1994 collab between Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney unearthed

Featuring a spoken environmental message from the late guitarist.

Paul McCartney and Jeff Beck

Image: Mark Reinstein / David Redfern / Getty Images

Paul McCartney has unearthed a never-before-heard musical collaboration between Jeff Beck and himself, recorded nearly thirty years ago.

The video – titled Why Are They Cutting Down the Rainforest? – has been released by the Beatles star for the latest instalment of his Meat Free Monday campaign.

In a new video posted on Twitter, McCartney says, “With the sad passing of Jeff Beck – a good friend of mine, and a great, great guitar player – it reminded me of the time we worked together many years ago on a campaign for vegetarianism.”

Originally recorded by the two musicians in 1994 during a vegetarianism campaign, the message also appeared in a 13-part US radio series presented and created by Paul McCartney called Oobu Joobu, which featured rare recordings and insights into his passions, such as vegetarianism.

“What worries me is what else we are killing besides the cows. Nearly a quarter of all medications and pharmaceuticals that we use today are derived from tropical plants,” Beck narrates in the video, as a jaunty rock tune plays in the background.

“Because we want more and more grazing land for cattle, we are ripping up the rainforests, uncaring or oblivious to the fact that these forests may and possibly do contain plants that could provide a cure for leukaemia or heart disease, maybe even a cure for Aids – who knows. But it doesn’t make much sense to me to risk losing the possible discovery of a miracle cure just for a $1.50 hamburger.”

Beck died earlier this month at the age of 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis. In a heartfelt tribute to the guitar icon, McCartney wrote, “Jeff Beck was a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour who played some of the best guitar music ever to come out of Great Britain. He was a superb technician and could strip down his guitar and put it back together again in time for the show.”

“His unique style of playing was something that no one could match, and I will always remember the great times we had together.”

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