The Beatles’ co-lead vocalist and bassist Paul McCartney was one of the latest interview guests of Elvis Australia and talked about the healing power of music and the times he first listened to Elvis Presley as well as how did he ask George Martin for ‘The Elvis Echo.’
Elvis Presley is regarded as one of the most legendary cultural icons of history and he was the hero of the many legends of the 20th century including Paul himself. Unfortunately, he passed away from this world at a young age due to a heart attack.
In the recently published article of Cheatsheet, Matthew Trzcinski has compiled some of the interviews of The Beatles legend Paul McCartney talking about his younghood hero Elvis Presley and in one of the interviews, Paul recalls the days he first listened to The King.
According to Paul, because the radios these days were not playing Elvis at all, he had to go to a record shop in Liverpool to listen to The King and it was a magical moment for him.
Here is what Paul said about how he met Elvis for the first time:
I nearly did very well at grammar school but I started to get interested in art instead of academic subjects. Then I started to see pictures of Elvis, and that started to pull me away from the academic path. ‘You should see these photos ..’.
Then you’d hear the records – ‘But wait a minute, this is very good!’ – and then the tingles started going up and down your spine, ‘Oh, this is something altogether different. And so the academic things were forgotten’.
They weren’t playing much of Elvis’ stuff on the radio in those days. To hear ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ I had to go into a record shop in Liverpool and listen to it through headphones in one of those booths. It was a magical moment, the beginning of an era.”
“Elvis is a truly great vocalist, and you can hear why on this song. His phrasing, his use of echo, it’s all so beautiful. It’s the way he sings it, too. As if he’s singing it from the depths of Hell. It’s a perfect example of a singer being in command of the song. Musically it’s perfect, too.
The double-bass and the walk-in piano create this incredibly haunting atmosphere. It’s so full of mystery, and it’s never lost that for me. The echo is just stunning. When The Beatles were recording, we’d often ask George Martin for ‘the Elvis echo. I think we got it down perfectly on ‘A Day in the Life.'”
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