General

Paul McCartney says John Lennon instigated the Beatles break up

Paul McCartney says John Lennon instigated the Beatles break up
Henry

For almost 50 years, Sir Paul McCartney has shouldered the blame for breaking up the Beatles.

The supposed evidence was a press release for his 1970 solo album, McCartney, where he revealed he was on a "break" from rock's biggest band.

Interviewing himself, Sir Paul said he could not "foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again".

But in a new BBC interview, he has said the split was prompted by John Lennon.

"I didn't instigate the split. That was our Johnny," he told interviewer John Wilson. "I am not the person who instigated the split.

"Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said I am leaving the Beatles. And he said, 'It's quite thrilling, it's rather like a divorce.' And then we were left to pick up the pieces."

Wilson asked whether the band would have continued if Lennon hadn't walked away.

"It could have," Sir Paul replied.

"The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko and he wanted... to lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace. You couldn't argue with that. It was the most difficult period of my life."

"This was my band, this was my job, this was my life," he added. "I wanted it to continue. I thought we were doing some pretty good stuff - Abbey Road, Let It Be, not bad - and I thought we could continue."

The Beatles in 1965
Image caption, The Beatles continue to be one of the most influential acts in rock history

Sir Paul said confusion over The Beatles' break-up festered because the band's new manager Allen Klein - who he refused to align with - said he needed time to tie up loose ends with their business.

"So for a few months we had to pretend," he told Wilson. "It was weird because we all knew it was the end of the Beatles but we couldn't just walk away."

Sir Paul ended up suing the rest of the band in the high court, seeking the dissolution of their contractual relationship in order to keep their music out of Klein's hands.

"I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles, because they were going with Klein," he told Wilson.

"And they thanked me for it years later. But I didn't instigate the split."

He has previously said that archival projects like The Beatles Anthology and Peter Jackson's forthcoming documentary, Get Back, would never have been possible without his legal action.

Sir Paul's full interview will be heard on the new BBC Radio 4 series This Cultural Life, which will be broadcast on 23 October.

The following Monday, recordings of the musician reading from his new book, The Lyrics, will also be available on BBC Sounds.

2px presentational grey line

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected].

Trending News

New Year snow flurries fall across England

New Year snow flurries fall across...

Many parts of England have seen snow flurries accompany the arrival of New Year. Areas which welcomed in 2021 with several centimetres...

Covid in Scotland The people who have lost their lives to Covid 19

Covid in Scotland The people who have...

As Scotland's coronavirus death toll passes 6,000 and continues to rise, we are sharing the stories of some of those who have...

Week in pictures 5 11 December 2020

Week in pictures 5 11 December 2020...

A selection of powerful news photographs taken around the world this week. image copyrightJacob King / Reutersimage captionMargaret...

Huddersfield phone mast fire put residents at risk

Huddersfield phone mast fire put residents...

A phone mast fire led to dozens of people being evacuated from their homes in Huddersfield in the early hours.It is not yet known what...

Coronavirus Who is still flying

Coronavirus Who is still flying...

media captionInside the almost deserted Heathrow airportLondon's Heathrow airport normally has about 600 flights landing on an...

When is tax dodging illegal

When is tax dodging illegal...

There are a lot of rash statements being made about whether or not the K2 tax avoidance scheme used by Jimmy Carr was "legal".The...

Our Latest Blog

Click to read Biden election Mike Pence welcomes senators bid to derail result

Biden election Mike Pence welcomes senators bid to derail result

US Vice-President Mike Pence has welcomed an effort by a group of senators to refuse to certify Joe Biden's presidential election...

Click to read Inauguration 2021 What happens on the day Biden is sworn in

Inauguration 2021 What happens on the day Biden is sworn in

Joe Biden is US president-elect. But the Democrat won't officially make his move to the White House until inauguration day - a...

Click to read Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell s homes vandalised

Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell s homes vandalised

Vandals in the US have attacked the homes of the leaders of the two houses of Congress on the eve of a new session and the swearing-in...

Click to read Veteran US broadcaster Larry King in hospital with Covid

Veteran US broadcaster Larry King in hospital with Covid

Veteran broadcaster Larry King, 87, has tested positive for coronavirus and is being treated at a hospital in Los Angeles, according...

Click to read Policeman buys family food instead of arresting them for shoplifting

Policeman buys family food instead of arresting them for shoplifting

A US police officer who was called out to arrest a family suspected of shoplifting instead bought them some food so they could have...

Click to read Suspected Islamists kill dozens in attacks on two Niger villages

Suspected Islamists kill dozens in attacks on two Niger villages

Suspected Islamist militants have attacked two villages in Niger, with reports of dozens of civilians killed. Around 49 died and 17...