The 78-year-old rocker wrote his new album, ‘McCartney III’, whilst the world was in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, and has said that whilst many artists struggled to find the inspiration to write when they had no personal experiences to draw from, he had plenty going on in his “overactive brain”.
He said: “You know inspiration can come from anywhere. Not just interaction with others. Truth is the main stuff that comes from my overactive brain, which is always switched on, but my songs don’t have to be about current events.”
Paul has been writing in the same way for decades, as he used Beatles hit ‘Eleanor Rigby’ - which was released in 1966 - as an example of a song he’d written that isn’t inspired by himself.
He added: “It’s not like I knew someone called Eleanor Rigby. That was my empathy for lonely old ladies and, in that case, there was one near where I lived in Liverpool who I did the shopping for. We had long conversations. Years later that inspired ‘Eleanor Rigby’.”
And when the music legend is taking inspiration from his own life, he often likes to look back at the late 1950s and 1960s that he grew up with, as he says “ordinary life” is much more interesting than the rockstar life he now leads.
Speaking to The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine, he said: “Well, it’s a rich vein, ordinary life. And the task is to make it sound not ordinary, but to celebrate it. It is good for me to draw on things like that. It’s one of my big areas of exploration. Going back I think of ‘Penny Lane’. The minute I started to think of that area, all the stuff in that song just spilt out - I had such an affectionate feeling for it.”