Paul McCartney says The Beatles lawsuit was the “only way” to save their music
Paul McCartney has shared his feelings about a dark time in Beatles history when the singer-songwriter and all-round musician decided to sue the band in order to “save” their music and company Apple.
In a new interview with GQ, McCartney opened up about what he called one of the biggest “misconceptions” about the Fab Four’s disbandment.
Paul McCartney explained that during that period of time, he felt he had no other option but to sure The Beatles in order to salvage their past creations. In doing so, Macca filed a lawsuit which called for the band’s formal break-up.
McCartney eventually won the rights to the songs after years of tussling with EMI and music publisher Allen Klein. Klein was in charge of The Beatles business dealings from 1969 after the death of Brian Epstein.
“I had to do that, I think I was thought to be the guy who broke The Beatles up and the bastard who sued his mates,” McCartney told GQ.
“The only way for me to save The Beatles and Apple – and to release Get Back by Peter Jackson and which allowed us to release Anthology and all these great remasters of all the great Beatles records – was to sue the band,” McCartney confirmed.
The former bassist of the band went one step further and suggested without him taking such actions The Beatles would have lost the rights to their music: “If I hadn’t done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein. The only way I was given to get us out of that was to do what I did,” he commented. “I said, ‘Well, I’ll sue Allen Klein,’ and I was told I couldn’t because he wasn’t party to it. ‘You’ve got to sue The Beatles.’
“As you can imagine, that was horrendous and it gave me some terrible times. I drank way too much and did too much of everything. And it was crazy, but I knew that was the only thing to do, because there was no way I was going to save it for me, because there was no way I was going to work that hard for all my life and see it all vanish in a puff of smoke.
“I also knew that, if I managed to save it, I would be saving it for them too. Because they were about to give it away. They loved this guy Klein. And I was saying, ‘He’s a fucking idiot.’”
It was a public dispute which weighed heavily on Macca, “I suppose that when The Beatles broke up, perhaps there was a misconception that we all sort of hated each other. What I realise now is that, because it was a family, because it was a gang, families argue. And families have disputes,” he added.