He’s not going to let it be.
Paul McCartney is insisting it was bandmate and songwriting partner John Lennon who decided The Beatles couldn’t “work it out” in 1970 — and not him, as has been widely reported for five decades.
“I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney reportedly told BBC Radio 4 in an interview set to air Oct. 24, when asked about his April 1970 comments pronouncing the end of the band’s long and winding road.
“I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no,” he said, according to a preview of the interview published in The Guardian. “John walked into a room one day and said ‘I am leaving the Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”
McCartney said the group’s new manager Allen Klein advised them to keep shut about the split as he negotiated deals on their behalf, but that the now-79-year-old bassist got impatient and spilled the beans — making him the face of the band’s separation.
“I was fed up of hiding it,” McCartney told the BBC, according to the report.
McCartney said Lennon’s new passions with wife Yoko Ono — such as the 1969 “bed-ins for peace” in Montreal and Amsterdam — were incompatible with the band continuing to write and record together.
Lennon, McCartney said, “wanted to go in a bag and lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace. And you couldn’t argue with that.”
“The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko,” he explained. “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.”
He added that Lennon glibly called the decision to leave “quite thrilling” and “rather like a divorce.” At the same time, McCartney called John and Yoko “a great couple.”
“This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue,” McCartney said of his desire at the time to keep the group together. “I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny coming in one day and saying ‘I’m leaving the group.’”
The BBC interview will air about one month before the premiere of director Peter Jackson’s forthcoming documentary about the band’s final days, titled “Get Back.”