Paul McCartney: John Lennon responsible for Beatles' breakup

The Beatles
The Beatles (left to right) -- Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon -- arrive at a London airport on Feb. 6, 1964, after a trip to Paris.
Getty Images file

Paul McCartney has revisited the breakup of The Beatles, flatly refuting the suggestion that he was responsible for the group’s demise.

Speaking on an episode of BBC Radio 4’s “This Cultural Life" that is scheduled to air on Oct. 23, McCartney said it was John Lennon who wanted to disband The Beatles.

“I didn’t instigate the split,” McCartney said. “That was our Johnny."

The band's fans have long debated who was responsible for the breakup, with many blaming McCartney. But McCartney said Lennon's desire to “break lose" was the main driver behind the split.

Confusion about the breakup was allowed to fester because their manager asked the band members to keep quiet until he concluded a number of business deals, McCartney said.

The interview comes ahead Peter Jackson’s six-hour documentary chronicling the final months of the band. “The Beatles: Get Back,” set for release in November on Disney+, is certain to revisit the breakup of the legendary band. McCartney's comments were first reported by The Observer.

When asked by interviewer John Wilson about the decision to strike out on his own, McCartney retorted: “Stop right there. I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving The Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”

McCartney expressed sadness over the breakup, saying the group was still making “pretty good stuff.”

“This was my band, this was my job, this was my life. So I wanted it to continue,” McCartney said.

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