Paul McCartney did not require much convincing when it was proposed that he play on the Rolling Stones’ upcoming album, even if it meant lending his own previously booked studio time with the famed producer Andrew Watt for the session.
Mick Jagger, speaking to podcast and radio host Zane Lowe on his Apple Music 1 show, revealed details of the former Beatle’s involvement in “Hackney Diamonds,” the first album of new Rolling Stones songs in 18 years.
Jagger said Watt had booked the Stones for a three-week recording session that was somehow sandwiched around a week of studio time that Watt said McCartney already had dibs on.
Still, the producer had assured Jagger he was fully committed to producing the tracks for the Stones as the band took on a sense of urgency to finish the project after it had lingered in perpetuity for too long, the Stones’ legendary front man said.
“The thing was that Andy had said to me, ‘Look, I’m working on this, Mick. It’s had my complete attention, my complete focus, for six months,’” Jagger said in the Apple Music 1 interview. “And then he said to me, ‘I didn’t really tell you completely the truth because I had this week booked with Paul McCartney right in the middle.’ Right in the middle of the three weeks we got booked for, we only had three weeks booked for cutting tracks. So right in the middle of the three weeks, ‘I’ve got Paul McCartney booked.’ He says, ‘It’s the only thing I couldn’t cancel.’”
Jagger said the Stones, despite their momentum, were OK with taking a break after hearing the news. But it also presented them with an opportunity.
“I said, ‘Well, it’s all right. We will take a few days off. It’s all right. We’ve got time. And we’ve got a lot of great stuff,’” Jagger recalled. “And he said, ‘Well, yeah, but why don’t we invite Paul for one of the days and get him to play? And I said, ‘Well, yeah, that’s a great idea.’ So Andy called Paul and asked him if he wanted to come on one of his days that Andy had promised him.”
Jagger clarified that while McCartney was generous with this time, he didn’t pay for the session that resulted in “Bite My Head Off.”
“He gave up one of his recording days, I think would be fair,” Jagger said. “He didn’t get an invoice, but he did give up one of his recording days.”
“Hackney Diamonds,” set for an Oct. 20 release, will also feature Lady Gaga, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Another former Beatle, Ringo Starr, was reportedly on tap to play on the album, as well, but his appearance did not come to pass.
Watch the full Apple Music 1 interview with Jagger at the top of this story.