Paul McCartney “blames Bruce Springsteen” for long gigs

Paul McCartney has said that he “blames” Bruce Springsteen for increasingly long stage times.

The 81-year-old former Beatle was speaking during an episode of Conan O’Brien’s ‘Needs A Friend’ podcast when he reflected on the increasingly extensive sets that artists are expected to play — and said that Springsteen was to blame.

According to the bassist, songwriter and singer, it was The Boss who began the trend of performing mammoth sets that go on for hours, which made it impossible to get away with shorter sets. He also explained that The Beatles would often only play for 30 minutes during their ’60s heyday, and this was never an issue with fans.

“These days, pretty much there’s the main act and there might be a warm-up act,” he began. “Then [in the 1960s], it was a lot of people on the bill because nobody did long, now people will do three or four hours. I blame Bruce Springsteen – I’ve told him so, I said ‘It’s your fault man.

“You can’t now do an hour, we used to do a half hour. That was The Beatles thing – half an hour and we got paid for it.”

He continued, trying to explain why it was normal to play a shorter set in the past, and explaining that it was largely due to the number of other acts that would perform during the show.

“I tried to work out why was it so short. Well, because there were a lot of people on the bill,” he said. “I think when you went to a thing if you were a comedian the promoter would say ‘How long can you do? Four minutes?’.

“The guy would say yes, so they would do four and so we thought, ‘well, half an hour that’s like epic’… It didn’t seem strange’.”

Last year, McCartney celebrated his 80th birthday with a three-hour headline slot at Glastonbury 2022. The performance saw him play classic tracks from across his solo career and his time with The Beatles, as well as perform a “duet” with former bandmate John Lennon, with footage of the late singer being shown behind him. Springsteen also joined him onstage for the set.

Paul McCartney making a surprise appearance during The Pretenders set at Glastonbury – CREDIT: Getty
He also was spotted behind the scenes at this year’s Glastonbury, and — although he didn’t perform — he appeared briefly onstage with The Pretenders at the end of their set.

As for Springsteen, The Boss is continuing strong with his mammoth live shows and is currently on tour with the E Street Band. The hitmaker is also set to play a headline set with the band at BST Hyde Park on July 6 and July 8.

Earlier this year, he also made headlines after making a surprise appearance in an Irish pub, singing with the local punters before his headline show at Dublin’s RDS Arena.

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