Q: Did you see The Beatles differently from John Lennon?

Paul: Hmm. I don’t think so. We all had a common vision, at least in the early days. Then everyone seemed to think that we wanted to go in different directions. But I’m not even sure that’s true. The thing about me and John is that we were different, but we weren’t that different. I think Linda put her finger on it when she said me and John were like mirror images of each other. Even down to how we started writing together, facing each other, eyeball to eyeball, exactly like looking in the mirror. That’s how songs like ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand” were written.

Q: You were like two sides of the same person?

Paul: Well said. But the sides would switch. On the surface, I was very easy-going, always accommodating. That came easy to me. That’s how I’d been brought up. But, at certain times, I would very much be the hard man of the duo. At certain moments, I could bite. But that would be when no one outside the group was watching. John would allow me to take that role because it enabled him to drop his guard and be vulnerable. On the surface, he was this hard, witty guy, always on hand with a cutting witticism. He appeared caustic, even cruel at times. But really he was very soft. John was very insecure. He carried a lot of that from his upbringing, what with his father leaving when he was five. Then, of course, we’d both lost our mothers so we had that in common.

Ultimately, we were equals. All The Beatles were equals. If things got too deep, Ringo would crack a one-liner and that kept us on a level. If things were getting too sentimental, John would harden it up. If John was getting too hostile, I’d soften it down. Then George was always on hand with his own kind of unique wisdom

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10 Responses to “PAUL NAILS IT:”

  1. Kevin says:

    Well said Paul. So if you felt this way about each other, why did you break up and sue the begeezes out of each other????
    Egos are a cruel thing….
    The big ones, well, they just don’t like to co-exist well together….
    And we never realize how big they can get……

  2. anonymoustill says:

    Interesting comment, Kevin. But it wasn’t so simple. Paul had to sue the others even though he really only wanted to go after Allen Klein. Their business was so intertwined that he had to name the others as defendants. And Paul’s instincts were spot on. He had done his homework on Klein and what he learned wasn’t good. The others came to agree with him, even though they (and the general public) really raked him over the coals for it at the time. Paul took a lot of heat for it, but he was right.
    While I would agree that Paul’s ego was a factor in the split, it wasn’t one of the larger concerns. And I think most knowledgeable fans would now admit that they weren’t destined to split. You hear that they were splitting up regardless often enough, particularly from people who need to defend Yoko Ono. But in fact, even during the early legal wrangles they talked of recording together again. Do some research. You’ll find it’s true, though strangely not widely known.
    It was Paul who first stated the group was over. In a cover story for Life magazine in October, 1969 (maybe September, can’t remember as I write) Paul stated “the Beatle thing is over.” John had many opportunities to say the same thing but never said anything to the press. As late as February, 1970, he was mum on a breakup and even talked of recording with them again. Same with George and Ringo. And Paul has said when he released his first solo LP and included the Q&A about John and the Beatles that he didn’t realize that the press would jump all over it and use it to declare the group dead. It’s understandable when you read it, but according to Paul he didn’t intend it as some sort of manifesto to end the group. It was possible for them to pick up the pieces even after all their grief went public. That window of opportunity didn’t last very long, but John, George, and Ringo spoke about picking up where they left off. If they could have come to terms on business, things would have progressed differently.
    My point in writing is that it wasn’t ego that killed the band and that there was still life left in the group and the friendships that went along with it.

  3. yesiamize says:

    I still blame Yoko. She wanted John not only as her husband, but as her co-worker. She did everything to wedge him off the Beatles. Was it good for John? I am not so sure.

  4. stephenmcg says:

    This is a bit of a change of caption direction for Miss Tingles isnt it!!

  5. d- says:

    As someone once said, When you know the details of what was happening in 1969-1970, the wonder isn’t that Paul sued the other three, the wonder is what took him so long to file suit? And please, Paul is not the only aggressor here. John and George’s behavior during this period was not at all admirable either. There were multiple huge egos involved.

    And in the end (as they say) Paul turned out to be right about the business stuff. His suit saved the four of them from losing a ton of money to Klein. And Paul’s lawyer is STILL the Eastmans, who have helped him amass a fortune. Meanwhile, John and George fired Klein after a few short years. So who made the smarter choices in all this? And THAT more than anything — that Paul had been right again — probably drove a bigger wedge in his friendship with John than anything. None of us likes to be wrong but it’s especially hard being publicly proved wrong.

  6. stephanie says:

    Yoko has thanked Paul for suing the Beatles and Klein, all those years ago.

    She acknowledged that had he not done so, ownership of Apple and the Beates affairs would have probably fallen to Klein and/or faceless corporations. Klein was later convicted of tax and accounting fraud.

    The fact that the four Beatles families today each own 25% of Apple and ongoing Beatle royalties is due to Paul.

  7. Erin says:

    Paul has also said that John, George and Ringo all thanked him at one point or another for the lawsuit.

  8. julio serra says:

    I especially like this kind of revealing interview. They can talk about themselves better than anybody else because they lived it all together. The bottom line is………. they loved each other!

  9. A different Jennifer says:

    I think that time allows for this kind of reflection. Paul says that today with great wisdom, but back in the day they all had various agendas and probably didn’t feel and loving towards each other. I don’t put the blame entirely on Yoko Ono at all. She was a catalyst, but there were several. I think that, bottom line, they had all moved on. It probably wouldn’t have continued being fun for them. The music may have suffered, who knows? They were so amazing, but things can’t last forever. I still don’t quite understand the bitterness over the breakup that people have, to the point of using cruel-natured anger towards Yoko. Isn’t the world filled with enough hate?

    The Beatles gave us SO much. Their music lives on- no, it SOARS on. It’s timeless and it continues to inspire and gain new fans as time passes. That is more than most people could ever dream of accomplishing. They were the Beethovens of their time, and they put out so much great quality material that I almost feel spoiled. It wasn’t like they broke up after 1 or 2 great albums and a couple decent ones- they had masterpieces one after the other…

    Instead of focus on the breakup I like to just put on the music and enjoy what they created. They honestly couldn’t have done more or better to me.

  10. Chelsea says:

    Maybe they weren’t all 100% set on never recording together again–I think that’s more than likely. However, I think it’s safe to say that by 1967 even, John and George were absolutely done with being Beatles, in the sense of being huge celebrities that people freaked out over. As long as that remained true–and I think it remained true for both of them for the rest of their lives–I really don’t think we could have ever seen a Beatles tour or anything more than maybe a couple of live shows (maybe around the Anthology period, had John lived). However, it’s very possible that they would have recorded again if John had lived (certainly they would have done a couple of songs, and maybe even an album, to coincide with the Anthology release).

    In any case, I think it was ultimately good for everyone that the group split up. With the exception of Ringo, who has always seemed to have the most agreeable personality, the rest of them just seemed to crave very different types of artistic careers. Had they stayed together, those differences would have only introduced greater and greater tensions, and would have probably resulted in crappy music. As it is, we have a very strong catalogue from the group, and each member was then free to pursue his solo career–and life–in the most individually appropriate way.

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