Paul McCartney Is A Legend, But He Almost Quit Music After The Beatles Breakup

Paul McCartney is now a legend but confesses that after the Beatles broke up, depression hit hard. The band started out in Liverpool in 1960 and continued going strong until 1970. Although the breakup resulted from business differences, McCartney said he still faltered and wasn’t sure what he would do with the rest of his life. He shared the details of his life with BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes.

After the world-famous band recorded “Let It Be” in 1970, the break up was official, but in 1969, band members chose Allen Klein as manager — without the approval of Paul. All of the band members were experiencing growing pains as they wanted to move from popular boy band to grown men who were recognized as artists.

He didn’t feel as though Klein had the best intentions at heart, as he made certain that he earned a good share of the Beatles’ profits and manufactured the bands’ records in the U.S. Eventually, McCartney sued his band members, which caused a rift in his relationship with John Lennon, noted BBC News.

“It was difficult to know what to do after The Beatles. How do you follow that? I was depressed. You would be. You were breaking from your lifelong friends. So I took to the bevvies.”

The parting of ways had to do with business meetings that Paul just couldn’t handle.

He said, “The business thing split us apart.”

McCartney added that he didn’t know “whether I was still going to continue in music.” After a move to Scotland, he began drinking heavily and credits his late wife, Linda McCartney, with helping get him back on track. Soon, the Paul McCartney and Wings band formed with Linda on keyboards. The band started in 1971 and had a 10-year run, but Paul admits that Linda wasn’t the best keyboard player, added BBC News.

“I liked the idea of a band. I wanted to go back to square one… we were terrible. We weren’t a good group. People said, ‘Linda can’t play keyboards,’ and it was true. But John couldn’t play guitar when we started [The Beatles].”

After Paul had a string of hits in the UK and U.S., like “Live and Let Die,” and “Band on the Run,” Lennon was stirred enough to get back into making music. The man who would later become Sir Paul (knighted in 1997) reached out to his old friend, and their relationship began to heal. Initially, it was awkward, and when they called each other, each would ask what the other one wanted.

McCartney shared that Lennon was then living in the US and had a bit of an American accent, which inspired McCartney to call his good buddy “Kojak.” Paul said he appreciated that their friendship was rekindled before Lennon’s death, reported People.

“One of the things that I was really grateful for was that we got it back together before he died, because it would have been very difficult to deal with. I mean, it was difficult anyway, but it would have been especially difficult. So it was good. We had a really good relationship and we just talked kids and baking bread. Just ordinary stuff.”

There was always controversy on whether Wings served as a backdrop for Paul, the soloist, or if it was a band within its own right. In 1982, McCartney embarked upon a solo career and collaborated with other greats like Stevie Wonder on “Ebony and Ivory” and the late Michael Jackson on “The Girl is Mine.”

More recently, working with Kanye West has inspired Paul McCartney, who describes the rapper as an eccentric who comes up with good material. Perhaps there will be more projects in the future. Long live Sir Paul!

[Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images]