Paul McCartney Says John Lennon Instigated The Beatles’ Breakup

More than 50 years ago, The Beatles, came to an end after Paul McCartney announced that he would be walking away from the group. The band attempted to reunite on several occasions but it never happened, and in 1980 John Lennon was tragically assassinated. While it’s been noted that Lennon privately expressed a desire to walk away from the band before McCartney’s announcement, McCartney has long been blamed for the band’s breakup. During an upcoming interview on BBC Radio 4, McCartney pointed the finger elsewhere.

“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney said, according to The Guardian. “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?” He added that Lennon described his departure from The Beatles as “quite thrilling” and “rather like a divorce,” despite the fact that the other group members were “left to pick up the pieces.”

McCartney notes that confusion about who instigated the band’s dissolution was caused by the group’s new manager at the time, Allen Klein, who sought to wrap up some business deals before announcing the split. “So for a few months we had to pretend,” McCartney said. “It was weird because we all knew it was the end of the Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away.” McCartney admits he became “fed up of hiding it” and it led to his decision to publicly announce the split and “let the cat out of the bag.”

“I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles, because they were going with Klein. And they thanked me for it years later,” he said about the legal drama that ensued after the group’s split. “But I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny coming in one day and saying ‘I’m leaving the group.’”

McCartney’s full interview on BBC Radio 4 will air on October 23