Paul McCartney dropped by SiriusXM’S studios on Wednesday to pay a visit to Howard Stern’s radio show, and the host — a huge fan of The Beatles — had plenty of questions for Sir Paul about his days with the Fab Four and his late band mate John Lennon.
During the candid interview, McCartney confirmed it was Lennon who broke up the band at the height of their popularity.
“There was a meeting where John came in and said, ‘I’m leaving the group.’ And looking back on it, he’d reached that stage in his life. We all had,” McCartney told Stern.
However, McCartney now realizes that Lennon’s relationship with Yoko Ono — whom fans still blame for breaking up The Beatles — was the best thing for Lennon.
“Even though we thought she was intrusive, because she used to sit in on the recording sessions, and we’d never had anything like that,” he added. “But looking back on it, you think, ‘The guy was totally in love with her. And you’ve just got to respect that.’ So we did. And I do.”
Stern also asked McCartney his thoughts on the decades-old debates about who wrote what in the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership.
“I know exactly what you mean, and it does get to be a total p*ss-off sometimes,” McCartney responded, quipping: “But then, they’re still talking about me.”
McCartney was also asked about whether he and the rest of the band were annoyed by the numerous other bands during the British Invasion that copied The Beatles’ look and sound.
“We didn’t mind at all,” McCartney admitted. “It was kind of amusing and very flattering. I remember with the Hollies — they were from Manchester. We were from Liverpool. A bit of a rivalry. We played Manchester one day in very early Beatles days and we would travel half an hour to play there. And we had the look. And there were a couple of kind of young guys in the audience, who said, ‘Hello, we’re in a group. We’re the Hollies.’ ‘Hey, how ya doin’, boys,’ you know, patting them on the head. ‘Great, good look.’ And we went back the next week…”
“They had your look,” said Stern, completing his sentence.
McCartney will be releasing his new album Egypt Station on Friday, Sept. 7, and will then hit the road with his Freshen Up tour, which kicks off in Quebec City on Monday, Sept. 17.
In the meantime, he’ll be appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday — and also discussed “a little secret gig Friday night” that he’s been teasing on social media — which, he then revealed, will be livestreamed on YouTube.
McCartney will perform songs from his new album, along with Beatles classics, Wings and solo catalogues in the special concert to celebrate the release of Egypt Station.