Paul McCartney: Yoko Ono did not break up the Beatles

From The Guardian:

It was almost 50 years ago and in black and white that a fresh-faced David Frost interviewed a baby-faced Paul McCartney and asked him what the future held. “I’d like to retire soon, and the way things are going I might be able to,” said McCartney.

Five decades on and neither man has retired, both have reached their 70s, been knighted, and now meet again for one of the longest interviews the former Beatle has ever given.

In the hour-long programme to be broadcast on Frost’s television show next month, McCartney lets it be known that Yoko Ono did not break up the Beatles, that he remains still a working-class boy despite his fame and fortune, and that his marriage to Heather Mills is not something he likes talking about. His second marriage does not feature in the interview; photographs show only his 1969 wedding to Linda Eastman then jump to his third marriage a year ago to another American, Nancy Shevell. The acrimonious and very public divorce with Mills is not touched upon in what is billed as a unique “in-depth interview”. But it is on rock’n’ roll’s most infamous break-up that McCartney was uncharacteristically outspoken.

“She certainly didn’t break the group up, the group was breaking up,” he says, which may do something to dispel decades of hostility directed at Lennon’s widow by diehard fans since the group disbanded officially in 1970.

He goes further and says that without Ono opening up the avant garde for Lennon, songs such as Imagine would never have been written: “I don’t think he would have done that without Yoko, so I don’t think you can blame her for anything. When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave [one way or another].”

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