EXCLUSIVE: Geoff Baker interview - 11-28-02

Discussions of various topics about Paul not covered in the forums below.

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EXCLUSIVE: Geoff Baker interview - 11-28-02

Postby Mike » Thu Nov 28, 2002 11:53 pm

Today I had another interview with Paul's personal publicist, Geoff Baker Since this interview is exclusive, all I ask is if info is copied elsewhere, to other lists, websites, newsgroups or whatever that proper credit is given to MACCA-Central.com. Thanks guys!

I don't have the DVD yet so it was difficult to talk about what I've only seen on TV but I managed. Yes, he did elaborate a lot on what is going to be on the secret site. Geoff said, "The DVD is a permanent reminder of the night he spent with you but the secret site is going to be a Ticket To The Future".
Geoff continues to say, "The DVD is like three hours and the website is endless. It will not simply be stuff thrown up there and stay static. It will be changing. He's been working on some special stuff and also he's very keen, as I said I mentioned to him what you said. We were having this discussion about websites and I mention I was talking to you about something and he like the idea of the site being more interactive with the fans and stuff."

We talked a great deal on how much they drew from the crowds. "This wan't a tour of North America, it was a tour with America". This is what Paul and the band has drawn from. Paul and him had a long talk about this the other day. Geoff said, "America was the co-star, there was such interplay and warmth with the audience and the band. It's as much America's album as it is Paul McCartney's album". "It was not the sort of thing we've seen on previous tours and I think why the band played as they did and why he sang as he did was because America was there with him, he wasn't playing to it."

It was only because of the tremendous warmth, multi-cultural, multi-generation, and affection he and the band felt that they got better and tight as a band and group. The whole of them, that is the crew and the band. This is what he was explaining to me before and is very evident on the DVD. I asked, "I wonder if this enthusiasm will carry on through UK/Europe in 2003", he responds jokingly, "In Britian were so anal we don't like to admit we enjoy ourselves. I'm talking just generally here, you know it could be Springsteen, Stones or some punk kid, we aren't quite as open with our emotions as America is, thank God for America and Canada". He said this as not to alienate our British friends. He continues, "I don't know, certain countries you know, like Latin countries, they seem to be a bit more laid back". Is this a hint to Latin American ? I later asked him specifically about 2003 tour plans.

About the Fort Lauderdale end of 1st leg show. He commented how he thought "a few of us principally myself was going to be fired at that point, when his voice went I thought oh f*ck this wasn't such a good idea after all".
The whole crew, performers, everyone, going out in front of the stage and amongst fans and holding the up the hearts was a surprise to Paul it really choked him up during the beginning of The Long and Winding Road that he messed up singing really bad several times choking back the emotion. I told Geoff that it was really gutsy for him to keep that performance with the mess up on the DVD. He absolutely agreed. He said, "Paul is such a pro but
he's also a pro with a such big heart and he showed it".

I don't know about elsewhere but in MACCA-Forums some fans are complaining about not seeing enough of Paul in the DVD and too much audience shots. The point is Paul wanted us to see what he and band saw night after night. This is what they fed on, like no other tour. I find it very clear now what he was saying to me a few months ago but it really didn't click in. We wonder why does he do it. He did it ONLY because of us! The reaction and closeness he felt every night. He didn't have to work at it.

We talked a lot about the huge amount a material in the "vault" and
discussed my suggestion about incorporating a unique CD key on standard audio CD, re-releasing the whole collection with each CD having special access to more material. Basically, the CD key on audio CDs will be a good reason to re-issue the whole collection, will encourage fans not to share their CDs and get the some of the vast amount of material out there. He thinks it's a great idea and will be presenting it to Paul with some other things we discussed after the George tribute. It was great to hear that he has talked with Paul about this and other ideas we sometimes brainstorm
about but I'd sure like to hear it directly from Paul, hmmmmm, maybe someday :)

Oh yeah I again elaborated on how fans want as much as possible on DVD as soon as possible and they are very aware of the material in the "vault" is in high demand. Just very difficult to decide what to do with it there is just "so bloody much material". My guess is that there is such a variety and quantity of vintage performances, studio, craziness and I guess stuff that to non-hard-core fans may seem corny stuff that may not be suitable for mainstream release.

I told him I'm going be very blunt and said that us 1st generation fans aren't getting any younger what the hell are they waiting for. Though us 1st generation fans would be rushing to purchase, DVDs of material in the "vault" next generations may not be interested in the obscure videos like the one for London Town which I recently just viewed and it's kinda corny. I'd watch it but I'm not sure about the next generation, and I'm not really talking about young fans on this site. The fact that your a member of forum puts you in the category of more a hard-core fan. I'm talking the occasional fans
who've may own a CD or two of Paul's but haven't got the Beatles films yet let alone McCartney's.

In other news, A Beatle fan from Montreal has contacted me saying he has a reel-to-reel tape of the Montreal, Sept. 9, 1964 Beatle concert taped directly from the mixer and is very good quality. He wanted me to contact Paul to see if he's interested. Geoff again will be discussing this with Paul.

About touring, he's said he'll get word to me after Christmas before it's released but generally there going be Europe. Asked him straight out about 1st the radio special saying "plans to tour Europe next year, along with the possibility of even more US dates" and second about a rumor that someone from Capitol said there may be 2 MSG shows in May. He said he has heard nothing and a lot of times it's people wishing. By that I mean the record company may purposely say that to get it out there even though Paul has not made any plans or agreed to anything. Then he says, "You never know with Paul, it's so hard to get him to stop playing".

In an article posted in MACCA-News
(http://www.macca-central.com/macca-news ... cfm?ID=923) the reported says in the fourth paragraph. "The singer's longtime personal publicist, Geoff Baker, was there, too, sitting on the floor, dutifully jotting notes and running his own tape recorder for his eventual book." I asked Geoff about this and what's this about a book ? He says, "First I've heard of it", was his first reaction. I then mentioned the report saying taking notes and recording and Geoff went on to say the during all interviews he does take notes as an archive for Paul for some future reference and records the interviews himself separately from what journalist or whatever is doing for the following reason. He said "You wouldn't believe how many times the journalist is so nervousness meeting Paul that they forget to press RECORD/PLAY on the tape recorder, and just press PLAY, then they phone back later shrieking literally screaming and crying that it didn't come out." He'd have the quotes and the audio as backup. So during this tour he does this as a backup and courtesy for them. Can you imagine that happening, it would be the equivalent to a once in a lifetime shot with Paul and there's no film in the camera. This could also be the reason Paul has been getting such great interviews and reviews. Good going Geoff ! So he is NOT currently writing a book though he did say one-time he was offered a huge amount of money do one but has no interest in one of "those" books. "I've lived it why do I want to write about it".

I mentioned the MPL tour contract rider and he said "Where did that come from, it's no big deal, everyone has contract riders" He says, "It's been in some papers here and there acting like it's a big bloody surprise, everyone does it."

There was some other stuff but that's enough for now.
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EXCLUSIVE: Geoff Baker interview - 11-28-02

Postby Mike » Thu Nov 28, 2002 11:53 pm

Today I had another interview with Paul's personal publicist, Geoff Baker Since this interview is exclusive, all I ask is if info is copied elsewhere, to other lists, websites, newsgroups or whatever that proper credit is given to MACCA-Central.com. Thanks guys!

I don't have the DVD yet so it was difficult to talk about what I've only seen on TV but I managed. Yes, he did elaborate a lot on what is going to be on the secret site. Geoff said, "The DVD is a permanent reminder of the night he spent with you but the secret site is going to be a Ticket To The Future".
Geoff continues to say, "The DVD is like three hours and the website is endless. It will not simply be stuff thrown up there and stay static. It will be changing. He's been working on some special stuff and also he's very keen, as I said I mentioned to him what you said. We were having this discussion about websites and I mention I was talking to you about something and he like the idea of the site being more interactive with the fans and stuff."

We talked a great deal on how much they drew from the crowds. "This wan't a tour of North America, it was a tour with America". This is what Paul and the band has drawn from. Paul and him had a long talk about this the other day. Geoff said, "America was the co-star, there was such interplay and warmth with the audience and the band. It's as much America's album as it is Paul McCartney's album". "It was not the sort of thing we've seen on previous tours and I think why the band played as they did and why he sang as he did was because America was there with him, he wasn't playing to it."

It was only because of the tremendous warmth, multi-cultural, multi-generation, and affection he and the band felt that they got better and tight as a band and group. The whole of them, that is the crew and the band. This is what he was explaining to me before and is very evident on the DVD. I asked, "I wonder if this enthusiasm will carry on through UK/Europe in 2003", he responds jokingly, "In Britian were so anal we don't like to admit we enjoy ourselves. I'm talking just generally here, you know it could be Springsteen, Stones or some punk kid, we aren't quite as open with our emotions as America is, thank God for America and Canada". He said this as not to alienate our British friends. He continues, "I don't know, certain countries you know, like Latin countries, they seem to be a bit more laid back". Is this a hint to Latin American ? I later asked him specifically about 2003 tour plans.

About the Fort Lauderdale end of 1st leg show. He commented how he thought "a few of us principally myself was going to be fired at that point, when his voice went I thought oh f*ck this wasn't such a good idea after all".
The whole crew, performers, everyone, going out in front of the stage and amongst fans and holding the up the hearts was a surprise to Paul it really choked him up during the beginning of The Long and Winding Road that he messed up singing really bad several times choking back the emotion. I told Geoff that it was really gutsy for him to keep that performance with the mess up on the DVD. He absolutely agreed. He said, "Paul is such a pro but
he's also a pro with a such big heart and he showed it".

I don't know about elsewhere but in MACCA-Forums some fans are complaining about not seeing enough of Paul in the DVD and too much audience shots. The point is Paul wanted us to see what he and band saw night after night. This is what they fed on, like no other tour. I find it very clear now what he was saying to me a few months ago but it really didn't click in. We wonder why does he do it. He did it ONLY because of us! The reaction and closeness he felt every night. He didn't have to work at it.

We talked a lot about the huge amount a material in the "vault" and
discussed my suggestion about incorporating a unique CD key on standard audio CD, re-releasing the whole collection with each CD having special access to more material. Basically, the CD key on audio CDs will be a good reason to re-issue the whole collection, will encourage fans not to share their CDs and get the some of the vast amount of material out there. He thinks it's a great idea and will be presenting it to Paul with some other things we discussed after the George tribute. It was great to hear that he has talked with Paul about this and other ideas we sometimes brainstorm
about but I'd sure like to hear it directly from Paul, hmmmmm, maybe someday :)

Oh yeah I again elaborated on how fans want as much as possible on DVD as soon as possible and they are very aware of the material in the "vault" is in high demand. Just very difficult to decide what to do with it there is just "so bloody much material". My guess is that there is such a variety and quantity of vintage performances, studio, craziness and I guess stuff that to non-hard-core fans may seem corny stuff that may not be suitable for mainstream release.

I told him I'm going be very blunt and said that us 1st generation fans aren't getting any younger what the hell are they waiting for. Though us 1st generation fans would be rushing to purchase, DVDs of material in the "vault" next generations may not be interested in the obscure videos like the one for London Town which I recently just viewed and it's kinda corny. I'd watch it but I'm not sure about the next generation, and I'm not really talking about young fans on this site. The fact that your a member of forum puts you in the category of more a hard-core fan. I'm talking the occasional fans
who've may own a CD or two of Paul's but haven't got the Beatles films yet let alone McCartney's.

In other news, A Beatle fan from Montreal has contacted me saying he has a reel-to-reel tape of the Montreal, Sept. 9, 1964 Beatle concert taped directly from the mixer and is very good quality. He wanted me to contact Paul to see if he's interested. Geoff again will be discussing this with Paul.

About touring, he's said he'll get word to me after Christmas before it's released but generally there going be Europe. Asked him straight out about 1st the radio special saying "plans to tour Europe next year, along with the possibility of even more US dates" and second about a rumor that someone from Capitol said there may be 2 MSG shows in May. He said he has heard nothing and a lot of times it's people wishing. By that I mean the record company may purposely say that to get it out there even though Paul has not made any plans or agreed to anything. Then he says, "You never know with Paul, it's so hard to get him to stop playing".

In an article posted in MACCA-News
(http://www.macca-central.com/macca-news ... cfm?ID=923) the reported says in the fourth paragraph. "The singer's longtime personal publicist, Geoff Baker, was there, too, sitting on the floor, dutifully jotting notes and running his own tape recorder for his eventual book." I asked Geoff about this and what's this about a book ? He says, "First I've heard of it", was his first reaction. I then mentioned the report saying taking notes and recording and Geoff went on to say the during all interviews he does take notes as an archive for Paul for some future reference and records the interviews himself separately from what journalist or whatever is doing for the following reason. He said "You wouldn't believe how many times the journalist is so nervousness meeting Paul that they forget to press RECORD/PLAY on the tape recorder, and just press PLAY, then they phone back later shrieking literally screaming and crying that it didn't come out." He'd have the quotes and the audio as backup. So during this tour he does this as a backup and courtesy for them. Can you imagine that happening, it would be the equivalent to a once in a lifetime shot with Paul and there's no film in the camera. This could also be the reason Paul has been getting such great interviews and reviews. Good going Geoff ! So he is NOT currently writing a book though he did say one-time he was offered a huge amount of money do one but has no interest in one of "those" books. "I've lived it why do I want to write about it".

I mentioned the MPL tour contract rider and he said "Where did that come from, it's no big deal, everyone has contract riders" He says, "It's been in some papers here and there acting like it's a big bloody surprise, everyone does it."

There was some other stuff but that's enough for now.
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Postby Aujouret » Fri Nov 29, 2002 4:43 am

Fantastic interview, Mike.
You knew all the best questions to ask Geoff.
He always seems like such a great guy.
Fascinating post.
Thank you for all your encouragement, Mike.
I appreciate that you took the time to email me.
I am sure you are extremely busy.
Obviously you have been just that- talking to Geoff.
How cool. I always think of how brave he was when Lindsa died, because he was lying for the boss and some people were giving him a lot of flak, but Geoff was so cool when I saw him interviewed on TV.
He bought some time for the family to have some privacy.
I really respected that.
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Postby megs » Fri Nov 29, 2002 8:50 pm

cool interview mike[8D]
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Postby Chris Speers » Fri Nov 29, 2002 11:57 pm

Good interview. Since Paul is a master of dealing with the press and sometimes handling them as well, Baker has his hands full with a boss as demanding as Paul. He should write a book but he is probably prohibited from writing one since most MPL employees have signed "Confidentially agreements" which prohibit him from writing about his experience with Paul. It has to be part of the standard contract that he signs with MPL and Paul. THe Eastman family is a lot like the Soprano family on HBO when it comes to legal issues. Baker would be legally liable for millions if he broke the confidentiality. Besides, as a friend, he wouldn't do it. If he does write a book someday, it will probably be more of an MPL approved enterprise rather than a "gossipy" sort of tell-all. Besides since Baker has to have personal feelings toward the man over the years, i don't think he would even if offered loads of money.

The guy Mike should interview next is John Hammil, Paul's personal assistant. If anybody does write a book someday, either John Hammil or Alan Crowder, his day to day manager, knows the real deal behind the scenes of the recording sessions, the personalities, and what makes Paul tick. It will never happen since they probably have the same confidentiality agreements with MPL
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Postby scrodfish256 » Sat Nov 30, 2002 12:04 am

Good stuff.[:D] It would be cool to interview john hammel. The only man allowed to touch the hoffner.[:)]
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