Pete Townshend says he inspired Macca to self-record first solo album, McCartney

Townshend may have sparked the Beatle’s home recording passion.

Pete Townshend and Paul McCartney

Photo: Kevin Mazur / Gustavo Caballero / Getty

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Pete Townshend has revealed that he might have inspired Paul McCartney to self-record his first solo album, McCartney, which was released in 1970.

According to an interview in the April 2021 issue of Uncut, due out this Thursday (18 February), Townshend recalled introducing McCartney to home recording when he met the Beatle at London’s Olympic Studios.

“I was working on my first solo album, Who Came First,” Townshend said. “Paul and Linda [McCartney] were in the studio doing something as well and they came up to have a listen.”

“Paul said to me, ‘How did you do this?’ I told him that I’d recorded it at home, where I had a little mixing desk and an eight-track tape machine. He went, ‘Fuck! You did it yourself?’ I said, ‘Yeah, you should try it.’”

According to the Who guitarist, it wasn’t long after that exchange that Macca caught the home recording bug. “[Paul] called up one day, really energised: ‘The guys from Abbey Road have delivered an eight-track machine to my house in St. John’s Wood and I’ve started’,” Townshend said.

While McCartney was recognised for its lo-fi sound – having been largely recorded at home with basic equipment – it is worlds apart from the Beatle’s latest self-titled album McCartney III, which he released last year.

Townshend also commented on McCartney’s latest album: “Now he’s got this big SSL studio in his house in Sussex, he can do whatever the fuck he likes. It’s not really a home-recording exercise.”

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