White building on the left is the Baltchug  where Paul lived(across river)
With Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Ivanov


Pressconference by Paul McCartney in Red Square, 24 May

Jeff Baker (press secretary): Ladies and gentlemen -- Paul McCartney!
Paul: Hello there! Priviet! What do you want to know?

Sky News: Sir Paul, what kept you and, secondly, do you have further musical ambitions or touring ambitions "after" playing in the Red Square. I mean if you want to do something even more the Russian Space Agency will give you the ultimate ticket to ride.

Paul: The Moon, next stop the Moon, yeah. What kept me? We tried to do a show here in the 80''s but some sort of legislation "against", some sort of rule kept us out of here. So it''s great to be in here now today... its a beautiful sight" from Red Square. This is my first time in Russia so it is very exciting for me just as a tourist. We can''t wait to play tonight to these lovely russkies!

Six channel, Moscow: Please say me what for you Russia. What you think about Russia before this day, what you know about Russia before this day?

Paul: You know when I was a little kid growing up we didn''t know much about Russia, we just thought it... we heard about Siberia, we saw the marches happening in this square, so we thought it a very military, very serious place. But in the 60''s we started to hear that people here like the Beatles so we obviously started to feel much better about it personally. And after glasnost we realized that they are great people, big hearts, and they''re just like us. So it is very exciting to know that after all this time the Beatles''ve been sort of banned in Russia we can finally come and do the show. It''s exciting for me I now know that you are wonderful people.

Jeff Baker: .... to translate that...
Interpreter: I’d like to translate…
Crowd: Don’t need it!
Paul: They understand, they understand...

Q: Paul! Welcome to Russia! Would you, please, name, in your opinion, the best city in the world.

Paul (without hesitation): Liverpool! You weren''t ready for that one, eh? Thank you for your welcome. It''s really great to be here, I love it, fabulous.

Q: The big part of the concert and the whole tour are Beatles songs. Do you still enjoy it or you play it for the audience? And what images do you have -- now -- are they the same as before?

Paul: I do love doing the Beatles songs. After the Beatles broke up and we started the group Wings I used to avoid Beatles songs because we wanted to make a new identity with Wings. But now it''s time to just enjoy ourselves and do stuff that the audience likes. And as soon as we haven''t done it for so long -- Beatles songs, a lot of them are very fresh for me now. It''s like doing new songs. And in fact there are couple of them we do in the show that I''ve never done live until this tour. Even though they are 30 years old! They are nice songs, people of all generations seem to like them. I enjoy doing them, I''m very proud of having been in the Beatles. Good group!!!

Q: Hello, Sir Paul. It''s nice to see you in Moscow now. Would you dedicate some songs you play today to the memory of George Harrison?

Paul: Yes, I will, certainly. I do a song, I''m gonna do a song tonight to the memory of George and one to John and one to Linda. This is part of the show and it''s quite an emotional show. We sing some songs for our departed loved ones, so those three people ''ll get mentioned and get song for. Yeah, so I will do that. Specially for you

Q: Paul! You seem to make sure that you’ve been having many your fans in here, even more, than you’d probably think of. Hit-Parade Magazine, Marina Komarova, may I present you an issue of our magazine. And my question is: How did you find this summer time Moscow?

Paul: The weather is great, thank you very much. Absolutely wonderful! And I am sure that the magazine is FAB!

Q: Hello, Paul! I''m from Ukraine. Maria Bondar’ is my name. I’d like to ask you whether your Ukranian fans could have the hope that you will visit us.

Paul (animatedly): Yeah, Ukraine girls, hey! We know about you. This is the first time we''ve been in Russia, so tonight is our one and only concert so far. But I think we all love the spirit of Russia and I think after tonight we may have to come back. If we do we''ll come to see you, Ukraine girls. And Georgia too.

Q: Sir Paul! There was a rumour some years ago that a school boy had come up to you and asked you to play in his school orchestra (band), and allegedly you had agreed to. Is that true? And what is the most unusual concert in your life you’ve given? One more question: what, in your view, the most difficult song to perform in your concerts, I mean, for a live performance?

Paul: I don''t understand this question about a little boy coming and asking to play with the band. Oh, there''s some news... No, it seems to be a few little rumours in Russia. That''s not true. And it''s also not true that the Beatles came to the airport and did a concert in the 60''s -- it''s another rumour. And the most difficult song to perform... (hesitating) budu-budu-budaaa -- I don''t know, they are all... not that difficult (outburst of laughter). I''ve learned them all... now. "...The Stretch" [???]I haven''t done that one. It''s a little known number that no one else would probably know but thank you for mentioning it.

Q: Good afternoon, Sir. Do you ever record in the studio with your legendary Hoffner bass. Still, sometimes?

Paul: Yeah, I do actually. I didn''t used to use the Hoffner bass for quite awhile after the Beatles. I sort of retired it, I thought it''s a bit of an old-fashioned instrument and I got some more modern instruments. But then I was working with Elvis Costello and he asked to use it so we worked with that together. I rediscovered it, so I love it now, so I use it all the time now. It''s the only one I use now. And this is the original bass "from the Beatles".

Peter Saari from Finland: How involved are you with the charity nowadays?

Paul: Quite involved. Heather and I got involved mainly at the moment with land mine clearance. So we support an organization, we are patrons of an organization called "Adopt a mine-field". We are basically trying to clear the world of land mines. We were lucky enough to see President Putin today, so we talked to him about it, it was very encouraging. We''ve already talked to George Bush, we talked to leaders around the world. We''ve been very successful, we cleared a lot of land mines in the world. So anyone "" who would like to help we''d very much value your help in getting rid of all the land mines in the world. To put an end.

Q: Sir Paul, could you tell us please what were the topics of your discussions with president Putin today?

Paul: It''s a secret, I can''t tell you (laughter). Now, first of all it was very sort of formal. And we talked about just how happy I was to be in Russia and he welcomed Heather and I. But then it got to be more informal and we talked about lot of things. He seems to be a really nice guy. And we talked about the fact that he was a wrestler. We talked about a lot of things -- horse-riding, music. I sang him a song. Cause he couldn''t come to the concert tonight so I gave him little private. But he was very nice, it was really nice to meet him, it was an honour to meet him. He seems like the great head of the state. We talked about people, we are all from working class families -- he is, Heather is and I am, and we talked about the value of people and families.

Q: Which song did you perform?
Paul: Let it Be

Q: Sir Paul! What is the most fantastic legend about you you can us tell? For instance, in here there’s been a legend that back then in the 60-s the Beatles landed in Russia but were not allowed to go anywhere and had to stay inside Sheremetievo Airport. So the Beatles gave its the only concert in Russia. Do you know anything else to report?
(Interpreter in confusion)

Paul: I''m nodding like I understand. I can''t think actually. There''ve been a lot. I actually don''t remember them, the rumours.

Q: Paul, would you like to be here in Red Square with John Lennon, and if ‘yes'' what song that would have been?

Paul: Oh yeah, it would be fabulous to be here with John, I think it would be very special because it "is the way" that Russian people love the Beatles. It would be beautiful it would be great to have him here, and to have George here, that would be beautiful. Unfortunately it is not possible. But it would be great, really nice. And what song we would have done? I don''t know, maybe "I Want to Hold Your Hand". How about that?

Q: Hello, Paul. Now after next or maybe several years you will be 64. And you have a song 64. What about this day and the text of this song?

Paul: Yeah, it is true. I did write the song called "When I''m 64" and it is getting perilously close. But I don''t know... I never sung that song live so I think that will be the year that I start to sing it live. But there is a story I heard, someone in America said "My mother goes to..." She said she goes to old people''s clubs and she sings that song for them. But because they are such old people she had to change the words to "when I''m 84". Cause 64 is too young.

Mark Cunning: Donovan recently came up with the quote saying "The Beatles were the best friends this planet ever had". And I''m wondering how you think that quote might relate "to this event"?

Paul: I didn''t know he said that. It''s really nice. As I said before I am very proud to be in the Beatles cause I think without knowing it we made a lot of changes. I mean we were just guys trying to make music and make a living and just enjoy ourselves. But something came through "of kind of" the freedom that we started to represent. And we were very honest. So when we were asked about things like Vietnam war we spoke honestly. We were asked about the planet, the environment and peace -- things like that, we spoke honestly. And I think that people round the world who are now grown-ups were kids then. And I think it made a lot of changes. That was actually we talked about with Mr.Putin. The Beatles did make a lot of changes. We didn''t really mean, we didn''t set out to make changes but fortunately we did. We were kind of part of the group that wanted changes. And we were just in the right place and the right time. So I''m very proud to be part of that.

Jeff Baker: Thanks very much ladies and gentlemen, we gotta go.
Paul: Thank you everyone, thanks very much, spasi-ba!

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