Paul McCartney insists John Lennon to blame for Beatles split

Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles
(Image credit: William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Image)

Paul McCartney has been scapegoated as the man who split up The Beatles for decades. However, in a new interview, the legendary singer-songwriter claims that it was actually John Lennon who initiated that the band go their separate ways. 

For years before to the band's break up, the Fab Four had been butting heads and exploring solo careers. However, the hostility reached boiling point when an interview captured Paul McCartney questioning the future of The Beatles. This was taken as the band's official break up statement, and not only subsequently marked the public end to the quartet's active years, but placed blame on McCartney as being the man behind the split.

In an upcoming episode of new BBC Radio 4 interview series This Cultural Life, McCartney attempts to set the record straight on what really happened during the band's final moments, and claims the person who actually broke up The Beatles was in fact John Lennon.

“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney declares (per The Guardian). “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue.”

When questioned about his decision to start a solo career, McCartney states, “Stop right there. 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?”

Explaining where the crossed wires might have come, McCartney explains that it was most likely due to the fact that manager Allen Klein had told the band to keep quiet about the break up while he settled some business deals.

“So for a few months we had to pretend,” McCartney says. “It was weird because we all knew it was the end of The Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away.” However, he admits he did “let the cat out of the bag,” and broke the news of the split after being "fed up of hiding it”.

“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," he recalls.

McCartney also reveals what made Lennon decide to quit for good, stating that it was because he "wanted to go in a bag and lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace. And you couldn’t argue with that.”

Elsewhere, the Beatles icon agrees with the idea that if it wasn't for Lennon leaving, the band would have had a much longer career. He explains: "It could have been. The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko. 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.”

McCartney’s This Cultural Life interview is set to air on October 23. 

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.