Perry told Rolling Stone that the band has been working with Canadian producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel) on a record that’s “dedicated to all the friends we’ve lost to drugs and alcohol over the years and getting people to come in and cover the songs their friends wrote.”
McCartney and his drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. apparently dropped into the L.A. studio to cut a new version of “Come and Get It”, the 1969 song McCartney wrote for Badfinger. The Beatle chose the song as a tribute to Badfinger’s Pete Ham and Tom Evans, who took their own lives.
The “supergroup” was assembled last year. As the myth goes, Hollywood Vampires is named after the party crew Cooper drank with in the mid-’70s, a gang that included John Lennon, the Who’s Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr and featured players including T. Rex’s Marc Bolan and Keith Allison of Paul Revere & the Raiders.
McCartney, who split lead vocals with Cooper on the recording, blew away everyone in the room with his ability to retrieve the 46-year-old song from his memory banks. “He knew all the chords, the lyrics, everything,” enthused Perry. “He didn’t have any cheat sheets. It was like he’d been playing it his whole life. Me and Alice and Johnny were standing there and looking at each other and I tell you — if there’s any ego-lever in a room, it’s Paul. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. If Paul’s in the room, he’s there. It was hard to focus on playing.”
The Hollywood Vampires has confirmed just the one live date, at the Rock in Rio festival this September. Though Perry suggests a bunch of shows will roll out that month.
It’s unlikely McCartney will join the band on the road, though there’s a chance he’ll be joined with his mates on stage sometime this year. He’s just extended his own touring itinerary with three shows this May at London’s O2, Birmingham and Liverpool. The London arena show will coincide wth the 50th anniversary of his song “Yesterday,” and they mark his first concerts in his homeland since he played the Royal Albert Hall in 2012.