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Paul McCartney: NASA 'Hits a Chord'

Paul McCartney

What happened was, we were in England at the time, that the Discovery crew re-entered and came back and it was a news story. And tagged on to the news story, there was the fact that NASA had played "Good Day Sunshine" to wake them up and I think they played on the news story.

I didn't actually see the new story but a friend of mine, my assistant said "wow! It's great, you know they played "Good Day Sunshine"", so we were buzzing on that, and... so we told wait a minute, we gonna do that in the show, what we should do is try and get some film. So we were trying get in touch with NASA and see if they've got any film that we can use on our big screens, behind those, to make a bit more of a show about it. That actually getting the film was my wife's idea.

She said," it'd be great, you know I'm sure that they've got some stuff ". So we did that, so the combination of friends, put this idea together. It's been fantastic. When we started off the tour, and we just had the film of the Discovery crew.

I think it hit a chord with American audiences, because... well they're American, Number 1, and that's their space shuttle going up there. And I think, because there were slight difficulties, and every one was really relieved to see the crew back. And I think also the song fits, you know that's the nice thing, it's a great song.

You know for Earth, if you've been away, 'Good Day Sunshine' you know felt like wakes you up and gets you back into the swing of things. So that was really exciting, and the reaction to that just on it's own, is been fantastic, wherever we've gone. And I've heard people afterwards say, "wow! That "Good Day Sunshine". That spaceship thing! That was really cool you know!" And then Houston, we finally go to Houston, to be able to announce after "Good Day Sunshine" this time and to tell the story of the Discovery, and tell them the story I normally told.

About the re-entering after all the troubles and do our song, I was then at the end of the song, able to take the applause let it die down a tiny bit and we say "Ok!" We got a surprise for you ladies and gentlemen! "The crew of the Discovery"; Well the audience went bananas.

I mean, you know they were as excited as us. And you know, the great thing is we were talking about it afterwards as you always do, you know, you re-run the whole thing.

Somebody was saying sometimes these personal appearances things, can be a little bit cringe … You know a little bit embarrassing to see the … "Ladies and gentlemen."

You know it's all a little bit embarrassing, but this was fantastic. They walked down as proud as punch, you know, all looking great. Lined up exactly the right position. And that was great. Able to shake hands, announce all their names. And … I must say they were into it, they were very into it, I could see by the expression on their faces they were really buzzing as well as us. And then we had the honor when we were in Anaheim in California of hooking up with,

Bill McArthur and Valery Tokarev, actually live from the stadium. So it was very exciting I said to the audience, "Ok, we got a surprise for you!" We're any minute gonna hook up with the International Space Station, that is 220 miles up there. And there were two guys in there and we're going live and all you 17,000 people gonna share this experience! Waaaah."

And I said no, won't be long now, I saw the two image of the two guys flicker up on my screen. This is, so let's call them now, you know we went over and the guys talking from space, you know just kind of, you see they're weightless -- this is the mike floating around, and we're all going "Yeahhh! Wow!" You know they really are in space and then Bill did his somersault. And that was like ok, this is no reconstruction. this isn't a studio in Burbank, this is the real thing. And, so that was really exciting and I say, I said to the audience after, I said, I think, I need about twenty minutes, to go and have a lie down and you know its just so sort of...

What do you do after that? So that was very exciting for all of us. We haven't stop talking about it since. I think you know, I can only imagine what it's like to be up there. I can't begin to imagine what it's like to get up there. But then, to be up there, looking back at Earth, I can imagine you get a little bit sort of homesick, a little bit nostalgic. Cause you know, you're not there any more and.. and I am sure there're some days when you like to just get out of your spacecraft and just pop down to the park or something you know.

So I think music is probably a great help because it'll, it sort of grounds you, you know and brings you back and gives you memories, that's the other nice thing. about a lot of my music, I find people commenting and say, "I remember exactly where I was. I was going out with this girl and they played that, we heard that on the radio. I was in high school or ..." You know, so people associate lot of memories with it and thankfully, mostly good ones. So I can imagine for the space crew when you're out for such a long time and missing home.

That it would be very good to get a reminder, also to take you back and hopefully lift you up. I think there is some deep basic instinct in humans to explore, to find things out, to learn things and it's been something that's happened since the dawn of time, since we learned to stand straight. We've gone on and on and on to talk and to communicate, learn to write, read, all these little steps, huge steps actually you know inventing the wheel etc. etc. to the modern day you know where it's now computers and it's now spacecraft

I think its just a deep urge in us to sort of find out what's there, what's out there.

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