Paul McCartney is sharing how he really felt about Yoko Ono’s presence in some of The Beatles’ last recording sessions as a band.
During a recent episode of his “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics” podcast, McCartney, 81, called Ono, 90 — the wife of the late John Lennon — “an interference in the workplace” during the recording of 1986’s The Beatles album (a.k.a. The White Album.) “We had a way we worked. The four of us worked with George Martin, an engineer, and that was basically it. And we’d always done it like that.”
Paul McCartney, Yoko OnoGetty Images(2)
Noting that he and his fellow bandmates Ringo Starr and George Harrison were not “very confrontational,” McCartney and the group viewed Ono as “something you had to deal with.” He added: “The idea [of] that was if John wanted this to happen, then it should happen, and there’s no reason why not. … We would allow this and not make a fuss. And yet, at the same time, I don’t think any of us particularly liked it.”
Lennon and Ono wed in 1969, and welcomed their son Sean, 48, in 1975. The guitarist also shared son Julian, 60, with ex-wife Cynthia Lennon (née Powell). Lennon died in 1980 at the age of 40 after being shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside The Dakota Hotel in New York City.
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McCartney said he and the band put up with Ono’s presence for the sake of maintaining “the idea of the Beatles,” as well as needing to fulfill the duties of their job. “This was our job. This is what we did in life. We were the Beatles,” McCartney noted. “That meant if we didn’t tour, we recorded. And that meant if we recorded, we wrote.”
While many Beatles fans have blamed Lennon and Ono’s relationship for the group’s 1974 breakup, McCartney once again stated that the band was already heading towards disbandment at the time of The Beatles album recording. “It was a period of change because John and Yoko had got together and that was bound to have an effect on the dynamics of the group,” he stated.
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The Paul McCartney and Wings frontman’s recent comments mirror ones he made in a 2012 interview with David Frost. “[Yoko] certainly didn’t break the group up, the group was breaking up,” he told the outlet.