Paul McCartney Slams Bruce Springsteen For Playing Hours-Long Sets

By Katrina Nattress

December 22, 2023

Glastonbury Festival 2022 - Day Four
Photo: WireImage

It's standard for bands to play hours-long sets these days, and Paul McCartney blames it all on Bruce Springsteen. During a visit to the Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend podcast, Macca recalled how set time lengths have changed since his days playing with The Beatles.

“You were on package bills,” he explained about touring in the '60s. “These days, pretty much there’s a main act and there might be a warm-up act. But then, it was a lot of people on the bill because nobody did long [sets]. Now people will do three, four hours. I blame Bruce Springsteen. I’ve told him so. I said, ‘It’s your fault, man!’”

O'Brien then asked if the Boss “ruined it for everyone,” and McCartney didn't hold back. “He did! You can’t now do an hour,” he said. “We used to do a half-hour, that was like The Beatles’ thing. Half an hour, and we got paid for it!”

“I tried to work out, why was it so short?" he continued. "Well, because there were a lot of people on the bill. I think, 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 epic.’ That was it. A big Beatles show, we were on and off like that. It didn’t seem strange.”

Macca's comments are of course not serious. He and Springsteen are great friends. Listen to the whole podcast episode above.

Paul McCartneyBruce Springsteen
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