Rolling Stones Have Been Recording With Paul McCartney
The Rolling Stones reportedly recruited Paul McCartney to play bass on a new project. The Stones have been teasing a new album for years, and this new release would be the first since drummer Charlie Watts' death in 2021. It was initially reported that Ringo Starr, the only other surviving member of The Beatles, would be involved, but this was disputed.
McCartney has already recorded bass parts for an upcoming Stones project produced by Grammy-winner Andrew Watt, multiple sources told Variety on Feb. 21. That report also claimed Starr was involved in sessions with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. However, a source for Rolling Stone denied that Starr participated. A representative for McCartney declined to comment.
The recording sessions with McCartney took place in Los Angeles in recent weeks. The album's production is reportedly close to the mixing phase. No other details are known about the project, or if this might even see the light of day.
Jagger and Richards have been teasing new music for years, even releasing the single "Living in a Ghost Town" in April 2020. In 2021, Richards told the Los Angeles Times that the coronavirus pandemic interrupted recording. "We have a lot of tracks done, so when the tour's finished, we'll assess where we are with that and continue," Jagger added.
In March 2022, Richards told Rolling Stone that any new album might feature the last recordings with Watts, their founding drummer who died in August 2021. "We were halfway through making an album when he died," Richards said. "Of course, if we want to carry on recording, we're gonna need drums, and it's gonna be Steve Jordan." Richards also mentioned that new music was coming in a Jan. 11 Instagram post to mark the new year.
Richards also told Rolling Stone that McCartney sent him a note insisting that his 2021 comments about dismissing the Stones as a "blues cover band" were taken out of context. "He said, 'That's what I thought when I first heard them,'" Richards said in March 2022. "Paul and I know each other pretty well, and when I first read it. I said, there's been a lot of deleting and editing going on here. And the next day I got a message from Paul saying, 'If you've read this s—, it's all out of context, believe me, boys'... Paul's a great guy, man. I mean, Jesus Christ, look at the songs he's written."
The Stones have not released an album of original material since A Bigger Bang in 2005. Their most recent studio album, Blue & Lonesome, was a collection of blues covers and won the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. McCartney released his latest studio album, McCartney III, in December 2020.