Paul McCartney is working on a new project utilizing vintage gear he once used to make tape loops for The Beatles’ landmark track “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
“I’ve dusted off the same two old machines that I used for ‘Tomorrow Never Knows,’” McCartney told me during a wide-ranging phone interview to be published soon by Wired.com. “We’re having trouble finding spare parts. But my man Eddie Klein, who works in my studio and is an old Abbey Road guy, is a real boffin and has got the machines working again.”
Inspired by the musique concrète of German composer and early electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen, McCartney’s recombined found sounds for “Tomorrow Never Knows” created an aural sensation utterly new to pop music when the song appeared on The Beatles’ epochal 1966 album Revolver.
Combined with The Beatles’ other technical and stylistic experiments — including John Lennon’s transcendental lyricism, engineer Geoff Emerick’s studio innovations, George Harrison’s Eastern drone and Ringo Starr’s proto-hop percussion — “Tomorrow Never Knows” helped plot the coordinates of future music.