Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paul McCartney on "Tomorrow Never Knows"

"It was quite unusual and funny from the beginning with 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' John had this idea with the lyrics because he had just read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and he was duly impressed, dead impressed with it. He decided he'd write a song inspired by it, but there was a problem. We only had one verse to work with. We worked very hard to stretch it to two verses. We racked our brains, but couldn't come up with any more words because we felt it already said everything we wanted to say in the two verses. So we had to make it longer somehow and make it different, as well. I had an idea to use something I had been experimenting with at home on my tape player where I would pull a piece of tape over the record head and saturate the tape with all kinds of sounds. I was listening to Stockhausen, the experimental modern composer, at the time, and these saturated loops were inspired by his work. So I brought some of these recordings into the studio. We made loops of them and we tried mixing them into the song, and it turned out great. It was vaguely my idea to create that weird stuff in the song."

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