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Sting on the Beatles: "They conquered the world with their own songs, and therefore gave permission to a younger generation to try the same thing"

Rick Beato's recent interview with Sting is full of great insights – including his reflections on The Police, his solo work and his own 'heavy metal' singing register. When the subject of the Beatles comes up, Beato pointed out that both Sting and the Fab Four used repeated one line hooks. But for Sting the comparisons go deeper. 

They were from Liverpool, I was from Newcastle; both port towns in the north of England – working class

"I'm glad you mentioned the Beatles because the reason I'm a musician is because of the Beatles," replied Sting. "They were from Liverpool, I was from Newcastle; both port towns in the north of England – working class. They had the same education as me, I went to grammar school; they were scholarship boys. Smart working class kids.

"They conquered the world with their own songs, and therefore gave permission to a younger generation, a decade younger, to try the same thing [and think] 'Oh we'll try that, I know those four chords – I could  do that, probably,' continued Sting. "And we all tried. We owe a lot to the Beatles, they really were an amazing influence on all of our lives."

Sting referenced Blackbird and Penny Lane as two of his favourites, while his longtime guitarist Dominic Miller chose A Day In The Life as a great example of the McCartney and Lennon writing approaches working together. 

Beatles fan Sting was also honoured to receive a return complement from his heroes; in 2018 McCartney chose his 1993 song Fields Of Gold as a song he wished he'd written.

“I liked Sting’s Fields Of Gold, and I thought, ‘you know what, I should have written that. How dare he?'” McCartney said in a Q&A session with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. 

"I wish I'd written a hundred McCartney songs!" laughed Sting. 

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before that I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar.