Paul McCartney has admitted he still harbors regrets about how The Beatles split up, confessing that the added complications of the business side of the music industry ultimately led to an “ugly” and “untidy” parting. The Liverpudlian was recently asked about any regrets that he has regarding his long and storied musical career, which provoked him to open up and get candid about how the world’s most famous pop group ultimately came to an end.
“Yeah, actually. You’d have to say the way The Beatles broke up was a bit untidy, a bit ugly. We were such a great little band, it would’ve been nice to just continue on, but the business side really crept in and got a bit sticky. I regret that. If I could have reversed that scenario, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea. But otherwise, no regrets, really. You do what you do, and try and make things work out, and have a bit of fun while you’re doin’ it. That’s the story for me, these days.”
Paul McCartney made the above admission regarding The Beatles, which was comprised of McCartney, his regular writing partner John Lennon, guitarist George Harrison, and drummer Ringo Starr, during his recent interview with the New Zealand website Stuff.
“The Fab Four” became a quartet in 1962 when Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best on the drums, and under the guidance of manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin, they quickly became the most popular group on the planet.
This really kick-started with the release of “Love Me Do” towards the end of 1962. However, by 1964, they’d conquered the United States, and then the subsequent album releases of Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1965, 1966, and 1967, respectively, confirmed their status. It was the death of Brian Epstein, though, in August 1967 that started the band’s spiral towards their split.
It has widely been written and speculated that in the wake of Brian Epstein’s death, Paul McCartney was the one that took on a more dominant presence in The Beatles. The group never actually hired a replacement for Brian Epstein, and this void, as well as the growing conflict amongst the members, would eventually be cited as a major reason for their demise.
There were other issues, too. George Harrison’s prominence as a songwriter became more obvious, and he released his own solo record in 1968. Meanwhile, John Lennon began collaborating more with his new girlfriend, and soon to be wife, Yoko Ono, and the recordings for The White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road were each rife with tension.
Further complications arose towards the end of 1969 when George Harrison and Ringo Starr voted in favor of Allen Klein being The Beatles’ adviser over Lee and John Eastman, Paul’s choices, who also happened to be his father and brother-in-law. John Lennon ostensibly quit the band in September 1969, but agreed not to announce it until after Let It Be was released in May 1970.
By April 1970, Paul McCartney had written and was ready to release his own solo album. But when he was allegedly told by the other members of the group that he couldn’t release it on April 17 as it coincided with Let It Be and Ringo Starr’s own solo debut album, Sentimental Journey, he publicly announced his own departure from The Beatles.
[Featured Image by Getty/Kevin Winter]