Paul McCartney Recalls ‘Scary’ Japanese Prison Time
Paul McCartney recalled the “scary” nine days he spent in a Japanese prison in 1980, and revealed that if he hadn’t been a celebrity, he’d have faced a much harsher sentence.
The former Beatle’s comments were included in the extended version of “Carpool Karaoke” from The Late Late Show With James Corden, which aired this week in response to more than 130 million online views of the shorter, original edition that arrived in June.
“I still am hazy as to how that happened, but it did,” McCartney said of his prison term. “And in my suitcase, yes, there was some marijuana in the suitcase. And I ended up in jail. Nine days – scary!”
However, he explained, it could have been much worse: “The guy goes, ‘Oh!’ I said, ‘Well, what did he say?’ He says, ‘Seven years hard labor.’ And actually, that was the sentence for what I’d done.” McCartney added that he’d eventually settled in and even shared a communal bath with fellow inmates. “By the end, I was like, ‘Come on! In for a penny. I’m going in with the boys,'" he recalled. "So we all went in there and it was fun, y’know, being in the tub with all these Japanese guys.”
Elsewhere in the show – which was based around additional scenes from McCartney's surprise concert in his hometown of Liverpool – he addressed the ‘60s “Paul is dead” conspiracy theory. “We just kind of let it go,” he said, and revealed that he was barefoot on the cover of the Abbey Road album not because it was a hint that he was an impostor, but because he’d been wearing sandals on the hot day and decided to take them off. He also recalled being asked by a fan if he really was Paul McCartney and replied, “No, but I wish I had his money!”
Meanwhile, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr will be featured on the 100th episode of The Big Interview With Dan Rather, which will air on Oct. 2. In a preview clip, Starr discussed his early influences. “People always ask me, ‘What about those drummers on those records?’" he said. "I never listened to the drummer. I listened to the whole thing. Yes, I know the names, but it wasn’t like I was listening for the drums.”
You can watch the clip below.