Paul McCartney Claims John Lennon Was the One Who Broke Up the Beatles
"I didn't instigate the split. That was our Johnny"
Published Oct 11, 2021The dissolution of the Beatles happened over 50 years ago, but of course, that doesn't mean we should stop arguing about whose fault it was. In a new interview, Paul McCartney — the member of the band who has probably shouldered the most blame for the split — tries to finally set the record straight: much like Shaggy, it wasn't him.
McCartney reportedly insists [via The Guardian] that John Lennon was the instigator of the Beatles' breakup in his recent appearance on a new BBC Radio 4 interview series This Cultural Life, which will be broadcast later this month.
"I didn't instigate the split — that was our Johnny coming in one day and saying, 'I'm leaving the group,'" the musician told host John Wilson.
Wilson countered with McCartney's decision to go solo — his debut McCartney was famously supposed to be released prior to the Beatles' final album Let It Be, which the rest of the band took issue with — and the artist remained adamant.
"I am not the person who instigated the split," he said. "Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, 'I am leaving the Beatles.' Is that instigating the split or not?"
McCartney continued:: "This was my band, this was my job, this was my life — so I wanted to continue."
According to the musician, Lennon "wanted to go in a bag and lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace." And "you couldn't argue with that," McCartney added.
He went on to say that he doesn't blame Yoko Ono's influence, though. "They were a great couple," he said. "There was huge strength there."
As per Beatles lore, Lennon officially left the band in 1969 but kept it under wraps. When the rest of the band decided that McCartney's release couldn't precede Let It Be, McCartney angrily did a self-taped interview where he said he was done with the Beatles. This declaration happened before Lennon made his departure from the group public, so McCartney became the one to announce the end of the band.
According to McCartney, Lennon described his own decision to leave as "rather like a divorce," and "quite thrilling." The other members were "left to pick up the pieces" — including the burden of pretending for several months that the band was still going strong.
McCartney was criticized for bringing lawyers into the situation, though he claims they were in the interest of protecting the Beatles' legacy.
"I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles, because they were going with ['dodgy' new manager Allen] Klein," he explained. "And they thanked me for it years later."
We'll be able to get the tea in its entirety when the episode of This Cultural Life premieres on October 23.
Much like this still-fresh gossip, Beatles recordings are set to be preserved for 1,000 years in a bomb-proof vault.