The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are two of the most influential British bands of all time, and because both were big in the 1960s, the press and fans built a rivalry between them. But there was always friendship between the members of both bands, with Paul McCartney and John Lennon being the ones who helped the Stones get their first record deal.
Despite the fact that his statements about the band were misinterpreted or taken out of context at times, Paul McCartney adores them and holds a high regard for their music. In a 2015 interview with Esquire, he even specified three Rolling Stones songs that he would absolutely want to hear if he were to see them live.
He used them as an example to explain why, in the 1970s, he chose to add Beatles songs to his solo and Wings shows. Because, in his opinion, an artist must play to the fans what they truly enjoy. So those three songs are the ones he’d like to hear The Stones perform live if he went to see them.
The 3 Rolling Stones songs that Paul McCartney likes
Almost the entire Rolling Stones catalog was written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, much as the majority of The Beatles songs were penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The iconic guitar riff for Satisfaction came to Richards in a dream. He used to sleep with a recorder beside his bed in case something like this happened. So he awoke, recorded the riff, and went back to sleep.
Richards recounted the incident in his autobiography “Life.” He recalled, “I was between girlfriends at the time, in my flat in Carlton Hill, St. John’s Wood. Hence maybe the mood of the song. I wrote ‘Satisfaction’ in my sleep.”
He added, “I had no idea I’d written it. It’s only thank God for the little Philips cassette player. The miracle being that I looked at the cassette player that morning and I knew I’d put a brand-new tape in the previous night, and I saw it was the end.”
“It was just a rough idea. There was only the skeleton of the music. It didn’t have all that noise. But the skeleton was everything we needed.”
The next day, he heard the riff and handed it to Mick Jagger, who finished the song’s lines. Keith said, “He only had the first verse and the riff. It sounded like country music on the guitar. It didn’t look like rock. But he thought it was a joke. He didn’t realize that it was a unique material. We all said, ‘You are crazy’, and he was, of course.”
The song, which was released in 1965, contains one of the most recognized guitar riffs of all time. It was their first number-one hit in the United States and fourth in the United Kingdom.
“Honky Tonk Women”
Another Rolling Stones song from the 1960s that Paul McCartney like is “Honky Tonk Women,” which was released as a single in 1969. The song was once again ascribed to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. They penned the songs while pretending to be cowboys from Texas.
It was originally titled “Country Honk” when the band’s late guitarist Brian Jones was still a member. But it wasn’t until Mick Taylor replaced him that the song was truly transformed into one of their biggest hits.
Mick Taylor talked about it during an interview with Classic Rock in 2021.
“Ruby Tuesday,” published in 1967, is another song by the Beatles from the 1960s that Paul McCartney liked. The song, written by Jagger and Richards, became their fourth number-one hit in the United States and peaked at number three in the United Kingdom at the time.
It featured the band’s late co-founder and guitarist Brian Jones, who, as Keith Richards noted in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, could play “any instrument.” He said, “(Brian played flute on “Ruby Tuesday”) Yeah, he was a gas. He was a cat who could play any instrument. It was like, ‘there it is, music comes out of it. If I work at it for a bit, I can do it.'”
“It’s him on marimbas on “Under My Thumb”. (Also on) mellotron on a quite a few things on Satanic Majesties. He was the strings on ‘Two Thousand Light Years From Home,’ Brian on mellotron, and the brass on “We Love You,” all that Arabic riff.”