Surviving Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have reunited and recorded a song written by their former bandmate, John Lennon.
Starr’s forthcoming album What’s My Name contains a cover of “Grow Old with Me”. It was one of the final songs written by Lennon prior to his death in 1980 and was later released posthumously on 1984’s Milk and Honey. A decade later, McCartney, Starr, and George Harrison flirted with the idea of re-recording the song during the making of The Beatles Anthology. Now, McCartney and Starr have finally done just that.
Their version of “Grow Old With Me” features Starr on drums and vocals, McCartney on bass and backing vocals, and The Eagles’ Joe Walsh on guitar. Starr said he was motivated to record the song after meeting with Jack Douglas, who produced John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy.
“Jack asked if I ever heard The Bermuda Tapes, John’s demos from that time,” Starr recalled in a press release. “And I had never heard all this. The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I’m an emotional person. And 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. 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 ‘Here Comes The Sun’. So in a way, it’s the four of us.”
“Grow Old With Me” and the rest of What’s My Name will be released on October 25th. Update: Listen to the song here. Other album contributors include Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Steve Lukather, Nathan East, Colin Hay, Richard Page, and more.
In the meantime, revisit McCartney and Starr’s recent on-stage reunion in Los Angeles back in July. They played “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” and “Helter Skelter”.