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Even his quiet years turn out busy, but with a new album, world tour, singles, videos and TV specials all booked for 1993, Paul McCartney is presently on the cusp of some serious hurly-burly. Indulging in a Q&A with Mark Lewisohn exclusively for the readers of Club Sandwich, Richard Ogden, Paul's manager, reveals a smidgin of what's in store


Club Sandwich 64

            CS: In a nutshell, what do you expect readers to already know by now about Paul's plans for '93?
            RO: That there's going to be a new album, Off The Ground, and a new single, 'Hope Of Deliverance'. And there are rumours of a 1993 World Tour!
            CS: Let's look at the single first -when will it be out?
            RO: The official release date in the UK is 29 December. In the USA it will be 6 January. There will be a seven-inch vinyl version, a cassette single and a four-track CD, three tracks of which will not be included on the album and all of which will be new songs recorded this year. Paul recognised the concerns voiced by some people about him putting out one new track along with something re-released or re-packaged, and he believes in giving value to the fans. For this reason, he and the band went in and recorded more than 20 songs over the past year. There's only going to 13 on the album so there's plenty left over to put onto three CD EPs.
            On the first CD EP there will be 'Hope Of Deliverance', 'Big Boys Bickering11 - which is going to cause a bit of a sensation when people hear it, although I won't say why - 'Long Leather Coat', which is a song to some extent about people who wear animal skins, and a very lovely ballad called 'Kicked Around No More'.
            CS: What can you reveal about the album, Off The Ground?
            RO: That it is brilliant and will be released worldwide on 1 February. That Aubrey Powell has been working with Paul on doing all the designs. That it's very much a band album and has two songs co-written with Elvis Costello.
            CS: Has Paul shot any promo videos yet?
            RO: Yes. A video for title track 'Off The Ground' was shot recently in San Francisco and was directed by Matthew Robbins. He's probably most famous for directing Dragonslayer. He works closely with Industrial Light & Magic, George Lucas's company; Paul had a chat with George Lucas and he recommended Matthew. Another of the videos will be directed by Kevin Godley.
            CS: Can you elaborate on those "rumours" of a 1993 World Tour?
            RO: The general idea, this time around, is that we should be touring America when the album is newly released. And as we didn't tour Australia and New Zealand last time it seemed logical to go there as well. The whole point of the 1993 world tour - and it is simply going to called the Paul McCartney New World Tour - is to go to places, essentially, that we didn't go before. So we're not planning to go to Japan but we are planning to go to Australia and New Zealand.
            CS: What about Europe?
            RO: The tour will probably play Europe in the summer. And, again, we're going to concentrate on playing places that we didn't get to in 1989/90.
            CS: Will the tour visit the UK?
            RO: We'll do something in the UK but I don't yet know what.
            CS: So approximately how many concerts, in all, arc planned?
            RO: Around fifty.
            CS: The free programme/book idea went down very well last time. Will there be another one?
            RO: Yes, we're hoping to have a free book again; we'd have to print two million copies! It will be more orientated towards environmental issues this time, although there'll still be plenty about Paul and Linda, and about the band because it's now four years since they came together.
            CS: Will LIPA benefit in any way from the tour?
            UO: Yes, LIPA is considering a special scheme whereby it will sell companies special opportunities for corporate hospitality.
            CS: What about tour sponsorship?
            RO: Paul has never wantctl to advertise products in exchange for money, even though he could raise huge sums by appearing in television commercials. On the other hand, putting on an enterprise of this magnitude is such that it's nice to remove the risk of making a loss. Bringing in Visa last time served two purposes: it advertised the tour and underwrote our enormous transportation costs. We felt that it worked quite well and are again exploring ideas of that nature. But we're not going to be selling Pepsi-Cola, it'll be something closely associated with what we do - perhaps a transport company or a vehicle manufacturer or a freight company or an airline or a credit card company, someone with whom a relationship between the product and the tour is more clear, and where the emphasis on advertising is not to sell a soft drink but to see a tour.
            CS: What commercial output do you expect to follow the tour?
            RO: There won't be a film this time because we'll be doing some television in each territory that we play. Whether there'll one day be a video release of these TV shows I don't yet know, nor do I yet know if there'll also be a live album.