Piecing together a new documentary about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York has brought back bad memories for Sir Paul McCartney, who watched the Twin Towers burn from the tarmac at the city's Jfk Airport.
MCCartney's TV love story to the Big Apple, which features the rocker roaming the streets in the days after 9/11, will air next month (Sep11) on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the atrocities, and he admits all that happened on that fateful morning came flooding back to him as he watched the footage.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association festival in Beverly Hills via satellite from Ohio on Thursday (04Aug11) MCCartney said, "We were at Jfk on the tarmac and the pilot just suddenly said, 'We can’t take off, we’re gonna have to go back to base.' Out of the window, on the right hand side of the airplane, you could see the Twin Towers. First of all you could see one plume of smoke and you could see two shortly thereafter and I said, 'Well, that’s an optical illusion... or it’s probably just some little fire or something, but it does look pretty serious.'
"We were just looking at that for a while and then suddenly one of the stewards came to me and said, 'There’s something really serious that’s happened in New York and we’ve got to get you out of here.'
"I ended up in Long Island watching it on TV... wanting to go into New York, but nobody was allowed back in, and while I was sitting out there twiddling my thumbs thinking, 'What to do? Was there any role I could play in this?' The idea came to me that maybe we could do a concert, get something together."
The film, The Love We Make, chronicles the concert and features footage of MCCartney on the streets of New York speaking to fans.
He added, "There was fear in the air and I’d never experienced that, particularly in New York."
The bad memories of 9/11 have since been replaced by happier ones of the city - and he admits the Big Apple has always had a big place in his heart: "I married a New York girl - Linda - and I’m about to marry another one, so I think I would think first of Linda and her family and our family and her connections with New York and then my upcoming connections... I have a lot of connections. I love New York."