Paul McCartney speaks out on Beatles fan concerns over new John Lennon song

Earlier this month, Sir Paul McCartney announced that he’s been working on a final Beatles song believed to be called Now And Then.

The 80-year-old shared that artificial intelligence has been used to “extricate” John Lennon’s voice from an old demo. This was achieved from “a ropey little bit of cassette” by The Beatles Get Back director Peter Jackson.

Speaking with BBC Radio 4, the 80-year-old said: “We had John’s voice and a piano and he could separate them with AI. They tell the machine. ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar’.

“So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles’ record, it was a demo that John had [and] we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI. Then we can mix the record, as you would normally do. So it gives you some sort of leeway.”

McCartney received the cassette containing a number of songs labelled “For Paul” from Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 1994. The songs had been recorded on a boombox as the late Beatle, who was killed in 1980, sat at a piano in his New York apartment.

Macca has now released a statement reassuring fans who are worried about the use of AI to resurrect Lennon’s work. Macca wrote on his Instagram stories: “Been great to see such an exciting response to forthcoming Beatles project. No one is more excited than us to be sharing something with you later in the year.”

McCartney added: “We’ve seen some confusion and speculation about it. Seems to be a lot of guesswork out there. Can’t say too much at this stage but to be clear, nothing has been artificially or synthetically created. It’s all real and we all play on it.

“We cleaned up some existing recordings – a process which has gone on for years. We hope you love it as much as we do. More news in due course, Paul.”

Interestingly George Harrison (who died in 2001) thought the track was “rubbish” which is why it didn’t go out in the 1990s.

Macca added: “It needed a bit of reworking, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing it. [But] George didn’t like it. The Beatles being a democracy, we didn’t do it.”

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