McCartney says he 'revisits' Beatles members in songs

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Paul McCartney said Wednesday his music was a way of making contact with other former members of the Beatles and his late wife Linda, as he launched his new album and DVD in London.

The music legend said his concerts were in some way a tribute to deceased Beatles stars John Lennon and George Harrison as well as Linda, who died from breast cancer in 1998.

"It's great actually, I really like it. In a way I'm revisiting them," McCartney said at a bar in the British capital to promote the set called "Good Evening New York City."

"I'm sort of thinking about George ... similarly with John and Linda. In a way you're kind of in contact with them again you know," he said.

"And it's sad, it's emotional."

He said a new song called "Here Today" was written about Lennon and was difficult to perform.

"It catches me out in this film version (of the song) where I realise I'm telling this man that I love him ... I'm publicly declaring this in front of all these people I don't know."

"It's a good thing to do. I couldn't have done it when I was 18 because I would not have allowed myself to cry or go anywhere near that ... Now it's OK. I'm used to it," he said.

Former guitarist and songwriter Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001 while Lennon was shot dead in New York in 1980.

McCartney admitted he suffered from stage fright when he first started performing, saying he had been "terrified" of audiences.

He recounted a gig with The Beatles in the town of Stroud in southwest England in the early days when "hardly anyone showed up for a start, which was not wonderful."

A group of loutish "Teddy Boys" then started throwing coins at The Beatles and "we ended up picking them up," he said.

But the British musician said "now it's not so bad," adding he takes a minute on stage "to drink it all in."

The new album, released in Britain on December 7, features music from McCartney's three nights of performances in July 2009 at New York's Citi Field, formerly Shea Stadium, site of a Beatles' concert in 1965.