Paul McCartney reveals the pre-show vocal treatment he learned from a rock 'n' roll pioneer

Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney is currently on a world tour during which he plays for three hours each night. Ever wonder how the 75-year-old rock legend keeps his voice in shape while on the road at this stage in his career?  Well, that’s exactly what a fan asked Sir Paul in the latest installment of his “You Gave Me the Answer” online feature.

In response to the question “How do you look after your voice, especially in the middle of a big tour?,” McCartney reveals that he has a pre-show ritual that he learned in part from one of his rock ‘n’ roll heroes: Little Richard.

“I have a couple of things I do before I go on stage, and I don’t even know if they work!” explains Sir Paul. “But I do like — over a bowl of hot water — a steaming before I go on, which I was told was probably the best thing to clear your larynx. I was taught that by watching Little Richard do it when we were kids in Hamburg [Germany].”

McCartney points out that Little Richard would “get a kettle full of hot water in the sink, put a towel over his head, and…breathe in, get the vapors. So, I do that.” He adds that the second part of his ritual is gargling with salt water.

Paul says he began doing the pre-concert routine — which he begins during the hour before he hits the stage — about 10 years ago.

McCartney wrapped up his latest North American tour leg with a show last night at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.  The former Beatle will launch a Latin American trek later this month, followed by a series of shows in Australian and New Zealand in December.

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