McCartney discusses forced vacation and "early days" in new Rolling Stone Q&A

Rolling Stone has the first extensive interview with Paul following his recent illness and the cancellation of several tour dates.

Macca says the break was actually a good thing, though he's happy to be back on the road in the U.S. in a slate of shows garnering good reviews.
"People say to me, 'Aw, that must have been terrible for you.' Well, no, actually," the former Beatle, 72, tells Rolling Stone. "No one ever tells me to rest! It was like summer holidays in school or something. I thought, 'Yeah, I can get into that.'" Macca says the break was actually a good thing, though he's happy to be back on the road in the U.S. in a slate of shows garnering good reviews.

McCartney says the time off from the road let him catch up on all kinds of pursuits that his heavy touring schedule might have otherwise made difficult.
"I just took it really easy at home in England," he says. "My son-in-law had a film script – plenty of time to read that. I started jogging a bit. The weather was great, so that was cool. And then I went into my recording studio and did some music that I didn't have to do, some experimental stuff. That was a really nice musical awakening, and it made me feel better."
 There's also some nice discussion of his song "Early Days" and its commentary of Beatles histories:
You just released a music video for your song "Early Days," where the chorus goes, "They can't take it from me if they tried/I lived through those early days." What are you singing about there?

Revisionism. It's about revisionism, really. I know my memory has got chips in it that still can go exactly back to two guys sitting in a room trying to write "I Saw Her Standing There" or "One After 909." I can see that very clearly still, and I can see every minute of John and I writing together, playing together, recording together. I still have very vivid memories of all of that. It's not like it fades. Since John died so tragically, there's been a lot of revisionism, and it's very difficult to go against it, because you can't say, "Well, no, wait a minute, man. I did that." Because then people go, "Oh, yeah, well, that's really nice. That's walking on a dead man's grave." You get a bit sensitive to that, and you just think, "You know what? Forget it. I know what I did. A lot of people know what I did. John knows what I did. Maybe I should just leave it, not worry about it." It took a little while to get to that.

I know that I have every memory still intact, and they don't, as I say in the last verse, 'cause they weren't there. I think you'll find this in most bands, but in the Beatles' case, it's got to be worse than any case. For instance, I was on holiday once, and there was this little girl on the beach, little American kid. She says, "Hi, there. I've just been doing a Beatles appreciation class in school." I said, "Wow, that's great." I think, "I know, I'll be really cool here. I'll tell her a little inside story." So I go on about how something happened, and it was a fun story – and she looks at me, she says, "No, that's not true. We covered that in the Beatles appreciation class." I'm going, "Oh, fuck." There's no way out, man! They're teaching this stuff now.

When Sam Taylor did her film [Nowhere Boy], she brought the script round and we chatted about it. She's a very good friend. And I said, "Well, Sam, that's not really true. John didn't really ride on the top of the double-decker bus." She said, "No, but it's a great scene." I mean, the character of Mimi, John's aunt, I said to her, "She really wasn't how she's written in the script. She's written as a very vitriolic, mean old bitch, and she wasn't at all." She was just some woman who was given charge of the responsibility of bringing up John Lennon, and it was not an easy job, you know? She was trying her best. She was kind of strict, but it was with a twinkle in her eye. I said, "I used to go around there and write with John, and she was okay. You've got to change that." Some of the things she did change, but in the end we agreed that this is not a documentary, this is a film, and so she made inferences that weren't there. Like, this whole idea of the first song we recorded, "In Spite of All the Danger," being John's ode to his mother. That's not true, but in a film, it works better. I remember the session, and I remember all the circumstances around that – and we wrote it together. It did not appear to be an angst-ridden ode. We were copying American stuff that we were listening to. American songs were about danger, that's why we put it in. But, for Sam, it worked much better in the film as an angst-ridden ballad.

To get back to my original point, that's the kind of thing that happens in films, but these books that are written about the meaning of songs, like Revolution in the Head – I read through that. It's a kind of toilet book, a good book to just dip into. And I'll come across, "McCartney wrote that in answer to Lennon's acerbic this," and I go, "Well, that's not true." But it's going down as history. That is already known as a very highly respected tome, and I say, "Yeah, well, okay." This is a fact of my life. These facts are going down as some sort of musical history about the Beatles. There are millions of them, and I know for a fact that a lot of them are incorrect.