The complete Paul McCartney interviews for Flemish Public Radio and Television UNCUT now available on a unique double CD+DVD set
Brussels, August 2004 -- For the first time ever, the interviews Sir Paul McCartney gave to Flemish Public Radio and Television in 1989, 1993 and 2003 are available on a double CD+DVD set – complete and uncut.
Spanning a period of 15 years, these unique conversations are complementary to each other in content and approach, offering a fascinating insight in the world of Paul McCartney and the way he handles media interviews.
In this exclusive double set, hear and see Paul McCartney speak about
• his "Russian Album" and Glasnost
• his greatest moments and disappointments
• his ambitions as a film maker and as a painter
• the first Wings tour and touring the world in 1989, 1993 and 2003
• the musicians in his bands
• warming up before a concert and being nervous on stage
• his crusading for vegetarism, animal rights and the environment
• (not) showing his vulnerable side
• the Belgian painter Magritte as an inspiration for the Apple logo
• collaborating with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr... and Elvis Costello
• performing Here Today and Something live
• the burning of Beatles records in the Bible Belt
• playing the Hofner bass on stage
• McCartney-Lennon versus Lennon-McCartney
• … and his personal Top 3 of McCartney songs.
You will also see him being taught to say "Ik ben Paul McCartney en ik kom op tegen kanker" (“I am Paul McCartney and I’m fighting against cancer”) in Dutch for a Flemish fund raising campaign in favour of cancer research - and illustrating the sleeve of the My Brave Face CD single.
Furthermore, McCartney's explanation of why he changed the lyrics to Here, There And Everywhere for the Give My Regards To Broad Street movie and CD has been unseen footage until this day.
This CD+DVD set is an absolute must for anyone interested in Paul McCartney's work and the history of popular music. Available soon via MACCA-Central.com through http://www.belgian-beatles-society.com .
For further information:
Telephone + 32 16 76 77 23
Mobile + 32 475 24 32 74
The story behind the DVD
On Thursday, 18 May 1989, André Vermeulen called his friend and ex-colleague Johan Ral to ask if he would come along the following Monday to Hilversum, The Netherlands, where he was going to interview Paul McCartney for the TV-news of the VRT, the Flemish Public Radio and Television network. McCartney was coming to the Concordia TV Studios to participate in Veronica's Countdown, then hosted by Wessel van Diepen, to promote Flowers In The Dirt and the latest single taken from it, My Brave Face.
During the Countdown show, which was broadcast on 24 May 1989, Paul McCartney and his band performed some live improvisations and mimed to the songs How Many People and My Brave Face.
At the time, Johan was working for Kredietbank (now called KBC), in charge of Internal and External Communication. He decided he'd go along and try to persuade Sir Paul to dedicate the sleeve of the CD single to an auction in favour of Kom Op Tegen Kanker, a cancer research project that was sponsored by both the VRT and Kredietbank, which he kindly agreed to do so in the end.
What you see on this DVD is the result of these encounters – uncut.
With André Vermeulen, Sir Paul speaks about his "Russian Album", Glasnost and talking to Russian fans on the BBC World Service, as well as his upcoming world tour, Flowers In The Dirt and working with Elvis Costello. They also discuss the difference between being a Beatle in the sixties and being Paul McCartney in 1989, Yesterday, McCartney’s greatest moments and disappointments, his film projects (announcing what would become Daumier's Law), his ambitions as a painter and his definition of "good music".
André Vermeulen's interview was broadcast the next day, on 23 May.
McCartney's promoting of Kom Op Tegen Kanker was used in the Kom Op Tegen Kanker Journaal on 23 and 24 May.
The short discussion between Sir Paul and Johan Ral on why McCartney changed the lyrics to Here, There And Everywhere for the Give My Regards To Broad Street movie and CD, even leaving out a whole verse (!), has been unseen footage until this day.
Johan Ral started his career as a journalist in 1979 at the independent rock magazine Riff and the Flemish weekly Knack. During the next ten years, he worked as a producer, reporter and anchorman for Flemish Public Radio and Television (VRT). Over the years he has met and interviewed many singers, songwriters, musicians and producers.
Today, apart from being a corporate communications consultant, Johan is a freelance researcher and writer on the history of popular music, particularly of the Sixties, The Beatles and Eric Clapton. He is a regular contributor to Marc Ysaye's radio programmes on Classic 21 and to Dito on Radio 1 (VRT). He also writes for the daily De Morgen.
Johan is the co-author along with Jos Bijnens of The Beatles Made in Belgium (private publication, 1996) and A History of EMI in Belgium - Including a Complete Belgian Beatles Discography, with a Foreword by Salvatore Adamo (EMI Belgium, 1997).
In March 2002, he founded The Belgian Beatles Society.
In his spare time Johan is also a songwriter.
Before joining the Flemish Public Radio in 1984, André Vermeulen started his media career as a pioneer at the 'free' radio station Scorpio in Leuven. A television journalist for the VRT (Flemish Public Radio and Television) since 1985, André is a specialist in foreign politics - more specifically, Latin America and Southern Europe.
André has a passion for pop music, of which his legendary singles collection testifies. Over the years, he has shared a taste of his collection with the listeners of Studio Brussel and Radio Donna.
He is also a leading authority on the Eurovision Song Contest, for which he has been the VRT television commentator since 1991.
Evert Venema has been one of the leading voices at Radio Donna since the launch of the station in March 1992. The youngest of the four interviewers on this CD + DVD package, he was born in the magical year of 1962. During the nineties, Evert enlightened the Flemish people about all things Beatle-esque on radio, twice a week, for four years in a row, learning a lot himself along the way.
Evert has his own weekly radio show, the Fun Files, and covers human interest stories on location during major events such as the soccer World Cup in Japan, the Tour de France or the Olympic Games in Athens.
Paul McCartney had always been the one person Evert hoped he would never get a chance to meet or talk to, he simply meant too much. "But", as he says today, "you can’t possibly say no when a record company offers you Paul on a platter."
McCartney called him on 1 April on his way to the concert hall, where he was to do a "meet and greet" for Radio Donna later that evening. All day Radio Donna told their listeners there was a rumour Paul McCartney was going to call, but that it would probably be a prank -- April fools day!
"But he really did call," says Evert, "and it was easy. He makes you forget all the essential questions you had meant to ask 'the myth McCartney'. You end up with a conversation that maybe isn’t the best interview you’ve done in your life. But it felt right. And it will be the only one I will save for the rest of my life."
Jan Leyers started his musical career in 1977 with the cover band Beri Beri.
In 1986, after having being active as a composer and songwriter for theatre, he met Paul "P.P." Michiels. This was the start of a very successful career with their band Soulsister, with more than 750,000 copies sold of the single The Way To Your Heart (1988), which even reached number 41 in the US Billboard Hot 100. After a series of top selling records and a string of performances in Europe (notably as the guest act for Sting in 1993) and the US, the Soulsister adventure ended in 1995.
In the meantime, Jan has remained a prolific songwriter, arranger and producer, both for himself as a solo artist and for many others, including The Radios and Clouseau, and composing for films such as Blueberry Hill and Team Spirit, while becoming a popular TV star, notably hosting the weekly Nachtwacht talk show on Canvas (VRT).
Jan Leyers also sits on the jury of Idool 2003 and 2004 on the Flemish commercial TV station VTM.
• TV News Interview by André Vermeulen (11:48)
• Kom Op Tegen Kanker with Johan Ral (02:25)
• Paul McCartney in conversation with Johan Ral on Here, There And Everywhere (01:16)
• Extra: Arrival at the Countdown studio, Paul chatting with Dutch fans and entering the studio (01:07)
• The story behind this DVD
• Biographies of the interviewers
Double-sided DVD: PAL + NTSC
Duration: approx. 17 minutes
Picture format: 4:3
Disc format: DVD-10
The Radio Interviews
1 Johan Ral for Studio Brussel (33:19)
17 October 1993, Flanders Expo, Ghent, between the sound check and the New World Tour concert
Edited version broadcast on 5 November 1993 on the occasion of the launch of Paul Is Live
2 Evert Venema for Radio Donna (09:16)
1 April 2003, Telephone Interview, before the first Antwerp concert of the Back In The World Tour
Edited version broadcast on the same day
3 Jan Leyers for Radio 2 (14:21)
2 April 2003, Sportpaleis, Antwerp, between the sound check and the second Antwerp concert of the Back In The World Tour
Edited version broadcast on 3 April on Radio 2 (and also on 6 April in Classic Rock on Classic 21)
Total Time: approx. 57 minutes
Produced by Johan Ral
on behalf of The Belgian Beatles Society
© 2004 Kairos Communications BVBA
The Belgian Beatles Society, a non-profit organisation, was founded in March 2002. The Society is first and foremost a virtual organisation, a flexible platform of ideas, at the heart of which is the Society's website. Its Mission is to promote the Beatles culture in Belgium to anyone and everyone who has a passion for high quality popular music. To achieve this, the Belgian Beatles Society develops its own activities as well as seeks partnerships with other high-level initiatives in connection with The Beatles and their work.
The values of the Society are: passion for music, quality and fun.