, except three feet away, for your ears only? NO BIG DEAL. What? I died.
In New York for a quick pitstop to publicize his recent, excellent album, Electric Arguments, under the pseudonymous name The Fireman, McCartney is chatty about everything from Beyoncé to the I Ching. He also talked about the upcoming Beatles special edition of Rock Band, the evolution of the Beatles/iTunes situation, his old friend Allen Ginsberg, and how to make the best veggie lasagna. But I have to save something for the magazine article, right? So check back in a couple weeks for more of what was all in all a pretty spectacular treat — to have the privilege of meeting a legend-beyond-legend, and to find that creative genius and kind, genuine human being-ness can actually co-exist. I only wish I could do it eight days a week.
More Beatles/McCartney:addCredit(“Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images”)
Paul McCartney’s ‘222’ video
The Beatles catalog is finally downloadable!…Oh wait, no it isn’t.
Unreleased Beatles track: Y’all ready for this?
Beatles videogame: Yoko Ono speaks
Book Review: John Lennon: ‘The Life’