Sir Paul McCartney interview: ‘I’m telling my entire life story here’

He may be 71, but Sir Paul McCartney has been on tour for much of the past four years, and he shows no signs of slowing down

Sir Paul McCartney on stage in Tokyo, November 2013

Stage right at the Tokyo Dome, one hour shy of showtime, with 50,000 fans already in their seats and the heady pre-concert atmosphere slowly intensifying, John Hammel, Sir Paul McCartney’s long-standing personal assistant and guitar roadie, is delineating the tools of the boss’s trade. ‘This is the Epiphone – the Taxman guitar solo guitar – and this is the Höfner [bass] from 1963,’ Hammel says. He hefts the bass deftly, 40 years’ diligent service guiding his hands in the post-soundcheck gloom. ‘It used to have the list of song titles stuck on it, on the back of an old Senior Service cigarette packet – Paul wrote it out at Candlestick Park,’ Hammel says, referring to the Beatles’ last ever public concert, at the San Francisco baseball stadium on August 29 1966. ‘We took it off because it was getting wrecked.’

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