In a heartwarming revelation, Sir Paul McCartney recently shared his thoughts on how his late bandmate John Lennon would have reacted to The Beatles’ newest song, “Now and Then.” The 81-year-old musical icon, along with the sole surviving member of the Fab Four, Sir Ringo Starr, collaborated on this extraordinary track, utilizing Artificial Intelligence to enhance a demo recorded by Lennon before his tragic passing in 1980.
The groundbreaking song features Lennon’s voice and piano skills, captured in his New York apartment.
Using AI technology, the team isolated and improved his vocals, creating a mesmerizing blend of past and present.
Reflecting on the process, Paul shared his thoughts in the new documentary Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song, stating:
“We listened to the track. There’s John in his apartment in New York City, banging away at his piano, doing a little demo. Is it something we shouldn’t do? Every time I thought, like that, I thought ‘wait a minute. Let’s say I had a chance to ask John. ‘Hey John, would you like us to finish this last song of yours?’ I’m telling you, I know the answer would have been ‘yeah.’ He would have loved that.”
John’s son, Sean Lennon, echoed this sentiment, expressing:
“My Dad would’ve loved that because he was never shy to experiment with recording technology. It’s really beautiful.”
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Initially, the song was worked on by Paul, Ringo, and their late bandmate George Harrison in 1994 when they completed “Real Love” and “Free as a Bird.”
However, John’s recordings presented challenges, making it impossible to finalize “Now and Then” at the time. Thanks to advancements in technology, which were also employed to enhance audio in Peter Jackson’s documentary The Beatles: Get Back, the surviving members successfully finished the song.
Paul recalled the emotional moment, stating:
“They said this is the sound of John’s voice [imitates computer noise]. A few seconds later and there it was, John’s voice, crystal clear. It was quite emotional.”
This poignant blend of past and present, made possible by the wonders of technology, not only pays homage to Lennon’s musical legacy but also reaffirms the enduring bond shared by The Beatles. As fans eagerly anticipate the release of “Now and Then,” they can revel in the knowledge that John Lennon’s spirit lives on in the timeless melodies of The Beatles’ newest creation.