The Paul McCartney Project

Recording "Sunday Rain"

March - April 2017 ? • For Foo Fighters

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Concrete And Gold Official album.
Timeline More from year 2017
Studio:
EastWest Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Some songs from this session appear on:


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About

Paul McCartney was invited to play drums on a “Sunday Rain“, a track written by American rock band Foo Fighters, and to be released on their next album, “Concrete And Gold“, released in September 2017.

The exact dates for this recording session are unknown, but it’s likely Paul McCartney was in Los Angeles circa March / April, for some recording sessions with producer Greg Kurstin (which also produced the Foo Fighters’ “Concrete And Gold” album) for his upcoming album “Egypt Station“. For sure, Paul was spotted in Los Angeles, on April 15, for some studio rehearsals.

From Rolling Stone, September 6, 2017:

[…] But even that wasn’t the Foos’ most exciting guest. That honor belongs to Sir Paul McCartney. He and Grohl are buddies – they socialize with their families and have jammed together a few times. So when McCartney had to borrow [producer Greg Kurstin for his follow-up to 2013 NEW album] in the middle of the Foos’ recording, Grohl decided to call in a favor. He texted McCartney: “Do you want to play drums on one of our new songs?” McCartney’s response? “You’re crazy, man!

But to the band’s delight, he agreed. “Even if it had been banjo, I think I probably would have showed up,” McCartney says. The last time he got a call like that from Grohl was to collaborate on the soundtrack to Grohl’s 2013 documentary, Sound City. “I was jamming with these two guys I’d never met,” McCartney says. “And then I heard them talking in the studio, and it was like, ‘Oh, shit! You guys are fucking Nirvana!’

It’s inspiring,” Grohl says, “because he’s still playing for the same reasons we all started playing when we were young. He just wants to jam.

Unsurprisingly, Paul McCartney is a pretty good drummer. “You don’t generally think of him as a drummer,” Hawkins says. “But he laid that track so fucking effortlessly. He never even heard the song – Dave kind of explained it to him with an acoustic guitar. And he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah. I think I know what you’re doing.’ 

McCartney played two takes; they used the first. “He was so fucking good,” Grohl says. “We played for an hour, then took a break and had bagels and tea. I thought we were done – I didn’t want to rag him out – so I was out having a cig, and someone goes, ‘Hey, Paul wants to jam some more.’ He rounded everybody up, and we jammed for hours: ‘Let’s write some songs, man!’ 

Well, you know,” says McCartney. “Once you get the meter running…” […]

We have a song on our record called “Sunday Rain” that Taylor sings, and on the record, Paul McCartney plays the drums. I had written it and demo’d it by myself, and we jammed it as a band. And, I love it when Taylor sings because he’s got such a great voice. I was going to play drums on this song, because Taylor was gonna sing it. And he said “you know what? You should get Paul McCartney to come in and play drums”. And not a lot of people know that Paul McCartney has played drums on a lot of songs that you’ve heard – Beatles songs too. And I was like “Hey man, you want to play drums on a new song on our record?”. And he texted back, he was like “You’ve always got crazy ideas!”. He came into the studio, had his drum set set up, and just immediately started doing that thing that he recognized. He’s got a real swing to it! But the greatest part was watching him do it, because he’d got this huge smile on his face. And he was so into it when he was playing! And so Taylor sat on his stool and like conducted like “Chorus!”, “Pre-chorus!” as we were tracking. I think our version of the song was maybe five minutes long. But Paul’s version was like twelve minutes. He just didn’t want to stop! He was having so much fun! So we did one, we’re like ‘Oh my God, that’s amazing’, and we had it. We went in and listened and we were like “Wow that was easy, man!” He is amazing.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl – From How Paul McCartney Wound Up Playing Drums on “Sunday Rain” | Great Performances (ket.org), November 10, 2017

Staff

Musicians

Paul McCartney:
Drums
Dave Grohl:
Guitar
Pat Smear:
Guitar
Greg Kurstin:
Synthesizer
Chris Shiflett:
Guitar
Nate Mendel:
Bass
Rami Jaffee:
Wurlitzer piano, Synthesizer, Synth, Organ
Taylor Hawkins:
Lead vocals

Production staff

Greg Kurstin:
Producer
Alex Pasco:
Recording engineer
Julian Burg:
Recording engineer
Darrell Thorp:
Recording engineer
Brendan Dekora:
Recording engineer
Samon Rajabnik:
Recording engineer
Chaz Sexton:
Assistant recording engineer

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