WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Reuters) – When Ringo Starr decided to record a cover of one of the last songs written by John Lennon, the Beatles drummer knew he wanted former bandmate Paul McCartney to play bass.
FILE PHOTO: Musician Ringo Starr is interviewed in West Hollywood, California, U.S., October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
Then, his record producer found a way to bring in a bit of the late George Harrison.
The producer, Jack Douglas, inserted strings from “Here Comes the Sun” – one of the few Beatles hits written by Harrison – into the Starr’s recording of the song “Grow Old with Me.”
“We’re all on it now,” Starr, in an interview with Reuters, said of the musical reunion. “I had nothing to do with that.”
“Grow Old with Me” is a single on Starr’s new album called “What’s My Name.” Lennon had recorded a demo of “Grow Old with Me” for his 1980 release “Double Fantasy,” but the song never made it onto that album.
Starr, 79, said Lennon’s voice can be heard on the demo saying “this’ll be great for you, Ringo.”
“It was emotional listening to John’s version, cause he’d written other songs for me,” Starr said. “So I thought no, I’m going to do this one.”
“I love the song, and the emotion of him speaking to me,” Starr added. “He’s been gone quite awhile, but it’s emotional to me. He was one of my greatest friends.”
Starr, who also has just released a new photography book called “Another Day in the Life,” said he was thrilled that the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album returned to the top of music charts this month amid renewed interest because of its 50th anniversary.
“How far out is that?,” he said. “I think it impresses people that it was made 50 years ago, and we did our best and we mixed it the best way we could.”
Reporting by Rollo Ross; Writing by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Christian Schmollinger