Paul McCartney Revisits The Beatles on 'Late Show': "I Have a Lot of Dreams About John"

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert_ Paul McCartney - Publicity - H 2019
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Paul McCartney took a trip down Beatles memory lane when he made a visit to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night. 

Sitting down with the late-night host to promote his new children's book, Hey Granddude!, the legendary singer recalled various memories of his career with the Beatles, even explaining how he writes the music that went on to become hit songs. 

"How do you do it? Do you ever look back on your own catalog and say 'how do I do that?'" Colbert was quick to ask McCartney. "I'm thinking whoever wrote this was pretty good," the singer quipped. 

Colbert then continued to praise McCartney, asking him why "some people become Paul McCartney and others become Stephen Colbert." To answer, McCartney credited his father's musical tastes and performing alongside his family members during gatherings while growing up. "It was a lot of information in my brain. My family was very musical. We would have musical evenings," McCartney said, also joking that they always found themselves "gradually getting more drunk." 

When pondering how else he is able to differentiate himself from everyone, McCartney joked: "Plus I'm a genius." 

Because the Beatles have a catalog of recognizable songs that have been covered by a myriad of musicians, McCartney revealed that Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye are among some of his favorite Beatles covers. McCartney also revealed that "Twist and Shout" was his favorite great cover done by the Beatles. "People think we wrote that," he said. 

Colbert later gushed to McCartney how he doesn't usually get starstruck with guests but he feels that way when speaking to him, something McCartney admits he can't quite comprehend. 

"I am still that little kid that grew up in Liverpool," McCartney said. "I got really famous but I'm here. I'm still that little kid." He went on to explain that he still doesn't "believe" the level of fame he has cultivated in his career. "The way I think, just when I'm at home, I'm just slobbing out watching television. It's kind of 'him' and me. Me is me, who was always in this body and the body's just grown up. Then 'him' is like [a] famous guy. He's very famous." 

Going further in-depth with his life, McCartney discussed how losing his mother at the age of 14 affected him personally and musically. "I didn't think it had affected me musically. I just knew it was a tragedy. To lose your mom at 14 is not easy. It was difficult for a few years just trying to cope to terms with it but then I found music...and John [Lennon]. John lost his mother too." 

McCartney also explained how the moment the Beatles ended also marked another trying time in his life, mostly because of the rumors surrounding his relationship with Lennon. "A lot of the talk was that I was the villain and that John and I didn't really get on well and I kind of bought into it." McCartney continued to explain that he and Lennon were friends despite what the critics believe. 

To further explain their close relationship, McCartney admitted that he thinks about Lennon "quite often." "I dream about him. When you've had a relationship like that for so long, such a deep relationship, I love when people revisit you in your dreams. I often have band dreams. I have a lot of dreams about John."

Later on, McCartney spoke about his new book, Hey Granddude!, which was inspired by a term his grandchild called him. Colbert then shared other titles McCartney could write, including "Gran on the Run," "All You Need Is Love and Lipitor," "Help! I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up," "Back in the AARP" and "Ob-La-Di Obl-Adult Diaper."