Paul McCartney cassette interview

A printed cardboard held the cassette.

SFX Cassette Magazine was a short-lived British music magazine published in the very early 1980s (not to be confused with SFX magazine, a best-selling science fiction magazine published continuously since 1995). The distinguishing feature of SFX was its format: rather than traditional print media, the magazine was distributed in the form of a one-hour cassette. Magazines were sold as cassettes twist-tied to an 8-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ cardboard backing. The tag line of each issue: “The Only Music Magazine on C-60.”

The format of each issue was similar to a radio show, featuring news and interviews with pop stars (mostly but not exclusively British) and others involved with the music industry; reviews of record releases given by other musicians and artists; previews of upcoming album releases; unsigned band demo recordings; occasional features on culture, fashion and football (soccer); and three or four commercials per issue.

Part 2 of the McCartney interview was published in the next edition of the magazine.

The concept was conceived and developed by Hugh Salmon, then a young account executive at Ogilvy & Mather, and edited by the respected NME journalist, Max Bell. Among notable editorial coups, including Paul McCartney talking for the first time about his feelings of the murder of John Lennon, SFX provided the first opportunity for Jools Holland, keyboard player of Squeeze, and the young Paula Yates, a well-known figure on the music scene then going out with Bob Geldof. They both went on to present the TV programme The Tube.

The publication was short lived, running from November 1981 through the summer of 1982. There were at least 19 known issues published. Taken as a whole, the SFX cassettes capture a narrow slice of music and pop culture as the punk/new wave movement was becoming more mainstream in content and performance.

The McCartney interview, originally spread across two issues in April/May 1982, was one of the first times he had been interviewed at length since Lennon’s death. In the interview he candidly discusses his relationships with The Beatles, Yoko and his feelings about and fame in general as well as the new “Tug of War” album, albeit briefly. It’s a refreshing, genuinely insightful interview, free from his well-rehearsed ‘stock answers’ we get these days.

Here then, is the interview with McCartney from these cassettes, courtesy of Parlogram.

You can find all the editions of SFX cassette magazine here.

2 Responses

  1. Maia says:

    Terrific find. Thanks for another great post. God, I miss that Paul…

  2. db says:

    This is MCCartney wrestling with the idea of Beatles as history and not a possibility.

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