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PAUL McCARTNEY ON - `Heartbreak Hotel' -UNCUT MAGAZINE

Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:21 am

Before I actually heard an Elvis record, I was aware of him as an image because I'd seen him in an ad for "Heartbreak Hotel" on the back page of the NME. They weren't playing much of Elvis' stuff on the radio in those days. To hear "Heartbreak Hotel' I had to go into a record shop in Liverpool and listen to it through headphones in one of those booths. It was a magical moment, the beginning of an era. Listening to it that first time was the start of my Elvis experience.

Of course, it's an amazing song. Lyrically, for starters, it was a real shock. You have to remember that, in the mid-'50s, pop lyrics were mostly fodder. It was "St Therese Of The Roses" and "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?" Then you had Elvis singing, "Where broken-hearted lovers do cry away their gloom". I remember thinking how odd it was to hear the word "dwell" in a song. It wasn't the kind of detail you'd expect. It was those little touches that made it different from anything I'd heard before.



Elvis is a truly great vocalist, and you can hear why on this song. His phrasing, his use of echo, it's all so beautiful. It's the way he sings it, too. As if he's singing it from the depths of Hell. It's a perfect example of a singer being in command of the song. Musically it's perfect, too. The double-bass and the walk-in piano create this incredibly haunting atmosphere. It's so full of mystery, and it's never lost that for me. The echo is just stunning. When The Beatles were recording, we'd often ask George Martin for "the Elvis echo". I think we got it down perfectly on "A Day In The Life."

Funnily enough, I ended up owning the double-bass that Bill Black played on "Heartbreak Hotel." I used it when we recorded "Free As A Bird". Linda bought the bass for me as a present. We knew this guy in Nashville who knew Bill Black's family. At that point, Bill had died and the bass was sitting in his barn. They didn't know what to do with it. So Linda got hold of it. When it arrived, I was astonished. It was all intact, right down to the white trim around the sides, except that the letters spelling "Bill" had fallen off. As it had been kept in a barn all those years, there was hay inside it. We tipped it upside-down to get rid of it, and this old guitar-string packet fell out. I started thinking "How the hell did that get in there?" I decided that Scotty Moore must've broken a string, changed it onstage but had nowhere to put the packet. So he hid it in Bill's bass.

I can't honestly say that "Heartbreak Hotel" is Elvis' best record. I love Elvis so much that for me to choose a favourite would be like singling out one of Picasso's paintings. What I will say is that it's Elvis' most alarming performance. When I hear it, I always get this image in my head... Elvis driving his Lincoln down the interstate on a clear night in Tennessee. The stars are twinkling. The air is balmy. They're on their way to a show, Bill Black and Scotty Moore in the back, with Bill's double-bass strapped to the car roof. And now that bass belongs to me. It's my link to "Heartbreak Hotel".





The UNCUT Top Ten 'Rock & Movie Icons that Changed Our World' were..

1. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
2. Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel
3. The Beatles - She Loves You
4. The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
5. Stanley Kubrick - A Clockwork Orange
6. Francis Ford Coppola - The Godfather 1 & 2
7. David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
8. Martin Scorcese - Taxi Driver
9. The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks
10. 60's TV series - The Prisoner

Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:27 am

Cool! 8)

Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:42 am

Thanks for article - nice read.

8)




but......

The UNCUT Top Ten 'Rock & Movie Icons that Changed Our World' were..

1. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone


:evil: Bob f***** Dylan is NOT ROCK

he's no "rock icon" nor a movie icon"


damn stupid hippies.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:21 am

It is an interesting article. I kind of agree with GG (why am I always agreeing with GG these days?). My husband is the audiophile in our family and he wouldn't even look at the Dylan documentary. I do agree that he is a phenomenal writer!! Listen to the lyrics of Tomorrow is a Long Time!! Plus, many, many other songs!! He really is a genius with words - great poetry!!
sue

I just deleted two "Where are ......? just to be kind to you people who would have a heart attack reading it.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:47 am

Great! Thanks for posting. :D

Paul McCartney

Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:12 am

....Great words Sir McCartney! Call me a left wing hippy, GG, but I rate Bobbie as a Great Rock Icon of the 20th Century! And the same goes for The Beatles and The Stones.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:35 pm

silver wrote:(why am I always agreeing with GG these days?)


Nobody knows.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:26 pm

Dylan...a Rock icon.

Yeh!
And Jerry Garcia is a great Disco icon

and George Jones is a great Rap icon


:shock:

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:36 pm

Fantastic interview. Here is Spain in an interview Paul was asked about his favourite artist of all time and he said:"Elvis without any doubt, he is the greatest..." and I remember him saying that when he is depressed the only thing that he has to do is to play an Elvis record. Paul has showed many times that he really is a huge Elvis' fan and his words have a great value to me taking in consideration his status in music' history.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:45 pm

Nice article but a little supprised by this. I am aware that, as we all are, that Elvis was a big influence on McCartney but I thought his favourite artist of all time was Buddy Holly...? I am sure I have heard him say this on many occasions over the years.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:48 pm

pacer wrote:Nice article but a little supprised by this. I am aware that, as we all are, that Elvis was a big influence on McCartney but I thought his favourite artist of all time was Buddy Holly...? I am sure I have heard him say this on many occasions over the years.


Maybe he has re-evaluated his position. It's possible to think one thing at 40 and something else at 63 :)

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:50 pm

Great interview! Thanks for sharing it!

Macca did great versions of some Elvis classics on his Russian Album, which has to be some of the best Elvis covers ever recorded!

Great stuff!

Br
Kristian

Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:15 pm

Thanks for the post. Nice to hear one of the Beatles praising Elvis.

I can't get over John Lennon's quotes. On one hand he said, "Before Elvis there was nothing". After hearing of Elvis's death his other quote was, "Elvis died when he went into the army". What an arsehole comment.

Good on Sir Paul for his respect for Elvis.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:58 pm

I think Lennon's comments may have been a bit harsh but one should keep them in context (so I hold nothing against John) as well as to what Lennon was trying to say.....I mean after the army we received things like "yoga is as yoga does" and not the gritty ground breaking rock'n'roll that created the Beatles, Holly and a slew of others....yes it begins and ends with ELVIS.

Lennon idolized Elvis and respected him deeply. After all, had there been no Elvis there would have been no Beatles!

Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:42 pm

Getlo wrote:Thanks for the post. Nice to hear one of the Beatles praising Elvis.

I can't get over John Lennon's quotes. On one hand he said, "Before Elvis there was nothing". After hearing of Elvis's death his other quote was, "Elvis died when he went into the army". What an arsehole comment.

Good on Sir Paul for his respect for Elvis.
"Elvis died when he went into the army" He meant the Elvis how wanted him to be had died. The Elvis the Beatles adored, who influenced them, wasn't there anymore. Later, John said he felt sorry saying this. Wasn't John Lennon there in MSG 1972, admiring a great performing Elvis?

Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:47 pm

It was rumoured that Lennon was at MSG to see Elvis but it's unlikely. Right after Elvis died Lennon wrote a letter in which he praised Elvis. The letter was read by his sons Julian and Sean when Elvis was inducted into Rock'n Roll Hall Of Fame. John had a deep appreciation to Elvis. When he sang Hound Dog on stage in MSG he yelled out: "I love you, Elvis!".

Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:52 pm

Bob f***** Dylan is NOT ROCK

he's no "rock icon" nor a movie icon"


damn stupid hippies.


and you wonder why europeans think civilization has never reached some parts of america?

Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:34 pm

kris wrote:and you wonder why europeans think civilization has never reached some parts of america?


Dylan sucks


Look at France burning on the TV news -
civilization has NOT reached Europe.

play some Dylan on outdoor PA's - the genius of Dylan's grating voice and nonsensicle lyrics will sooth the savage beasts and they'll become "civilized"

Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:20 pm

Lennon was a massive Elvis fan and is entitled to his own opinion, Elvis fans are the only ones who can criticize Elvis without getting a verbal thrashing from me!!!! :D

I would've liked to have said to Lennon that if Elvis died when he went into the army then the beatles died when they stopped wearing their leathers and started wearing suits, and he would've probably agreed with me....although it was a damn good career move :D

Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:23 pm

good one -


how about these counter assesments........

Lennon died when he put on round grannyglasses

George died when picked up a sitar

Paul died when he blew his mind out in a car never noticing the light had changed.

:roll:

Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:55 pm

Denman wrote: "Elvis died when he went into the army" He meant the Elvis how wanted him to be had died. The Elvis the Beatles adored, who influenced them, wasn't there anymore. Later, John said he felt sorry saying this. Wasn't John Lennon there in MSG 1972, admiring a great performing Elvis?


Yes, but what about some compassion? If he loved Elvis like he said he did he would have been crying like me and the rest of his fans in 1977.

The comment was crass. I like some of Lennon's music - and the Beatles, but the comment really makes me think the guy had lost it. A dumb-arse comment like that is not from someone who liked Elvis.

What about the brilliant recordings from "Elvis is Back"? If he was dead when he sang those songs, he sounded bloody marvellous as a corpse!

The 70's were one of my favourite periods of Elvis's recordings. Mr Lennon wasn't so hot when it came to listening to music. If he thought Elvis's career was over in 1960, the guy was deaf.

Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:42 pm

Lennon was an emotional guy and truly respected Elvis and loved him more so than McCartney even. Surely from emotion everyone has said something that in retrospect they wish they had not said. And Elvis (Although I prefer the gritty inovative work from the 50's, some from the '60's especially the Memphis Sessions and '68 comeback material) was great in every aspect of his career so was Lennon. They both had their weak moments and cannot change history.

Even Carl Perkins once said he was sick and tired of hearing about Elvis Presley (I never tire of hearing about Elvis); He replied, "Elvis is dead...and I did't do it." I just love that quote.

What Jackie Gleason & Bing Crosby said about Elvis upsets me more than most. And to see some geek in a cheap costume and bad wig grates on me more than anything1

Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:11 pm

[quote="Deke Rivers II"]

Even Carl Perkins once said he was sick and tired of hearing about Elvis Presley (I never tire of hearing about Elvis);


? :shock:

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:04 am

Deke Rivers II wrote:What Jackie Gleason & Bing Crosby said about Elvis upsets me more than most.


What'd they say?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:37 am

surfcat wrote:
Deke Rivers II wrote:What Jackie Gleason & Bing Crosby said about Elvis upsets me more than most.


What'd they say?


Bing Crosby- He [Elvis] never contributed a damn thing to music.

But years later Bing said- The things he did during his career, the things that he created are really something important.

Jackie Gleason- 'He can't last, I tell you flatly he can't last.'

But it was Gleason who decided to have ELVIS make his first national TV appearance on the Dorsey Brothers' 'Stage Show' since he was one of the show's producers.

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Elvis and Jackie on the set of Girls, Girls, Girls.