50 years ago: Paul McCartney quits the Beatles


 On April 10th, 1970  Paul McCartney’s departure from The Beatles was made public.

The Beatles had broken up. McCartney’s statements regarding the end of his songwriting partnership with John Lennon, along with his wish to record apart from Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, came as part of a question-and-answer sheet included with press copies of his debut solo album, which was simply titled McCartney.

The news had first leaked out three days prior to that. McCartney’s brother in-law and attorney John Eastman let McCartney’s break with the band slip while announcing plans for McCartney’s plans for an animated film of the British animated character Rupert the Bear and the upcoming release of McCartney’s debut album.

In the Q&A for the press, which was actually written entirely by McCartney, he asked himself several pointed questions about the future of the group. McCartney explained his reasons for going solo, citing “business and musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family.” McCartney went on to issue what most fans read as the ultimate death knell to the Beatles: “I do not foresee a time when the Lennon & McCartney partnership will be active again in songwriting.”paul

Tensions had been building between the Beatles since their return from India in the spring of 1968. And a year later, when Lennon, Harrison and Starr out-voted McCartney into hiring manager Allen Klein to run their company Apple Corps, the rift began to deepen.

True to his decision, Lennon didn’t attend what turned out to be the group’s final recording session on January 3rd, 1970, when the Beatles taped Harrison’s song “I Me Mine.”

John Lennon’s japanese wife, Yoko Ono, was partly to blame for the break up of The Beatles, Paul McCartney claimed on February 27, 1971 in a statement read at High Court.

McCartney said that George Harrison walked out because he couldn’t get on with Yoko. And he told in a conversation with Allen Klein.

In the months that followed Lennon’s private announcement, the Beatles gave interviews in which they all deliberately refrained from announcing the split. That February, nearly five months after quitting the group, Lennon told Rolling Stone that, “We still might make Beatles product. We just need more room. The Beatles are just too limited.”

McCartney says that the split from the group sent him into a huge depression for several months: “I was quite broken up by the end of the Beatles. I’d been trying to hold them together, but it was something that wasn’t to be. So, y’know, I went into a bit of a depression after that. And I’m normally quite optimistic, but, y’know, I’d just lost the best job in the world, and anyone who’s just even ever lost a job knows how that feels.”


During his last TV interview in April 1975, John Lennon told Tomorrow Show host Tom Snyder that the Beatles broke up simply because they had grown stale: “We didn’t breakup because we weren’t friends, we just broke up out of sheer boredom, y’know? And boredom creates tension. It was not going anywhere. We’d stopped touring, and we just said ’time to make an album.’ Y’know, the same four of us, we’d be looking at each other and playing the same licks. We were very good friends and we’d known each other since we were 15, y’know? And we got over all the actual fighting.”

That next month, both Starr and Harrison spoke to Britain’s New Musical Express, with Starr stating that, “I’ve got things to do, George has things to do, and Paul has his solo album to come, and John has his peace thing. We can’t do everything at once. Time will tell.” Harrison added that, “Say we’ve got unity through diversity. . . We had to find ourselves individually, one day.”


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