Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite to record John Lennon song

Grow Old With Me is latest collaboration between the surviving Beatles members

Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr have reunited to record a cover version of a song written by John Lennon in the final year of his life.

The track marks the latest collaboration between the two surviving members of the Beatles and goes some way to reuniting the musical talents of the Fab Four, since part of a George Harrison song is also reprised on the recording.

Lennon wrote Grow Old With Me during the recording sessions for Double Fantasy, the final album he made before he was shot dead outside his apartment in Manhattan in December 1980.

Starr, 79, said he had not been aware that Lennon recorded a demo version of the song until he was played it by the record producer Jack Douglas, who produced Double Fantasy, which was co-written by Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow.

“Jack asked if I ever heard the Bermuda Tapes, John’s demos from that time,” Starr said. “And I had never heard all this … I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best.

“The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me.”

He added: “So, John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it. It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted. And the strings that Jack arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from [Harrison’s] Here Comes the Sun. So in a way, it’s the four of us.”

Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr have worked together on a number of records since the Beatles split up in 1970, including Starr’s last album, Give More Love.

The track, recorded in Starr’s home studio, features on What’s My Name, his 20th solo album, which also features a number of regular contributors and members of his touring All-Starr Band. It will be released in October.

This week, the Guardian was given access to a rare recording of the band’s discussions while they recorded Abbey Road.

“It’s a revelation,” the historian Mark Lewisohn said of the find. “The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they’re discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn’t. Doesn’t that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?”


Mattha Busby

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Ringo Starr to auction Beatles White Album No 0000001
First pressing of 1968 album, assumed to be owned by John Lennon but kept in vault by Starr, expected to fetch $60,000

Nadia Khomami

25, Nov, 2015 @11:44 AM

Article image
Ringo Starr focuses on missing Beatles photos at launch of new book
Set of images recently found by drummer makes him think bandmates kept similar collections

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

09, Sep, 2015 @11:42 AM

Article image
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr come together for musical collaboration
McCartney played bass on his fellow Beatle’s upcoming new album, their first recording in seven years

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

20, Feb, 2017 @4:00 PM

Article image
Paul McCartney leaves the Beatles
10 April 1970: Number 21 in our series of the 50 key events in the history of rock music

Kitty Empire

11, Jun, 2011 @11:30 PM

Article image
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to reunite for Letterman?

TV producers are allegedly trying to convince the Beatles stars to join forces for an on-air performance on 7 February

Sean Michaels

09, Jan, 2014 @10:12 AM

Article image
‘Annoying snobs was part of the fun’: Paul McCartney and more on the Beatles’ rooftop farewell
As Peter Jackson’s TV series Get Back recasts the Fab Four’s final days in a more positive light, the ex-Beatle remembers the responses to their historic gig above the streets of London

John Harris

18, Nov, 2021 @10:45 AM

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite on stage at Lynch concert

Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr get by after a little too much help from friends at Change Begins Within benefit

Emma Brockes in New York

05, Apr, 2009 @3:35 PM

Article image
Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick dies age 72
Grammy-winning engineer worked on records such as Revolver, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and various Paul McCartney solo albums

Laura Snapes

03, Oct, 2018 @9:05 AM

Article image
The Beatles announce Get Back, first official book in 20 years
Hanif Kureishi writes introduction to book edited from 120 hours of conversations from the Let It Be sessions, in tandem with Peter Jackson documentary

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

16, Sep, 2020 @1:00 PM

Article image
Peter Jackson to direct new Beatles documentary from Let It Be footage
The project will restore archive material filmed in 1969 as the band recorded album

Andrew Pulver

30, Jan, 2019 @12:21 PM