How The Beatles Break Up Happened

“I don’t believe in Beatles,” Lennon sang on his song “God,” from the 1970 Plastic Ono Band album, and he couldn’t believe how his bass player undermined his trebly lead. “He can’t have his own way, so he’s causing chaos,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in the May 14, 1970 issue. “I put out four albums last year, and I didn’t say a fucking word about quitting.”

The Beatles breakup was a long time coming, and the cracks had begun to show when the band was at their artistic and harmonious peak. The band’s manager Brian Epstein died shortly after the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Lennon said he knew “we’ve fucking had it.” Their company, Apple Corps, was losing money. McCartney wanted his wife Linda’s father and brother, entertainment lawyers Lee and John Eastman, to manage the band’s finances. The other three wanted Allen Klein, who managed the Rolling Stones and Sam Cooke and successfully handled deals for the Kinks and the Animals, to be their manager.

Lennon, who released the single “Give Peace a Chance” during the period, wasn’t the only Beatle doing things on his own. Harrison was the first of the group to drop a solo record, Wonderwall Music, the soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall, which he followed up with Electronic Sound in May 1969. Harrison was also racking up hits producing Apple Records artists like Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston, and London Radha Krishna Temple. Starr made movies and had his own solo record in the can. McCartney’s upcoming release wasn’t even his first foray into music without his band-mates. He’d written the soundtrack for the 1966 film The Family Way.

But McCartney’s true solo debut meant a lot to him. He’d recorded it in the home studio on his farm while dealing with Lennon’s divorce pronouncement. After the Abbey Road sessions, Lennon recorded “Cold Turkey,” a song the Beatles rejected, with the Plastic Ono Band, who backed him at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival show on Sept. 13, 1969. Lennon decided to end the Beatles on his flight back to London after the performance. He told McCartney, Starr, and Klein on Sept. 20, the same day the band renegotiated their Capital Records contract at a higher royalty rate. McCartney was scheduled for release April 17, 1970, which would crowd out the release of the Let It Be album, which faced legal action from United Artists because it had been delayed so long, and Starr’s Sentimental Journey. Ringo went to Paul’s farm to ask him to hold the record back and was angrily asked to leave.

After Paul’s announcement, the Apple Corps office at 3 Savile Row was besieged by fans and the press. Starr said “this is all news to me.” The “witty” Beatle, Lennon, pointed Rolling Stone to a cartoon of “four guys on a stage with a spotlight on them; second picture, three guys on stage breezing out of the spotlight; third picture, one guy standing there shouting ‘I’m leaving.'” Lennon also joked it “was nice to find that he was still alive. Anyway, you can say I said jokingly, ‘He didn’t quit, I sacked him.'” George refused to speak to the media. Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ publicist who also helped draft McCartney’s Q&A, put out a press statement saying the band “seem to cramp each other’s styles.”

Harrison was about to record his solo album All Things Must Pass, with Phil Spector as producer, but said the Beatles would probably work together again after a few solo projects. McCartney was invited to join Lennon and Harrison for sessions on Starr’s song “Early 1970,” but declined the offer. The “cute” Beatle, who’d bemoaned “chasing papers” on Let It Be’s opening song “Two of Us,” served his own “funny papers.” McCartney sued the other three Beatles in London’s High Court of Justice on December 31.The lawsuit dissolved “the partnership business carried on by the plaintiff and the defendants under the name of The Beatles & Co.,” according to the  writ issued by the High Court’s Chancery Division.

You May Like Also

  • Share on Facebook (opens in a new tab)
  • Share on Twitter (opens in a new tab)
  • Share on Linkedin (opens in a new tab)
  • hid in Eric Clapton’s garden and wrote “Here Comes the Sun
  • Lennon told Rolling Stone
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Did The Beatles Really Sue Sesame Street?
  • The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night is Still The Greatest Jukebox Movie Ever Made
  • hammered that out at a Sept. 8 meeting where he proposed he, Paul, and George get three songs each per album, with two from Ringo
  • The Beatles: Get Back will hit theaters on Sept. 4, 2020
  • Share on Facebook (opens in a new tab)
  • Share on Twitter (opens in a new tab)
  • Share on Linkedin (opens in a new tab)
  • The Beatles: The Strange History of Sexy Sadie
  • The Beatles: In Defense of Revolution 9
  • Maharishi & Me: The Secrets of The Beatles Guru
  • The Doctor Strange and Pink Floyd Connection
  • PC Gaming’s Unsung Heroes: Best Components for Your Build Beyond a GPU and CPU
  • Doctor Who: Perfect 10? How Fandom Forgets the Dark Side of David Tennant's Doctor
  • Stephen King’s Favorite TV Shows According to His Twitter Raves
  • The Most Impactful Cards of Magic: The Gathering Adventures in the Forgotten Realms