McCartney Martyr Commentary: Paul Says John Lennon’s Image Was Significantly Revised After Death

Paul McCartney says John Lennon became a martyr

Paul McCartney’s “martyr” comments regarding John Lennon are stirring up quite a bit of buzz.

The Beatles musician is opening up about how he believes Lennon’s death shifted the perceptions and dynamics of how each of the band members has been seen over the years. What specifically did Paul say in a recent interview?

The comments come from an interview with the United Kingdom edition of Esquire. McCartney’s martyr talk came in the midst of a bigger interview touching on topics including Paul’s current tour, his upbringing, his family life and the flurry of being a part of the Beatles.

Though Paul has created massive success on his own post-Beatles, he has come around and seemingly does still embrace the link to the band that initially made him a household name. In particular, the musician says that after the band split, everybody did their own thing and were relatively equal for a while. However, John Lennon’s assissination essentially made him a martyr, McCartney says.

Paul says that as a result of John’s death, he saw quite a bit of revisionism about how Lennon was remembered and how the band members had all fit together. McCarthey says that he understood it was going to happen, but ultimately he was a bit surprised by how far things went.

As People notes, McCartney talks about how originally the songs were supposed to be credited with both Lennon and McCartney and McCartney and Lennon, alternating whose name was first. Over time, and as Yoko Ono got involved after Lennon’s death, that plan seemed to fade away.

Paul has experienced some backlash from fans who only understood a portion of the issue. However, he says that John himself wouldn’t have worried about what Paul was trying to do in garnering the right balance in crediting the work the men did. At this point, however, McCartney says he’s given up on the issue.

Though McCartney’s martyr discussion has stirred up a lot of talk, the interview as a whole shared great insight for long-time Paul and Beatles fans. He shares that despite being 72-years-old, retirement doesn’t appeal to him. The singer loves what he does and he loves how the audience reacts to it. McCartney admits that at times he still feels he has something to prove, but he loves both the writing and singing and doesn’t see any reason to stop quite yet.

Are Paul McCartney’s martyr comments hitting the mark or off-base? Despite clearly having had some frustration over the years at how John Lennon’s image has shifted, it seems that McCartney has come to a place where he feels pretty satisfied with his own accomplishments as well.

[Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images]