Sir Paul McCartney at the ceremony posthumously honoring George Harrison with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Vine Boulevard, Hollywood, CA

Paul McCartney Reveals Who Really Broke Up The Beatles

Decades after the iconic Brits called it quits, McCartney says he's tired of being wrongfully accused. Now he's placing full blame on the bandmate who left first.
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Just when we thought we may never be 100% sure who broke up The Beatles, Paul McCartney just laid any lingering speculation to rest.

McCartney has described the iconic band’s breakup as “the most difficult period” of his life. And he says having so many fans blame him for their highly publicized demise back in 1970 didn’t help.

Officially, McCartney is setting the record straight. He’s also confirming what many other fans have claimed for years: It was Lennon.

How John Lennon Instigated The Split

Paul McCartney and John Lennon singing into microphone together
Youtube/Ed Sullivan Show

During an upcoming interview on BBC Radio 4, McCartney reveals how it all went down. He says, “John walked into the room one day and said, ‘I’m leaving the Beatles’.”

Of the fateful moment, Paul told BBC that it was somewhat surreal and in many ways, it was “like a divorce.” In shock, he says the rest of the group were “left to pick up the pieces.”

McCartney famously sued his bandmates to end their professional partnership. That move led to mass confusion about who really pulled the plug. He says being wrongfully blamed for the breakup frustrated him “for half a century.”

So Why Did Lennon Really Leave?

When The Beatles broke up, fingers weren’t just pointed in McCartney’s direction. Many fans were quick to place blame on John Lennon’s relationship with Yoko Ono as one of the most likely catalysts.

By that time, everyone was also well aware that Lennon was becoming more and more politically active, and rumors of mounting tension ran high.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the Dick Cavett Show
Youtube/The Dick Cavett Show

McCartney claims Lennon’s decision to leave was fueled by his pursuit of social justice. Those causes soon became Lennon’s main focus, and the band was soon in direct opposition to what he was trying to accomplish.

For instance, Lennon was investing his time in “bagism.” With Yoko Ono at his side, they wore bags in an effort to convince the masses not to judge other people based on appearances. On his constant crusade for peace, Lennon ultimately felt his energies were better spent protesting and no longer performing with the band, says McCartney.

McCartney Says There Was No Arguing Against It

Before Lennon left, McCartney admits he imagined The Beatles lasting for much longer. “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life,” he said.

Paul McCartney performs onstage at NYCB Live

“I wanted it to continue, I thought we were doing some pretty good stuff — you know, ‘Abbey Road,’ ‘Let It Be,’ not bad.” And apparently, they were already working on new material, which only made it more of a blindside.

Obviously, he’s not the only one who felt that way. News of the band’s sudden breakup sent shockwaves all over the world. Many lifelong fans will be quick to tell you they still aren’t over it. But maybe McCartney’s latest reveal will give some people much-needed closure.

“The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko and he wanted to go in a bag, and he wanted to lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam, for peace. You couldn’t argue with that.”

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