Paul McCartney says The Beatles loved how Russian fans listened to their “forbidden music

Paul McCartney has revealed The Beatles “loved” Russian fans secretly listened to their “forbidden” music in a new podcast.

McCartney discussed Russia’s cultural ban on their music on the McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast while dedicating a whole episode to their ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.’ hit.

He explained: “Everyone in Russia goes back to The Beatles period and remembers having to smuggle records or it was all very you know, little rooms where you could play and you didn’t want people to know.”

Adding: “You didn’t want the authorities to know that you were listening to this forbidden group, which really, we loved the idea of that – that we were getting smuggled along with Levi’s jeans. This was like true cultural arrival.”

McCartney also opened up when host Paul Muldoon suggested the idea about art being dangerous, saying that it can be “to some people”, adding, “We always thought that we were on the right side, that if we were dangerous, we were dangerous to the Russian authorities, and to us that said they’re not that good.”

The USSR had a strict ban on all western culture and media from the 1960s to the ’80s, which meant there were no records, films, media rolls, or even new stories covering The Beatles.

However, not long after the ban, a black market appeared in the Russian underground, and fans were finding new ways to listen to The Beatles’ catalogue.

By the 1980s, the USSR began to take a lighter stance on the outside influence of western culture, introducing newly produced Beatles albums into the market.

Episodes of the podcast will be available to stream on a weekly basis by iHeartMedia on podcast platforms unless fans are subscribed to Pushkin+ and can listen to the whole series in full. A second series has already been confirmed for February 2024. iHeartRadio will also broadcast the podcast on their stations across the United States every Sunday morning.

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