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Geoff's Articles

I Can See The World Tonight
(But It Can't See Me)

Oh, how they like to be beside the seaside. Geoff baker goes promenading with Paul in a battle-free zone

Great Excuses Of The 20th Century Number 4 : “Sorry I’m late, dear, I stopped to give Paul McCartney a lift – he was thumbing a ride.”

Despite the likelihood of said excuse earning you a cold sipper, some guy somewhere out there could have been the proud owner of this plea of mitigation.

But he blew it. That bloke in the BMW blew it. The chap in the red MG behind him blew is too. So did you madam, you there in the Jag. And you, sir, yes you – you in that Fiat, you driving home with your secretary.

I know you blew it because I saw you with my own eyes. And we’ve got it all on film. You blew it one night in March when all you guys (and a good 40 others) were driving through a British seaside town all desperately swerving and accelerating to get past the bloke in the overcoat with his thumb out.

As the overcoated one later observed, “I became the bloke everyone wanted to avoid.”

And that’s got to be a first: given that the guy everyone feared was a dosse was in fact Sir P McC, haplessly hitching as part of the action for the filming of the video of “The World Tonight”

We – he, moi, director Geoff Wonfor, cameraman Eddie Crooks and john Hammel – took to the streets for this filming and there wasn’t amob scene in sight. Not even one broken leg – because people simply didn’t believe it was him.

Because you wouldn’t, would you? You may do a double-take… Did you see? Was it? Nah. It bloody well was. Nah. What, him? Round ‘ere? Leave it out. He’s a flaming KNIGHT! Knights don’t tramp about in old coats, singing in the streets. Nah, not ‘im at all.

But it was. Lo – but not beheld – here was Paul out in the street, dancing in the roads, in and out of penny arcades, ordering chips and the ship shop for the filming of his video.

Usually, of course, rock stars require the population of Pittsburgh as extras for their vids. Four million extras, please –at least - plus a crew of 630. And tanks, clear the streets and order tanks for crowd control. And tell all those extras not to look at the artist. Paul had a crew of two. And he knocked it off in a couple of hours as opposed to the usually obligatory couple of weeks. I must say, I would find it hard to imagine any other major major rock superstars shooting a video with a two-man crew, wandering among sand dunes, throwing sticks for dogs and ordering bags of chips, all while singing top notch rock and roll.

But then, an integral part of Paul’s medium and message is that they’re as real and true as life. And you know that can’t be bad.

From Club Sandwich Issue #82 Summer 1997
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