John Lennon was one of the main songwriters for The Beatles. Together with Paul McCartney, the Liverpool boys formed the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership and wrote countless songs for the Fab Four. While George Harrison and Ringo Starr also contributed hits to the band’s 13 albums, it was McCartney’s extraordinary songwriting finesse that irritated Lennon the most.
McCartney has written some incredible hits over the years, including Yesterday, Hey Jude, Blackbird, and Let It Be, to name just a few.
However, Lennon began to look down on McCartney’s behind-the-scenes talents. The Beatles star’s assistant, Dan Richter, recently spoke about the differences between the two creatives. He said McCartney was always Lennon’s “biggest rival.” He continued: “It annoyed him that Paul could write those sweet tunes like Yesterday and Hey Jude. He couldn’t do that. He was either too biting or too smart…” (Via The Telegraph)
This bitterness between the two composers even bled into Lennon’s social life, Richter recalled. On one occasion, the singer found himself publicly assaulted by his band’s music, but not by the music he wanted.
Richter laughed, recalling a trip to a “fancy restaurant that had a band.” He said: “When they saw John come in, they started playing Yesterday. John was so pissed off!”
Lennon even spoke about this case in an interview in 1980 while talking to journalist David Sheff. Asked about hearing his music in public, he replied, “I’m always proud and pleased when people make my songs. It gives me pleasure that they even try to make them, because a lot of my songs aren’t doable.” And he added: “I go to restaurants and the groups always play Ayer. [His wife] Yoko [Ono] and I even signed a guy’s violin in Spain after he played us yesterday. I couldn’t understand that I didn’t write the song. But I guess he couldn’t have been going from table to table playing I am the Walrus.”
Behind the scenes, however, it was a different story. Lennon’s assistant, Richter, even recalled that the star became so frustrated by the rivalry in his own home that he made a request to his staff. Richter said, “John had someone make a list of all the Beatles songs and then we had to say which ones were his and which ones were Paul’s.”
Lennon and McCartney’s feud turned to meticulous rage when The Beatles broke up in 1970. McCartney recalled his relationship with his longtime friend in his recently published book, The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present.
He wrote: “When we broke up and everyone was agitated, John turned nasty. I really don’t understand why. Maybe because we grew up in Liverpool where it was always nice to take the first blow in a fight.” “
Lennon and McCartney buried the hatchet in the years that followed. Their feud came to an end, and when Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980, the pair became friends again.
McCartney later recalled his last words to Lennon just weeks before his assassination. He recalled: “I called John, and he was making bread and I got pretty good at it, so when I heard John was making it [baking], it was great. We could talk about something so ordinary. There is no threat or anything. It was just two guys talking about, ‘Well, I don’t know. leave it [the bread] all night or what are you doing?’ And someone says, ‘Yeah, I’ll leave it overnight in a warm closet,’ and you’d just be chatting.”
Although McCartney’s final conversation with Lennon wasn’t a groundbreaking look at their psyche or relationship, the star confessed he wouldn’t change a thing about it.
He added: “It was really nice and I was really glad we got back into that relationship we’d always had when we were kids. We’d lived in each other’s pockets for so long it was great to be back.” that.”
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