"I don't think any of us particularly liked it. It was an interference in the workplace": Paul McCartney discusses Yoko Ono's "disturbing" presence during The Beatles' recording sessions

John and Yoko
(Image credit: The Beatles: Get Back | Apple Corps)

Paul McCartney has admitted that he found Yoko Ono's presence during The Beatles' final recording sessions "disturbing", and admitted "I don't think any of us particularly liked it."

The former Beatle was speaking to Northern Irish poet Paul Muldoon on his podcast series, McCartney: A Life In Lyrics, in a new episode titled Let It Be.

Looking back upon the relationship between his bandmate and friend John Lennon and Lennon's Japanese artist girlfriend Ono, McCartney says that the relationship "was bound to have an effect on the dynamics of the group."

Famously, as well documented in Peter Jackson's The Beatles: Get Back film, at Lennon's insistence, Ono sat in on the band's studio sessions while they were making their twelfth and final album, Let It Be.

"Yoko being literally in the middle of the recording session was something you had to deal with," he says. "The idea was that if `John wanted this to happen, then it should happen. And there was no reason why not..."

At this point, Muldoon interjects to say, "Well, except there is a reason why not: you're there to do some work..."

"And anything that disturbs us is disturbing," McCartney adds.

"I don't think any of us particularly liked it," he continues. "It was an interference in the workplace... So not being very confrontational, we just bottled it up and just got on with it."

Later, McCartney states that Lennon's persona was, "very guarded, hopelessly guarded."

"That’s where all his wit came from," he reflects. "Like so many comedians, it’s to shield themselves against the world."

You can listen to the full episode below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.