Paul McCartney Covers Esquire UK, Talks John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Beatles Legacy and More

July 5, 2015

Paul McCartney covers Esquire UK and opens up about the late John Lennon and about his widow Yoko Ono as well. These are among the many unsparing confessions from the music legend in a deeply candid interview that has drawn much notice.

Paul McCartney

It’s an astonishingly frank interview and it’s gone viral. If we ever wondered what the 73-year-old Paul McCartney, who along with Ringo Starr, also 73, is a surviving member of The Beatles, now we know.

In speaking of what has happened in the years since the shocking death in 1980 of John Lennon at the hands of Mark David Chapman, McCartney said, “‘When John got shot, aside from the pure horror of it, the lingering thing was, OK, well now John’s a martyr. A JFK.’

He continued, saying, ‘So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, “Well, he was The Beatles. And me, George and Ringo would go: “Er, hang on, it’s only a year ago, and we were all equal-ish”.

He went on to say, “And post-Beatles he did more great work, but he also did a lot of not-great work. Now the fact that he’s now martyred has elevated him to a James Dean, and beyond.”

He also noted that in the months after John Lennon’s death “strange things would happen.” He explained this, saying, “Like Yoko would appear in the press, and I’d read it, and it said [comedy Yoko accent], “Paul did nothing! All he did was book the studio…” Like, “F–k you, darling! Hang on! All I did was book the f–king studio?” Well, OK, now people know that’s not true.”

He went on to say, “But that was just part of it. There was a lot of revisionism: John did this, John did that. I mean, if you just pull out all his great stuff and then stack it up against my not-so-great stuff, it’s an easy case to make.”

He was also asked about the songwriting credits; Lennon and McCartney rather than McCartney and Lennon. He said of that, “What happened, when we were kids we were looking for what to call our songs. We had a meeting with Brian Epstein, John and me. I arrived late. John and Brian had been talking. “We were thinking we ought to call the songs, Lennon and McCartney.” I said, “That’s OK, but what about McCartney and Lennon? If I write it, what about that? It sounds good, too.” They said, “OK, what we’ll do is we’ll alternate it: Lennon and McCartney, McCartney and Lennon.”

McCartney then noted, “Well, that didn’t happen. And I didn’t mind. It’s a good logo, like Rogers and Hammerstein. Hammerstein and Rogers doesn’t work.”

McCartney weighed in on numerous other topics as well, including whether or not he has considered retiring. To that, he gave fans a most reassuring answer, in saying, ” Sit at home and watch telly? That’s what people do, man. Gardening, golf… no thanks.”

It’s quite an in-depth interview, a classic long read and an essential one for fans of the legendary artist. You can see Paul McCartney’s Esquire magazine cover below and more excerpts here.

Pictures: PR Photos

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