What guitars did you use on the record?
My main guitar when I’m playing my solo
stuff has turned out to be my favorite. It’s
a 1958 Gibson Les Paul TV Model. I also
use a host of vintage Les Pauls. I have a
’ 57 Gibson goldtop that’s sort of my baby.
That was my one guitar when I only had
one guitar, which I got when I was 18 years
old for $850—and we all know what those
are worth now. It’s a great guitar, and it’s
my main guitar with Paul McCartney right
now, too. As for the album, a Duesenberg
is on there, a Gibson ’ 63 Dove acoustic, an
old ’ 57 Danelectro for all the small bits, a
’ 61 SG, and a lot of a ’ 65 Epiphone Casino
that I bought last year. The whole thing with
recording guitars is to try not to be lazy:
When you’re going for a second guitar part,
my philosophy is always choose a different
guitar and a different amp—unless you’re
going for that doubled guitar sound. I wanted to make a guitar-driven record that has a
lot of color on it.
How much has Paul McCartney rubbed off
on your songwriting?
It’s the kind of thing that sneaks up on you.
Paul’s influence is deep and great. I’m old
enough to have witnessed the Beatles as a
kid. For me, it goes back a long way, but it
hasn’t necessarily been a huge influence on
my songwriting in the past. It has been greatly accentuated by being with him personally
for almost nine years. It’s been such a joy and
such a great apprenticeship for me and all the
guys. Through osmosis—just through being
around him—you sort of start thinking and
dreaming in a more melodic fashion. He’s
so free melodically, so developed, and such a
natural. He wrote “Yesterday” when he didn’t
even have a yesterday! [Laughs.] He’s just a
remarkable, genius savant, and it’s bound to
rub off on you when you’re around him as
much as I am.
It sounds like you’re drawing more from
his creative energy than theoretical songwriting techniques.
Oh yeah. His influence on me is more on the
magic end. I’m very flattered that you would
recognize any sort of influence, but it’s not
something I try to do. I don’t go, “Now,
1957 goldtop Gibson Les Paul,
1958 Gibson Les Paul TV Model
Reissue Marshall JTM 45 head,
two Marshall closed-back
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