Nuno Bettencourt once had a brief songwriting session with Paul McCartney – which was cut short by Kanye West

The unlikely encounter happened during rehearsals for the 2015 Grammys.


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Nuno Bettencourt has discussed the time he had a five-second songwriting session with the legendary Paul McCartney, which was interrupted by none other than Kanye West.

In a new interview with Rick Beato, the Extreme guitarist recalls back to rehearsals for the 2015 Grammys, during which he worked alongside McCartney. The pair appeared onstage at the show to perform FourFiveSeconds with West and Rihanna.

“He was so wonderful. And he was so giving. And just made me feel old,” Bettencourt says. “He was like a child. That’s why he’s doing it — the child in you has to be in there. Because that’s why we play music in the first place. If we lose that — and this dude has not.”

As Bettencourt explains, the all-too-brief songwriting session happened at the end of the second day of rehearsals, when he was recording an idea for a song with his phone.

“I just hear his voice, ‘What’s that you’re playing? Oh, I like that; it sounds expensive!’” the guitarist laughs. “I’m sweating now, he’s talking to me, and I’m sweating. He goes, ‘What do you got for the chorus?’ Because I said it was just a little verse. ‘What do you got for the chorus?’ – and I’m [thinking] like, ‘Don’t tell me I’m writing a fucking song right now with Paul McCartney, please don’t tell me that’s happening.’

“And I [thought], ‘You know what? Fuck this,’ and I go, ‘What would you do for the chorus?’ And he just starts singing [in] Paul McCartney falsetto.”

Unfortunately, the dream of a Bettencourt/McCartney collab didn’t quite grow into fruition as the split-second writing session was cut short by the now-notorious Kanye West.

“And I’m [thinking], ‘Oh my god, this is incredible, I’m writing [with Paul McCartney]’ – and then Kanye [West] comes over and interrupts us.”

All is not lost, though, as according to Bettencourt, his phone recorded the entire interaction. Maybe we can expect a collaboration in the future…

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