Paul McCartney’s Songwriting Is Still Influenced By John Lennon
John Lennon and Paul McCartney - breathless345 / Youtube
Former Beatle Paul McCartney admits that his creative songwriting process is still influenced by his bandmate, the late John Lennon. He said that he always asked himself what Lennon would say about what he was writing.
These comments are part of an upcoming radio documentary called John Lennon at 80, which will be aired on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds on October 3 and 4, respectively, as a celebration of the late Beatles’ supposed-t0-be 80th birthday which will be on the 9th of October.
In a conversation with Sean Ono Lennon (via NME), who will be hosting the said program, McCartney said: “Ever since the Beatles broke up and we didn’t write together or even record together, I think each one of us referenced the others. When we’re writing stuff, I often do it, you know. I’m writing something and I go, ‘Oh, God, this is bloody awful.’ And I think, ‘What would John say?’… ‘Yeah, you’re right. It’s bloody awful. You’ve got to change it.’ And so I’ll change it, and I know from reports that he did similar things to that. If I’d have a record out, he’d go, ‘Bloody hell … got to go in the studio. Got to try and do better than Paul.’”
Also in the two-part program, McCartney mentioned his thoughts about the final days of the band as they worked on Let It Be. He shared that he thought that period in the band’s career was “as gloomy as the press made it out to be” until he recently saw rehearsal footage and recalled the “hope” he felt at the time. With regards to Lennon’s insecurities, McCartney said: “Wait a minute, there’s this guy, John Lennon, who’s, like, a genius, clever, witty, confident and everything – why would he have insecurities? Because we’re all fragile beings.”
BBC recently revealed that McCartney played a short section of the first song he co-wrote with Lennon, titled “Just Fun”, on the show. “There were a few songs that weren’t very good. You know, clearly young songwriters who don’t know how to do it. Eventually we started to write slightly better songs and then enjoyed the process of learning together so much that it really took off,” he said.