Paul McCartney refused to let artist cover his song because of ex-wife
Live And Let Die Theme Song – James Bond
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After The Beatles split up in 1970 the members of the band went on to kickstart their solo careers. Paul McCartney worked with his wife at the time, Linda McCartney, in a band they called Wings. In 1973 the band wrote and recorded the theme song for the James Bond film Live and Let Die. The song, which had the same title as the movie, had a number of famous fans, including one iconic cover artist.
Shortly after the song was released the spoof singer Weird Al Yankovic was keen to cover the track.
When the pair met Paul already knew about Weird Al’s repertoire, which included parodies of Michael Jackson’s Bad (Fat) and Beat It (Eat It), as well as Madonna’s Like a Virgin (Like a Surgeon).
Paul told the singer: “I love your stuff! Anytime you want to do one of my songs, it’s yours!”
The story goes that two years later Weird Al requested to cover Live and Let Die with his own spin on it: Chicken Pot Pie.
Weird Al said at the time: “I finally came up with the perfect song,” but there was a problem.
LA Weekly reports Paul replied: “Oh no… I can’t possibly allow this – my ex-wife Linda would never have supported a song that celebrates the killing of chickens.”
Weird Al later recalled: “Paul didn’t want me to do it because he’s a strict vegetarian and he didn’t want a parody that condoned the consumption of animal flesh.
“He said: ‘You can do something else like tofu pot pie.’ I said: ‘No, the chorus of my song will be ‘Bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk’ and tofu doesn’t make any noise. It’s not going to work.” (Via Rolling Stone)
In another interview, Weird Al placed the blame solely on Linda, saying she would not approve. (Via Ultimate Classic Rock)
He added: “It’s a valid reason and I get it. And I hate it when people put him on the list of humourless guys because that wasn’t the case at all.
“In fact, he said: ‘Think of any other subject and I’m happy to OK it.'”
Weird Al never released Chicken Pot Pie, but did perform it numerous times live in concert.
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This wasn’t the end of Weird Al’s journey with The Beatles, however.
Weird Al covered the Fab Four’s song Taxman, in a parody titled Pacman.
He also covered the band’s track Free as a Bird with his song Gee, I’m a Nerd.
The Beatles covered a large number of tracks during their career, beginning with their first album Please Please Me.
One of the band’s first singles was Twist and Shout, an epic song originally performed by The Top Notes.
They also frequently played Long Tall Sally from Little Richard, as well as Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven.
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