Paul McCartney Says John Lennon Caused The Beatles' Split, Not Him: He Was 'Looking to Break Loose'

"This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue," McCartney said of the split

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney. Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Paul McCartney is clearing up some rumors.

In an interview on the BBC Radio 4 interview series This Cultural Life with John Wilson set to release later this month, McCartney revealed the truth behind The Beatles' breakup — and said that though many believed that he instigated it — it was actually John Lennon who did.

"I didn't instigate the split. That was our Johnny," McCartney, 79, said of the band's breakup in 1970, which consisted of McCartney, Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

He later added on his decision to go solo, "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?"

The Beatles
The Beatles. Fox Photos/Getty Images

In fact, McCartney said that when it first happened, he wanted the band to go on — since after eight years together, they were still creating "pretty good stuff."

"This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue," McCartney said.

McCartney also added that if Lennon had not quit, the band's musical journey would've gone on much longer, but Lennon was "always looking to break loose."

"It could have been. The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko. 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," McCartney said of his late bandmate, who was killed at age 40 in 1980.

Lennon's official Twitter account backed up McCartney's story, sharing a quote from a 1970 interview Lennon gave Rolling Stone in which he recalled, "I said to Paul, 'I'm leaving.'"

RELATED VIDEO: Ringo Starr Feels Re-Worked Beatles' Film Get Back Gives a Truer Portrayal of the Band: 'You Will See the Joy'

The news also comes ahead of the release of Get Back, Peter Jackson's television series that will detail the final months of the band.

On Saturday, McCartney and Yoko Ono also honored Lennon on what would've been his 81st birthday on social media with throwback photos.

McCartney paid tribute to his late bandmate on Instagram with a black-and-white photo of him and John holding electric guitars like violins to their chins.

"Happy Birthday thoughts for John," McCartney wrote alongside the image.

The Beatles, left to right, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon
The Beatles. Getty

McCartney also released the sequel to his first picture book, Hey Grandude!, titled Grandude's Green Submarine on Tuesday.

"I'm really happy with how Hey Grandude! was received, as this was a very personal story for me, celebrating Grandudes everywhere and their relationships and adventures with their grandchildren," he said in a statement. "I love that it has become a book read to grandkids at bedtime all around the world."

The full interview will premiere on Oct. 23, and McCartney's new book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present will be available on Nov. 2.

Related Articles