It’s been six decades in the making, but the biggest rivals in the history of rock music may be joining forces to create an epic super band. Paul McCartney and, potentially, Ringo Starr appears to be joining The Rolling Stones.
Variety reports that almost 60 years since first meeting, it looks like the Rolling Stones and the two surviving Beatles may come together on a new Stones album. Variety hears from multiple sources that Paul McCartney has recorded bass parts for a forthcoming Rolling Stones project being helmed by 2021 Grammy producer of the year Andrew Watt. Ringo Starr is also slated to play on the yet-to-be-announced album.
Recording sessions took place in Los Angeles in recent weeks and, while it’s unclear which tracks will make the final cut — or whether McCartney and Starr would end up on the same song — the album’s production is nearing the mixing phase. Frontman Mick Jagger said in 2021 that the group has “a lot of tracks done,” and guitarist Keith Richards said in a New Year’s Instagram post last month that “There’s some new music on its way.”
Watt, who shared two Grammys at the Feb. 5 ceremony for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, has become the go-to for veteran rock acts, despite having a discography that leans heavily into pop terrain — like Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” and Dua Lipa’s “Break My Heart.” The guitar virtuoso has himself sat in with such legacy acts as Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop and, of course, Ozzy. He also boasts a close relationship with Elton John, with whom he worked on John’s “Lockdown Sessions” in 2020, which included the Dua Lipa-assisted “Cold Heart,” and the Britney Spears-John duet “Hold Me Closer” in 2021.
McCartney and Watt have worked together in the past. In a 2021 interview, he said as much, describing a meeting with the producer. “I went around for a cup of tea, and of course we ended up making a track,” said McCartney. More recently, he was asked in a Q&A posted on his official website what he was looking forward to in 2023. Said the Beatle: “I’ve been recording with a couple of people, so I’m looking forward to doing even more. I’ve started working with this producer called Andrew Watt, and he’s very interesting — we’ve had some fun.” Though he did add, “Beyond that, I don’t have anything massive planned … at the moment!”
“In an interview last December, McCartney revealed that he’s been recording “with a couple of people,” saying, “I’ve started working with this producer called Andrew Watt, and he’s very interesting – we’ve had some fun. Beyond that, I don’t have anything massive planned… at the moment!”
Stones guitarist Keith Richards also confirmed in a New Year’s Instagram post last month that “There’s some new music on its way,” while ShowBiz411 reported that Watt has been working with The Stones at Sanctuary Studio in Nassau, The Bahamas,” according to Guitar.com.
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McCartney and The Stones appear to have buried the hatchet after the former Beatles star referred to the band as “a blues cover band. Reflecting on his life’s greatest work, the music icon said, “I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs.”
It wasn’t the first time McCartney had stung The Rolling Stones. In 2020, “They are rooted in the blues,” McCartney told Howard Stern about the Stones. “When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. [The Beatles] had a little more influences.
“There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”
Jagger, quick-witted as always, later responded in an interview of his own, saying, “there’s obviously no competition” between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. “One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums, and then the other band doesn’t exist.”
Both bands have suffered loss over the years, The Beatles losing John Lennon and George Harrison. Most recently, the Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, passed away in 2021 at 80.