SALEWICZ: You got an awful lot of shit for saying “It’s a drag” after [John]’d been killed.
PAUL: Yeah, I think why some politicians are so successful is that they have a little bleeper box in their heads and before they say something they run things through and they can see it as a headline. If it doesn’t look good they edit it. I have that sometimes, but in moments like that all my bleepers go out the window. […] By the time the editors got to it I’m just one of a million punters making a comment: “McCartney was asked by our reporter in downtown London last night at nine o’clock his feelings on hearing of the death of his dear friend. His answer was, ‘It’s a drag.’ Hey ho! On other matters, in the Philippines…” And people hearing it said, “It’s a drag? That’s what he said?”
Hunter Davies was on television that night, giving a very reasoned account of John. All the puppets sprang right up there. I thought it was well tasteless. Jesus Christ, ready with the answers, aren’t we? Aren’t we just ready with a summary? Mind you, Hunter had admitted to us years ago that he already had our obituaries written. They’re on file at the Times and they just update them, which is chilling to learn. So obviously he just pulled out his obituary for John and went to it.
The question is, which is the more sensitive: my thing or his thing? He was the one I rang up about [John being a] “manoeuvring swine” too, so it shows what a buddy he is, he immediately put it in print.