Paul McCartney sets record straight on Beatles’ breakup
Sir Paul McCartney has finally revealed the mystery behind why the world’s biggest band famously split up more than 50 years ago.
For decades, the 79-year-old - who lives in East Sussex - has shouldered the blame for breaking up The Beatles.
The supposed evidence was a press release sent out in 1970 for his solo album, McCartney, where he said he was on a “break” from the group.
But in a new interview, he says he wanted to continue playing with the group - but bandmate John Lennon wanted the divorce.
“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” he told BBC Radio 4 in an interview to be broadcast later this month. “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue.”
When the singer and bass player was asked about his decision to go it alone, he told interviewer John Wilson to “stop right there” before setting the record straight.
“Oh no, no, no, John walked into a room one day and said I am leaving The Beatles,” McCartney said. “And he said, ‘It’s quite thrilling, it’s rather like a divorce.’ And then we were left to pick up the pieces.”
McCartney said the band could have continued if Lennon had not walked away.
“I thought we were doing some pretty good stuff - Abbey Road, Let It Be, not bad,” he added.
He said confusion over The Beatles’ break-up continued because the band’s new manager Allen Klein said he needed time to tie up some loose ends with their business.
“So for a few months we had to pretend,” he added. “It was weird because we all knew it was the end of The Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away.”
McCartney ended up taking legal action against the rest of the band in the High Court 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 said.
“And they thanked me for it years later. But I didn’t instigate the split.”