Paul McCartney’s new album, Memory Almost Full, is the first on Starbucks’ new record label, Hear Music, and so to launch it today the java monolith has been playing the album nonstop at its 10,000 shops worldwide. How were people subjected to the music handling it? At the three Starbucks locations on Eighth Avenue between 16th and 23rd Streets — yup, three in seven blocks — the worker bees weren't allowed to do interviews, and they didn't want us to photograph or interview patrons. We did anyway.
PAUL SULLIVAN, 53, Chelsea, retired radio D.J. (“I used to play a lot of Paul McCartney”)
How long have you been in this Starbucks? Three hours. I heard the album four or five times today. I’m actually sick of it now. How would you rate it, 1 to 10? It’s an 8. It’s got a couple good singles on it. He plays ukulele on it. You’re a Paul fan? Ever since I was 11 and someone played “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” How will this album stack up against his classics? It’s better than his last effort, Creation in the Backyard or something like that. What would this album be if it were a Starbucks drink? A Frappuccino. What kind? Now you’re getting into difficult questions.
JESSICA PARK, 24, Chelsea, Parsons student
You have your iPod with you. Did you hear the album at all? Nope. It took me 60 seconds to get my coffee. I saw the Paul thing at the cashier, but I wasn’t really paying attention. Can you name a Paul McCartney song? No. Is there any artist you really associate with Starbucks? I’m always in and out in two seconds. I never sit. What’s on your iPod today? P-Diddy. What beverage would he be? An espresso?
KEVIN KOSHAR, 45, Battery Park City, Realtor
How long have you been here? I’ve been here a good 20 to 30 minutes drinking a grande iced coffee. Were you aware it’s Paul McCartney day? I saw the marketing at the counter. The album is bland. I’ve heard four or five tracks. Are you a Paul fan? I do like him. What music artist do you associate with Starbucks? World music. They wanna sell coffees from around the world, so it ties in. Would something have gone better with this album than your iced coffee? I think I need a venti, basically. What would Paul be if he were a beverage here? He was the pretty Beatle, right? We need something that looks good in a cup. Maybe a cappuccino. That’s kind of nice looking.
KYSHA HARRIS, 37, Harlem, owns catering business
How long have you been here? Ten minutes. What have you absorbed of the album? Absolutely nothing. It sounds like Muzak to me. Though I respect Paul McCartney. But I’m not hearing it right now. Will you buy this album? Probably not. How do you feel about him being with Starbucks? It’s a little bit of a sell-out. He probably has enough money. It probably helps Starbucks more than him. Does the pairing feel right? I feel like I’m in San Francisco and pondering life. What drink did you have? A vanilla latte. Would something else have gone better with this album? A chai latte. Because it’s granola-y. What album would you most like to hear here all day? I’m stuck in a vortex. Either early-nineties hip-hop or Boy by U2.
RICKI WASSERMAN, 57, Long Beach, executive recruiter
How long have you been here? Just a few minutes. What do you think of the album? I’m not really paying attention. I’m here to get a coffee and go. Do you wish you could sit here and listen to it for an hour? I wish I could sit and listen to anything for an hour right now. If Paul were a Starbucks beverage, what would he be? Is this a real New York Magazine question? He’d probably take some kind of a tea thing. He’s British. No, what beverage would he be? Oh, for God’s sake. A chai tea. A little spicy, a little traditional. —Tim Murphy