- John Lennon complained about his former bandmates in an interview.
- Some believe John Lennon was tongue-in-cheek in the interview.
- John Lennon and Paul McCartney improved the state of their relationship.
In 1970, John Lennon gave a long, wide-ranging interview about his new music, his relationship with Yoko Ono, and his thoughts on the Beatles. Much of what he had to say about his former bandmates was unflattering and fueled the belief that the band hated each other. Some people who knew Lennon weren’t so sure. One of Lennon’s friends said the interview came off more bitterly than Lennon probably intended.
John Lennon complained about the Beatles in an interview in 1970
In a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon was refreshingly, often maliciously, honestly. He called the Beatles “the biggest bastards in the world” and yawned at his former bandmates’ new music, with the exception of Paul McCartney’s solo album, which he called “garbage”. He portrayed McCartney as caustic and controlling, and wondered why he hadn’t hit George Harrison for his treatment of Ono.
“Ringo was fine, so was Maureen, but we really got into the other two,” he said. “I’ll never forgive them, I don’t care what happened with Hare Krishna and God and Paul with his ‘well I changed my mind’. I really can’t forgive them for that. Although I can’t help but still love her too.”
Lennon said that shortly before the Beatles broke up, he no longer found the band artistically fulfilling.
Some thought the interview misrepresented John Lennon
The Scorched Earth interview revealed Lennon’s anger and resentment toward his former bandmates. However, according to some who knew him, the interview seemed to have misrepresented his feelings.
“I’ve heard versions of it for years,” Lennon’s friend Ray Connolly said, according to the book Paul McCartney: One Life by Peter Ames-Carlin. “It was always tongue in cheek, John exaggerated to make it funny. But in Rolling Stone [interviewer Jann] Wenner missed that. He made everything sound awful, bitter and mean.”
At the time, McCartney said the interview didn’t upset him because he knew Lennon.
“It was so far out that I really enjoyed it,” he said. “This open hostility, it did me no harm. That’s cool. This is John.”
However, he later admitted that Lennon’s assessment pained him.
“I sat down and thought about every little paragraph, every little sentence,” he said, adding, “I was like, ‘It’s me. I am. That’s me. He captured me so well. I’m a jerk, you know.’”
Paul McCartney is happy to have his relationship with his bandmate settled
While Lennon was particularly harsh on McCartney in the interview, they mend their relationship in the years following the Beatles’ split. It took some discussions in the press and conflicting lyrics, but they reached a point where they were on friendly terms.
“Initially, after the Beatles broke up, we didn’t have any contact, but there were several things we needed to talk about,” McCartney wrote Text: 1956 to present, per ET “Our relationship was a bit strained at times because we talked about business and we used to insult each other on the phone at times. But we gradually got over it, and if I were in New York I would call and say, ‘Would you like some tea?’”
McCartney said he was grateful they got on better before Lennon’s death.
“I was very happy with how we got along over the past few years that I had some really good times with him before he was murdered,” McCartney wrote. “Without question, it would have been the worst thing in the world for me if he had been killed when we were still in a bad relationship. I would have thought, oh I would have, I would have, I would have… It would have been a huge guilt on my part. But fortunately our last meeting was very friendly. We talked about how to bake bread.”
TIED TOGETHER: John Lennon’s son said people made the feud between his father and Paul McCartney “too big a deal”.
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/thought-john-lennons-bitter-interview-beatles-tongue-cheek-john.html/ Why some thought John Lennon’s bitter interview about The Beatles was ironic: ‘This is John’