Paul Scarred in Moped Accident!

The following article appeared in New Musical Express on June 24, 1966, page 3.

I have interviewed Paul McCartney travelling in a car at speed. Battling up a crowded flight of stairs. In a smoky billiards room. On the telephone. At a recording session. Climbing up a ladder. Walking along Tottenham Court Road. In a taxi. Trapped in a room with fans breaking down the door. Even on a roof - writes Alan Smith. Bizarre situations, but the one that beats them all took place at BBC-TV's "Top Of The Pops" the other day. Paul, perched on the edge of a bath, answered my questions as I sat on a lavatory!
An odd place for an interview, perhaps, but at that time the room in question happened to be just about the only quiet place in the entire TV Center.
Girls were here, there and everywhere; mooning up and down the corridors, standing in the entrance hall, and being forced away from The Beatles' dressing room next door.
"Fans," he said simply, almost thinking aloud. "Funny really. Some of them have a go at me, and John and George and Ringo. They say we don't make enough personal appearances.
"If only they'd realise. I mean, they think we've just been loafing about the past few months. Don't they realise we've been working on our next album since April? It's a long time.
"I suppose there's some won't like it, but if we tried to please everyone we'd never get started. As it is, we try to be as varied as possible...on the next LP there's a track with Ringo doin' a children's song, and another with electronic sounds."
He started to finger his lip, almost without thinking, and I asked him about reports that he'd broken a tooth.
"You're right," he admittedly candidly, "I did it not long ago when I came off a moped. Now I've had it capped...look."
I looked but I couldn't see anything. A perfect mend. Only a small scar remains on his lip as a souvenir.
"It was quite a serious accident a the time. It probably sounds daft, having a serious accident on a motorised bicycle, but I came off hard and I got knocked about a bit. My head and lip were cut and I broke the tooth.
"I was only doing about 30 at the time, but it was dark and I hit a stone and went flyin' through the air. It was my fault all right. It was a nice night and I was looking at the moon."
Paul and the rest of The Beatles shrugged off questions about them not making No. 1 first time with "Paperback Writer" with a sort of "that's show business" air. They regard it as just one of those things...and as they're No. 1 this week, perhaps they're right.
Paul shows more interest when you ask him about his homes. There are three now: one in St. John's Wood, London, for which he is reputed to have paid 40,000 pounds: one in Liverpool; and the newest aquisition - a farm in Scotland.
"Aye the noo," he beamed, affecting a Scots accent. It's just a wee small place, up there at the tip of Scotland, and aye plarrn tae make the occasional trip there for a wee spell of solitude."
Suddenly he dropped the Scots bit and got back to normal. "It's not bad, though - 200 acres and a farmhouse as well. I can't tell you how much it was, but it was well the money as far as I'm concerned.
"As far as the St. John's Wood house goes, I've furnished it in traditional style because I don't go for this modern stuff that always looks as if it needs something doing to it. I like it to be comfortable. And those mod leather chairs - ugh. They're too cold." He looked suitably pained.
I asked him about the mystery instrument mentioned in my feature last week, bought for 110 pounds by George Martin and used by him on one track of the forthcoming album.
Paul laughed. "Why the mystery? It's only a clavichord and it makes a nice sound. There's no real weird stuff on this LP. Anyway, I've stopped regarding things as way-out any more.
"There'll always be people about like Any Warhol in the States, the bloke who makes great long films of people just sleeping. Nothing's weird anymore. We sit down and write, or go into the recording studios, and we just see what comes up.
"I'm learning all the time. You do, if you keep your eyes open. I find life is an education. I mean, nowadays I'm interested in electronic music of people like Berio and Stockhausen. It opens your eyes and ears.
"On the LP, we've got this track with electronic effects I worked out myself, with words from the 'Tibetan Book Of The Dead'. We did it because I, for one, am sick of doing sounds that people can claim to have heard before.
Anyway, we played it to the Stones and The Who, and they visibly sat up and were interested. We also played it to Cilla...who just laughed!"

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