Entertainment & Arts

Paul McCartney: Beatles courses are 'ridiculous but flattering'

Paul McCartney
Image caption Sir Paul McCartney co-founded the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Sir Paul McCartney has called popular music courses focusing on The Beatles "ridiculous".

"We never studied anything, we just loved our popular music," he said. "I think for us, we'd have felt it would have ruined it to study it."

The musician made the comments while taking part in a Q&A on his website.

However, Sir Paul conceded that classes incorporating The Beatles' music were "kind of a cool idea" and "very flattering".

"To be told - as I was years ago now - that The Beatles were in my kid's history books? That was like 'What?! Unbelievable, man!" he said.

The 72-year-old added that great musicians could not be created in the classroom.

"It may be that you use [pop music courses] to teach other people about the history, that's all valuable," he said.

"But to think that you can go to a college and come out like Bob Dylan? Someone like Bob Dylan, you can't make."

Image caption Sir Paul said it was 'unbelievable; The Beatles featured in history books

Sir Paul co-founded the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (Lipa) in 1996. Based in the musician's old school, the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, it offers degree courses in music, alongside drama and dance.

"It was an early decision when we were thinking of our policies for Lipa, we said: 'We want to train people to be all-rounders,'" he said.

"Give them as much info as we can. But you can't tell them how to become a Bob Dylan or a John Lennon because, you know, nobody knows how that happens."

Answering another question on the current state of the music industry, the star said he did not think modern technology resulted in better records.

"We would record four tracks in a day - which is unheard of now - and those four tracks still sell more than most contemporary records. So obviously the system was pretty good. It was very simple, you had to just be very disciplined... we knew we had to play great," he said.

"Whereas now you know you go: 'We'll do another take or we'll get it in the mix, we'll just take that bum note out, we'll stick it on Pro-Tools, we'll fix it.' But it gives you, I think, too many options.

"It's great, it's very luxurious, but I don't think it helps the process."

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