Why Paul McCartney Uses Teleprompter for Beatles Songs
Paul McCartney revealed he kept a teleprompter running on stage because he sometimes found himself “on autopilot” while he performed Beatles classics.
While some veteran artists rely on the technology to deal with memory issues, he said his problem with playing tracks written over 50 years ago was that his mind wandered while he sang.
In a recent interview on with SmartLess, McCartney cited the example of a 1966 song, saying: “Sometimes I’ll be doing a song, like ‘Eleanor Rigby’ or something, and I’m on autopilot. And I’m starting to think, ‘Oh, what am I gonna have for dinner? Maybe you won’t have the soup but maybe you’ll just go for the main course.’ Then I go, ‘Stop!’ – because I’m singing ‘Eleanor Rigby!’”
He added: “I’ve separated myself not only from Paul and fame, but a couple of bits of in my head are going in different places. Sometimes that breaks down and I forgot the song. [So] I have a teleprompter.”
In 2014 Bruce Dickinson criticized artists who employ of the technology, saying: “I never realized that people were using Autocues. What the fuck is that all about? People pay good money and you can't even remember the sodding words.”
In April this year, Alice Cooper said he wanted to ask Bob Dylan about the suggestion that he didn’t use a teleprompter, noting that Dylan’s catalog extended to over 400 songs and he chose what to perform on the hoof. “If he's not… it's one of the most amazing memories of all time,” Cooper said, adding that he’d be “lost” without his own.
Ozzy Osbourne admitted three years ago that having the lyrics running on monitors didn’t always prevent things going wrong. “"All these bands take it all too serious,” he said of performing. “We're up there having a laugh; you've got to have fun. I've got a teleprompter and I still sing the wrong words sometimes.”