The Beatles spent the 1970s falling out with one another, but anecdotally Paul McCartney seems to have had more interband fall-outs than the other Beatles members. Why was so much anger directed at Paul’s way and was it justified?


As Lennon got more into drugs and Yoko, it was McCartney who strove to keep the band together and moving forward. For some years, the others acquiesced and coasted on using each other as backing musicians. Eventually, they tired of his pushing and being his backing band, and of being Beatles at all. Afterwards, I think they thought of him as domineering and controlling, but they forgot how and why he got that way—just my $0.02…



Several factors impacted Paul McCartney, the other ex-Beatles, critics and fans. Remember that in 1970, Paul was the first to publicly state he was leaving the Beatles even though as we now know Lennon was the first to say he quit and Harrison and Starr had already walked out during the White Album recording. McCartney had also refused to sign the new management contract with Alien Klein and the remaining Beatles were angered by this action. In direct response to the new Beatles contract (that McCartney had not signed) , Paul sued the other Beatles in Britain’s high court. Paul also refused to move the release of his first album to accommodate the release of Let it Be and had thrown (not physically ) Ringo out for coming over to try to persuade Paul to change his mind. So in the early 1970’s it was Paul one side and Lennon, Harrison and Starr on the other. So even though Paul’s action to sue actually benefited the Beatles later for the early 70’s Paul was the bad guy. Everyone made up by the mid 70’s but it was a very tense time for the band.

Paul’s first several albums were heavily criticized by the press since they were ‘light” as compared to the Beatles work and the serious albums by George and John. Even though now Ram is seen as one of Paul’s strongest solo records it wasn’t seen this way at the time. In addition, Paul started Wings and released Wings Wild Life having spent just two weeks recording the record. The record was seen as soft forgettable nonsense. Even Red Rose Speedway that had Mccartney’s first US #1 My Love on it was not well received by the critics. At the same time Lennon had released Imagine and the John Lennon Plastic Ono Band, while Harrison released All Things Must Pass and Concert for Bangladesh. John Lennon was very critical of Paul and had several mean spirited interviews and songs attacking Paul (How do you Sleep).

Saying this by 1973 all former Beatles contributed Ringo’s Ringo album and that was the last time all Beatles appeared on a record even though all four never reunited after the last sessions for Abbey Road in 1969. It took years for Paul to recover and began with Band of the Run but started to slip again with Venus and Mars, London town, etc.

Funny that now Paul is by far the most successful ex-Beatle and was easily the most successful Beatle in the 1970’s as his band Wings had numerous #1 hits and successful tours.

As to being justified, I would yes and no. Paul saved the Beatles fortune from a corrupt manager and all remaining Beatles acknowledged that in the 1970’s and 80’s. Paul did release given his talent a lot of sub-standard material in the 1970’s and was a victim of his own talent at writing catchy tunes that while commercially successful were not highly praised (Silly Love Songs). That is my take on the question.



Paul broke up the Beatles.

Sure, John had already announced he was leaving the band, but was persuaded to keep it quiet.

Then on the verge of releasing his first solo record Paul announces that he is leaving the Beatles and then proceeds to sue the other band members to officially dissolve the band.

This led to years of litigation of Paul vs everyone else in the courts and lots of hard feelings as a result.

Was it justified? I think so. The heart of the issue seemed to be Allen Klein, whom Paul had always been against being involved at Apple…he wanted to protect himself from Klein’s business dealings (he turned out right).

Was it worth it? It’s hard to say…the relational toll was big…but at the time I can imagine not seeing another way to deal with it.

Could it have been avoided? I am not sure.

Is it a shame that it happened in the way it did? Without a doubt.

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