‘You ask and maybe they’ll say yes': Bloody Beetroots’ song with Paul McCartney began with off-hand remark

An out-of-nowhere collaboration between the Beatles’ Paul McCartney and Bloody Beetroots, the masked Italian DJs, grew out of a shared producer — and a remix.

Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, the group’s mastermind, was working on new recordings with Killing Joke’s Martin Glover (aka Youth) when the in-demand producer asked Rifo who his dream guests would be.

Rifo, in a new talk with Radio.com station KROQ, says he mentioned Penny Rimbaud, of the punk outfit Crass, and — though he says he was certain the answer would be no — McCartney.

Before you knew it, McCartney was appearing on the Bloody Beetroots’ new video “Out of Sight.”

McCartney fans will remember that Youth had previously collaborated with the ex-Beatle on a series of Fireman projects, most recently on Electric Arguments. Youth suggested that Rifo remix the opening track from that 2008 release, “Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight,” as a form of introduction to McCartney.

Rifo, of course, has previously done remix work for the likes of the Killers (“Spaceman”), Britney Spears (“Till the World Ends”) and Rob Zombie (“Burn”). So he not only enthusastically took on the new project, he felt emboldened to completely overhaul the Fireman song — recomposing the harmonies and redesigning the melodies.

He even replayed all of the instruments. Then Rifo made one final request — a big one.

“So then I [asked Paul] if it was possible that he re-record the vocals, because it’s going to sound even better,” Rifo tells KROQ. “He agreed and invited me to the studio in the U.K. and we had a session together. This became the unique track, ‘Out of Sight’ by the Bloody Beetroots and Paul McCartney and Youth.”

It all started with an off-hand comment — and a connection with McCartney and Youth that goes back to the early 1990s.

“You never know if it will happen or not,” Rifo adds. “But at least you ask and maybe they’ll say yes.”

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