McCartney July 2009

A video of part of Paul McCartney's 15 July 2009 interview. A transcript of the part where McCartney speaks about Michael Jackson (including his acquisition of the ATV music catalog) is below.

The sections in the text are preceded by the time in brackets in the video clip.
David Letterman: Tell us what this photograph brings to mind. This was taken in 1982. You worked with Michael Jackson on...was it Thriller? You did a song for that album?
Paul McCartney: Yeah.
DL: What do you remember of that experience?

PM: Oh it was great, you know, we had a great time. It was Christmas and I was at home and my phone rang. And a little voice, you know, talked to me. And I said, "Who's this?" Kind of guarding my privacy, private number. I said, "Who's this?" "It's Michael." I said, "Michael who?" Because I thought, you know, it was a little bit sort of dodgy. But anyways, he said, "Michael Jackson." He said, "You want to make some hits?" So I said, "Yeah, sure." You know, being of the hit-making variety.

So we did and it was really nice. You know, he came to my house and we got to know the family and stuff. And he had a great guy who used to come with him, a guy called Billy. So it was very nice. We had a really good time. We made a couple of records together, did a video. And we're very good friends.

It actually kind of fell apart a little bit later because he was talking to me and asking my business advice. And one of the things I said to him was, "Think about getting into music publishing." And he looked at me, I thought he was joking, he said, "I'm going to get your's." So, you know, I kind of thought, "Ho ho you, you're good." [PM jokingly smacks DL's hand]. But it turned out to be true.

Which was, you know, that was cool, somebody had to get it I suppose. What happened actually was then I started to ring him up. I thought, ok here's the guy historically placed to give Lennon/McCartney a good deal at last. Cuz we got signed when we were 21 or something in a back alley in Liverpool. And the deal, it's remained the same, even though we made this company the most famous...hugely successful. So I kept thinking, it was time for a raise. Well you would, you know. [DL: Yes I think so.] And so it was great.

But I did talk to him about it. But he kind of blanked me on it. He kept saying, "That's just business Paul." You know. So, "yeah it is" and waited for a reply. But we never kind of got to it. And I thought, we kind of drifted apart. It was no big bust up. We kind of drifted apart after that. But he was a lovely man, massively talented, and we miss him.