In an interview that will be aired next month on Sir David Frost’s show, Sir Paul McCartney has finally addressed the historical Rock n’ Roll myth that Yoko Ono is the person responsible for breaking up the Beatles.
According to The Guardian, the band was falling apart anyway:
“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].”
McCartney also alludes to the fact that songs like “Imagine” would never have been written had John never met Yoko…
So who’s fault was it?
He admits he had found Yoko sitting in on Beatles’ recording sessions very difficult, but still reserves bitterness for the late Allen Klein, the businessman who tried to take over the void left when the group’s manager Brian Epstein died in 1967. Throwing a mock punch at a photograph of the man’s face, he says it was Klein who set McCartney fighting against the others: “I was fighting against the other three guys who’d been my lifelong soul buddies. I said I wanted to fight Klein.”
It makes you wonder what it is about guys falling in love that often draws ire from their friends (and in this case, fans)… How different would the story of the end of the Beatles be if it weren’t for the mysterious avant garde Japanese woman who came in and stole John away? Would we be willing to accept that it was, most likely, a greedy businessman who threw a wrench into the works of what is arguably one of the greatest bands ever to have lived? Doesn’t that seem more likely?
What do you think of McCartney’s statement about Yoko Ono? How would the canon of pop music be different without her influence? How about the mythology of the break-up of the most famous bands in history?