British musician Paul McCartney maintains that it was not him, as has been believed for decades, but John Lennon who “instigated” the breakup of The Beatles in 1970, in an interview broadcast Monday by the BBC.
“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny. I am not the person who instigated the split,” he revealed to journalist John Wilson, who interviewed him for the series “This Cultural Life” to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on October 23.
The public broadcaster explains that, for nearly 50 years, Paul McCartney was blamed for the group’s split because in a statement upon the release of his first solo album in 1970 — “McCartney” — he maintained that he “couldn’t envision” a return to collaborating with Lennon on lyrics.
“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,” says the 79-year-old musician, who in 1970 was also involved in a lawsuit against his bandmates.
“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,” he says.
“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,” he says.
Asked by the journalist, McCartney believes that the Beatles “could” have continued had it not been for Lennon’s decision to leave.
The musician, who in November presents his book “The Lyrics: 1956 to the present”, explains that the confusion about the band’s situation increased because they had to pretend they were still together for a few months while the new manager, Allen Klein — with whom McCartney disagreed — closed some aspects of the business.
McCartney ended up suing his partners in the High Court in London to get a dissolution of the contractual relationship to prevent the music from remaining in Klein’s hands, notes the BBC.
“I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles, because they were going with Klein,” the musician from Liverpool (northern England) told the BBC, who said the rest of the band thanked him “years later.”