Paul McCartney's son James on playing the Cavern Club

Image caption,
James McCartney played guitar on his father's albums Flaming Pie and Driving Rain

Sir Paul McCartney's son James is launching his own music career and is following in his father's footsteps with a gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where The Beatles made their name, on Tuesday.

James has played on two of his father's albums and Sir Paul has co-produced his son's two EPs, including during sessions at Abbey Road studios.

The 34-year-old's singer-songwriter's Liverpool show will be followed by a gig in Dublin on Wednesday before a US tour.

Q. Did you want to go to the Cavern to play in the venue where it all began for your dad?

Yeah I think so - just to embrace the Beatles legacy rather than running away from it.

Q. When you started performing, you used the name Light - was that an attempt to hide your identity?

Not really - I was just more inclined to have a band name that was a rock 'n' roll name that was spiritual. "And here is Light!" If I ever get to Wembley Stadium, that was what I had in mind.

I guess light is a common theme throughout religion and spirituality. Hindus worship light and it's something which is seen as being spiritual and divine.

Image caption,
James on his father: "He's beyond genius, and he's a big inspiration"

Q. Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Yes - when I got to a certain age, I realised that I was somewhat better than other kids at school at guitar and took pride and enjoyment in that.

I then dreamt of being better than The Beatles. I'm not sure if I can do that. If anything, I would love to be equal to The Beatles - but even that's quite tough.

Q. How do you feel about people making the connection and comparison between you and your father?

I think it's great, I think it's an honour. I don't really think I am quite as good as The Beatles or my father but there are definitely influences.

Q. Is it a help or a hindrance having the name McCartney?

It's a help. It can be difficult standing on your own two feet but more than anything it's a help.

Q. What's it like working with your dad as well as having the family relationship?

It's amazing. Sometimes in the past, a few years ago, it can be difficult, it can be tense, like families can get. But beyond that it's beautiful.

He's a genius, he's beyond genius, and he's a big inspiration. Very intellectual and obviously amazing at what he does, so it's great fun. He helps me get in tune with myself and be the best person that I can be.

Q. What has his role been as co-producer?

Just directing me and having some ideas of what instruments we should put on, or encouraging me to sing a bit better or do another take. Also the arrangement or structure of the track and mixes - the whole process.

Q. Your dad hasn't tried to warn you off the music business?

No, not at all. He's very encouraging.

Q. When you were growing up, at what point did you realise your dad was famous?

I always realised that, when there were fans around who would ask for autographs and would always ask for mine sometimes. I would decline because my parents encouraged us to live a somewhat private life.

Q. What would you say to forming The Beatles - The Next Generation, with Sean Lennon, Dhani Harrison and Zak Starkey [Ringo Starr's son]?

I don't think it's something that Zak wants to do. Maybe Jason [another of Starr's sons and also drummer] would want to do it. I'd be up for it. Sean seemed to be into it, Dhani seemed to be into it. I'd be happy to do it.

Q. Has it been mooted?

Yeah, a little bit.

Q. Do you think it could happen?

Yeah, hopefully, naturally. I don't know, you'd have to wait and see. The will of God, nature's support, I guess. So yeah, maybe.

James McCartney was speaking to BBC News entertainment reporter Ian Youngs.

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