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James McCartney, Paul’s son, lambasted for BBC interview

Paul McCartney's son James McCartney has been criticized as appearing "boring" on a recent interview on the BBC discussing his new album "Me."
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

James McCartney generated some supportive reviews after issuing his debut EP, “The Complete EP Collection,” in 2011 and for his associated live shows, but today he’s collecting some stinging jabs for his recent appearance on the BBC in conjunction with the release of his debut album, “Me,” released last month.

The Twitterverse quickly lit up with comments such as “boring,” “seemingly arrogant,” “monosyllabic” and “PR disaster” after he appeared on “BBC Breakfast” to talk about the new album and his famous dad. But if McCartney comes across several notches less electric than Tom Cruise bouncing on Oprah’s sofa, he’s hardly monosyllabic.

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Perhaps he had trouble taking seriously some of the questions the show’s hosts Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid put to him, like the one one Turnbull threw out, “There’s somebody on the credit list credited with vocals, guitar and drums called Paul McCartney — who’s he?” McCartney politely replied, “He’s my father.”

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When Reid offered a more substantive query about whether it was a hard decision to go into the music business given the sizable footprints McCartney the younger would be following in, he explained, “No, I never really thought of it like that. I thought, I’m not going to be oppressed by certain things, I’m just going to carry on and do my own thing.”

The criticism seems largely directed at his interjected “Mmmm” responses to Journalism 101 comments from Reid outlining for the uninitiated that he’d released an EP previously and also had played several shows here in the States already. In short, McCartney’s offspring seems to be getting raked over the coals for not exhibiting a perky Beatle personality.

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In more than 35 years of interviewing musicians, I’ve found that interview subjects will bring only as much insight and passion to their answers as I bring to my questions.

Here’s the interview. Judge for yourself: Is Paul’s son dull and monosyllabic, or justifiably reticent?

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Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2

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