Forty-one years after the Beatles split up, Sir Paul McCartney has added more fuel to the Beatles/Rolling Stones debate by claiming that the Stones were jealous of the Beatles’ singing abilities.
McCartney describes the envy in a new interview published in the UK’s Radio Times (via The Daily Telegraph), where he stated that Stones singer Mick Jagger referred to the Beatles as a ‘four-headed monster’.
On the difference between his band and the Rolling Stones, he said, “I talked to Keith Richards recently… well, a couple of years ago, and his take on it was, ‘Man, you were lucky, you guys, you had four lead singers,’ whereas the Rolling Stones only had one.
“I could sing, John could sing, George could sing and Ringo did numbers that he could sing. So it wasn’t just the front man and the back-up band.”
He continued, “So [for the Beatles] it wasn’t just the frontman and the back-up band. We were an entity. Mick used to call us the four-headed monster. We would show up at places all dressed the same.”
McCartney went to on to say that the success of his former band was down to luck and timing, saying, “A couple of years earlier, we would have been in the army, and it’s very doubtful that the Beatles would have formed… We would have been at Aldershot, or wherever, in various camps, and might not have even met.”
He added that the Beatles had some concerns about cracking the American market in the sixties, having seen contemporaries not succeed as expected.
“Because someone like Cliff Richard was really big over here so we thought, ‘He’ll kill them’. But he didn’t, and the explanation was: ‘No, they have that, they have plenty of sort of Elvis-type singers.’
“We were a bit surprised by that. But I remember my reaction: OK we have got to think about this… It was very clear in my mind. We cannot go there until we have cracked it with a record.”
McCartney is, of course, still enjoying the thrill of his recently announced engagement to girlfriend Nancy Shevell.