Paul McCartney sets the record straight on who broke up The Beatles

Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 8:36AM
Getty Images

Getty Images

When The Beatles broke up more than 50 years ago, it was soul-crushing to fans. Paul McCartney was the one to publicly announce their demise, leading the public to assume he was the one responsible for the split. Now, Macca's setting the record straight on who really caused himself, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to part ways.

“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” he said in an upcoming episode of new BBC Radio 4 interview series This Cultural Life (via The Guardian). “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue.”

"I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no," he continued when asked about his decision to go solo. "John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving the Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”

McCartney went on to reveal why he ended up being the one to publicly announce the breakup, explaining that the band's manager Allen Klein told them to keep quiet while he finished closing some business deals. “So for a few months we had to pretend,” Macca said. “It was weird because we all knew it was the end of the Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away.”

The secret wore on him and he ended up letting “the cat out of the bag” because he “was fed up of hiding it.”

If Lennon hadn't left the band, McCartney believes their journey "could have been" much longer.

"The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko,” he said. “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.”

However, Macca does believe a split was inevitable because John “wanted to go in a bag and lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace. And you couldn’t argue with that.”

But he doesn't blame Yoko Ono. “They were a great couple," McCartney gushed. "There was huge strength there.”

McCartney’s This Cultural Life interview airs October 23. He also has a biography titled The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present that's set to publish on November 5.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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