Another busy year for Paul, both in and out of the recording studio.
Paul started work early in the year on what would be his next studio album in 2018.
Paul helped out Ringo in Los Angeles in February, while both were working on their own albums. He assisted Ringo on two tracks from his 2017 album, GIVE MORE LOVE. These tracks were “We’re On The Road Again” and “Show Me The Way.”
“They talk when they’re both in L.A. Ringo just asked him, ‘Look, I’m doing an album. Could you play on it?’ And Paul was so nice. He came by on his day off on a Sunday. And he worked hard, too. Those weren’t easy songs he played on. The bass on the ballad ‘Show Me the Way’ … that’s a difficult ballad. So he had to work on that a bit. We definitely put him through his paces. But the guy’s the greatest. (He’s) humble. He came in to help his friend on a Sunday when he had his day off. What else can you say?
I think (Paul) was initially a little taken back by what Lukather wrote. It’s a little more sophisticated than some of the stuff Ringo’s done in the past. I think Paul was looking at and listening to it. He doesn’t read charts. He has his own notation. […] I’ve brought that up to Ringo. ‘I can’t believe Paul doesn’t read charts.’ He goes, ‘We’re all buskers.’ They just played, just played by ear. -Bruce Sugar, engineer.
The Archive Collection saw its most ambitious release on March 24th. The 1989 FLOWERS IN THE DIRT came out in a 2CD SPECIAL EDITION, 2LP VINYL AND 3CD+DVD DELUXE EDITION BOX SET FEATURING PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED DEMOS, UNSEEN ARCHIVAL VIDEO, NOTEBOOK OF PAUL’S HANDWRITTEN LYRICS AND NOTES, LINDA McCARTNEY FLOWERS IN THE DIRT EXHIBITION CATALOGUE, 112-PAGE HARDCOVER BOOK. DOCUMENTING THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM AND MORE…
Paul also helped out the Foo Fighters, playing on their CONCRETE AND GOLD album. Paul was again in L.A. that March/April working with producer Greg Kurstin, who also producing the album for The Foo Fighters at the same time. Paul played drums on “Sunday Rain.”
“You don’t generally think of him as a drummer,” the Foo’s drummer Taylor Hawkins (who sang on the track) says. “But he laid that track so fucking effortlessly. He never even heard the song – Dave kind of explained it to him with an acoustic guitar. And he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah. I think I know what you’re doing.’
McCartney played two takes; they used the first. “He was so fucking good,” Grohl says. “We played for an hour, then took a break and had bagels and tea.
I thought we were done – I didn’t want to rag him out – so I was out having a cig, and someone goes, ‘Hey, Paul wants to jam some more.’ He rounded everybody up, and we jammed for hours: ‘Let’s write some songs, man!’
“Well, you know,” says McCartney. “Once you get the meter running…”
The band got together around this time (mid-April) and rehearsed for the upcoming Japan Leg of the “One On One” tour. They played 5 shows in Japan, then returned for another North American leg on July 7th in Miami. I saw him for the last time on July 10th at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The show was very familiar to past tours , always excellent, but now had become too expensive for me.
I will always have memories of all eight concerts in my heart.
They took a break after the July 26th show in Hollywood, and resumed in early September and October in the North East. A second latin America leg lasted from October 12th until October 28th. The Tour ended after the Oceanian leg, which stretched from November 30th in Perth, Australia, and ended December 16th in Auckland, New Zealand.
And in the middle of all this he worked on his new album as well as the mixing the next set of the archive collection albums (WILD LIFE/RED ROSE SPEEDWAY) for 2018 release.
Speaking of releases, May 26th saw 50th anniversary release of SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, as part of new box sets. Presented with New Mixes in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Audio; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings, Video Features & Special Packaging, Previously Unreleased 1992 Documentary Film, ‘The Making of Sgt. Pepper,’ Restored for Anniversary Edition’s Super Deluxe Boxed Set.
“Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were reissued as a 7” single (and included as the final tracks on the original album to minor controversy)
And the re-releases kept flowing on November 7th. The following albums were re-released as limited edition color vinyl. This would open up eyes for Paul, and now has become common for his next three album releases, much to my wallets chagrin.
BAND ON THE RUN (white)
McCARTNEY I (red)
McCARTNEY II (clear)
PIPES OF PEACE (silver)
TUG OF WAR (blue)
VENUS AND MARS (red and yellow)
WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND (orange)
As fans and collectors, it has become quite daunting. But nothing like we will see in the next few years.
Some special moments of 2017 had Paul and Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen took to the stage together at Madison Square Garden on September 15th for a NY take-over!
They performed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ not once… but twice! And if that wasn’t cool enough, Paul joined Springsteen’s guitarist Stevie Van Zandt on stage on November 4th at The Roundhouse in London to welcome him to the UK!
Finally in 2017, May 26th saw the film “Pirates Of The Caribbean,” dead men tell no tales. The film included a cameo from Sir Paul.
“Well we really wanted him in a movie. Keith Richards was part of the previous ones and we really loved that, but he couldn’t make it because of a tour. So we made a very short list of people who we wanted in this one, and Sir Paul was at the very top of that list. Johnny Depp has his number so he just simply texted him. They texted back and forth and we were a little bit a part of that, and their lingo got more and more pirate-y. That was just amazing and then we had a few days of shooting in Vancouver so we could fit that into the schedule for everybody. He came and it was just an amazing shoot.” – Aspen Sandberg, co-director.
“Yeah, I’m loving it. [Johnny Depp] got me a lot of favors in the past. He’s been in some of my music videos. So you know, it’s a way of repaying him. My character is Jack’s uncle who he was named after and I’m an old pirate awaiting execution just like he is. It runs in the family, I’m afraid to say. I started telling him about my Liverpool relatives and I told him a few stories and that he (his Uncle Jack) always used to tell jokes. Jack was the family joke teller. And then last night before filming, we had a little meeting, a little bit to eat, a bit of wine, and it kicked it around. Johnny come up with a load of ideas.
I spun off it and I thought “okay, he’s going to bed, he must be tired and everything”. Well, he typed the whole thing up and he had it all as a script this morning, very impressed.” – Paul
Not a bad year…. But wait for 2018! Next….