Sir Paul McCartney has admitted he was grateful he got to reunite with John Lennon before his death.
The Beatles icon, 78, reflected on his friend’s passing in 1980, and admitted he would have struggled with ‘heartache’ if he had not reconnected with him.
Speaking to John and Yoko Ono’s son Sean for Radio 2’s John Lennon at 80 event on Tuesday, Paul said he was ‘so happy’ he had the chance to reconnect with his father.
‘It really gives me strength’: On Tuesday, Sir Paul McCartney admitted he is ‘so happy’ he reunited with John Lennon shortly before his death (pictured with George Harrison in 1963)
Paul explained: ‘I always say to people, one of the great things for me was that after all The Beatles rubbish and all the arguing and the business, you know, business differences really… that even after all of that, I’m so happy that I got it back together with your dad.
‘It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn’t have reunited. It was so lovely too that we did and it really gives me sort of strength to know that.’
Lennon had reportedly privately told his bandmates he was quitting in 1969 and in 1970 the split hit headlines when Sir Paul announced publicly that he was no longer working with the group.
The feud between the two was well-documented by the press at the time and, in a 1971 interview, Lennon stated that he could not foresee working with Sir Paul again, however the pair did put their differences aside before Lennon’s murder in 1980.
Candid: Paul admitted, ‘It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn’t have reunited. It was so lovely too that we did and it really gives me sort of strength to know that’
Discussing how they worked together, Sir Paul added: ‘I think what was important wasn’t who was more sophisticated than the other or whatever.
‘And there maybe is some truth that, musically, I had an edge because my dad had shown us some things.
‘I’d learned the guitar chords a bit before John, but it wasn’t so much that, the sophistication, it was attitudes. So my attitude would be, “This is what I want to do”. And then John would bring another edge to it.
‘The great thing was the combination of those two attitudes and I look back on it now like a fan.
Let bygones be bygones: The feud between the two was well-documented by the press at the time, however the pair did put their differences aside before Lennon’s murder in 1980
‘You think, “Wow, how lucky was I to meet this strange Teddy boy off the bus who turned out to play music like I did. And we get together!”
‘Boy, we complemented each other. It was a bit ying yang. They say with marriages opposites attract and I think we weren’t like madly opposite, but I had some stuff he didn’t have, and he had some stuff I didn’t have.
‘When you put them together it made something extra, which I think was this.’
Reflecting on the group’s eventual break-up, he went on: ‘You know what I think it was, I think it was the fact that The Beatles were breaking up, which was a very difficult time for us, it was like a divorce, you know. So it’s very difficult to collect your thoughts and to just be jolly.
Family matters: Paul reflected on John’s passing in an interview with his late friend and Yoko Ono’s son Sean (pictured in 2011) for Radio 2’s John Lennon at 80 event
‘By the time Let It Be came about that became the story of the film. And then that coupled with the fact that we’d broken up, left it a gloomy … sort of cloud in the room, and I’d always bought into that.
‘For years when people say, “Oh,” about Let It Be I go, “Yeah, you know, I didn’t really like it because it was such a gloomy period.”
‘But then talking to Peter Jackson, when he was looking at the 58 hours of out-takes (footage of the Beatles during their recording sessions for Let It Be, for an upcoming documentary) I said, “Well, what’s it like?” kind of thing, expecting him to say, “Well, it’s very gloomy. You’re all arguing all the time.”
Grateful: Paul explained: ‘One of the great things for me was that after all The Beatles rubbish and all the arguing and the business… I’m so happy that I got it back together with your dad’
‘He says, “No”, he said exactly what you just said. He said, 2It’s amazing. You’re like jolly and stuff”. He showed me some bits. It’s just great. It really made me happy.
‘Because I know, for years there, I thought “Oh God, The Beatles broke up, and it was acrimonious and we were arguing and oh”, which happens in a divorce, you know?’
John Lennon at 80 is set to take place from 9-10pm on October 3 and 4 on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.
Honest: Looking back at the group’s split, Paul claimed ‘it was like a divorce’ as ‘it’s very difficult to collect your thoughts and to just be jolly’ (pictured in 1964)