Sir Paul McCartney has confirmed he's hanging out in "beautiful" Hawke's Bay – and if any locals bump into him don't be surprised if he hits you up for a hongi.
The Beatles legend says he's looking forward to a show that's like a "big party' in Auckland on Saturday night – and he's enjoying being back in New Zealand and specifically Napier, which he says has "echoes of Scotland".
"It's fantastic, it's beautiful countryside and I had a day off so I thought I'll come and find somewhere really sweet and this is fantastic, beautiful," McCartney told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning.
McCartney said he had "great memories" of touring New Zealand with the Beatles in 1964, including the Maori welcome they received at Wellington Airport.
"The main memory is rubbing noses with the Maori … to you I'm sure that's kind of you know ordinary but to me that's like I don't do that every day so that's pretty amazing."
McCartney told Hosking that touring concerts had changed enormously since the pre-Beatles days as the Quarrymen, when he and John Lennon played through a shared amp.
"From when we started out it's a completely different thing. We started in a van."
In particular sound systems were now much more advanced than the baseball public address system the Beatles used at Shea Stadium in 1966.
"We couldn't get heard above the screaming girls."
The Beatles legend performs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on Saturday night.
He's determined that the crowd gets their money's worth and the current shows can last up to three hours. Hosking noted McCartney had enough material to perform for nine hours.
"That would be a bit knackering," McCartney noted.
He agreed that continuing to perform live helped keep him young at the age of 75.
"I do it because I like it and I think there is that thing where you give up what you're used to doing you can a bit sitting by the telly all day and I don't fancy that," he said.
"People pay big money to come to a show so I feel obliged to give them a good time."
McCartney said he tried to select a song list that he would want to hear if he was a fan – and he acknowledged that the older fans wanted to hear Beatles material – but said younger fans knew his more recent work better.
"I do love it and I do it because it's great fun."