Paul McCartney Sets The Record Straight About The Beatles Split After 50 Years: 'That Was Our Johnny'

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Paul McCartney performing at the O2 Arena in 2018 (Photo: Jim Dyson via Getty Images)
Paul McCartney performing at the O2 Arena in 2018 (Photo: Jim Dyson via Getty Images)

Sir Paul McCartney has set the record straight about how The Beatles’ break-up went down, after being lumped with the blame 50 years ago when a comment was misconstrued.

In the lead-up to the release of his debut solo album in 1970, Macca said he was on a “break” from the record-breaking British group.

He also claimed that he didn’t anticipate that he and former bandmate John Lennon would ever “become an active songwriting partnership again”, which led many fans to assume that Sir Paul was the one who caused the band to split.

However, he’s finally shared what actually transpired, including the fact that it wasn’t his choice for The Beatles to go their separate ways.

In a new interview with John Wilson for the BBC, Sir Paul insisted: “I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny. I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no.”

The Beatles pictured in 1967 (Photo: Mark and Colleen Hayward via Getty Images)
The Beatles pictured in 1967 (Photo: Mark and Colleen Hayward via Getty Images)

Sir Paul went on to say that John Lennon “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’,” Sir Paul recalled. “And then we were left to pick up the pieces.”

When asked whether The Beatles might have continued to create music had John Lennon not left the band, he suggested: “It could have. The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko [Ono] and he wanted... to lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace. You couldn’t argue with that.”

He added that the period after The Beatles disbanded was “the most difficult period of my life”.

“This was my band, this was my job, this was my life,” he explained. “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.”

Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Paul McCartney pictured in 1968 (Photo: Michael Webb via Getty Images)
Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Paul McCartney pictured in 1968 (Photo: Michael Webb via Getty Images)

Following the Beatles’ split, Sir Paul and his late wife Linda McCartney formed the group Wings, who had hits with songs like Live And Let Die, Band On The Run and Mull Of Kintyre.

Nowadays, he’s still recording new material, releasing his 18th solo album McCartney III in December 2020, which topped the UK albums chart.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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