In April of 2002, I got a call from Alex Cortright – voiceover artist/radio jock/program director of WRNR, a modern rock station broadcasting from Annapolis, Maryland.
Alex was set to conduct a phone interview with the legendary Sir Paul McCartney, who was flying into Washington D.C. for a two-night stand at the MCI Center. Alex had worked with me for a number of years, was comfortable with my abilities and wanted ROAR’s studio expertise in handling the technical end of the interview.
I was immersed in several large client projects, regretfully declined, referred Alex to another local studio, but assured him I would fit the session in if he struck out elsewhere. I figured I would get some great mileage from the story – i.e. Mr. Client – I turned down recording Sir Paul so I could work on your radio spot!
However, fate intervened and Alex called me back, begged a lot and I caved.
With only a few hours notice, I made the necessary hookups, tested the equipment, and waited for Alex to arrive.
Alex & I talked music for an hour – then another 30 minutes past the scheduled interview time. Finally, we both agreed something must have fouled up the McCartney schedule and the interview would not happen.
Just as I prepared to power down the equipment the telephone rang. Paul’s road manager said hello & asked if all was ready. I pressed start on the DAW (digital audio workstation), the two DAT (digital audio tape) recorders for redundancy, and put Alex on. The next thing heard was “Hello Alex – this is Paul”.
With the sound of the familiar voice a shiver ran up my spine and the hairs on my neck stood up. I realized that this man (along with John Lennon) was responsible for my entire life and career choice – songwriting, performing and recording since I was 11 years of age – I started jumping up & down with excitement!
The interview went on flawlessly, I mastered the recording overnight, & it broadcast on WRNR the next morning.
That evening, Bill Blythe, a friend, musician, and co-worker of mine went to see the 2nd concert at MCI Center. Bill was 31 years old and a Beatles & Wings fan, but had never seen Paul live.
The next day Bill spoke with eloquence and passion about the concert – about Paul’s monumental musicality & talent, and about Paul’s love of show and his fans. Bill’s enthusiasm was contagious and somehow reaffirming.
Enjoy the interview
My friend’s experience brought me back to 1965 when I saw the Beatles at DC (now RFK) Stadium.
He expressed the same thoughts and feelings I did then. He experienced the life changing power of music & rock n’ roll – courtesy of Sir Paul McCartney I find it amazing that nearly 40 years later Paul’s music and artistry carry the same intensity & message.