Paul McCartney has worked with some of the most prolific singers, songwriters, and musicians in the music business. However, he never had the chance to collaborate with Prince before his 2016 death. Ten years prior, McCartney wrote a secret letter to Prince asking him to donate to a cause near and dear to The Beatles‘ bassist’s heart. What did the note say?
The Beatles reportedly inspired Prince’s 1985 hit album
Revolution members Bobby Z, Dez Dickerson, and Matt Fink piqued Prince’s interest when they started playing The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on their tour bus’ speakers while the Revolution toured Purple Rain. The Beatles consisted of McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
Per Diffuser, Prince didn’t seem that impressed with the collection of Sgt. Pepper songs. “He said, ‘What’s that?'” Bobby Z explained. “We said, ‘That’s Sgt. Pepper.’ He went, ‘The Beatles. Ehhh? Really?’ You know, it was just like that.
“I think he realized that The Beatles were more than he thought,” Bobby Z added. “He just kind of swallowed them up. You can tell that Around the World in a Day —I’m assuming that by swallowing up Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper that Around the World in a Day is influenced by it.”
Paul McCartney sent a letter to Prince; what did he say?
Second page with smiley Macca sign off.— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) December 15, 2021
The letter sold for $14,822 at auction. Robert Livingston, Vice President at RR Auction in Boston who sold the letter, said: “We’re not sure if Prince made a donation – the vast majority of his contributions were gifted anonymously.” pic.twitter.com/O1hF5XB03b
McCartney began the note by addressing Prince: “Dear Princely person.” He also signed off with a large, hand-drawn smiley face.
According to Far Out Magazine, McCartney asked for Prince’s support to a cause dear to his heart. In 1996, McCartney was called upon as the lead patron of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. He wrote several letters to his celebrity friends and acquaintances, asking for their support and donations. LIPA is in the old school building McCartney himself attended, Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, which closed in 1985.
McCartney discussed the institute’s origins, saying in the note, “The story started just after the inner-city riots in Liverpool a few years ago. A friend suggested that “what the city needs is a ‘Fame” School.’”
“I liked the idea as a possible positive focus for local and overseas kids, but it was only later, when I returned to my old school that was in ruins, that I thought we could save by locating a Performing Arts Centre there we could save the 1825 building in the process.
“Now the hard part. A donation from you would be a great boost to the project, and I know your involvement in some way would be a thrill for everyone concerned,” McCartney concluded.
It was never revealed if Prince indeed donated to McCartney’s cause. The letter was sold by RR Auction in Boston in 2016 for $14,822.50—well above the $4,000 it had been estimated to sell for, reported Newsweek.
Prince inspired two McCartney songs on ‘Flaming Pie’
Here’s a little something we’ve been cooking up… Paul’s iconic 1997 album ‘Flaming Pie’ will be reissued on 31st July. Take a look inside the Collector’s Edition, and pre-order your copy here: https://t.co/6YuId0MZNA #FlamingPie pic.twitter.com/pJKpCKmIYy— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) June 12, 2020
Far Out Magazine reported that during a 2018 Twitter Q+A to promote the album Egypt Station, the former Beatle spoke of Prince’s inspiration for two of the album’s tracks.
McCartney was asked the following question by a fan. “You mentioned that Prince inspired the song ‘Hunt You Down’ on the new album. I also recall you saying he inspired the song ‘If You Wanna’ on Flaming Pie. Has Prince inspired other songs, and were you a big fan?”
McCartney wrote, “I can’t think of other songs he has inspired, but those two definitely. I was always a big fan and went to see him in concert a few times. Once I wrote to him about how much I particularly enjoyed his guitar playing. I met him a few times. The last time was a couple of New Year’s ago when he played a New Year’s gig. I’ve always been a big fan.”