When Paul McCartney Discovered Lennon-McCartney ‘Scam’
Paul McCartney recalls the time he discovered a reggae song credited to "Lennon-McCartney" despite having no connection to the work in his new box set, The 7" Singles Box.
In the foreword to the liner notes of the set — which contains 80 singles from across McCartney's solo career — the former Beatle discusses his passion for visiting record stores. "I've always found there's something exciting about flicking through the crates in a record shop, looking for that next discovery," he writes (via Rolling Stone). "I still love it and there are some cool independent record shops near my office in London."
He recalls making an especially odd discovery during a visit to Tony's Records in Montego Bay, Jamaica. "There were records you didn't know what they were, they weren't established artists," he says. "So it was kind of a great adventure, just asking the guy behind the counter, 'What's this like? Is it any good?'
"There would be songs with titles like 'Lick I Pipe.' Another was called 'Poison Pressure' by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, written by Lennon & McCartney. I had to buy that one. Had they just recorded one of our songs? No. It was something completely different and we all presumed it might be a couple of guys called Tony Lennon and Bill McCartney. Either that, or it was a total scam."
The track, which you can hear below, does interpolate the chorus of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," presumably giving Lee the opportunity to name-check the iconic Beatles songwriting partnership.
Listen to Byron Lee and the Dragonaires' 'Poison Pressure'
McCartney also notes his love of jukeboxes, saying he had one at home and in his London HQ, the latter of which he acquired while filming his 1984 movie Give My Regards to Broad Street. "The jukebox in my office is from a scene in the film Give My Regards to Broad Street. I liked it a lot, so I talked to the guy who had brought it along and I ended up buying it off him," he says. "It's such a nice vintage piece and the songs on there — things like 'Long Tall Sally' by Little Richard and 'Hound Dog' by Elvis Presley — really take me back to my childhood. All these memories of when we were kids, back even before the Beatles."
McCartney will release The 7" Singles Box on Dec. 2. It's available to preorder now and will retail for just over $600. The set contains McCartney's first solo single, 1971's "Another Day" (with the B-side "Oh Woman, Oh Why") — but, he notes, "It doesn't include my last single because I haven't written that one yet."