Paul McCartney calls study courses focusing on The Beatles ‘ridiculous yet flattering’

The singer doesn't believe study courses can create great musicians

Paul McCartney has dubbed popular music study courses with a focus on The Beatles as “ridiculous, and yet very flattering”.

Taking part in a Q&A via his official website, the 72-year-old was responding to a query from a student studying for an MA in Popular Music that asked how he felt about the existence of such courses.

“For me it’s ridiculous, and yet very flattering,” responded McCartney. “Ridiculous because we [The Beatles] never studied anything, we just loved our popular music: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, etc. And it wasn’t a case of ‘studying’ it. I think for us, we’d have felt it would have ruined it to study it.

“We wanted to make our own minds up just by listening to it. So our study was listening. But to be told – as I was years ago now – that The Beatles were in my kid’s history books? That was like ‘What?! Unbelievable, man!’ Can you imagine when we were at school, finding yourself in a history book?!”

McCartney did state, however, that he doesn’t believe studying popular music can make a person a great popular musician: “To think that you can go to a college and come out like Bob Dylan? Someone like Bob Dylan, you can’t make.”

Earlier this month, McCartney revealed that he had been writing music inspired by the recent civil rights protests in Ferguson and New York following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police..

“I was thinking recently about all these protests in New York and around the country. I thought it would be great to put something down about that, just to add my voice to the thousands of people walking in the streets,” he said. “I thought it through and it just didn’t come easily. I’m not giving up on it, but it didn’t come easily, whereas some other emotions might come easily to me.”