Michelle Reed


Thu, 9 Jul, 2015

McCartney reveals past resentment following Lennon’s assassination

McCartney reveals past resentment following Lennon’s assassination

In a recent interview, singer, songwriter, and legend, Paul McCartney has revealed that he harboured some resentment against John Lennon upon the bespectacled musician’s untimely death.

To remind anyone that John Lennon was shot during the 70s, post-Beatles split would be redundant. But the level of notarised, saint-like preservation it allowed him to achieve is a fact that McCartney would rather, it seems, have forgotten.

In a lengthy interview with Esquire, McCartney revealed that after John Lennon’s death, he was frustrated: "When John got shot, aside from the pure horror of it, the lingering thing was, OK, well now John’s a martyr. A JFK. So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, ‘Well, he was The Beatles.’”

This unbalanced shift in perceived equality rubbed the once-cherub-faced singer the wrong way, “The Beatles split up and we were sort of all equal. George did his record, John did his, I did mine, Ringo did his. It was as we were during the Beatles’ times. We were equal.” 

But this fairness changed upon Lennon’s assassination, “…me, George and Ringo would go, “Er, hang on. It’s only a year ago we were all equal-ish.”

Whether a result of past rivalry or just a desire to be recognised for the extensive work he has done, McCartney attempted to put his deceased bandmate’s legacy into a more accurate perspective, “Yeah, John was the witty one, sure. John did a lot of great work, yeah. And post-Beatles he did more great work, but he also did a lot of not-great work.”

This unintentional rivalry was one that boiled long before Lennon’s untimely death, fuelled by the music industry and press. In regard to Lennon’s name being placed first in the composition credit, “Lennon/McCartney” the surviving front man shared, “….in particular cases like 'Yesterday', which John actually had nothing to do with, none of the other Beatles had anything to do with… I said, “Could we have ‘By Paul McCartney and John Lennon’, wouldn’t that be a good idea?” 

This is a matter McCartney still takes some issue with today, “What starts to happen is, ‘A song by John Lennon and-‘. You know how on your iPad there’s never enough room? So it’s kind of important who comes first.”

Still, McCartney seems to feel that the rivalry was one not born between him and John, but those around him. “I tell you what, if John was here he would definitely say that’s OK. Because he didn’t give a damn. It wasn’t anything that worried him. But I’ve given up on it.”

Following John’s death, McCartney claims John Lennon’s former partner, Yoko Ono, attempted to demonise him in the press and pit the former bandmates against one another, “Yoko would appear in the press, and I’d read it, and it said [comedy Yoko accent], ‘Paul did nothing! All he did was book the studio...’ Like, ‘Fuck you, darling! Hang on! All I did was book the fucking studio?’”

Now, decades later, despite public perception and rivalries, McCartney looks back on the Beatles with fondness,

“…those four boys were fucking good. It wasn’t just to do with the period. You name me another group of four chaps, or chapesses, who had what The Beatles had. Lennon’s skill, intelligence, acerbic wit, McCartney’s melody, whatever he’s got, Harrison’s spirituality, Ringo’s spirit of fun, great drumming.”

“We knew we were different. We knew we were something other groups weren’t. And that was it.”

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