David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

Here's McCartney, Laurence Juber and Denny Laine jamming. I cannot tell you what a privilege I felt it was being there while musicians of the calibre of McCartney, Juber, Laine and drummer Steve Holly were rehearsing, jamming playing. Music being such an important part of my life and even playing a bit of guitar myself, I sometimes had to pinch myself to make sure I was really there.

I recall one day that one of the techs was humming 'The Lady Is A Tramp'. Denny started idly picking it out on him guitar. Paul came in with abase line, Juber and Holly joined in...and created out of thin air, busked, came a jazzy instrumental version of the tune. You'd have thought they'd rehearsed it. Laurence's party piece was a solo fingerstyle version of The Teddy Bears' picnic - Linda loved it.

With them in the Mull of Kintyre one time, they started playing Sex Pistols songs - just as well as Lady Is A Tramp. Amazing.

In many ways I prefer being in on rehearsals with bands and orchestras. You see the work behind it all and I find that heartening. Talent requires talent itself but mainly hard, often obsessive, work. Talent is there but it's only the final five per cent, in my opinion.

A little story. At a studio in Wandsworth with MCartney. A chippie remarks idly to McCartney that he likes the song. "Thanks", says Paul. "How long does it take to write a song like that?", asks the chippie. "It depends. Sometimes it takes weeks, other times it comes really quickly", says Paul. "So how long did this one take?" "This one was easy, about 20 minutes." "So, how much would you make if it was a hit?", ask the chippy, intrigued (as I was). "Hard to say," says McCartney, "maybe £250,000". The chippie's eyebrows raised and he blurted out "for 20 minutes work! Money for old rope, isn't it?" McCartney grinned "it is, isn't it. You ought to do it yourself.