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Paul McCartney insists John Lennon split up The Beatles

Paul McCartney insists John Lennon split up The Beatles
/ Cover Media

Paul McCartney has insisted John Lennon instigated The Beatles' split.

The legendary songwriter is set to appear on BBC Radio 4's This Cultural Life on 23 October. In a preview released by The Guardian, the 79-year-old cleared up speculation about which band member broke up The Beatles in 1970.

"I didn't instigate the split. That was our Johnny," he said, referencing Lennon. "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. Is that instigating the split, or not?"

"This was my band," he continued. "This was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue."

McCartney described the lead-up to the split as "the most difficult period" of his life, where he, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were "left to pick up the pieces".

McCartney claimed that their manager, Allen Klein, told them to lay low in the intervening weeks while business negotiations wrapped up, adding, "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."

After remaining silent on the matter for some time, he "let the cat out of the bag" because he was "fed up of hiding it", with him recalling, "Around about that time we were having little meetings and it was horrible. It was the opposite of what we were. We were musicians not meeting people."

In 1970, McCartney sued the band, which he stated was an attempt to squash Klein's control around the matter.

"I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles, because they were going with Klein. And they thanked me for it years later," he insisted.

If Lennon had not wanted to leave the group, McCartney believes that they would have continued making music.

"The point of it really was that John was making a new life with (wife) Yoko (Ono)," the musician explained. "John had always wanted to sort of break loose from society because, you know, he was brought up by his Aunt Mimi, who was quite repressive, so he was always looking to break loose."


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