As part of a run of interviews in which Paul McCartney is discussing his solo career, the prospect of McCartney III, an album which he wrote in lockdown, as well as his time with The Beatles. While Macca has never been afraid to share the good and the bad bits of being a part of the Fab Four, with the anniversary of John Lennon’s death upon him, the interest in the band has grown once again.
It has left the musician facing many of the similar questions he got asked when the group first disbanded, only this time he’s got the benefit of hindsight and cooling tempers to help guide him. One such question, of which the singer dealt with in a recent interview, was the idea of who or what actually caused the split of The Beatles. While the chances of a succinct and perfect answer were slim, McCartney suggests the new documentary, from Peter Jackson, settles the debate once and for all.
Many have left the blame for The Beatles break-up squarely at McCartney’s feet. With Lennon’s death making him an untouchable icon, Macca was the one left taking the abuse from dismayed fans. He, however, thinks the new Peter Jackson film Let It Be ‘proves’ that he wasn’t the one to blame for the band going their separate ways and, on top that, also throws into doubt the idea that during their final years as a group, all they did was argue.
“It was so reaffirming for me,” he told The Sunday Times. “Because it proves that my main memory of the Beatles was the joy and the skill.” While many believe it was he who decided to end the group in April 1970, he says the film proves otherwise. “The proof is the footage. I bought into the dark side of the Beatles breaking up and thought, ‘Oh God, I’m to blame.’ I knew I wasn’t, but it’s easy when the climate is that way to start thinking so.
“But at the back of my mind there was always this idea that it wasn’t like that, but I needed to see proof. There’s a great photo Linda took, which is my favourite, of me and John working on a song, glowing with joy. This footage is the same. All four of us having a ball.”
It’s clear McCartney is a fan of the new film: “I love it, I must say because it’s how it was. It just reminds me of – even though we had arguments, like any family – we loved each other, you know, and it shows in the film.” 40 years on from the death of John Lennon and it feels more poignant than ever to underline that while The Beatles were not without their scuffles and kerfuffles, underneath it all, they were friends and, perhaps more accurately, brothers.