It’s been over 50 years since Paul McCartney announced that The Beatles were going their separate ways. While fans still speculate who initiated the breakup, Sir Paul has again set the record straight.
“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney, 79, said regarding the late John Lennon when talking to BBC Radio 4’s This Cultural Life. The Guardian obtained an advanced copy of the special, which is scheduled to air October 23.
McCartney recalled, “John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving The Beatles.’”
Paul said that announcement led to “the most difficult period” of his life. He and his band mates Ringo Starr and George Harrison were “left to pick up the pieces” by being forced to keep Lennon’s exit a secret.
“So for a few months we had to pretend. It was weird because we all knew it was the end of The Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away,” Sir Paul reflected.
The pressure eventually got the best of McCartney. He said he became “fed up of hiding it” and admittedly “let the cat out of the bag” when promoting his eponymous debut solo album on April 10, 1970.
McCartney also reflected on the infamous lawsuit he brought against his band mates, saying it was because he didn’t want to be controlled by manager Allen Klein.
“I had to fight, and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles,” he remarked. “They thanked me for it years later.”
McCartney also thinks that, had Lennon stayed, The Beatles “could have” survived for longer. “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue,” he said.
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