In the Peter Jackson-directed video for the just-released “Now and Then” — touted as the “final Beatles song” — present-day Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are pleasantly haunted by the ghosts of John Lennon and George Harrison, and even their own younger selves. It’s hard not to think that life inside McCartney and Starr’s heads is a little bit like that on a daily basis, burdened as they are by the weight of history. And they may not be alone: “I walk the city at midnight/With the past strapped to my back,” Mick Jagger sings on “Get Close,” from Hackney Diamonds, the Rolling Stones‘ first new album of original songs in 18 years.
In their own ways, both acts transcended death itself to deliver new music within a few weeks of each other in 2023 — though only the Stones actually still exist as a working band. The new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now digs into the controversies and triumphs of both “Now and Then” (which used an AI tool to extract John Lennon’s vocals from a messy demo), and Hackney Diamonds. Angie Martoccio and Andy Greene join host Brian Hiatt for the discussion, which also includes a debate on that new Beatles video — is it moving or creepy? For the full episode, go here for the podcast provider of your choice, listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or just press play above.
Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone‘s weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts). Check out six years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Halsey, Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, Rick Ross, Alicia Keys, the National, Ice Cube, Taylor Hawkins, Willow, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Dua Lipa, Questlove, Killer Mike, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Donald Fagen, Charlie Puth, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, and Gary Clark Jr. And look for dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters.