Friday, July 19, 2024

Sean Lennon Explains How Paul McCartney Made Last Beatles Record, NOT Using Artificial Intelligence to Create a Frankenstein


It’s time to dispel the idea that Paul McCartney and a bunch of Dr. Frankensteins re-created John Lennon’s voice using Artificial Intelligence for a last Beatles record.

McCartney used the expression “artificial intelligence” in a UK TV interview but he didn’t mean the thing called AI that everyone is so jumpy about these days. It was a toss off, if you will. What he meant was, he and the people involved took Lennon’s existing vocal from a late 70s demo, cleaned off all the rough stuff around it, and dropped it into a record that will also feature a George Harrison solo and Ringo Starr on drums.

The people involved includes Sean Ono Lennon, who had to give permission to use the demo for a Lennon song called “Now and Then.” Sean addressed this today on Twitter when one of his followers asked what was going on?

Sean wrote: “All we did was clean the noise from the vocal track. People are completely misunderstanding what occurred. There have always been ways of ‘de-noising’ tracks but AI just does it better because it learns what the vocal is and is able to very precisely remove everything that is not the vocal.”

He added as a response to another follower: “I shouldn’t speak too much on this yet but I’ll just say the track turned out beautifully and I think everyone will be very happy.”

Indeed, it’s not that different than what was done in the 90s to create “Free as A Bird” and “Real Love,” two then-new Beatles recordings made using Lennon demos.

Clearly, Sean is on the process and likely Dhani Harrison is, too. The bigger question is what will the new “Now and Then” be part of — a new album of outtakes? A fourth Anthology? An insider at Apple would only say that so far there are no plans, but I sense that may not be true.

Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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