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According to People, Paul McCartney recently discussed the dynamic changes within the Beatles during a crucial period in their history when John Lennon introduced his wife, Yoko Ono, into their studio sessions. In a podcast episode of McCartney: A Life in Lyrics, the legendary musician delved into the impact of Lennon and Ono’s relationship on the band’s dynamics during the recording of their iconic ninth studio album, The White Album, in 1968.
Acknowledging the disruptive presence of Ono in the recording space, McCartney highlighted the band’s attempt to maintain a sense of professionalism and avoid confrontation, despite their discomfort. He emphasized the group’s adherence to a specific work ethic and their efforts to navigate the challenges brought about by Lennon’s evolving personal life.
Reflecting on the eventual dissolution of the Beatles in 1970, McCartney clarified his stance on the band’s breakup, attributing the split primarily to Lennon’s desire for independence and creative exploration. He underlined that Lennon’s desire to break free from societal constraints, rooted in his upbringing, was a significant factor in the band’s eventual separation.
“We would allow this and not make a fuss,” he said. “And yet at the same time, I don’t think any of us particularly liked it. It was an interference in the workplace. We had a way we worked. The four of us worked with George Martin. And that was basically it. And we’d always done it like that. So not being very confrontational, I think we just bottled it up and just got on with it.”
McCartney then shared that ultimately, for the Beatles, spending time in the studio was part of their jobs.
“It was the idea of the Beatles, it was also just this straight, practical thing of ‘This was our job.’ This is what we did in life,” he said. “We were the Beatles. That meant if we didn’t tour, we recorded. And that meant if we recorded, we wrote.”
McCartney’s recent reflections shed light on the complexities and tensions within the Beatles during a transformative phase in their career, offering insights into the intricate dynamics that defined their legendary journey in the world of music. Amid reminiscing about the past, McCartney continues to honor Lennon’s memory, commemorating his contributions to music and their shared legacy.
I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney said of the band’s 1970 breakup, when McCartney, Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr decided to go their separate ways.
“I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no,” he added. “John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving the Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”