Capitol Music Group hosted its fifth annual Capitol Congress today at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater. The day-long confab brings together employees from across Universal Music Group as well as some of the company’s top executives, chief among them: UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, who delivered introductory remarks this morning. The event has traditionally featured several top stars from the CMG roster, and this year was no different, only the bar was set even higher with an appearance by Paul McCartney.
The Beatles co-founder was presented with a special Capitol Icon Award by CMG chief Steve Barnett, who programmed the day’s sessions, performances and Q&As. McCartney was later interviewed by podcast host and “Glow” star Marc Maron, a talk that will make up an episode of his “WTF” show.
Among the topics brought up by Maron: fame, meeting fans, recording with John Lennon and the long life of the Beach Boys vs. Beatles oneupmanship as well as the Beatles vs. Rolling Stones rivalry. Of the latter, said McCartney: “We were at that Oldchella thing together. They’re great. We go back a long way and there was never really a rivalry.”
Asked about “Helter Skelter,” McCartney recalled being “suddenly singled out for being the soundtrack to a murderer. … For years I wouldn’t do that song. I felt like if I did it, it would be a victory for him. Then I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I wrote it!'”
Others in attendance throughout the day included the members of Migos, Lil Yachty, NF, MC Hammer and Troye Sivan.
In 2016, McCartney signed a worldwide recording deal with UMG that encompasses his entire catalog of master recordings, starting with the 1970 “McCartney” album. It also returned him to Capitol, the label where he started his solo career.
McCartney has a new album, “Egypt Station,” due out in the fall.