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Club Sandwich 55-56

            My feeling now is that we've got to a good level and maybe what we need to do now is to start stabbing little gigs in little clubs - there's plenty of small places we can go without having to have the organisation we had last time; there's many exciting little gigs and I'm into that really, just to keep our hands in, just to keep our musical muscles in tone -instead of just slacking off and having to rebuild the whole thing.
            So I'm quite charged up about it all - the band, the next album, the live album AND maybe just stabbing at little dates; like popping over to play Prague for the day, there's millions of things like that - we can play one night in Paris, do the 100 Club, the Marquee - it's a publicist's dream; I mean let's go and play The Cavern, that new replica one they built in Liverpool. Why not? We could do it.
            So I'm looking forward to that basic idea - to keep it all going now.
            And then the pencilled-in plan for the end of next year, after the new album is ready, is to tour the world again.
            That will be after the Liverpool Philharmonic thing, which is also exciting me a lot because although it's all a symphony, some of the numbers in it I'm looking at closely because although they are all written for a philharmonic orchestra and a cathedral choir, they could take on different treatments. We could - as the band - do a few of them on stage. A few of them are straight songs and we could do a band treatment on them, which is interesting.
            Then there's the new studio album and I really like the idea of combining songs from that on a tour with some of the Beatles stuff that we haven't done yet. Songs like Here There And Everywhere, Blackbird, Obladi-Oblada, She's A Woman - there's great numbers still to be done live - Rocky Raccoon...what about I'm Down or Helter Skelter, which all the punk bands do.
            There's some really exciting things. Some people said to me 'You've done Rio, you've done the biggest things in the world, there you go, what more do you want to do now?'
            But the interesting thing to me is that there's STILL another bunch of Beatles numbers that we didn't do.
            And, interestingly enough, when our manager Richard Ogden was down in Rio recently the rock promoters were saying 'Well, when's he coming back?'.
            Richard said 'What do you mean? He's done Rio, he's done the biggest gig here'. And they said 'No, that's not the biggest - the biggest is in San Paulo'.
            We could do 200,000 people in San Paulo, apparently. We could go back because there's a record to be broken - so that's very interesting to me.
            Although one thing we didn't do last time was tour a new album; Flowers In The Dirt was a bit old by the time we went out, it would be nice to go out the next time with a completely fresh album, a whole new vibe. So I'm getting quite excited about the next album; which I'm writing for now and, if THAT could be great that would add it's own vibe to the tour, that album could colour the tour. So there's that, there's records to be broken, there's Beatles' songs we haven't done. And then, of course, there's doing the favourites from this show consuming again. You couldn't lose Pepper - you might just slightly vary it a bit - you couldn't lose Hey Jude. So I think all that's enough of an exciting prospect for me to be dying to get back out on the road again.
            But you can't just slave your life away. I've gotta have a break at some point.
            Q. But you haven't had a break yet, have you? You came straight off tour and went to work.
            A. I know. I don't have breaks. Everyone else has breaks, everyone else goes on holiday. I mean I didn't MEAN to go back to work. But it's kind of a holiday. Writing for me is kind of a holiday. I'm off. I've always said if they didn't pay me and they didn't record me, I'd still write.
            So that means writing must be a hobby. I like doing it, it's like painting, just something I enjoy. So in a way I've had time off. But the trouble with this time off is that I've been working on this big thing with Carl Davis and that is really a lot of work, to get it right. We've written the whole thing, first draft. And then you go through it in the second draft, and third, and fourth and fifth etc - just orchestrating it and arranging it and finding the exact right keys for the soloists. So there's a lot of practical belt and braces stuff to be done here and it's just very time.
            You just can't shirk on it. That's one of the reasons I've had no holiday.
            So, as I say, I write as a hobby anyway. I might have a day or two off but after a coulple of days off I want to be back writing again.
            And also, with the tour it somehow positions you and charges you up for the next thing you're doing, because now I've got the feedback of the reception on tour and you think - how would this have gone down on tour? You can sort of gauge it like that. Like with Birthday, we only threw that in at the last moment - towards the end of the tour - but people were saying oo, that's good'.
            Q. How did you come to write Birthday?
We were at Abbey Road, we . all showed up for an evening session and a lot of guests came around - like Patti Boyd and other friends - there were a few friends and liggers and it became a little bit of a party. So rather than get too serious, I just said to John 'Let's just make something up'. He was always game for that and John and I always had such a good reading of each other that we could make something up. We could pretty much think on our feet and sort of edit as we played. We had enough instincts that we'd built up over the years to do that and not be too scared.
            So we based it around that riff and then we just thought of this idea Birthday because I remember saying 'well some songs are kind of useful'. Songs like 'White Christmas', very