Reveal a collaboration of 30 years ago between Paul McCartney and Jeff Beck
Paul McCartney shared a recently revealed collaboration between him and the late Jeff Beck that was recorded approximately 30 years ago. titled Why Are They Cutting Down the Rainforest? and published as part of a new series produced by the campaign on vegetarianism Meat Free Monday by McCartney, the track features Beck talking about deforestation and ranching over a light-hearted psych-rock production.
“With the sad passing of Jeff Beck – a good friend of mine and a great guitarist – I was reminded of the time we worked together many years ago on a campaign for vegetarianism,” McCartney wrote in a statement. “That’s a great guitar sound, because it’s Jeff’s!”
Why Are They Cutting the Rainforest? was originally recorded by McCartney and Beck in 1994, and was featured in a 15-part radio series hosted by McCartney called oobu joobu, in which he shared unpublished recordings and talked about his passions, such as vegetarianism. Beck’s message is largely in line with concerns McCartney has expressed about livestock and meat consumption over the past 40 years.
“What worries me is what else we are killing besides the cows. Nearly a quarter of all the drugs and pharmaceuticals we use today come from tropical plants,” Beck comments on the issue. “As we want more and more grazing land for cattle, we are destroying rainforests, without caring or ignoring the fact that these rainforests can and possibly do contain plants that could provide a cure for leukemia or heart disease, maybe even a cure for AIDS, who knows. But it doesn’t make much sense to me to risk losing the potential discovery of a miracle cure just for a $1.50 hamburger.”
According to a press release, this video marks the start of a new series of content produced by the campaign. Meat Free Monday “starring friends of the campaign”. McCartney and his daughters, Stella and Mary, created Meat Free Monday in 2009, after reading a 2006 UN report on the impact the meat and dairy industries have on the environment.
Beck passed away earlier this month at age 78, after contracting bacterial meningitis. Peers including Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne paid tribute to the legendary guitarist, whom many have cited as a pivotal influence on psych-rock and heavy metal.
Winner of eight Grammy Awards, Beck rose to fame as a member of the band The Yardbirds, before achieving great success in the United States with his own band, The Jeff Beck Group.
“Jeff could channel music from the ethereal,” Jimmy Page wrote in tribute to Beck on Twitter. “Jeff I will miss you as will your millions of fans.”