Modern Technology Makes It Feel Like Yesterday Again for Beatles Fans

Photo: AFP

It has been nearly 60 years since the Beatles first captured America’s attention, and in the intervening years, the band’s legendary status has only grown exponentially. So, when surviving Beatles bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr announced they would use AI to help create a new Beatles song from a John Lennon demo, people greeted the news with a mix of anticipation and skepticism. The result, “Now and Then,” made its world premiere Thursday on iHeart stations across the country… and the world got back to the thrill of Beatlemania for one more day.

Ken Dashow is the afternoon drive host on Q104.3 and the host of “Breakfast with the Beatles,” heard there every Sunday at 8am. He joined 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to recount the long and winding road that led to the final original song by the four lads from Liverpool.

“As soon as I heard it, I burst into tears, because John Lennon is singing a new song to me,” an impressed Dashow admitted to Berman and Riedel. “I was crying my eyes out; I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and here’s a new John Lennon Beatles song. Imagine Paul McCartney singing harmony and hearing John in his headphones singing, ‘Now and then I miss you.’ I don’t know how he got through being able to sing that. He told me flat out, ‘I miss him every day’.”

Dashow did want to clear up one misconception about the song. “One of the things that I think was a mistake is, they shouldn’t have said it was an AI Beatles song, because that’s not what it was. It’s not AI. What it is, is that… [Producer Peter Jackson] was the one who was able to use that and separate John’s voice on the demo. They were able to use John’s voice and separate it from the piano, and there’s a TV playing in the background. It’s just a cassette, but the technology, what it was used for, is to make his voice track clean so the others could record with it.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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