Paul McCartney unveils song written on dare from ‘flabbergasted’ Dustin Hoffman | Music | Entertainment

On this week’s episode of his A Life in Lyrics podcast, Sir Paul McCartney looked back on his Wings song Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me).

The 1973 classic is the longest track on the Band on the Run album and was penned by Macca when on holiday in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

During his stay, The Beatles legend visited the set of Papillon where he met Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.

One evening after dinner, McCartney was playing his guitar when the latter challenged him.

Speaking on the new podcast episode, the 81-year-old music icon said: “Picasso’s Last Words was a dare. Dustin Hoffman said to me, ‘Can you write a song about anything?’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t know. Maybe, y’know.’ 

“He said, ‘Just a minute.’ And he ran upstairs. He came back down with a newspaper article about the death of Picasso, and he said, ‘See what Picasso’s last words were. His last words to his friends were, ‘Drink to me. Drink to my health. You know I can’t drink anymore’…. ‘So could you write a song about that?’ 

“I did happen to have my guitar with me, so I hit a chord and started singing a melody to those words, and he was flabbergasted.”

Reflecting on what he loves about Picasso’s Last Words, McCartney said: “I like that, that it was probably just something ordinary that was said earnestly as a farewell to his friends. Well, it becomes his last words. Then it becomes a quote in an article. 

“Then Dustin reads it and makes it more than a quote and suggests it’s a poem, it’s a lyric. And he shows it to me and I agree with his suggestion and I put music to it. So it’s a nice little way for things to happen.”

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics is an iHeartPodcast and can be listened to here.

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