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McCartney reclaims his role in co-writing 'Mr. Kite'

McCartney reclaims his role in co-writing 'Mr. Kite'

July 31, 2013

Last week, an interview with Paul McCartney appeared in Rolling Stone. McCartney is currently on his worldwide Out There! tour and has been playing a couple of Beatles songs that haven't been played live (by a Beatle) before. Some people have been wondering why he has chosen to play Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! because it's a song whose authorship is commonly attributed to John Lennon. McCartney used the interview as an opportunity to set the record straight.
Asked by Simon Vozick-Levinson why he chose to put this song on the set-list, McCartney says:
"Mr. Kite" is such a crazy, oddball song that I thought it would freshen up the set. Plus the fact that I'd never done it. None of us in the Beatles ever did that song [in concert]. And I have great memories of writing it with John. I read, occasionally, people say, "Oh, John wrote that one." I say, "Wait a minute, what was that afternoon I spent with him, then, looking at this poster?" He happened to have a poster in his living room at home. I was out at his house, and we just got this idea, because the poster said "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" – and then we put in, you know, "there will be a show tonight," and then it was like, "of course," then it had "Henry the Horse dances the waltz." You know, whatever. "The Hendersons, Pablo Fanques, somersets…" We said, "What was 'somersets'? It must have been an old-fashioned way of saying somersaults." The song just wrote itself. So, yeah, I was happy to kind of reclaim it as partially mine.
So there you have it. At some point I will have to go and change some of the wording on this site to set things right here too!

Another great snippet from the interview – which you can really appreciate when you watch the clip below of McCartney performing the song on the Colbert Report:
I mean, something like "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" is hard to do. Ask a bass player who sings. It's contrapuntal, man! It really is. I've got to sing a melody that's going to one place, and then I've got to play this bassline that's going to other places. It's a concentration thing. But that's half the fun of the show.
Contrapuntal - that's a word I don't hear often enough.


 



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