Paul McCartney recently said that he sometimes has to use a teleprompter to remember the lyrics to old Beatles’ songs. The pop music legend opened up on the Smartless podcast recently about his struggles to stay in the moment on stage and recall those tunes.
“Sometimes I’ll be doing a song, like Eleanor Rigby or something, and I’m on autopilot,” the 78-year-old McCartney said, according to NME. “And I’m starting to think, ‘Oh, what am I gonna have for dinner? Maybe you won’t have the soup but maybe you’ll just go for the main course’.
“Then I go, ‘Stop!’ because I’m singing Eleanor Rigby! I’ve separated myself not only from Paul and fame, but a couple of bits in my head are going in different places.”
But that doesn’t always work. McCartney said he sometimes has to turn to technology to help him stay on script.
“Sometimes that breaks down and I forget the song,” he said. “I have a teleprompter.”
Last year, McCartney told The Mirror that he had to relearn all of those old Beatles songs in rehearsal for his then-upcoming tour.
“I have to re-learn everything. I’ve written an awful lot, you can’t retain them all. We go in rehearsal and I’m, ‘Oh yeah, that’s how it goes,’” McCartney said.
In fairness to McCartney, he’s worked on more than 1,000 songs during his illustrious career, NME said. And some of those Beatles songs are more than 56 years old. His catalog is so extensive that even he’s surprised by his own music on occasion.
“Some of the old songs you say, ‘Oh, that’s clever, I wouldn’t have done that’. It’s exciting to think that still works,” he said, according to the NME. Adding, “We were a little rock and roll group from Liverpool, it just kept going.”
Paul McCartney Reveals a Favorite Beatles Memory
Paul McCartney told Taylor Swift that one of his favorite Beatles memories involved a van crash in a blizzard. In a long, free-flowing conversation between the superstars for Rolling Stone, McCartney said the serious wreck reminded him of the joys of songwriting.
“We were in a terrible, big blizzard, going from London to Liverpool, which we always did,” McCartney said. “We’d be working in London and then drive back in the van, just the four of us with our roadie, who would be driving. And this was a blizzard. You couldn’t see the road. At one point, it slid off and it went down an embankment. So it was ‘Ahhh,’ a bunch of yelling. We ended up at the bottom. It didn’t flip, luckily, but so there we are, and then it’s like, ‘Oh, how are we going to get back up? We’re in a van. It’s snowing, and there’s no way.’
“We’re all standing around in a little circle, and thinking, What are we going to do? And one of us said, ‘Well, something will happen.’ And I thought that was just the greatest. I love that, that’s a philosophy. And it did. We sort of went up the bank, we thumbed a lift, we got the lorry driver to take us, and Mal, our roadie, sorted the van and everything. So that was kind of our career. And I suppose that’s like how I ended up being a musician and a songwriter: ‘Something will happen.’ It’s so stupid it’s brilliant.”