October 17, 2013 18:57

Paul McCartney looks forward to signing records for real fans – not 'bounty hunters' – at HMV event

Beatles legend says, 'I wish record stores could stay open forever'

Photo: Next Previous

Photo Gallery: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney has offered his support to high street record shops ahead of a signing session taking place at HMV's newly re-opened flagship store in London on Friday (October 18).

McCartney is signing copies of his latest album 'New' from 3pm on Friday (October 18) on a first come, first served basis at the store at 363 Oxford Street – the site of the shop in which The Beatles recorded the demo which led to them signing to Parlophone Records in 1961.

Speaking to NME ahead of the signing, McCartney declared himself a big fan of high street record shops: "I love record stores and wish they could stay open forever," he said. "There's a romance to them and it's a pity whenever any record store closes, though I realise it's inevitable in the download age."

Although looking forward to signing his album, which is behind John Newman's 'Tribute' in the midweek album charts, McCartney also hit out at professional autograph hunters: "Signing sessions are nice, as they're for real fans. Normally when I get asked to sign stuff these days, it's for what my team call 'bounty hunters' – middle-aged guys who all carry vinyl covers of 'Abbey Road' and 'Sgt Pepper's...'. I'll say to them, 'Oh, you play the vinyl all the time, do you?', because I know they're just going to put them straight on eBay. Meeting people who actually like what I do is much nicer."

Of his own record shop memories, McCartney said: "They felt really luxurious when I was growing up, that idea of being able to hear a record in listening booths by yourself. You'd pretend you were going to buy a record, then say 'Nah, I don't want it', even though you'd secretly written down the words to the song you'd just listened to. The first record I bought was 'Be Bop A Lula' by Gene Vincent from Currys in Liverpool, and record shops were magical places. They still are magical, and I was really interested when my manager told me just last week that 80 per cent of album sales are still on CD. So it seems people do still want to buy physical records from high street record shops."

Despite his love of record shops, McCartney admitted he had no memory of The Beatles recording their seminal demo at the HMV store, which has a blue plaque commemorating the occasion, unveiled by Beatles producer George Martin in 2000. He said: "I hate to say it, but I really don't remember us recording there. From what I recall, our first demo was cut at Decca's offices, then at Abbey Road. Someone else has suggested that the Oxford Street site is where George Martin was introduced to Brian Epstein, so it seems as if the place was of some importance, but I really don't recall. These stories get confused over time."

McCartney added he frequently shopped at the store when The Beatles first moved to London. He said: "It's got a lot of great memories, and it'll be nice to go back there. One of 'New''s producers, Ethan Johns, has been touring at record shops to perform his own fantastic album 'If Not Now Then When?', and that's a great way of drawing attention to the stores."

HMV's store at 363 Oxford Street closed in 2000 to move to nearby premises also on Oxford Street, but re-opened at its original home last month. The store was first opened by classical composer Edward Elgar in 1921.

Read More On This Artist

More News
HMV chairman says it is 'a matter of time' before they are Britain's biggest...
DFA Records deny reports New Order are working with James Murphy
Flashback Festival among three Essex events cancelled due to 'unforeseen circumstances'
Kasabian cover Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' and announce plans to perform debut album in...
Prince reveals two new songs ahead of dual album release – listen
Neil Young rumoured to be releasing orchestral album 'Storytone'
Radiohead update official app with new music
Superfood announce details of debut album 'Don't Say That' – hear new song
Disclosure working with Mary J Blige on her new album 'The London Sessions'
Marina and the Diamonds preview snippet of new track 'Froot' – listen
Ryan Adams streams new album online
Rapper Riff Raff attacks 'chubby' Sam Smith after being cut from VMAs Instagram photo
Ash's Tim Wheeler announces debut solo album 'Lost Domain' – hear first song now
Yoko Ono announces this year's recipients of the Lennon Ono Grant For Peace
Royal Blood say debut album success shows there is 'hope for guitars and riffs' – watch
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke dismisses idea of 'Silent Alarm' anniversary tour
Mercury Music Prize 2014 nominees to be revealed next week
Today's new album releases: The Kooks, Pulled Apart By Horses and more
Arcade Fire cover Wolf Parade during final, homecoming Reflektor tour show – watch
Superfood and Honeyblood to play NME New Breed Tour
Foals and The Antlers to feature in Transgressive Records' free September downloads
Representative for Ariana Grande denies leaked nude photos are real

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Featured Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read News
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today