The Beatles was a band which led the music scene in the 1960s. They were together officially for about a decade, but then they split up to go their separate ways. Since then, the members have gained huge popularity for their solo music. But Paul McCartney once made a drastic move against his former bandmates that threatened to derail everything he had ever worked for.
Why did Sir Paul McCartney sue the band?
On December 31, 1970, Sir Paul filed a lawsuit against the other three Beatles in London’s High Court of Justice for dissolution of the band’s contractual partnership.
The case opened in January 1971, and in March of that year, Sir Paul was granted the dissolution, which sparked the beginning of other lawsuits from other bandmembers against Klein and lengthy discussions of settlements for Sir Paul.
Eventually, with Klein out of the picture, the four members agreed on a settlement in what is known as The Beatles Agreement, which was signed by all four members by December 1974.
Paul McCartney – why did he sue the Beatles?
The partnership was officially dissolved on January 9, 1975.
According to Sir Paul McCartney, who was supposed to headline Glastonbury Festival this year, he has been “hurt” by the assertion he was behind the band’s break up.
In fact, he was so ‘hurt’ that he believed suing the band was “the only way” to end things well for everyone.
Speaking to GQ magazine this year, on the 50th anniversary of the band’s end, he said: “When The Beatles broke up, perhaps there was a misconception that we all sort of hated each other.
“What I realise now is that because it was a family, because it was a gang, families argue and families have disputes.
“Some people want to do this and some people want to do that.”
Sir Paul went on to mention Allen Klein, a businessman who took over the Beatles affairs after the death of their manager Brian Epstein.
Sir Paul claims he was trying to protect the band from Klein when he chose to sue them to regain control of their music.
The Beatles together
He continued: “I was thought to be the guy who broke The Beatles up and the b*d who sued his mates. And, believe me, I bought into that.
“It was so prevalent that for years I almost blamed myself.
“The only way for me to save The Beatles and Apple — and to release Get Back by Peter Jackson which allowed us to release Anthology and all these great remasters of all the great Beatles records — was to sue the band.
“If I hadn’t done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein. The only way I was given to get us out of that was to do what I did.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon
“I said ‘Well, I’ll sue Allen Klein’ and I was told I couldn’t because he wasn’t party to it – ‘You’ve got to sue the Beatles.'”
In the same article, he explained how he didn’t want his legacy to “vanish,” adding: “There was no way I was going to save it for me, because there was no way I was going to work that hard for all my life and see it all vanish in a puff of smoke.
“I also knew that, if I managed to save it, I would be saving it for them too. Because they were about to give it away.
“They loved this guy Klein. And I was saying, ‘He’s a f***ing idiot.'”
Sir Paul said, on reading an article where John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, laid into him, he felt hurt and as if he was being blamed for the band’s break up.
He added: “I remember reading an interview with Yoko, who was a big John supporter – I get that – but in this article she goes, ‘Paul did nothing. All he ever did was book studio.’
“And I’m going, ‘Err? No…’ And then John does this famous song, ‘How Do You Sleep?’, and he’s going, ‘All you ever did was ‘Yesterday’…’ And I’m going, ‘No, man’.
“But then you hear the stories from various angles and apparently people who were in the room when John was writing that.
“He was getting suggestions for the lyrics off Allen Klein.
“So, you see the atmosphere of ‘Let’s get Paul. Let’s nail him in a song…’ And those things were pretty hurtful.”