Paul McCartney: John Lennon became a ‘martyr, a JFK’ after he was murdered

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Seriously, you had to be on #AllTheDrugs to think those Sgt. Pepper’s costumes were a good idea.

Paul McCartney has a fascinating new interview with Esquire UK. I’ll admit this flat-out – I spent many years obsessed with the Beatles. I read a lot of biographies about them, their music, their ladies and Brian Epstein and while I am by no means a Beatles expert, I am a Beatles obsessive. My take? John was the temperamental genius, George was the beautiful soul, Ringo was the glue that held them together and Paul was the businessman. I think Paul was and is a great songwriter, but his best years as a vocalist and songwriter were absolutely when he had George, John and Ringo to balance him out. Why are we talking about this? Because in Paul’s new Esquire interview, he talked about John and the mythology and revisionist history around John’s musical legacy. It’s fascinating, quite honestly. You can read the full piece here and if you have 20-30 minutes, I would highly recommend it. Paul rarely gives these kinds of in-depth interviews, especially about the 1960s. Some highlights:

Whether the ‘60s were a “classless society”: “No. I think it helped towards that. There was a very good period of hanging with anyone: musicians, painters, aristocrats, playwrights. Didn’t matter, really. I liked that about it. But I think ultimately the nobs still stayed on top. As long as Eton and Harrow are still there that’ll always be so.

Getting knighted, crushing on the Queen: “With the knighthood, you have to consider whether you’re going to accept it or not. Someone said, “There’s a certain cachet in turning it down, you know?” I went [exasperated], “I know, I’ve read a bit, you know?” I was thinking, “Oh God, what do you do?” Then I saw Bobby Charlton. And his attitude was, “I’m really proud to be British.” And I thought, “That’s the one.” So, I just said I’m proud to accept it. I like the Queen. When we grew up she was a babe. Oh, yeah. We were like 11, she was 21 and good looking. And she had a figure on her. I shouldn’t say this about Her Majesty but we, as schoolboys, we said, “Look at the f–kin’ heave on her!…I say it regularly in the press hoping she’ll read it. Listen, she was a very pretty girl. Look at the old photos. We definitely admired her physical attributes.”

The martyrdom of John: “The Beatles split up and we were sort of all equal. George did his record, John did his, I did mine, Ringo did his. It was as we were during the Beatles’ times. We were equal. When John got shot, aside from the pure horror of it, the lingering thing was, OK, well now John’s a martyr. A JFK. So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, “Well, he was The Beatles.” And me, George and Ringo would go, “Er, hang on. It’s only a year ago we were all equal-ish.” Yeah, John was the witty one, sure. John did a lot of great work, yeah. And post-Beatles he did more great work, but he also did a lot of not-great work. Now the fact that he’s now martyred has elevated him to a James Dean, and beyond. So whilst I didn’t mind that – I agreed with it – I understood that now there was going to be revisionism. It was going to be: John was the one. That was basically the thing. And when I would talk to mates they’d say, “Don’t worry. People know [the truth]. It’s OK, they know what you did.” But then strange things would happen. Like Yoko would appear in the press, and I’d read it, and it said [comedy Yoko accent], “Paul did nothing! All he did was book the studio…” Like, “F–k you, darling! Hang on! All I did was book the f–king studio?” Well, OK, now people know that’s not true. But that was just part of it. There was a lot of revisionism: John did this, John did that. I mean, if you just pull out all his great stuff and then stack it up against my not-so-great stuff, it’s an easy case to make.

Wanting to eliminate the “Lennon/McCartney” songwriting credit: “Well, what happened was there was a backlash from people who didn’t see where I was coming from. “Dancing on a dead man’s grave” was one of the phrases that came up. “What a bighead!” “Why does he want his name in front of John’s?” But it was nothing to do with bighead. It’s just to do with identifying who wrote what. John did a really good Playboy interview where he did that: “This is mine, this is Paul’s.” So I thought, “Just use that! John said it!” I thought that was perfectly reasonable and I still do, by the way. But I don’t think it’s achievable for some reason…. So, at the risk of seeming like… I tell you what, if John was here he would definitely say that’s OK. Because he didn’t give a damn. It wasn’t anything that worried him. But I’ve given up on it. Suffice to say. In case it seems like I’m trying to do something to John.”

[From Esquire UK]

There’s an even lengthier block of quotes about the Lennon/McCartney songwriting credits and how Paul simply wanted to change the order to McCartney/Lennon on songs Paul wrote himself, or with very little involvement from John. But he says Yoko always blocked him and he’s spent decades trying not to care. As for the martyrdom of John Lennon, I understand where he’s coming from. If there’s one thing this interview proves, it’s that Paul has an excellent memory and he remembers all of John, the good, the bad and the ugly. To Paul, John is not Jesus with a guitar, John was just his friend/frenemy.

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Esquire.
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123 Responses to “Paul McCartney: John Lennon became a ‘martyr, a JFK’ after he was murdered”

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  1. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    Imagine if the Beatles were still getting around like The Rolling Stones.

    • LA Juice says:

      I don’t like the idea and I wont respond to it! (Sorry, anytime I can “Lucille Bluth” someone, i try).

      seriously though, doesn’t Paul sound petty? geez man your 90 years old- grow up, you WON the guys DEAD.

      • milla says:

        exactly. spoiled brat Paul. like Lennon can respond to this crap…

        Oh and the Beatles were done. They were amazing while they wanted to be, but all four, yes FOUR, dear PAUL, simply outgrew the band. It was never that way with The Rolling Stones. They have a weird connection. I cannot imagine Mick without Keith…

      • Liberty says:

        +1, LA Juice and milla. He sounds like a whining brat here. Jealous of a murdered friend whose life was cut short, really?

        I am a Ringo girl. Happy birthday a day late, Ringo!

        Okay and I will say it too: his grasp-y interest in taking credit for joint work reminds me of Stella basking in the glow of Phoebe Philo’s Chloé work. And then…..

      • Rafa says:

        This reminds me of an interview with Mick some time ago in Rolling Stone. He’s low key salty about the perception that Keith is the more musically soulful one & was trying to snatch up all kinds of credit for Jagger/Richards songs. Only the better ones of course! Even though his solo work (& he pulled out all the stops with his collaborators) tells a different story. He comes off as such a petty bitch, just like Paul here.

        I think just like Paul, Mick is more of a businessman/famewhore. They’re talented but they wouldn’t be doing this if they weren’t rich & famous. Mick would be an accountant. Keith would be a broke-ass musician. I think it’s a similar situation with Paul & John.

    • me says:

      JL became a martyr like JFK in the same fashion that Paul M became an old lady like Queen Elizabeth. Dude looks like an old lady!

    • Pellish says:

      I found Paul to be very gracious and fair. The Beatles were EPIC. They were unparalleled in their COMBINED talents that literally changed the world. While they all went on to successful solo careers, the sum of their parts can never be disected.

  2. TheSageM says:

    Sorry, I can’t stand the man. I hope he would just retire.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      Agreed, especially since he can’t sing anymore.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Motion carried

    • PunkyMomma says:

      I wish he would find out who colors Mick Jagger’s hair. I swear McCartney dyes his own –it’s right up there (in my book) with Tom Selleck’s moustache in cheap bad dye jobs.

    • Jules says:

      John was never his equal. John was and is in a class by himself. Dead or alive. Just listen to their later songs, you knew who wrote what.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      I am very much on Paul’s side on the credits issue and he is in my opinion the most talented of the Beatles. But even if I did not think so the amout of happiness my father has because he is going to Paul’s concert this weeked makes me so greatfull Paul is still working.

    • Sarah says:

      Amen.

    • Courtney says:

      I saw him live about 4 years ago. AMAZING. Best concert of my life. He could’ve outplayed a musician a third of his age.

      • TheSageM says:

        I saw him when he headlined Glastonbury in 2004.
        He played utter dross for the first 40 minutes. Then went to the mike and said “and we NOW want to welcome the BBC who are joining us live!” and at that point went into Live and Let Die, with fireworks to boot. Forget about your audience standing in the mud and rain to see you, and only start the good songs when televised.
        He then proceeded to murder Hey Jude by extending the singalong to what felt like 20 minutes, boring the audience by asking first the women to sing, then the men, then the people in the front, then the ones in the back, then the ones on the left, then the ones on the right.
        Worst. Gig. EVER (in my defense, I was only there because I was dragged by a friend who wanted to see “A Beatle”)

  3. dr mantis toboggan says:

    I think it was Noel Gallagher who said something like ” if John Lennon was alive today he’d just be a sad old prat.”

    • InvaderTak says:

      Add Kurt Cobain to the list.

      • Amber says:

        I’ve always thought that about Cobain. I was a kid and don’t remember his death or Tupac, Biggie or Jeff Buckley’s. I wasn’t THERE. I wish they were all still alive (for many reasons, but also) so we could see their evolution (or lack of) as artists and human beings. Especially Buckley. Because I don’t believe “Grace” was even the best he could offer. But Cobain? If–IF!–Cobain managed to live, he’d be Trent Reznor without half the musical talent. I just don’t believe the odds are with him to be as relevant in life as he is in death. We also don’t give the living a fraction of the empathy we give the dead, and just like Lennon and other martyrs, I don’t imagine the reality of Cobain the person was as likable as people want to think.

        …Though I own “Band on the Run”, “Plastic Ono Band”, “Double Fantasy” and on and on, I think “All Things Must Pass” is the best solo album any of The Beatles made. Which is why…

        It pisses me off thinking that Paul and John never allowed George to flourish while The Beatles were still together. With the few chances he had, Harrison created some of their greatest songs. Think of all the others we missed out on thanks to the never ending Lennon-McCartney soap opera. I don’t have a dog in this fight. Even the beautiful soul that was Harrison apparently had one most volatile tempers anyone had ever seen. It’s like they’re just human beings or something…

      • frisbeejada says:

        @ Amber totally agree with you about George Harrison, even Sinatra described ‘Something’ as the most beautiful love song ever written, and he was right.

      • Mia4S says:

        Actually Sinatra apparently called it his favourite Lennon McCartney song…ouch.

        It’s insane when you realize the depth of talent in the Beatles that Harrison was third on the list. No wonder they are the legend they are.

        Harrison was a confusing character. I still can’t get over him having an affair with Ringo’s wife…and then they stayed friends! I do find it sad that he was the only Beatle not on good terms with John when he was murdered. Apparently just small stuff that could have been worked out with one more talk, one more day. That’s the lesson I guess.

      • Cate says:

        @Amber: ‘We also don’t give the living a fraction of the empathy we give the dead…’

        I’d marry this sentence if I could. It’s SO true. Def. works for Lennon/McCarthy too. And of course Cobain. But imagine someone like Bono would’ve died 20 years ago, he’d be hailed as one the greatest. Now lots of people love to complain and make fun of him, while Lennon was twice as ridiculous and Bono has the better personality. (Please compare personal and band lives for easy proof) Don’t get me wrong, I truly love them both. I don’t care, they’re all just human beings with flaws. I also like Paul and the rest of The Beatles. (George’s songs are fantastic) And I also love the Stones. Imagine that.

        (And don’t even bring up U2 forcing a FREE album upon everyone. I won’t even listen, that was such a petty annoyance. Free music, I know, terrible…*ff off, said with all the love. ;-)

      • Aren says:

        @Amber, I kept nodding in agreement at everything you said. Cobain’s talent was barely existent, if I remember correctly he copied his persona and sound from The Melvin’s.
        Lennon also got himself a new personality using another artist, and he used it very successfully for many years, but I doubt he would be considered as relevant these days if he was alive, specially because the real Lennon was a disgusting human being.

      • Rafa says:

        I don’t agree about Cobain. His music wasn’t about being a virtuoso. In a short period, he left a decent body of work. He was a good songwriter. I don’t think he would have carried on in the business though. He was already cynical & his health was poor. But he wouldn’t be an old prat – he had very forward-thinking ideas & was articulate. I think he’d be a recluse.

    • Jules says:

      Who is Noel Gallagher? Some one hit wonder? (Sarcasm intended) Like Oasis can stand the test of time.

    • ickythump says:

      Well, McCartney has taken over that mantle. I could see him being miffed if his songwriting wasnt acknowledged but he made (and is still making) an absolute mint out of it. I wish he should retire and give his money away….

    • TheSageM says:

      Although in this instance I agree with what he’s saying, let’s face it, both Gallaghers have always been prats themselves. They didn’t even have to get old first!

    • milla says:

      Noel talks a lot. He does not want to talk only tonight.

  4. Lovely says:

    *Daria voice*
    This has always happened since beginningless time. Dead famous people always become bigger than they ever were alive and are glamourized as icons and would be saviours of the world. Their abilities become magnified until what we think they were becomes the real story. I’m so used to it, I don’t even believe anything anymore.

    • LadyMTL says:

      ITA, and that gets even more intense if they died young, were killed, and so on. Look at how people mythologize Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and even John Lennon. (And I say this as a fan of their work). It’s like they can never be anything other than perfect, inspirational angels, when the truth was often a lot messier, and a lot less pleasant.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, but also no. I speak as a fan of Cobain and Lennon and while I think they’ve been mythologized to a certain degree, I think those who are really fans also know the ugly truth.

    • boredblond says:

      Sad but true..they are frozen in time..Marilyn Monroe in her 80s..hmmm

  5. Mia4S says:

    The martyrdom thing really backfired I think. It just wasn’t true. As more stories come out about Lennon being quite cruel and violent there is a whole generation that is starting to find him objectionable.

    Interestingly it’s when McCartney talks about Lennon that I can actually like Lennon. McCartney talks about him like he loved him…and he hated certain things about him. That’s honest, that’s fair, and that’s more relatable than a martyr.

    • mom2two says:

      I agree. I could listen to Paul talk about John all day because I think Paul will always love the man but he’s definitely had his issues with him and his assessment of John comes across very honest. Personally, I don’t think John would have appreciated with being made a martyr.

    • KAI says:

      To John Lennon’s credit, he was very upfront and honest about his abusive behaviour and was remorseful and determined to be a better person. These stories ‘coming out’ are nothing that he did not speak to when he was alive.

      Yes, mom2two, I too believe Lennon would never have wanted to be made a martyr.

    • Cate says:

      @Mia4S It’s true that the Tumblr generation (lol) is very harsh about Lennon and there’s indeed plenty of proof, just look at his first marriage, but like KAI also brought up, he was remorseful about that, he just never got the chance to redeem himself a bit more, which will always be sad. But let’s be fair, we’re all just human, Lennon’s life was crazy, it was a circus and he was still so young when that all happened, still figuring out life and love. A bit of forgiveness goes a long way…The younger generations will hopefully learn that too.

      • Aren says:

        I read one of his last interviews (maybe even the last one?), and he was still being very mean to his first son. I don’t think he had any plans to redeem any time soon.

      • Deedee says:

        I agree with @Aren. He treated his first wife and son very poorly and was abusive to them. He was abusive to his second son, also, but just not as much. One story goes that he yelled so loudly at Sean, he actually went deaf for a few days.

  6. Beth No. 2 says:

    Goodness gracious, I thought it was Dame Maggie Smith in that cover photo on the main page.

  7. Lilacflowers says:

    Sure, let’s bash Yoko for enforcing valid, written legal contracts McCartney had signed.

  8. Kiddo says:

    What was the point of establishing songwriting credit at this late stage, is it royalties or catalog value, or merely artistic ego in owning the merit of the song?

    • HH says:

      Sounds like both; and, I completely understand. I really hate not getting credit. I have an ego in that area.

    • Mia4S says:

      Who knows but he’s probably right that John would be OK with it. There’s an hilarious 1970s talk show clip on YouTube with Lennon talking about how he hates people complimenting him on “Yesterday” or playing it for him…because he had nothing to do with it! Apparently his contribution was limited to “hey, good song Paul” but because it was so popular it was the one that came up a lot and it clearly bugged him.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      All of the above, especially the latter. And McCartney was picking and choosing the songs without any proof. Because of course he would have written the ones that earned the most.

      • Mia4S says:

        Actually he would have John’s own words as proof. Read the full Playboy interview sometime, it’s fascinating. There are tapes of it too. Lennon goes through most of their catalogue and identifies who wrote what, whether separately or together. Now if John was accurate who knows; but if it is consistent with Paul’s recall that’s pretty strong evidence.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        They had a decade after the breakup of the band, during which there were numerous lawsuits and legal settlements, in which they could have done just that but they didn’t. McCartney signed the contract for the song-writing credits as they are and he didn’t move for a change while John was still alive. That counts against him. Instead, he is taking every opportunity to bash Yoko for upholding a valid contract. Lennon was no angel but he didn’t cheat McCartney out of anything

      • Jayna says:

        If you read the Esquire interview, he said go by John Lennon’s breakdown of who did what from his Playboy interview before he died and go by that. He’s saying, that was pretty accurate and go with that.

  9. Eleonor says:

    Martyrdom aside, John was the one who did wonderful things on his own, sorry Paul you were not equal.

    • Mia4S says:

      Wow is that ever personal opinion. So here’s mine! ;-)

      They both did some great work post-Beatles (I do think McCartney’s post-best was with Wings) but they were never as great as they were together.

      On the martyr side again people forget that Double Fantasy was very poorly received critically and sales wise…until Lennon was murdered. Further poor reviews were withheld from publication. Interesting right?

      Oh and Imagine is not that great of a song. Yep, I said it! Not Lennon’s best solo work by far.

      • minx says:

        Agree with everything, and I’m an old Beatles fan.
        I do like Imagine and think it’s a very good song. But In My Life is probably his best.

      • Franca says:

        Everytime I hear Imagine, Elvis Costello’s line “Was it a millionaire who said imagine no possessions?” pops into my head.

        George is my favourite anyway.

    • minx says:

      John did some very good solo work and some real dreck.
      They were strongest when they had worked together.

      • Kelly says:

        I was going to post the same thing. John had a tendency to try the more experimental stuff; Paul was more mainline pop. The two together either balanced each other out or simply combined the best elements of their style to create something wonderful.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      What? Are you saying “Simply having a wonderful Christmastime,” a song that causes me to scream in pain, is not an aural masterpiece that ranks with Handel’s Messiah? THANK YOU!!!!

      • Mia4S says:

        LOL! You’ll get no argument from me @Lilacflowers! I was thinking more Band on the Run, Live and Let Die, and Maybe I’m Amazed.

        That said…that blasted Christmas song is still being played and bought 35 years later! The public wants what it wants!

      • Kiddo says:

        The only solo McCartney music that I like was his first solo album. I think it has less of the saccharine pop sound that permeated his later music. Maybe some of the Beatle bandmate influence remained in his subconsciousness.

      • frisbeejada says:

        That made me laugh out loud, thank you! it really was utterly dire excruciating embarrassment all the way through!
        @ Kiddo, Paul needed John’s sour to balance out his sweet and vice versa. Phenomenal together but not so great apart.

      • Deedee says:

        Haha! Thats one if the worst xmas songs of all time!

  10. Izzy says:

    I think he has a point. People tend to completely overlook all of Lennon’s caddish behaviour.

    • Jegede says:

      Jonh Lennon was a bad husband and horrendous father.

      His treatment of young Julian was just…….

      John was an asshole!!

      • rahrahrooey says:

        I agree. I LOVE the Beatles, have since I was 8 years old. However, as I got older I found out how sucky a person John really was. It’s sad to find out someone you admire so much is just not all that great. Talented? Hell yea! A good person? Who knows? I know this much, he probably was not as wonderful as he has been made out to be. I concur with Paul.

      • Jayna says:

        His treatment of Julian was mindblowing. And then Yoko’s treatment of him regarding Julian trying to get a piece of the estate must have done such a number on him. Julian had to fight for years in legal battles just to get a fraction of what he really should have received.

        Julian is still screwed up to this day by his father’s abandonment of him. I was watching an old short doc. on Lennon dying. It’s gripping even now watching it. I had tears in my eyes. Yoko cooperated, so it had all the people that really were with John and his activities leading up to his death with lots of live footage in those preceding days. But seeing clips of John before his death talking about Sean and the comments in a radio interview were like Julian didn’t even exist and he was over the moon taking care of Sean.

      • Jegede says:

        @Jayna

        Yup.
        I’ll always respect Paul for doing his best to soothe the emotional abuse, John put that young boy (and Cynthia) through.

      • Jan says:

        I can’t imagine what Cynthia went through as well. Her husband basically ignoring her and their son so the fans wouldn’t be upset. Both Cyn and Julian were treated very shabbily by John over many years. And then by
        Yoko as well. Yoko is no saint and John’s Mommy figure ’til the end. John was very talently yes, but so flawed and not a nice person.

    • Esmom says:

      See, I’m not sure if people overlook the fact that he was a selfish prick. To me it seems like he’s been rightly lauded for his music and his advocacy for peace, but I think there’s just as much out there about his a%^hole side, too.

      • Rafa says:

        Of course he was! But he’s dead, so he’s not mistreating anyone these days nor can he atone for his past behaviour. I don’t see the point in dwelling on his negative qualities rather than his legacy. In a biography, sure. But I don’t see how it’s relevant every time someone has praise for him. When someone compliments you, would it be fair for someone who knows you well to chime in with one of your shortcomings?

  11. Alex says:

    At first I was little irked by this interview but then I remembered that the band knew John best. They knew all the good and bad about him and yes his death did make him a martyr. We actually talked about this in my History of Rock Music class and my teacher made a similar remark about how John’s reputation was elevated after death. Same with Kurt Cobain, James Dean, Amy Winehouse, etc. No one wants to sully a dead person’s name I think

  12. Amy Tennant says:

    I think he’s spot on about this, and also about the songwriting credits. Paul doesn’t want McCartney/Lennon on everything. Just on the ones that were more his, like “Hey Jude.” Because sometimes names are shortened on things, like in a karaoke songbook or something, and it would be shortened to “Lennon” not “McCartney.” I’m a librarian, and sometimes there are issues when cataloging an item and identifying the person of primary responsibility and relegating others to secondary responsibilities. I totally get where he’s coming from on that point. On the other hand, I think he’d be better off just letting it go. Let It Be.

  13. minx says:

    I can’t hate on Sir Paul. There are few real icons, and he’s one.

  14. meme says:

    Shut up old man. When a huge talent like John Lennon gets murdered in cold blood by an asshole who wants to impress Jodie Foster, well, yeah, you become something of a martyr. No one ever said John was a saint.

    • Skins says:

      The Jodie Foster guy was the guy who shot Reagan

    • Kristie says:

      John Hinckley wanted to impress Jodie Foster, not Mark David Chapman. But agree with everything else. McCartney has been carrying this HUGE chip on his shoulder for years. I remember watching the Concert for New York (the 911 concert) on tv and there was this scene where Paul was speaking with someone about some song he wrote for the event (“Freedom”) and he said something to the effect of people will start clapping to the song just like “Give Peace a Chance.” I remember thinking, really? It’s 2001 and the man has been dead for over 20 years and you still can’t let it go? BTW, “Freedom” wasn’t even close to the anthem GPAC was. Not Paul’s forte.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        He expected them to sing along to a song they had never heard before and it was a lousy song. He did something similar at the Olympics

      • beanie says:

        Freedom is a hideously boring and monotonous song, representative of his later years of songwriting in my opinion. Paul still had it with Wings, albeit less risk taking, the schmaltz could be full bore. Give peace a chance is pretty one note too however. Ah, they both suck. Changing the sequence of last names for writing credit does not affect royalties in any way, at least for the Beatles, I don’t know about other band’s agreements. It is ego driven. I don’t know why Paul would be wanting this change still; any Beatles fan worth their salt would have a good idea who wrote what based on the melodies and lyrics. Sitting on a cornflake? Not Paul. :-) Also, I love how songs like A Day in the Life clearly have contributions of both. The bridge ‘woke up got out of bed dragged a comb across my head’ is Paul, but the out there verses are all John.

  15. Skippy says:

    Dear Paulie has always stressed about that songwriting thing. Everyone knows he wrote “Yesterday” alone anyway. He worries that John Lennon is seen as a genius and he is not.
    It always comes across as Paul being petty and small. I wish he would let it be. Mother (Yoko) will not be pleased Paul is bringing it up again. But she won’t be surprised as he does this all the time.
    It was Lennon and McCartney because John was the leader and founder of The Beatles and he had a bigger mouth. Dear John. I miss him.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Over the years, George and Ringo made comments that enforce the theme that Paul can be petty and small and his memories self-aggrandizing and embellished

    • KAI says:

      I always thought it was Lennon McCartney because it was in alphabetical order. Made perfect sense to me.

    • Deedee says:

      “I will he would let it be”. Saw what you did there.

  16. Mellie says:

    Paul’s a bit of jerk, a legend yes, but sort of a jerk. I happen to have just visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and noticed the large Beatles display. Lots of items from Lennon’s family archives, several items donated from George and Ringo, little to nothing from Paul, probably b/c he’s a great big arse…that was the consensus of the guides there anyway, though they said it a bit more nicely.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      When George Harrison died, Paul made a comment about how: “he was just my little brother” but it wasn’t an expression of brotherly love because it was preceded by Paul dismissing George’s life works and the type of man George was. So, he’s not a bit of a jerk or sort of a jerk; he is a complete jerk.

      • Mia4S says:

        That’s what you took from that statement @Lilacflowers? Really? Well your entitled to your opinion I guess. Considering George spent his last days at one of Paul’s homes and how close the families are it’s clear he was mourning a brother more than a musician. Not the best public statement but it made sense.

        None of this rises to jerk for me? Major ego sure! All the private sessions he does for students at LIPA doesn’t strike me as a jerk. But what an ego!

        Then again my jerk meter was set pretty high for the Beatles with John (spousal abuse, abandoning your son, verbally abusing your other son). Damn that guy needed help!

      • noway says:

        Did anyone read the Esquire article or even the excerpts above. Paul said that they all were equal before John died and then John became known as the matyr and the genius. All the guys were close, and competitive when they were all alive. I think their relationship was very brotherly. I think Paul’s remembrance of John his friend, brother, and colleague is very interesting.

      • Jayna says:

        I’ve watched some great interviews with Paul. His love and respect for George was great. But read into a line what you want.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Mia, yes, that is what I took from it. He said it to news cameras so his physical demeanor conveyed a great deal and, as I said, he seemed dismissive of George the man, not just George the musician. I have no doubt that the families were close but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t friction and both John and Paul had out-sized egos.

  17. Jayna says:

    I too read a lot about the Beatles. I have ordered the first part of a three-part series on the Beatles, Tune In, Part 1, by Mark Lewisohn, Bealtes expert, which is getting rave reviews The first part I think is like over 800 pages. I too wish he hadn’t brought this up again, but if you read the whole article, and not just part, it is very balanced.

    Lennon-McCartney are the greatest songwriting duo for a band of all time. He made good points and has before. But time has really taken care of so much that happened after Lennon died. There was this canonization of Lennon, like he was the brilliant one. But time has put it back into perspective. They were both brilliant and amazing and brought the best of each other and on their own added so much to what the Bealtes were in the evolution of their music. And George began coming into his own and really put out some great songs. Abbey Road alone he had two of the best songs on there. And McCartney wrote the medley, which is on the end of Abbey Road, which is the really the ending to the last record they ever made. As Let it Be was actually recorded first, not after. Anyone saying he was fluff and Lennon was the brilliance are so far off base. Both were amazing and brought balance to the Beatles and a legacy of amazing songs. The melodies Paul brought to the Beatles are amazing. Love both of them. All four put out some great and some so-so music post-Beatles. John and Paul loved each other. Paul talks highly of Lennon all the time. I won’t get into Yoko. There’s really good and there’s really bad about her.

    And anyone who says he can’t sing anymore, give it up, he is touring to stadiums and performing three-hour sets – THREE HOURS. Three generations of families are at these concerts. The reviews are always fantastic for his concerts these last years. What are the new bands doing? Ninety-minutes, at most two hours, and they are young. Rock on, sir Paul. RIP John and George. Keep smiling and truckin’ on, Ringo.

    Perfection. Best ending on the last album made by an iconic band ever.

    Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/The End.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjOl0fG72ZE

    • Jaded says:

      Thanks for that Jayna – one of my all time favourite Beatles tunes!

      • Kelly says:

        Yep. Well said.

      • Jayna says:

        I loved Ringo’s solo in The End part. And to listen to that guitar instrumental at the end after Love you, love you, and knowing that the three guys, George, John and Paul, were recording in one take trading guitar licks back and forth on that part gives me chills listening to it. It’s thrilling listening to that part and envisioning them sitting there trading licks back and forth, and then the ending, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

        What they said about putting together that guitar sequence in The End.

        “McCartney, Harrison, and Lennon perform a rotating sequence of three, two-bar guitar solos. The solos begin approximately 53 seconds into the song and end just before the final piano part. Lennon described it in his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone: “There’s a nice little bit I played on Abbey Road. Paul gave us each a piece, a little break where Paul plays, George plays and I play.” The first two bars are played by McCartney, the second two by Harrison, and the third two by Lennon, then the sequence repeats. Each has a distinctive style which McCartney felt reflected their personalities: McCartney’s playing included string bends similar to his lead guitar work on “Another Girl” from the Help! album and the stinging style he had first perfected on “Taxman” from Revolver; Harrison’s solo incorporated the melodic yet technically advanced slides that were becoming his trademark; lastly Lennon’s contribution was rhythmic, snarling, and had the heaviest distortion, echoing his lead work in “Revolution”. Immediately after Lennon’s third solo, the piano chords of the final line “And in the end…” begin. Then the orchestration arrangement takes over with a humming chorus and Harrison playing a final guitar solo that ends the song.”

      • beanie says:

        Jayna, thanks for that in-depth info about the guitar solos in The End. I have read a ton about the Beatles, but I have never read that, very interesting!

    • Franca says:

      I wish when people say “of all time” they were consider that music and art is/was made in countries other than The UK and USA.

    • Courtney says:

      I saw Paul live about four years ago. Amazing! My husband and I were both in our late 20′s then, but the crowd was extremely diverse for a rock concert. Old, young, fathers and sons, black, white.

  18. Jaded says:

    As Jane Austen wrote…“Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a person who either marries or dies is sure of being kindly spoken of.”

    I grew up with the Beatles, I actually saw them perform when I was 13 years old, and still enjoy their music today but lost interest in McCartney without Lennon. John Lennon took the “pop-ish” banality out of Paul’s songs and gave them an acerbic edge. Without Lennon, his music is mostly bland. As for John’s martyrdom, they’re both guilty of less than admirable behaviour and Paul’s raging ego seems to still be firmly in place.

  19. Skins says:

    Say what you all want about The Beatles, they will always be the biggest thing ever. Still ahead of their time

  20. Kelly says:

    Where were you when Lennon was shot?

    I was a freshman, sitting at the hall watching TV. Not a happy night. Same year that Reagan was shot.

    • Nona says:

      I was driving home from college and I turned on the radio and they were playing Beatles/Lennon songs nonstop, one after the other. And I was happily singing along when the announcer came on and explained that they were playing the songs as a tribute to John Lennon, who had just been shot to death …
      I had to pull over, I was crying so hard.

  21. idsmith says:

    Although I get where he is coming from he does sound very defensive and a little whiny when he talks about John’s supposed martyrdom and revisionism. He keeps saying I knew it was going to happen and I tried not to mind. But he did mind. He seems jealous and it fits with the descriptions of him being jealous in the past. In the end, John’s work probably is thought of more positively since he died. However, I have never been a fan of McCartney’s work since he left the Beatles. I honestly think he’s pretty awful, this just goes to show how bothered he is by what people thought about John.

    • Nona says:

      Yeah, I agree. I remember in the years after John’s death, Paul would say that he (Paul) was the one who was hanging out with artists. He was the edgy one on the fringe, and he introduced all that to John. An interviewer asked Ringo about it, and he said something along the lines of, Yes, Paul was on the fringe. But John was the fringe.

    • NorthernGirl_20 says:

      John’s music wasn’t original either. He took (stole) elements from what was popular at the time and incorporated it into the Beatles songs.

      No longer a fan of his.

  22. Jayna says:

    Ethan Hawke said it all in Boyhood. This scene was inspiration from his real life regarding a Beatles Black Album he made for his daughter after his divorce and a heartfelt letter to her. It’s a poignant scene in giving a mix-tape to his son and discussing the beauty of the Beatles together.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYbKpdWB3Gw

  23. Lisa says:

    “Fk you, darlin’!” HAHA. He’s 100% correct, and it’s good to see that he doesn’t have the same public blinders on, or worse, as his former best friend. John might have had the artistic vision, but he wasn’t a saint. Nobody is, but people tend to forget that easily when talking about him (or anyone famous).

    • Mitchie says:

      Thank you for pointing that out. The man wrote songs. He was a horrible husband, and even worse father. Can we just stop throwing around this “genius” title, and use it for actual geniuses, please!

  24. Amy M. says:

    I don’t have much of an opinion of the Beatles, I like some of their songs and they revolutionized pop music with a new sound. I was less than impressed when I found out how badly Lennontreated his first wife and son. I also don’t really get Yoko Ono. She’s been blamed for lots of things (fairly or unfairly, I don’t follow Beatles gossip that closely) and I know she is some kind of “artist” (I think she had some kind of exhibit at MOMA or something recently?) but she just seems to get by as John Lennon’s widow.

    I actually only live a few blocks from The Dakota, aka the building where Lennon lived when he was killed. I walk by the Imagine plaque memorial all the time when I enter Central Park and there are always hordes of tourists taking pictures with it or some pseudo artsy type with a guitar playing Beatle songs on a bench near it.

  25. bunny love says:

    Whether it seems fair or not the impact of your death in public recognition and response is not soley dependent on what you’ve accomplished because timing is everything. Thus Princess Diana ‘s death came right before Mother Theresa and overshadowed it in terms of public recognition and mourning regardless of the fact we know that the life of Mother Theresa was unmatched in faith and charity.

  26. serena says:

    I love reading something about the Beatles! Thank you!!
    Having said that, martyrdom is a thing.. look at all the artists who died and became more famous than when they were alive (I’m not talking about John Lennon here), so yeah, people tend to do that and I get why Paul is kinda pissed. It makes sense.

  27. mayamae says:

    On another site where I post about TV shows, a poster has an avatar of Mark David Chapman’s mug shot, and their user name is “Aiming for Yoko”. I feel slightly ashamed every time I snicker at it.

  28. Ginger says:

    Still with the Yoko BS? Let it go man! Im old enough to know John was great but he was still just a regular human man with flaws. I loved the Beatles, loved Johns music and Geoge’s too. I even went to see Paul live with my Mom in Vegas years ago. It was cool but it left me wondering what it would be like if George and John were still alive.

  29. Miran says:

    Even if he does come across a bit whiny, I agree with him. John was not really that great of a person for much of his life and after he was murdered suddenly people accepted all his peace and love schtick and seemingly forgot that he beat Cynthia and abandoned Julian to take up with Yoko, who to this day pushes the John was The Beatles rhetoric. Love her but she is guilty of that.

  30. fyvensyx says:

    Golden Slumbers: lyrics by Thomas Dekker, a 17th century English poet.
    How ironic that Paul ‘The Plagiarist’ McCartney still moans and whines over writing credits. I’ll be more sympathetic towards him the day I see the credits for Golden Slumbers listed as Lennon/McCartney/Dekker.

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