We’re dipping back into the Far Out archives to look back at one of the most turbulent periods of musical history, an event which led Paul McCartney to “self-medicate” with alcohol during a difficult period in his life following the split of The Beatles.
The Beatles’ breakup was a cumulative process. During the final years of their career, marked by rumours of a split right up until September 1969 when John Lennon privately informed his bandmates that he was leaving the band, the group were living in the midst of a media nightmare with in-fighting rife and tensions repeatedly boiling over.
However, no public or official announcement of the break-up was made until 10 April 1970, a time when Paul McCartney jumped ahead of Lennon in the race to leave the group and made his shock announcement to the world. Reflecting on that moment, McCartney referenced his new song ‘Happy With You’, taken from his forthcoming new album Egyptian Station. On that track, McCartney sings “I used to drink too much/Forget to come home.”
In a more interview with MOJO, McCartney described the song as “candid”. before going on to add: “I did use to get stoned and wasted,” in reference to a time following the band’s split.
Delving deeper yet, McCartney added that he “self-medicated” in order to get through: “most particularly in the period right after The Beatles [split up],” he said.
“I was bummed out and in the middle of this horrendous shit where someone was going to take every penny we’d ever made.
“That wasn’t easy and led to a very difficult time in my life. I definitely self-medicated there and drank more than I ever had and probably more than I ever have since. But you go through it.”
See Macca describe the difficult period, below.