1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
see ya", cueing the end of the chat and the rush forward for his autograph.
If Press conferences are at times a problem to wind up, more problematic is understanding just how the hell the Press sometimes manage to misinterpret just what Macca says in them.
Now you understand English, don't you? Well, you've got this far but then maybe you're just looking at the pretty pictures. Anyway, if your English is crap start thinking about a job in the Californian Press corps. You'd fit in nicely.
Witness this: We're at the Los Angeles Forum, 100 hacks present and Mac has been asked - for the 50th time since the tour began eight weeks before - "Will you ever reform The Beatles?"
"While John was alive", Mac explains for the nth time, "It was a possibility...but it's impossible without John. People have suggested we do it with Julian, well he's a nice kid but he's not John".
So, you understand that means Paul Will Not/Cannot Reform The Beatles, right?
Next question - "Will you work with George and Ringo?"
Paul: "I'd like to. I don't know what. We've had an idea that's been kicking around for a long time about putting together a load of home movie footage that we've all got and putting it out as a movie. Maybe I could write some songs with them for that...but that's a long way off, IF it was to happen. I dunno, I haven't spoken to them about it".
So, you understand that means At some possible point in the future Paul might/might not record some songs with George and Ringo, right?
So - how come the Los Angeles Press deducted from the two quotes above the following banner-headlined story that ran not only, next day, in the U.S. but throughout Europe as well: PAUL TO REFORM THE BEATLES - 'I'LL GIG WITH THE FABS' VOWS MCCARTNEY.
But then even the head-cases who reported that were nothing compared to the genius in Chicago who neatly put Paul at the centre of a gay storm. "What", Paul was asked, "did it mean that most of the crowd at last night's concert were male?"
The Hacks All Roared
Macca, typically, made light of the inanity of the question and quipped "It means you're all homosexuals -but that doesn't mean you're bad people".
The hacks all roared, PRs giggled and Macca grinned.
And then came that night's main 10 o'clock TV news - "Paul McCartney today accused the state of Illinois of all being homosexual"
Not that Paul is the exclusive victim of major misunderstanding by the journos. If Paul's humour occasionally suffers in translation, Linda's interviews have thrown up all sort of confusion when the printed word has borne no resemblance to what she actually said.
Take the Hamburg instance. As Paul played host to 135 reporters in the Kaiserkeller - fielding questions like "you look so young, have you been taking beauty tips from Cliff Richard?" - in a back room Linda sat to chat with Haus Frau magazine. Predictably, under the guise of 'women's interest', they asked her how the McCartney marriage had last 20 (then, 21 now) years and did they ever argue.
Of course, all couples argue occasionally, said Linda, but with a man like Paul you've just got to give him enough rope, give him his own space every so often.
Months later, Haus Frau duly published and - as is the way with these things - the story was syndicated around the world. Even accounting for translation problems, the re-publication of the original was an object lesson in tickling the truth and the 'WHY I'VE NEARLY LEFT PAUL' headline that appeared in a British tabloid was innocence incarnate compared to the Japanese interpretation - 'I GIVE PAUL DRUGS TO KEEP OUR MARRIAGE TOGETHER'
Excuse me, what?, we queried. When did she say that? As brows furried and the issuing of writs was debated, the great Japanese incapacity to comprehend was explained by anxious Oriental interpreters.
"The newspaper thought it was Cockney rhyming slang", they said.
What was?, we asked.
"Give him enough rope - isn't 'rope' rhyming slang for dope?"
Not quite, me old China (wrong Orient but you get the drift).
(All this is all well and fine, Baker, but you're not telling us how the tour publicity works. We take it you DO work, occasionally -Sandwich Editor)
Sorry. Right, McCartney Publicity - a breakdown.
The tour publicity is essentially over-seed/over-seered/over-seen/over-saw (pick least ungrammatical) from London and New York by Paul's long-time publicists.
In London, there's the lanky frame of Bernard Doherty, a Geordie/Irish cross who calls everyone "love", wears dodgy suits and is a past master of bellowing "this story is ****ing bull****" down the phone at unfortunate Fleet Street gossip columnists.
In New York, the same full-time role is taken by Joe Dera; laconic pal of everyone ever remotely famous, owner of even dodgier suits and the greatest stand-up comedian who never walked on stage.
To these icons of publicity come all the requests from every journalist who thinks he's come up with this month's most novel and urgent reason of why he should interview Paul/Linda (understand that THE interview that every journalist wants is THE Paul McCartney Interview, as it sells newspapers/magazines/TV shows).
No, Non, Niet, Nein, Sorry
These requests are then collated and passed to Fiona Hurry - the pretty and young (well, she's pretty young) tour PR, ex of EMI, who works under the wonderfully-confusing title of Media Coordinator.
Actually her title should be Media Contortionist as between us - there's no boss in our department, although each occasionally protests the other's bossiness - Fee and This Author have to juggle a million reporters who really, really, really, honestly must, must, must, oh please, please, please