Paul McCartney’s Beatles bombshell to John Lennon in private chat
The Beatles: Get Back trailer released by Disney
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When Paul McCartney and John Lennon first met as teenagers, the latter was around two years older and therefore the natural leader of what became The Beatles. As time when on, the duo formed their joint songwriting credit, the most successful in music history. Now two members of the Fab Four always had a healthy and brotherly rivalry, but following the death of manager Brian Epstein in 1967, McCartney ended up taking on his role.
In The Beatles: Get Back footage released on Disney+ last year, it’s clear that McCartney had a charismatic leadership style and appears somewhat more dominant than Lennon during those 1969 Let It Be sessions.
In the first episode of Peter Jackson’s revisionist documentary, Macca gets frustrated with Lennon for not coming up with enough new material and clashes with George Harrison over the way he plays the guitar.
In the end, on January 10th, 1969, the Quiet Beatle had had enough and temporarily left The Beatles. The second episode opened with just Ringo Starr and McCartney arriving at the Twickenham Studios on Monday, January 13, discussing with the others what to do.
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Harrison’s absence was a serious problem as The Beatles were supposed to be rehearsing for a TV special later that month that would eventually be scrapped.
Lennon eventually turned up at lunchtime and headed to the cafeteria with McCartney for a private conversation about what to do about the Quiet Beatle.
But unbeknownst to the pair, the Let It Be filmmakers led by Michael Lindsay-Hogg had planted a hidden microphone in a flower pot to secretly record the chat.
After going through the issue Harrison had with McCartney over how he should be playing his guitar, Macca said something very revealing.
Watch the first clip from The Beatles: Get Back
Despite clearly being the one pushing The Beatles Get Back project forward over the last few days, even this late in the band’s career, he was still looking up to Lennon.
This came up when the latter told him of a time when none of the other three could say anything about McCartney’s arrangements because he “would reject it all”.
Lennon told Macca: “You’ve suddenly got it all, you see. I don’t think The Beatles revolve around the four people. It might be a f***in’ job.”
But McCartney asserted privately: “I tell you one thing. What I think…the main thing is this. You have always been boss. Now I’ve been, sort of, secondary boss.”
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Lennon replied, “Not always”, but Macca insisted, “No, listen. Listen. No, always. Really, I mean, it is gonna be much better if we can actually just stick together.”
His bandmate then went on to share how he “felt guilty” about The Beatles’ relationships with each other, since he thought they could do more.
He said: “But me goals, they’re still the same. Self-preservation. I know what I like. I’ve let you do what you want and George too. If we want him, if we do want him, I can go along with that, because the policy has kept us together.”
McCartney replied: “Well, I don’t know, I’m just assuming he’s coming back. If he isn’t, then he isn’t, then it’s a new problem. And probably when we’re all very old, we’ll all agree with each other, and we’ll all sing together.”
Two days later, the duo and Starr met with Harrison again in a positive and constructive time, in which they agreed to adjust the direction of their Get Back project and the live TV Special was cancelled.
Relocating to their new Apple Studio on Savile Row, the Fab Four decided to record what will become their final album Let It Be in the basement there, before eventually giving their last live performance on the building’s roof.
The Beatles: Get Back is streaming on Disney+ now.
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