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Why did John Lennon cause The Beatles’s breakup?

After ten years, fourteen studio albums, numerous sold-out shows, and dozens of now-classic hits Paul McCartney, Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, known as the Beatles, went their separate ways back in April 1970 following Paul’s public departure from the group. Now, Paul McCartney says it was John Lennon who was hugely responsible for it. 

After all this time, Paul is opening up about the Beatles’ breakup, claiming John was the member behind it. In an upcoming episode of BBC Radio 4 series This Cultural Life, scheduled to air on October 23, Paul says, “I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny.”

According to The Guardian’s Sunday Edition, the Observer which published pieces from the interview on Sunday, The Liverpool-bred star refers to the 1970 breakup of his childhood group, the “most difficult period of my life.” He told the radio show, “This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue.” We’re going to explore what happened with John Lennon and The Beatles.

The Beatles

There’s a meme comparing cannabis influence to that of alcohol and the difference is very clear: “The difference in booze and weed? Five drunk guys will start a fight whereas five stoned guys will start a band.” Think about the impact bands have had on society. 

During the ‘60s, The Beatles were the dominant youth-centered pop group on the sales charts. Together, the friends broke numerous sales and attendance records, many of which they have or had preserved for decades, and continue to enjoy a beautified status unprecedented for infamous musicians

The Beatles were the first entertainment act to stage a great stadium concert. The group began their 1965 North American tour. The concert sold out in just seventeen minutes, and drew a record audience of 55,600. After The Beatles broke up, all four of the members experienced success as solo artists. John Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. Harrison passed away from lung cancer in 2001. 

Following Lennon’s murder, Harrison, McCartney and Starr briefly reunited for the Anthology project. McCartney and Starr remain musically active today. 

Paul McCartney

Perhaps Paul’s comments are a surprise to some. The singer, songwriter, and bassist is usually believed to be the culprit behind the break-up since he was the first Beatle to address it publicly. According to some reports, The Beatles’ John Lennon had already informed people discreetly that he’d left the group. Conflicts were leaving the band members aware that their time together was coming to an end. 

When discussing Lennon’s departure and addressing the allegations against him Paul told This Cultural Life, “Stop right there. 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?” A reported directive from their new manager Allen Klein only served to add to the confusion over who was responsible. 

“So for a few months, we had to pretend,” Paul added. He explains, “It was weird because we all knew it was the end of the Beatles but we couldn’t just walk away.”

Post break-up

Matters grew worse after the band’s break-up. Paul went on to sue his former bandmates in December 1970. Information extracted from the Telegraph revealed a judge sided with Paul McCartney’s argument and legally divided the band. 

“I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles because they were going with Klein. And they thanked me for it years later. But I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny coming in one day and saying, “I’m leaving the group.”

McCartney says John Lennon’s decision to leave was driven by his pursuit of social justice, including movements like Bagism where Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, wore bags urging folks not to judge others based on their appearance.

When Paul was under scrutiny for it, did you know it was really John Lennon all along? Tell us your thoughts below!

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