The Beatles‘ breakup was heartbreaking for fans and the band’s members. Each Beatle dealt with the end of this pivotal professional and personal era in their way. Paul McCartney mourned the loss of the closeness he, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison once shared. He said, “it just affected me so much” and likened the experience to “being unemployed.”
The Beatles’ professional partnership ended in 1970
The Beatles professional collaboration ended in 1970. Professionally, each band member was pursuing musical interests outside the group. There were no plans to record together.
As far back as late 1969, John expressed his interest in leaving the group. Contractually, he was still bound to his bandmates. However, after signing a new contract that would give Apple ownership of The Beatles’ entire back catalog at the label’s Savile Row headquarters, John told Paul and Ringo that he was leaving the group. George was not at the meeting.
After Paul’s solo album McCartney was released in 1970, he revealed he was pursuing music outside of The Beatles. Therefore, fans widely believed that McCartney had broken up the band.
Paul McCartney liked The Beatles’ breakup to being ‘unemployed’
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In a 1976 interview with Steve Peacock, as reprinted by the website Meet The Beatles for Real, McCartney admitted that the band’s breakup was deeply unsettling.
“It just affected me so much. I couldn’t come to every press conference and cry. I’m just not that kind of person. That was just my natural way to get away, clear my head and think about what I would do,” he explained.
“It was like unemployment, suddenly being unemployed. It’s like if your job folded tomorrow, the worst thing that could happen would be to have some guy come up and poke a microphone in your face and say, ‘Hey Steve, what do you feel about it?’ Unless it’s your mother or somebody, you don’t want to talk to them. I didn’t feel like walking around telling everyone my troubles,” he concluded.
However, in 2020, he said fans still believe he facilitated The Beatles’ breakup
In an interview with GQ, Paul shared that while there are many misconceptions about him, one that still stings is that he broke up The Beatles. “‘I was thought to be the guy who broke The Beatles up and the (jerk) who sued his mates. And I bought into that. That’s the weirdest thing. It was so prevalent that for years I almost blamed myself,”
However, he added that contrary to popular belief, Paul, John, George, and Ringo did not hate each other. “There was a misconception that we all sort of hated each other. What I realize now is that because it was a family because it was a gang, families argued. And families have disputes. And some people want to do this, and others want to do that.”
Paul admitted he had to find a way out of the deep sadness he experienced when The Beatles ended. His thoughts? “OK, this is really bad, and I’ve got to do something about it.” So I did. And I think that’s my way, almost by being my own psychiatrist. You say, “This is not cool. You’re not as bad as you think you are,” and everything. So you start to think, “OK.”