“When we played it to people, some cried, some said, ‘Jesus Christ, it’s a Beatles record!”: Paul McCartney describes reactions to the band’s final song, Now And Then
“A lot of people were touched by the Beatles – and that feeling still exists,” says Macca.
Image: Rob Verhorst / Getty Images
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Speaking to The Times in a recent interview, McCartney talks about the band’s enduring legacy and how looking at photographs of his late bandmates still brings forth “bittersweet” feelings.
“The sweet is ‘How lucky was I to have those men in my life’. But the fact that they’re not here is bitter,” the bassist says.
Of the new song – which features sonic contributions from all four Beatles – McCartney admits that he had some initial reservations about working on the track as it was originally written and recorded by John Lennon circa 1977 as a solo piano home demo.
“It’s strange when you think about it,” Macca says. “There’s John, in his apartment, banging away at a piano doing a demo. And now we’ve restored it and it’s a crystal-clear, beautiful vocal. You still wonder, is it inferior, something we shouldn’t do?”
“But every time I thought that, I thought, Let’s say I had a chance to ask John. And John would have loved it. Of course, I’m never going to know, but I think mine’s the best guess we can have. And now it is a Beatles record. When we played it to people, some cried, some said, ‘Jesus Christ, it’s a Beatles record!’”
“A lot of people were touched by the Beatles – and that feeling still exists,” he continues. “When I remember the Beatles, I remember joy, talent, humour and love. And if people remember us for those things I’d be very happy.”
Now and Then is now out, accompanied by a music video directed by Peter Jackson, the mastermind behind 2021’s The Beatles: Get Back documentary series.
Listen to the song below.