Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Paul McCartney says John Lennon would've loved Auto-Tune

Illustration for article titled Paul McCartney says John Lennon would've loved Auto-Tune
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

Auto-Tune has developed a bad reputation over the years, mostly because it’s egregiously overused, but stylistic tricks like this are only a problem when they’re not used well. Paul McCartney happens to believe he would’ve used it well if Auto-Tone had been around in his Beatles days, and he even thinks John Lennon would’ve been “all over it” if he could have. That comes from a new McCartney profile in GQ, during which he notes that he recently recorded a song using Auto-Tone, and he was worried what people would think when they heard about it. Eventually, though, he realized that Auto-Tune is fun, and John Lennon would’ve had fun with it, so he might as well use it. GQ says the song, which isn’t on McCartney’s new album Egypt Station, features enough Auto-Tune to “horrify any passing purists,” so it should be interesting to hear.


On that John Lennon thread, McCartney also notes that he thinks the two of them would have a very good relationship these days, and he’d probably feel more comfortable telling Lennon how great he is. When Lennon was alive, the two of them only “hinted at” the fact that they thought the other was talented, because apparently guys from Liverpool “don’t compliment each other.” He says “if Ringo’s anything to go by,” they all would’ve loosened up more and would be a lot more comfortable just saying, “I love you, man.”

Elsewhere in the profile, McCartney touches on his relationship with his new friend Kanye West, who apparently has been pushing for any kind of McCartney collaboration for a long time. West had offered to produce McCartney’s new album, but nothing ever came of that. He thought it was a cool idea that was definitely “something,” but it wasn’t the kind of “something” he’d want to do. Still, he did meet up with West for a few writing sessions that mostly amounted to the two of them bouncing ideas off of each other and McCartney tooling around on a guitar and a piano, but as far as McCartney could tell, they hadn’t really accomplished anything—until West presented McCartney with Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds,” which samples a riff McCartney played and features him on distorted backing vocals. That song has become McCartney’s biggest hit in decades, so it makes sense that he’s open to modern concepts like Auto-Tune.