Why did The Beatles break-up? John Lennon? Yoko Ono? Paul McCartney? A new letter gives us new insight.
There are many, many stories about how and why The Beatles broke up. According to a typed and annotated letter sold online by Boston-based auction house PR Auctions, the reasons are complicated. The auction is expected to fetch $20,000.
According to The Daily Mail, the letter is probably a response to a letter written by Linda McCartney. It’s anything but nice. The note begins,
“I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out — I kept thinking who is it — Queenie? Stuart’s mother? — Clive Epstein’s wife? — Alan Williams? — What the hell — it’s Linda!”
According to the response, Linda called out Lennon for his poor handling of the band’s split. However, Lennon writes that he’s not to blame. As fans suspected, The Beatles treated his relationship with Yoko Ono rather poorly.
“I hope you realize what [expletive] you and the rest of my ‘kind and unselfish’ friends laid on Yoko and me, since we’ve been together. It might have sometimes been a bit more subtle or should I say ‘middle class’ — but not often. We both ‘rose above it’ quite a few times — & forgave you two — so it’s the least you can do for us — you noble people. — Linda — if you don’t care what I say — shut up! — let Paul write — or whatever.”
Lennon isn’t ashamed of The Beatles, which he claims he started.
“[I’m] not ashamed of the Beatles — (I did start it all).”
However, he was uncomfortable with “some of the [expletive] we took to make them so big.” Furthermore, he wrote that the group’s fame got to Paul McCartney.
“Do you really think most of today’s art came about because of the Beatles? — I don’t believe you’re that insane — Paul — do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up! Didn’t we always say we were part of the movement — not all of it? — Of course, we changed the world —but try and follow it through — GET OFF YOUR GOLD DISC AND FLY!”
Paul and manager Allen Klein pressed Paul not to speak to the press about leaving the band. Linda denied this. So, John Lennon went directly after her and her marriage to Paul McCartney.
“Of course, the money angle is important — to all of us — especially after all the petty shit that came from your insane family/in laws — and GOD HELP YOU OUT, PAUL — see you in two years — I reckon you’ll be out then.”
The letter ends,
“inspite of it all, love to you both, from us two.
‘P.S. about addressing your letter just to me—STILL….!!!’”
You can check out the entire letter on the Daily Mail’s website.