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April 29, 2020 68 mins

It’s our two-episode arc on the intra-band beefs that occurred inside the greatest rock band of all time! In this episode, we look at the partnership at the heart of the Beatles between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. After they bonded as boys in Liverpool over shared childhood tragedy and common artistic ambitions, their friendship slowly frayed as the Beatles grew more and more popular. John was the adventurous wit and Paul was the canny romantic — or at least that’s what the archetypes are. But in reality, their difficult dynamic is far more complicated.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Rivals is a production of I Heart Radio. Hello everyone,
Welcome to Rivals, the show about music, beeps and feuds
and long simmring resentments between musicians. I'm Steve and I'm Jordan,

(00:22):
and we've got something really special today. Yeah, this is
something we've never done before. We're actually doing a two
part episode because there's just way too much to cover
in one episode. And we're calling it Beatle Brawls because
we're gonna be talking about battles that happened within the
greatest rock band of all time, the Fab Four, the Beatles.

(00:46):
You know him, you love them? Well, you don't like
the Beatles, right, Um, they are I would say responsible
for every creative impulse I've ever had. They mean, but
aside from that, aside from that, yeah, they're all right, Okay,
they've got something, got some good tunes. Well, I don't
know if you're aware of this, Jordan, but the facade
of the happily mop top boys from Liverpool that we

(01:10):
all know and love it hid a lot of dissension
that happened behind the scenes. And uh, it's just not
all hard day's night here. There's it's actually, uh, what's
the opposite of a hard day's night, a terrible terrible
day and night, I don't know, a long, long night's day,

(01:31):
something like that. Yeah. Anyway, in this episode, we're gonna
be talking about the rivalry between John Lennon and Paul McCartney,
two halves of the greatest partnership songwriting wise in music history.
And then in our next episode we're going to be
changing course where Lennon McCartney are gonna be forming a voltron,
if you will, and squaring off against the other great

(01:54):
songwriter in the Beatles, George Harrison. Uh So, I'm really
excited to get into this. You know, the Beatles story
to me. You know, I've I've I've watched all these documentaries,
I've read all these books. I've reread books, I've rewatched documentaries.
I know you're the same. I mean, look, I feel
like we're inundated with Beatles stuff all the time, and
yet I never get sick of hearing this story. I

(02:17):
I could hear details about their interactions forever. It's like
a Greek myth or something. It's just larger than life.
Oh absolutely, I mean I I have like Beatle anthology
pilgrimages every like probably once or twice a year. I
watched all eight Hours or whatever it is about, and
you're right, I just I never get tired of it.
And there's there is something almost mythological about it. They're

(02:40):
the way they ever to capture so many, you know,
including myself, just multiple generations. It's it's just unbelievable. And
I they made me love music, and that love made
me want to be a writer. And you know, I
I love a lot of bands, but I honestly don't
know how my life would be without the Beatles. And
I know it kind of sound like a crazy fan,
but you know, I genuinely worry. Someday I'm gonna have

(03:00):
to look into my children's eyes and lie when I
tell them that the happiest day of my life was
their birth, But actually it was the day I got
to interview Paul McCartney. I don't think that will ever change.
You have to rub it in that you've interviewed multiple Beatles,
and I've never interviewed any Beatles. Really, I've never interviewed
a Beatle. Paul Ringo, give me a call. I have
questions to ask you, but you know you will be

(03:25):
using that expertise. I'm sure in this episode, and you
can give me a little bit of digs here and there.
Because of my inadequacy and talking to members of the Beatles,
I'll send them an email. I'll call you. Don't worry.
I might take him a minute. But look at back
to you, all right, without further ado, let's get into
this mess, oh man, John and Paul. You know, their relationship,

(03:47):
like so many marriages, built on a sense of respect
and ambition, but it's must moments more than that because
their union, the thing that really made it special is
that they shared a really, really tragic loss as young boys.
They both lost their mother in their in their teenage years.
And this is Britain in the fifties. Men and boys.
They don't really talk about their feelings, and I mean

(04:10):
they barely do now, but really not then. And so
they had this thing in common that they didn't even
necessarily have to talk about, but they both knew it
was something that was that was unspoken between them, and
that bonded them in a way that is no much
more than a lot of songwriting partnerships of that era.
You know, I think that that but bonded them at
a deeper level. That is something that helped them really
weather all the storms that were to come through Beatlemania

(04:32):
and beyond. I think yeah, I think so. I mean,
you know, the important thing to remember with these two
guys is that I think they did start off with
a genuine sense of connection that they had, as you said,
because of this shared tragedy where they both lost their mothers,
and also because of their artistic ambitions that they had
already as young people. I remember seeing a Paul McCartney

(04:53):
interview where he said that, you know, when people would
ask him what he was interested in as a boy,
he would mention songwriting, and most people their eyes would
just glaze over and they'd want to talk about sports.
And John Lennon was the first person that he met
that was also interested in songwriting. So along with having this,
you know, that this tragic loss that they could bond

(05:14):
over um, they also had this creative ambition. It is interesting,
you know, because as we talked about more of these rivalries,
you know, you start to see echoes of other band
stories and the story that maybe you're thinking about right now,
and of course the Beatles it's like the ultimate story.
But when I think about Lennon McCartney in a way
it kind of reminds me of like the Jeff Tweety

(05:35):
Jeff Jay Farrar dynamic that we talked about in our
Uncle Tupelo episode, just because you know, Lennon was a
few years older than McCartney. He was already acknowledge as
being this great wit, very smart guy, had a lot
of confidence. And McCartney has said that he idolized John Lennon,

(05:58):
you know, I think he described him and says he
was like the Elvis of our band. And he was
the one that McCartney wanted approval from and praise, right,
I mean, And in a way it was like that
classic circumstance, similar to the Uncle Tubula story, where you
want this acceptance from somebody who's maybe slow to give

(06:18):
it to you. Like John Lennon was not generous with
praise necessarily, no, absolutely, I mean. And he he didn't
respect a lot of people either. He kind of liked
to be a gang leader. And uh, there's the famous
story when John met Paul was that Paul went to
see John's early band, McCary Men play at a at
a church fair and uh, and Paul went backstage and
met him and grabbed his guitar and said, you know,

(06:40):
I actually play the little rock and roll myself and
famously played Eddie Cochran's twenty Flight Rock upside Down. Paul's
left handed, he played a right handed guitar, and he
knew all the words which blew John's mind. John didn't
respect many people, but he learned to respect Paul in
that moment, just because of his sheer musical ability. And
I think that, like you said, yeah, I mean, not
only do they both have similar creative and sas of

(07:00):
being songwriters, but I think Paul showed that he had
the goods early on and that that earned him a
whole lot of points from John. And it's interesting and
well we'll see this as we get into the episode here,
that that dynamic between these two where Paul is trying
to get approval from John, John is the is the
dominant one. And I think that carries over into the
early days of the Beatles. Like if you listen to
the first several Beatles records, John is more prominent than

(07:23):
Paul in terms of singing lead on their biggest hits
at that time. Um, you start to see a shift
go on where as Paul assumes control of the band,
and he has more power in the band that sparks
this unforeseen insecurity in John that causes him to lash
out Uh in very spectacular ways, as we'll see, you know,

(07:48):
as we get into this. Yeah, the mid sixties. It's funny.
There's this idea of Lennon McCartney all the way through,
of them sitting in rooms and hotel rooms and stuff
and bathrooms with their two guitars looking to each other's eyes,
writing together, and that really sort of stops. I'd say
by sixty two sixty three that they really are writing separately,
and by the mid sixties around Rubber Soul Revolver era,

(08:10):
they're living very separate lives. Paul is kind of a
man about town. He lives in London. He's sort of
experimenting with the underground scene. He's got friends. His girlfriend,
Jane Asher Uh is an actress and she can kind
of introduce him to all these cultural figures. And her
brother Peter Asher, who literally lives next door to him,
is involved with the Indica Arts Gallery and all these

(08:32):
kind of sort of experimental publications like the International Times,
and Paul is really really fascinated by all of this.
He's like a sponge soaking up all this new culture,
and he goes to lectures from about Stockhausen and Luciano
Barrio and John Cage all this experimental music. So he's
really absorbing all this stuff and engaged in culture. John

(08:54):
is living out in the suburbs. They call it the
stockbroker Belt because that's where just all the stockbrokers got
their kind of McMahon genie type houses, really boring place
in this unfulfilling marriage with his wife who really doesn't
stimulate him in any kind of way. And he cites
the song Help later on as being like a genuine
cry for help. He's just he's eating too much. He's
indulging too much across the board. He's so bored out

(09:16):
there that he's just filling himself with food and a
ton of drugs. He used to have a mortar and
pestle by his by his bedside that he used to
just crush up pills at random and then make an
uber pill, just like see what would happen. He was
really in rough shape, especially after the Beatles stopped touring
in sixty six. I mean, he was, like he said

(09:36):
he was. He was eating l Steve for breakfast at
that point, right, yeah, and just like smoking weed all
the time and watching television, like if you've seen the
movie Pineapple Express, like that was John Lennon's life in
the mid sixties, you know, as you said, Like first
it was weed and then he started taking acid all
the time, and then as we get into the late sixties,
he starts taking heroin and then it gets really serious

(09:57):
and he's that's when you start to see the more
sort of gaunt, Jesus looking John Lennon of the late sixties.
And it's interesting to me how these two guys were
starting to diverge in the mid sixties, because it really
does I think upend a lot of the cliches about
these guys. And I think it's maybe different now. I
think Paul McCartney gets more respect now than he did

(10:19):
a couple of decades ago, but love Songs guy anymore. Like,
but I remember when I first started learning about classic
rock history as a kid, like in the late eighties
early nineties, like Paul McCartney was still looked at as
this lightweight guy in comparison to John Lennon. That John
Lennon was the icon. Of course, he had died tragically,
he was looked at as the more artistic one, the

(10:41):
more the saying yeah he was, the saying he was
also artistically adventurous, or that's how we that's how he
was regarded, when the reality is is that for a
big part of the sixties, John Lennon was on the
sidelines in terms of observing a lot of the changes
that were going on, and Paul McCartney was more in
the mix. Um, as you said, going to art galleries,

(11:01):
you know, being actively involved and you know, hanging out
with like people like William Burrows and you know, all
the adventurous filmmakers of that time. Um. And you can
see how that ultimately informs the later Beatles period, because
if the early Beatles are a band that seems to
be led pretty clearly by John by the time of

(11:23):
Sergeant Pepper, so you're seeing a decisive shift to where
Paul is the person, uh who's really the boss of
the band? And John used to always complain, he'd say, yeah,
I got a phone call from Paul. He said, okay, boys,
I think we should do a new album. And he'd
written because he'd have written all the songs he'd written,
he'd had enough that he thought I could do a
new album, and he's John saying, oh geez, give me
a minute, I got to actually write some stuff. Paul

(11:45):
was like basically like the busybody of this band, you know,
like he was the kid in class who's always raising
his hand, you know, trying to answer you know, every
every answer from the teacher and always gets straight a's.
And with John and also it with George, there was
a lot of resentment towards him for that. Although you
could also say that if you love those later Beatles albums,

(12:08):
they probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for Paul's attitude.
So it was this weird thing of like Paul motivating
the band to continue to put out records, but at
the same time that motivation, that sort of hectoring motivation
that he had, was also eating them away from the inside.
And if you listen to Sergeant Pepper, all of John's
contributions are sort of like these meditations on the mundane

(12:31):
You've got Loosely in the Sky with Diamonds, which is
about his son's painting that he brought home from school
being for the benefit of Mr. Kite, is from a
poster that's in his living room, good morning, Good mornings
about watching TV, and the Day of Life is just
born from a newspaper that he had propped up on
his piano that day. So, I mean, it's funny when
you actually think he's just sort of in his house
taking Oh jeez, I gotta write some stuff now because
Paul's ready to go and I'm not. It's like he

(12:52):
could have written a song about like, oh, the couch,
the psychedelic couch, or you know, the walls around my room,
are you know speaking to me? Yeah, that is that
is funny. Although you know, like in the case of
Day in the Life, that is an example of really
John and Paul working together on a song in a
way that they, as you said, they hadn't really done

(13:15):
all that much since like the early sixties, and really
I think Day in the Life is like the last
example of them working together on a song because of course,
you know, John had the beginning part, you know, I
read the news today, old boy. That that whole section,
and then there's that great section in the middle where
Paul is, you know, woke up, got a bed drained
to comb across my head, that whole thing, and there's

(13:36):
other examples too from Sergeant Pepper where they weren't necessarily
writing together, but it was this instance of them essentially
polishing off each other's songs, which I think was something
that continued to happen up at least through this album.
Like there's the song getting Better where you know, the choruses,
you know, it's getting better all the time, and then
John kicked in, you know, it couldn't get no worse,

(13:59):
you know, perfect John Lennon contrast to what Paul McCartney
is doing. And of course, like by the time they
get to the White album, you know, like McCartney has
talked about how he didn't hear John lennon songs until
they were in the studio, and there was no polishing
of anyone's songs by that point. I mean, there was
a lot of hostility going on between these guys, and

(14:20):
you know, I think a lot of it has to
do with the death of Brian Epstein, their manager, don't
you think, I mean, because it seems like that is
the beginning of the end in terms of oh yeah,
I mean not not only did Paul become the goody
goodye of the group who had the songs and was
ready to go and get into the studio. But now
he was really trying to and I don't think it
was in a malicious way, but to try to lead

(14:40):
the group through because there was just this huge power vacuum.
And that's sort of the first thing that you see
after Brian died in August sixty seven is the Magical
Mystery Tour experience, which is uh uh. There's a complicated
reputation when you say it's very rare in the Beatle
my mythology that there's like anything that's not universally praised,

(15:02):
but this is one of them. I mean, have you
seen the whole movie, because like I've seen, like I've
seen parts of it. There's like the great I Am
the Wall Riz sequence that's pretty well known, and I
think it's like the hello goodbye sequence where they're wearing
the white tuxedos. Oh your mother should know? Your mother
should know? Yeah, your mother should know. Um. Like there's
little bits of it that have been broken up into

(15:23):
music videos essentially, but basically, I mean that movie is incoherent, right,
I Mean, the the idea was that they were gonna
it's sort of like Seinfeld thirty years early. They were
gonna make a movie about nothing. It was almost like
a Mary Pranksters type thing. They would rent a bus
and go out into the country and hope that something
would happen, but unfortunately, nothing really interesting happened. And then
they were left with eleven hours of footage of basically nothing.

(15:44):
And they were amateur filmmakers who thought they could cut
it together in a week, but they had all this
footage of nothing. It took them like four months. Was
way over budget. They were missing like because they weren't filmmakers.
They didn't know how to make like linking shots and
stuff like that. It was. It was a very costly
asked her, both financially and just time and effort wise.
But you've got a lot of great songs out of it. Yeah,

(16:05):
And you can look at that movie and you know,
like you said, it was like kind of the first
thing that the Beatles attempted that didn't really work, which
is an incredible thing to say given how much they
had done up to that point. I mean, that's a
pretty great streak of like commercial successes and like artistic triumphs,
you know, leading up to Magical Mystery Tour. But it

(16:27):
is an interesting row shock test, because if you are
inclined to you know, be sympathetic to Paul, I think
it's very easy to look at him and say, like, Okay,
even if this project didn't work, he tried, yeah, John said,
gobbling drugs left and right. George is like, you know,
hanging out like with Indian musicians and like meditating seven.
You know, Ringo is doing whatever he's doing. I mean

(16:48):
it was up to Paul to get on the phone
and to get everyone into the studio and and to
get him to make these records. You know. The question
is is like should Paul have read the writing on
the wall maybe and said, you know, Brian Epstein died,
we're not touring anymore. Should we even be a band?
You know, like these other guys don't seem into it.
You know, I'm sort of dragging them across the finish

(17:10):
line with whatever we're doing. It just didn't seem like
he was prepared to even entertain that possibility at this point.
I think it was just a case of maybe dialing
it back a bit and instead of trying an entirely
new medium that you know nothing about. Uh, because he
just succeeded one too many times. I mean Sergeant Pepper
was sort of his baby too. I mean, the whole
concept of being this fictitious band and making an album

(17:32):
be a production and sending the album out on tour
instead of going out on toy yourself. All these high
concept ideas were generally his, and they'd all been successful,
so he probably thought, well, you know what, I'm sure
I can make this work too. But in that time
of crisis with the group, they probably should have just
one an ordinary new album and just something a little
easier to kind of get them through that whole crisis period.

(17:53):
But but no, it was sort of the wrong project
to tackle at the wrong time, I think, and I
think too that you're really starting to see the aesthetic
differences between Lennon and McCartney come to the forefront. I mean,
where in the past, I think you could say, like, Okay,
John is more of a sarcastic guy, he's more of
like a rock and roll guy, whereas Paul is more

(18:13):
like a pop guy, more you know, open to like romanticism,
and in Whimsy you can look at those two elements
and they complimented each other perfectly. And then we're getting
into the White Album and it seems like they were
just clashing, like where they didn't want to really even
be in the same space. Oh yeah, I mean there
were times when they had like three studios all going

(18:34):
at once, with John doing something in one and Paul
and another in George and the other and and John
is at this point sort of openly sniping at at
Paul's music. He memorably called blood Deal Blood and Martha
my dear Paul's granny music ship, which is which I
love those songs. Yeah, I look, I have to say,
you know, at the risk of, you know, generating the

(18:57):
ire of our audience, I have to defend oblabled up
a little bit because I feel like it's become accepted
to just like crap on that song. And I'll admit
it's not my favorite Beatles song. It definitely, uh you know,
it's like the Beatles playing ska and and singing a
nonsensical chorus. You know, on paper, it doesn't really work.

(19:19):
I can see why people would hate it, but I
still think it's a pretty good tune, and I like
it on the White album, and I appreciate it in
the context of that record with how many different songs
there are. And also, I mean Martha my Dear Killer song.
I mean that is a that's a great song. I mean,
if that's Granny Ship, then you know call me. Yeah,

(19:41):
that song bangs well. I think Paul like had him
going for something like two or three days straight just
like trying to get that song. So they were just
I think it was just shoved down their throat to
like if he was kind of indifferent towards it on
day one, by day three of you know, thirty six
hours of of you know, Desmond in the market play,
I'm sure that he was just like, all right, no,

(20:02):
no more, please please please please? Yeah, okay, yeah, if
I had to play it's like going ton amost comply
for three or six hours? Yeah exactly. Okay. Granted, if
that's the case, then I understand. But otherwise, if you're
just putting it on the record and you're gonna listen
to it once on a Sunday afternoon, perfectly pleasant song,
all right hand, We'll be right back with more rivals

(20:34):
sort of. The real uh clash between the two aesthetics
is on the was gonna be the first Apple A
side there. They started new label Apple Records in the
summer sixty eight and they were gonna release their their
the first Beatles single on their new label. It was
gonna be a big you know, kind of coming out
of their their latest business project. And John had written
Revolutions the Summer sixty eight RFK Assassination Martin Luther King

(20:58):
Assassination that one of the most ultra summers in American history,
seemed like a really timely song. It's loud, Ha's got
that incredible store to guitar intro. It's just you know,
a call to action, sort of like vague, mindless action,
but still action. It's kind of an indecisive song though,
because he can't decide if he's if he's hanging for
destruction or out. That's true, you know which I think,

(21:20):
And I love that song, but like as if you're
looking at it as a polemic or as I call
the revolution or whatever it is, and actually kind of
like the ambivalence of it. I think that adds to it.
But like, yeah, if you're looking for a clear cut answer,
you're not gonna get it from that song. No, So
so that's where John's coming from. Evan Paul has Hey, Jude,
which is this just a custom design for for radio superiority,

(21:45):
this incredibly gentle, melodic piano ballad with this lush orchestral fade.
That's and even with this like seemingly straight ahead, like
middle of the Road song, he pushes it into like
groundbreaking territory by making it seven minutes and what six
seconds long, the longest song the Beatles have ever done
at that point, and I think it was like the
longest single by anybody. It was even longer than like

(22:07):
like a Rolling Stone, which was like, you know, historic
in the nineteen sixty five, and like this, like we're
going to add a minute more of Nona Nonas to
the end of this song to make it even longer
than that because we can. Because with the Beatles, damn
it exactly and it works. That's that end. He could
go on forever and I would still love it. Oh
my god, I know. So. So Paul ends up getting

(22:28):
the A side, which pisces John off to no end,
probably because the song is written about John's son, Julian.
John and his wife Cynthia split up, and Paul goes
out to visit John's uh soon to be ex wife
Cynthia and UH and Julian and to try to comfort
him on the way out there, he's kind of like
thinking of words of comfort and uh, and he comes

(22:48):
up with hey Jules, which he changes to hey Jude um.
And I'm sure on some level John must have known
that and that must have been weird, Like, I'm you're
per slow, life isn't a shambles and I'm gonna write
this song about it, and it's gonna be our new
single on Elbow yours. And also, by the way, it's
gonna be the longest charting number one single Beatles ever

(23:09):
had in the United States. So I don't know. In
some ways that must have been weird for him. It's
interesting though, because I read an interview once where John
Lennon was talking about Hey Jude, and he actually thought
that he put for this theory that actually totally changed
how I think about the song where he said that
he's like, I think it's about me. I think Paul
was saying, Hey John, and he's saying, go get that girl.

(23:32):
You know that you can leave the band and you
can be with this girl. And of course the girl
that he's talking about is Yoko. Oh No, that's John
Lennon's theory. Paul McCartney has never said that. I don't
know if that's actually true or if there was maybe
some sort of subconscious thing, but that is an interesting
way to read that song if you hear it. And
of course there's a beautiful part at the end where
Paul and John are singing together, and that that that's

(23:55):
really beautiful. I also think too, you know, we were
talking about John and Paul polishing off each other's songs,
and there's a there's a great moment in Hey Jude
where McCartney sings the movement you need is on your shoulder,
And when he first played that for for John Lennon,
Lennon was like, McCartney said, you know, I okay, I
know this line is bad. I'm going to replace this,

(24:17):
and Lennon's like, you're not. I really love that lyric.
You've got to leave that in the song. And McCartney
has said that ever, every time he plays it now
he thinks of John Lennon when he when he sings
that part. So, you know, it's fascinating to me that
even at this moment in time where their relationship was
at an all time low, they could still have these
like little moments of warmth, you know, between each other

(24:39):
where they could help each other out, and then you know,
five minutes later they'd be at each other's throats again. Yeah,
there's this moment that Paul sometimes talks about in interviews
where he talks about a moment around this time when
he and John are having a really bad fight and
then they both got quiet for a minute and the
dust settled, and John sort of pushed down his granny
glass at the end of his nose and goes, it's

(25:00):
only meet Paul, and then pushed them back up. And
I mean, I get chills even thinking about that now,
he says, a little little chink in his armor that
he kind of let him know, like it's only me.
You know, we we've we we've gone so far back
where I'm your friend, remember, And I still I always
think of that whenever I we, you know, whenever we
discussed the stuff we're about to get to, the real
nasty business stuff. I always feel like that there's a

(25:24):
there's a romantic aspect to their relationship where not not
not physically, not literally, but like they're such great friends.
But there's also a little bit of like a marriage aspect,
where there there's a possessiveness that happens. And I think
that's especially true for Paul, and that's because we're going

(25:45):
to get into the Yoko part of this story right now,
and this is the way that he acts about Yoko.
It just reminds me of like how people act when
like the big X of their life moves on and
marry somebody else. You know, It's like that thing like
I I hate that person. I hate that person for

(26:06):
taking this person that I level away from me. And
it seems like there's a that's like a real aspect
of this story moving forward. Oh totally. I mean, obviously,
the thing that everybody knows about Yoko, John would bring
her into every session for the White album and with
really sort of no explanation to the others that she
just was sort of there and it just it was

(26:27):
encroached on their psychic space, the creative space. It was
obviously really difficult to him. But the thing that not
a lot of people know is that when John left
his wife to get together with Yoko, they didn't have
a place to live, so they actually were Paul McCartney's
house guests for a time, which is you know, that's
a play right there. I would love to see that
um so so, John and Yoko were standing together, and obviously,

(26:50):
as you can probably imagine, uh, it was it was
a tense Uh, it was a tense time them all
living under one roof, and both sides have been blamed
over the years. Some say that Yoko was just sort
of cold and unappreciative, and she and John would just
sort of camp in front of the TV and stare
into each other's eyes. But there's a story that Paul's
sort of brief girlfriend at this period, and a woman

(27:11):
named Franci schwartz Um said that I guess Paul sent
a really strongly worded racist note to John and Yoko
that he said. He has claimed it was sent as
a joke, but I mean, we can't even say what
it says. I mean, if you read a Beatles book,
you could, but you know, I guess we could say

(27:33):
you in your blankety blank, I think you're hot. Shit
is what the note said. Yeah, like yeah, terrible. Um
and which and Bob spits book which is a great Beatles,
incredible basist called the Beatles, and like, if you're gonna
read a Beatles book, you want to read that one.

(27:53):
He describes this scene and he says basically that John Lennon,
you know, looks at Paul and horror. It was just like,
we're done. Who are you really? Like you did this
to my? To my it was his girlfriend at the time,
I mean, this woman I love. How could you do that?
Like just like we're not going to get over this,
you know, like maybe down the road, but right now,

(28:15):
like we're through. It's funny too, because like the Francine
Schwartz who you mentioned, I believe that was also the
woman that, like Paul McCartney hooked up with after John
and Yoko started dating, and Yoko was in the studio
all the time, and then Paul started bringing sports into
the studio all the time. So because's like, well, if
you're going to bring a woman, I'll show you. Yeah,
I'll bring a woman into which again it just seems

(28:37):
like another um example of you making your ex jealous,
making your ex jealous. And I think too, but like
how you know John and Yoko got married. I think
it was March of nineteen sixty nine. They got married,
and then Paul and Linda Eastman, who of course became
Linda McCartney, they got married two days later, and it

(29:00):
was like a very like quick wedding, and you know,
they've been together for a while. It seemed like they
were heading toward, you know, getting married at some point.
But it just blows my mind, you know that, well,
John and Yoko got married, we have to get married
now to immediately. Yeah, it was like a registry office
wedding too. It wasn't like a big thing that took
much planning at all. So yeah, that's it's definitely fascinating.

(29:21):
I mean, whether or not Paul actually did this thing
with the with the postcard, his rejection of Yoko hurt
John in a way that I don't think Paul would
ever hurt him, you know. I mean, going back to
the early Beatle days, Paul took a lot of crap
from John. John would be getting drunk, starting fights, slagging
people off, and Paul would always kind of be there
and and to smooth things over and say, you know,
he's all right, really it's okay, it's okay. John regularly

(29:44):
dished this stuff out, but he'd never really swung it
at John that way. And so for the first time,
Paul hurt John, and I don't think they ever really
got over it, and he kind of John retreated into
his relationship with Yoko and also around this time heroin. Yeah,
and I think the heroin aspect of this story is
weirdly under underdisgust. And I think if you read a

(30:06):
lot of Beatles books, you know that Lennon was into
this at that time. And like even if you listen
to the White album, I mean there's like drug references
like throughout that that record. You know, Happiness is a
Warm Gun. I mean, that's such a heroin song. You know,
you could have just like called it heroin if like
Lou Reed hadn't already written a song called heroin, like
Lenning could have called Happiness is a Warm Gun heroin.

(30:29):
But you know, along with all of the other drug
abuse that that Lennon was going through at that time,
I mean, it feels like the heroin aspect really deep
six the band because you know, you really you can't
communicate with the junkie, you know, I mean, and he
was really checked out um of the band at that point. Yeah.
I mean you look at footage from the Letting the

(30:49):
Letter B sessions and he's just glazed eyes staring, you know,
staring at Yoko, barely playing, and he can barely muster
up the energy to to do a song. So yeah,
that was a really fear early late early six nine,
and that was around when he gotten busted for pot too,
and it was a really bad time for him, a
miscarriage with Yoko. Yeah, and you can just see that
like that just made Paul try even harder, you know, like,

(31:13):
well John is checked out, so that's gonna make you know,
me be even more of a cheerleader in this band,
which it just creates this vicious cycle essentially in the
Beatles as they're spinning out of control, because as you said,
it probably would have been better for Paul to maybe
lay off a little bit, but he felt like he
had to do that to keep the band going. It's

(31:34):
also interesting to me too, like because we're talking about
these like romantic entanglements that we're going on in the band,
like how that ended up influencing the business aspect of
the Beatles because John Lennon ended up becoming enamored with
this guy named Alan Klein who was a big time
rock manager and man, we could spend a whole episode
just on Allen Kleine. I mean that story, just all

(31:57):
the things that were going on with him, but like
Paul one to bring in Lee Eastman, who's Linda's dad,
he wanted him to manage the Beatles, and John's like, no, wait,
your father in law can't be a neutral third party
to this at all, Like he's gonna favor you in
these deals. There's absolutely no way, which I mean John's credit,
it's probably true, yeah, exactly, But also the animus that

(32:19):
was being directed at Leastman, because Leesman wasn't just some
guy up the street. I mean, he was very well
known businessman. I'm sure he would have done a great
job managing the Beatles. But again, going back to Bob
Spitz's book, there's this there's this incredible anecdote about a
meeting that took place with Eastman, Alan Klein and John
and Yoko, and I don't think Paul was there, Like,

(32:40):
do do you remember this story? I mean, did you
remember that? Yeah, Paul, I think Paul knew better than
to go. I mean, by the end of this meeting,
they were like holding each other back physically, like they
were just screaming at each other, calling each other rats
and and it's just all sorts of I mean, it's
just totally devolved into like a playground scene. I mean
it's really and the don't they know about Alan Klein.

(33:01):
I mean he is run of the true, like rock
and roll swindlers. I guess Brian Epstein had met him, uh,
and he refused to shake his hands because he's just like, yeah,
I know about you, like I'm not. I don't want
to get anywhere near you. So but John thought his
kind of brash, streetwise swagger. He's a New York guy.
He was refreshing, and he wasn't just like some British

(33:23):
business guy. He was like real, you know, gritty, which
was John was all about at that time. And Lee
Eastman was I think as Harvard educated, um, you know,
very waspy sort of figure. And so they just hated
each other and just open animosity throughout this whole horrendous meeting. Yeah.
I always think of like Allen Klein being like John
Belushi in an animal house, and then like le Span

(33:47):
was Leesman was like the snobby fraternity. I forget what
they were. Were they like the Omega's or something? Oh yeah,
like Kevin Bacon, Yeah, yeah, like the bad fraternity, you know,
like because yeah, Allen Klein, you know, he was like
this overweight, unkempt. You know, he dropped a lot of
four little words. He had a reputation for being a
bit of a sleeves ball, although he did in the

(34:08):
short run get a lot of money for his clients. Um,
but yeah, it didn't have a great reputation. But like,
like you said, like Lennon liked his rough edges and
and and also was very mistrustful of being managed by
by Paul's father in law. So I mean that really
sets the table for these guys finally deciding to split,

(34:31):
although even that ends up being kind of fraught and
not they end up arguing over who's going to bring
up the Beatles, so so messy. I mean, So it's
the day Abbey Road comes out in September sixty nine.
They're having a business meeting. John had just come from
playing the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival Festival, which was
like his first big public performance he's ever done without

(34:52):
the Beatles, first performance he's done in since the Beatles
last tour, and their meeting and Paul's being Paul and
he's saying, you know, I really think that we should
go back to what we do best and be a
band and start playing these little tour like little pubs
and clubs and stuff, and get back to our roots
and and actually stage a little small tour. And John

(35:13):
just looks at him and what I think you're I
think your daft, I think is what he said. I
wasn't going to tell you, but I'm breaking the group up.
I want a divorce, like a divorce, Cynthia. I want
a divorce. We're done. And again this is the day
that Ebbe Road comes around. And Ebbey Road, of course
this classic record, beautiful record. It ends with the end,

(35:33):
you know, and in the end, the love you make
is equal to the love you take, is equal to
the love you make. You know, this beautiful sort of
zen like uh sentiment. And I think for a lot
of people like that record it was sort of like, well,
this is like the gentle wrap up of the sixties.
You know, we've gone through all this trouble, but you know,
this record kind of is bringing us into like a
more peaceful landing. And meanwhile, behind the scenes, they're they're

(35:59):
falling apart. Literally the day that this record comes out,
it's just unbelievable, although um it doesn't get announced that day,
like John Lennon breaks up the Beatles, but Paul McCartney
ends up getting credit for it because in the spring
of seventy puts out his first solo record, McCartney, and
he puts out this Q and A with the record

(36:20):
like the most sort of cold way to announce the
greatest band of all time, like like we have the
Q and A here, right, Like what did he say
this the question? And he wrote this all himself. He's
interviewing himself. Are you planning a new album or single
with the Beatles? No period? Do you foresee a time
when Lennon McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again, no period?

(36:44):
It's just like, you know, you're just issuing a press
release to announce, you know, the death of Christ basically,
you know, like that's what we're doing here. It's like
so unbelievable and and you know what what sparked this
was like it was like a debate over was a
feud over release dates and because they were gonna put
out let it be the final Beatles record um right

(37:07):
around that same time, and they wanted to bump the
McCartney solo record to favor the two favor Later b right,
I mean, that was the controversy, and like, instead of
just allowing his record to get bump, McCartney's like, well,
I'm gonna take credit for breaking up the Beatles, you know,
take that. And the reason that John didn't say anything
initially is that Paul had been the one to say no, no, no, please,
don't say anything right now, and Alan Klein to actually,

(37:29):
we just signed a new deal with Capital of this
great new royalty rate or something, and if they find
out that the Pans split up, it's going to tank
the whole deal. So be quiet, Be quiet, Be quiet.
And I think Paul on some level thought, you know, okay,
maybe this is just John being John, and he's having
one of his outbursts, and he'll come back tomorrow and
and he'll forget that he said this, and the Beatles
will go on being the Beatles. And then that was
September sixty nine, and and Paul releases this you know,

(37:54):
really cold frigid Q and A in April of seventy,
so I think by that point it was clear, No,
the Beatles are actually and it's for the Bowl of
Cherry's record. Do you call it the Bowl of Cherry's
Record'll tell the McCartney record, which I love that record,
although at the time it was it was really panned.
I mean, people didn't really take it seriously. It's a

(38:15):
it's a song. It's an album that I think is
consciously playing down the mythology of the Beatles. Were McCartney's
just recording by himself. There's a lot of song fragments,
you know, there's a lot of songs that, uh sounds
like that sounds like they were written five minutes before
he recorded them. And at the time people looked at
it as like, well, this is like a lazy record.

(38:37):
It's a stoner's record. You know, he's not really trying
to do something great. Although I think now people listen
to it and they hear like, well, this is like
an indie rock record. This sounds like Pavement, you know,
this sounds like Guided by Voices. Um. But John Lennon
puts out a much different Well it's different in a way,
but I think it's kind of similar in a way.
I mean, but it's Plastic Ono Band, which comes out

(39:00):
in December of seventy I mean, which are you a
plasticgonal band fan? Oh my god? I mean I love
them both for different reasons. I mean, it's it's not
one that I listened to on a Sunday when I'm like,
you know, cleaning and doing dishes. Let me put it
that way. It's what I listen to when I want
to feel every bit of pain I've ever felt, all
at once, you know it. It opens with a funeral

(39:22):
bell and it closes with a song called My Mummy
Is Dead, and in between, in between there's not a
lot of warmth, not a lot of sun there. It's
it's probably the most raw, naked, unvarnished pain that's ever
been put on record. I mean it's it's very difficult
to listen to. Yeah, it's a brutal record, and I
think in terms of the mood, it's like the polar

(39:42):
opposite of the McCartney record. The McCartney record is very
much like a It feels like very homey. It feels
like an ode to like sort of the domesticated, you know,
post Beetles life that McCartney was starting to settle into.
But I do think one way I would link them
to go or is that I think Lennon was also
interested in doing something that sort of stripped stripped back

(40:06):
the grandiosity of the Beatles, you know, and of course
there's that famous song on the record God where he
says the dream is over. You know, I don't believe
in Beatles that whole thing. And whereas Paul approached that
with a lighter touch, more of an a reverend touch,
maybe Lennon was deadly serious and and and much more

(40:27):
literal in a way. And it's interesting because we're gonna
get it as more in our next episode. But like
if you bring in the George Harrison record that came
out after the Beatles breakup, all Things must Pass, he
went in the opposite direction that is like more grandiose
than any Beatles record, Triple album, that huge Field Specter,

(40:48):
you know, it's like Wagner goes rock basically that album.
I also think too, like with the Plasticoto Band album,
I always paired in my mind with the Rolling Stone
interview that John Lennon did when the record came out
in December of seventy because that interview is super brutal
and super brutal to Paul McCartney, specifically, right to everybody.

(41:09):
I mean, he takes shots at George Martin, their producer.
He basically makes it sound like the Beatles were a
living hell as soon as they got back from Hamburg
in sixty two, and that he was being stifled this
whole time. And and it's part of note that he
had just gone through primal scream therapy, which was this
controversial radical therapy to sort of uncover years of personal

(41:30):
trauma from his early day. So he was just a raw,
exposed nerve and he just was absolutely brutal to to Paul.
I mean, here's a sampling. Big bastards. That's what the
Beatles were. You have to be a bastard to make it.
That's a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards
on earth. I'm sick of reading things that that say

(41:51):
Paul is the musician and George is the philosopher. I
wonder where I fit in. What was my contribution? I
think I'm some kind of guy who got who got
struck lucky at paula Paul's or something. They're so stupid
they don't even know he just I mean, that's like
and this this interview was so long that they ended
up making a full book out of it. I mean,
it is is massive. It is just an incredible collection
of spite and by all that, I feel like we

(42:13):
should just like to another separate episode. Just reading it
back and forth, well, I mean it reads like a
therapy session does exactly. Like even even in those like
little excerpts that you were reading, it's like no one
thinks that no one thought that John Lennon was a
sideman to Paul McCartney, Like no one was like knocking
Lennon down saying that he wasn't important in the Beatles.

(42:34):
I mean, that was his own insecurity coming out. I
think probably because of maybe because of all the drug
abuse that he was going through in the late sixties
and maybe knowing that he wasn't as visible or as
active in leading the band at that point as Paul was.
And it's just an interesting flip from the early dynamic

(42:55):
between those two because again, like John was, it seemed
like he was so confident, clearly the leader of the band.
And you know, John was the one who formed the band.
He's the one who like invited everyone to join um.
And then you get to the end of the band
where you know he's expressing doubts about you know, how
people perceive him in the group. You know, it's just

(43:15):
incredible turnaround, and it did not go unnoticed by Paul McCartney.
I'm pretty sure that Paul McCartney bought that issue of
Rolling Stone the day it came out, and he read
that super long interview cover to cover and I'm just picturing, like,
you know, like Looney Tunes style steam coming out of
his ears. Reading that, well, Lynda wrote him a letter.

(43:38):
Lynda wrote him like a private letter, kind of being
like John, what what the hell like? Sort of on
her and Paul's behalf. And then John wrote this letter
that went to auction a few years ago, which was
just I rate, what did you say? Color? Like, I
don't know what goes on in your pretty perversion of
a mind. But he just like starts laying in the
Linda and my extension Paul obviously, I mean brew all there.

(44:00):
Whatever he said in Rolling Stones sort of pales in
comparison to the stuff that has said privately to each
other in in early seventy one. So John is, he said,
incredibly insecure at this stage, and he starts listening to
Paul solo albums kind of for messages that have directed
it him. And when Paul releases Ram in ninety one,
he finds one. There's the opening track called too Many People,

(44:20):
so great song, incredible song, too many people preaching practices,
Paul says, which Paul kind of meant, and he meant
he meant this this was true, as like, you know,
you were a teddy boy. What are you doing trying
to save the world with all these peace crusades? Now,
what do you what do you like preaching at people
now telling them what to do? Come on, like get
off it, um. And then he also saying you took

(44:42):
your lucky break and broke it into which is pretty
self explanatory. And I think he also along with listening
to these messages, he was also in the course of
people taking shots at Paul for not trying hard enough,
and like I know, in that Rolling so An interview
he talked about like the first McCartney record not being
very good, and he later justified it by saying that, well,

(45:04):
I'm trying to motivate Paul to write better records, some
half decent. Although by the way, again I think Ram
is another example of like McCartney record, solo record that
wasn't really thought of all that well at the time,
and and retrospect people look at that as being a
total classic record, which deservedly so. Ram is my favorite

(45:24):
Beatle solo record. Oh, it's up there for me. It
would probably like my number two or three. It's an
incredible record. Love Ram. But then, you know John, you
know this idea that he's giving constructive criticism to Paul,
though by by slagging him in the press, it gets
derailed a little bit when he puts out his second
post Beatles solo record, which is imagine comes out in

(45:45):
the seventy one and you know, we think of the
title track being this sort of utopian protest song very
you know, let's bring everyone together. It's a song that
celebrities like to sing on zoom calls, as we all know.
But then there's also a song called how do You
Sleep on that record, which is an incredibly venomous shot
at Paul McCartney. And really, like, there's no reason, there's

(46:07):
no need to like do a coded reading of that song.
I mean, it's clearly a shot at Paul McCartney, And
the implication of the title is like basically, how do
you sleep at night? You know, being such a ship head?
You know, like that's the that's the message of that song. Basically,
and the worst part is he has George Harrison playing
slide guitar on and so just totally ganging up on Paul. Yeah,

(46:28):
I mean, is that line like, you know, the only
thing you've done was yesterday and since you've gone, you're
just another day, which is a reference to a one
of Paul's solo songs, and he calls his music music
and like those freaks was right when they said you
were dead. You know, that whole thing just extremely mean.
I mean, and I mean I think musically that song

(46:50):
is actually kind of awesome, but like lyrically it goes
like way over the line. Oh yeah, Alan Klein was
trying to him, like cut parts out because he's worried
about getting sued for Liabel. Yeah, it's a it's seen
almost just in how just this naked expression of animosity. Yeah,
it's it's it's also very tough to listen to. Paul responds,
as Paul often does, with a sort of very quiet,

(47:12):
gentle less direct song on the first Wings album, Wildlife.
Later that year, a song called Dear Friend, which is
you know, about as as mournful as the title kind
of says, it's this really kind of haunting Piano ballad
an open letter to John that's just you know, dear friend,
what's the time? Is this really the borderline? Like, is
this really the end for us? Is this where we

(47:33):
part ways? Really devastating song, And thankfully it wasn't. I mean,
it seems like, you know, as the seventies progressed and
they were working through the business problems that they were
going through, that they were able to at least talk
to each other and and not have all this ranker
going on. And it even gets to the point where

(47:54):
in nineteen seventy four, in the midst of John Lennon's
last weekend period in Los Angeles, they end up in
the same recording studio together and they make one of
the great, if also unlistenable bootlegs of all time, A
Touting a Snore in seventy four. It's incredible. It's like, okay,
it's like you've got like Stevie Wonder is here, Jesse

(48:17):
and Davis got Bobby Keys from the Rolling Stones band,
Harry Nelsondry Nielson of course, you know, he was always
in the picture. I think when lots of drugs we're
being taken in Los Angeles in the mid seventies. But yeah,
basically these guys are just getting loaded and they're doing
old like fifties covers like they do like Lucille by

(48:38):
Little Richard, they do stand by Me by Benny King,
kind of like the rock and roll record that John
Lennon ended up putting out. I think that was way
less professional and like it's really they can't get through
a song. No, it's all yeah, like they're they're super
coked up, super drunk, and it's like you hear John

(49:00):
on Mike saying like you want some coake, Stevie, it's
gone around, you want to start. It's like it's amazing,
like that subtle at all, saying it right into the microphone,
you know. But you know it's like mid seventies Los Angeles.
It's like you don't need to hide it all that much,
I guess. And you know, there's a part of me
that feels kind of sad that this was like the
last time that Lennon and McCartney saying together on a record.

(49:23):
But also there's no other part of me that feels like,
well there it sounds like they're having a really good time,
and I kind of like that it wasn't this sort
of pressure filled event where they would have felt, you know,
that the need to deliver up to the stand, make
something good. Yeah, like they could just exactly exactly. And

(49:43):
it seems like after that they were able to get
together every now and then, like when Paul would be
in New York and he would stop by the Dakota, right,
I mean they I feel like they visited a couple
of times. They visited a few times. Yeah. I mean
there's the really famous one, which I think was actually
the last time they ever physically saw each other. And
person is in April seventy six and they're hanging out
watching TV and SNL comes on, you know, the hit

(50:06):
new comedy show, and Lauren Michaels, the producer, comes on
the TV and talks to them. He's doing the famous
bit when he says, you know, were you've been hearing
that the Beatles have been getting all these offers from
all around the world to reunite, all these huge, astronomical figures.
Worry we at NBC are prepared to offer you three
thousand dollars to get back together on our stage. And

(50:29):
and John and Paul, I mean they had no idea. Jona,
Paul we're together, not to mention like a couple of
blocks up town, but John and Paul are watching and
they almost get in a cab and do it. They
get so close. Yeah, that would have been That would
have been amazing if that happened, you know, And I
know you've seen this. I feel like most people probably
haven't seen this. But like, when I think about that
SNL incident, I also think about that v H one

(50:52):
movie that came out. I think The Two of Us
Two of Us, where it's like it's an account, it's
like a fictionalized account of basically of Lennon McCartney hanging
out that day and then you know, they see the
SNL thing at night, and like they're just hanging out
all day in Lennon's apartment. And Jared Harris plays John Lennon.

(51:14):
Jared Harris from mad Men. He played Lane Price on
mad Men and he was also in Chernobyl, I think.
And then Aidan Quinn plays Paul McCartney and the scene
I always remember from that movie is where they smoke
weed and they go to the park advance to a
reggae band. Oh yeah, the cops come. Yeah, it's great.

(51:35):
They don't look anything like either of them. But Jared
Harris is incredible as John Lennon. He's got the voice,
especially in like that era. Oh yeah, it's so good.
That's not good, but it's worth watching, I'll say that.
I don't know. I wouldn't say it's good, but it's entertaining,
especially if you're a Beatles fan. And I'm pretty sure
that like you could find it on YouTube, yeah, because
I think I think I've watched I've seen that movie,

(51:57):
like I think four or five times. It's not a
good movie, but it's a movie I like a lot. So, uh,
definitely check out two of us on on YouTube. So
and of course, the tragedy of that movie, of the
tragic ending, is that that supposedly was the last time
that John and Paul saw each other, because of course
John Lennon was tragically murdered in December of and um,

(52:20):
you know, like I've read Beatles books that have talked
about how there was a possibility, like a good possibility,
that they were probably going to reunite, like at some point,
like there have been discussions going on for years. I
think it was in Peter Doggett's book You Never Give
Me Your Money there's like a little thing in there
about how there have been discussions about maybe setting something

(52:40):
up in Central Park, like a big reunion concert. This
was before the Simon and Garfunkel concert that occurred in
the early eighties, but of course it would never happen, uh,
you know, because of Lennon's murder. Yeah, there was talking
about writing together too. It was also, yeah, that it
definitely seems like it would have gone It would have
gone that way had had tragedy not not in her
beaned and of course that there's sort of cruelest part

(53:02):
of the whole story was Paul's reaction is public reaction
to it. Oh man, he gets basically, he goes into
the studio to kind of like just distract himself, and
he's with George Martin and who's obviously goes way way back,
and they kind of cried together and did whatever they
could do, and he gets button holed by all the
press when he leaves the studio and and the only

(53:24):
words you can really mustard are yeah, it's a drag,
isn't it. And of course, you know, pain all on
his face, but when you see it written down on
the paper, he just got slacked, so he's just adding
insulted to grave grave grave injury. It was just this this,
this press slander. And again you can go on YouTube
you can see that clip of him saying and he's
chewing gum too at the same time, which makes it

(53:46):
look even more glib. And he's talked about it after that,
and he just said, look, you know, I'm not one
who's going to have this sort of theatrical public reaction
to death. Let's like, you know, he said that, like
he went home that night and he cried like all
night long, because you know, that's something he felt like
he wanted to do in private. And you know, this
is a guy who had been in the public eye

(54:08):
for uh, you know, nearly twenty years at that point.
I'm sure that there was a certain armor that built up,
especially in front of reporters. Um. But yeah, you know,
you don't need to write an obituary in the immediate
aftermath of your friend's death. But you maybe you don't
want to say it's a drag. Yeah, you know, you
may want to be a little heavier than that. But

(54:29):
you know, I think he made up for it though
with the with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
induction John in ninety. I think it was one which
is one of the best Hall of Fame induction speeches ever.
I mean, I I can't get I can't even think
about it. That getting choked up. I'm getting choked up
right now. If you've haven't seen it, go to YouTube
and watch it. It is absolutely beautiful. It's written in
the form of an open letter from Paul to John

(54:51):
and it's just little snapshots of memories. That is an
instance where you could see the facade crack, because I
think part of the power of that speech is that
it looks like Paul McCartney is on the verge of
tears the entire time he's giving that speech, even though
they were able to reconcile somewhat in their final years.
In Lennon's final years, Yeah, it feels like that speech

(55:12):
was like the first time that like McCartney allowed himself
to be publicly emotional about Lenin and in a way
kind of like hell, I think it was healing for
fans to see that it's like, oh, yeah, these guys
actually do love each other. You know, they did love
each other and it wasn't just them arguing, you know,
for like the last twenty or thirty years or however
long it's been um at that point. So, yeah, that

(55:35):
was an incredible speech. We're gonna take a quick break
to get a word from our sponsor before we get
to more rivals. You're talking earlier about how this is
like a Greek myth where the story has been told

(55:56):
so many times, it has such great significance for people,
And you know, I think Lennon and McCartney themselves also
signify something very distinct in the minds of fans. Um.
I mean, don't you say. I mean, it seems like
they're not just people, but they're sort of archetypes, and
people align themselves like with one or the other. Not
only do people align themselves as one or the other,

(56:16):
but you see this kind of dynamic play out in bands.
When we did the leve On Robbie episode, I always
felt that that leve On kind of had the John
Lennon role of being the sort of brash guy with
attitude maybe needed to be focused a little bit, and
then you had Robbie who was sort of the more
of a pr minded guy who knew how to work
the system and kind of focus in the energy of

(56:38):
his other more creative, brash partner, and I think that
the sort of dynamic you can really kind of trace
it back to Lennon and McCartney. There's I mean, I know,
it's it's very unfair to both men and their artistic legacy.
If you actually look at it and scrutinize it, it
doesn't work. Nobody is a certain way add percent of
the time, obviously. But you've got Paul, the ambitious, pr guy, workaholic,

(56:58):
who's like sees himself as kind of like a craftsman
and an all around entertainer. And then you've got John, who,
you know, it's this uncompromising wild child driven by his
gut and what he lacks in technical precision he makes
up for with this attitude and swagger. And those partnerships
tend to be really, really really successful until they're very

(57:18):
very not. They almost always self destruct at some point
because just by their nature, it's it's just one side
views the other as being completely unfocused and all over
the place, and the other side views sort of the
Paul type, as just being rigid and confining and and
and hectoring and just like a boss figure. So it's

(57:39):
interesting that they do need one another, I think to
reach their full potential. Yeah, I mean, you know, like
you said, if you reduced them down to their archetypes,
you are leaving a whole lot out. And I think
we've touched on that already in this episode. But it
doesn't change the fact that when people think of Paul
McCartney either thinking of like pop, you know, like you said, craftsmanship,
they're thinking of commerce. I think when you think about

(57:59):
John Lennon, you think think about art, you're thinking about rock,
you're thinking about risk, you know, all those sorts of things. Um,
when I think is also interesting about this is that
along with all those sort of big picture archetypal things,
I think what people connect with in this story is that,
you know, as legendary as these guys are, the arc
of their relationship is actually pretty relatable, you know. I

(58:21):
think we all have instances in our lives of people
that we were very close to when we were young,
and it's a very intense connection, the kind of connection
that you're not going to have later in life, just
because your life is more full, you know, like when
you're when you're young, you can actually spend eight, ten,
twelve hours a day with your friend you know, like
that's because you have all the time in the world,
and then you get older and you experience other things

(58:45):
in your life and you you evolve and you change
and you drift away from that person. And that's essentially
what happened with with John and Paul. And I think
it's something that like, if you read this story you
can get residents from it. It's like, well, yeah, yeah,
I wasn't in the Beatles, but I had my I
had a Paul McCartney in my life, where I had

(59:05):
a John Lennon in my life. Um, and I understand,
you know why maybe it couldn't work out between these
guys if you're defending Paul McCartney in this battle, like,
what what would be your case for Paul? I happily
will He's He's actually my favorite Beatle I I you know,
despite his reputation as sort of Mr. Silly Love Songs Balladier,
I think it's responsible for the beatles most artistically daring music.

(59:25):
I mean, while John was out at his you know
mcmanchon watching daytime TV, Paul was going to John Cage
concerts and stuff, and you know, even a song like
Tomorrow never knows with all the tape loops on it,
which is probably this side of Revolution number nine, the
weirdest song the Beatles ever did. Maybe that's all Paul,
it's John singing it, but all those tape loops and
stuff was all his influence. And then all the orchestral

(59:48):
stuff like that, the big orchestral crescendo on um Sergeant Pepper,
I mean Sergeant Pepper as a whole, the whole sort
of concept and of making an album as a standalone
piece of art that came about when the Beatles didn't
want to tour anymore and instead this piece of art
could go out and be their message to the world.
That I think was all Paul. I mean John, I
don't think progressed as much musically beyond like maybe the

(01:00:11):
influence of someone like Bob Dylan, who showed him that
song lyrics could be meaningful and could could say what
either is deep inside of you or comment on what
you see in the world. But I think that that
Paul musically had a more creative arc. And uh yeah,
and then also as we said earlier too, I mean
Paul is really I think responsible for a lot of
the great music I went I've interviewed Ringo a number

(01:00:33):
of times now, and every time I talked to me,
he said, you know, you really have Paul to thank
for everything after, you know, the White Album and beyond,
because we never would have gotten it together to go
in the studio and make all that stuff like that
was all Paul who made the call. So you know,
if anything else, we thank him for that. I respect
the fact that you waited this long to mention that
you interviewed Ringo star several times, you know, I I
admire your restraint for that because I have not interviewed

(01:00:55):
Ringo at all. Um. Yeah, I mean I agree with
everything you said. I think people especially of like subsequent generations.
You know, neither one of us are baby boomers. You know,
we both were born well after the Beatles breakup. Um.
But of course the Beatles have continued to find new
audiences with each new generation, and usually with you know,
the younger generations, they gravitate to the later Beatles albums,

(01:01:17):
you know, Sergeant Pepper through certainly Ebby Road and maybe
also Let It Be. And those are the Paul Beatles,
you know that those are the albums where Paul was
at the forefront. You know, the early Beatles, like the
Hard Days Night era, even after the Rubbert sol and
like in Revolver, which are all awesome, incredible records. I
feel like those were, like, you know, John was the

(01:01:39):
guy in the driver's seat, Paul becoming more so around
the time of Revolver, but certainly John felt like more
the leader of the band early on, but certainly later on.
If you love the Leader Beatles, that was Paul's band. UM.
I think also in terms of their solo careers, I
don't think there's any question that Paul McCartney has had
the most impressive solo career, even if you just look

(01:02:01):
at his work in the seventies, which was when Lennon
was also you know, putting out records UM records like
McCartney ram Banned on the Rand Little l Around McCartney too,
which came out around the time of Double Fantasy for Lennin.
Those are great records that are really eccentric and experimental
and turn people off in many cases when they were

(01:02:25):
released and then we're rediscovered, you know, decades later and
rightful daknowledge for being great records. Uh. I think with Paul,
you know, his experimental side and his subversive side. It
gets lost when we reduced these guys down to archetypes.
But I think in his solo career it's much more evident.

(01:02:47):
Whereas I think lennon solo records are. He put out
some wonderful solo records, but they kind of stick in
the same lane for the most part. I don't think
that they go as wide. I will say, though, and
switching over to the pro John Lennon's side, that uh,
we're gonna talk about who matters more, who's more important

(01:03:09):
as like a figure or as a symbol. I think
John Lennon gets the edge there. I think McCartney is
a wonderful musician. He's beloved. I don't think there's a
more beloved musician on the planet except maybe Bruce Springsteen
at this point or Stevie Wonder. You know, those guys
are like among the most beloved, or Joni Mitchell. But
I mean John Lennon is like an icon of like peace,

(01:03:31):
and it kind of represents two people like the best
aspects of human nature. You know. As much as easy
as it is to roll your eyes at famous people
when they saying imagine on zoom calls, there's a reason
why people think of, imagine when times are tough, because
Lennon just has that kind of stature for people. Um,
some degree it's overblown, but at the on the other hand, UM,

(01:03:54):
it is a genuine feeling that people have toward him. Um.
And I just feel like if you're talking about people
like that, I just feel like John Lennon is like
in the company of like a Bob Marley, you know,
like Bob Marley has that same kind of status. Um,
these sort of martyr type figures that people really value
for something kind of greater than just music. You know,

(01:04:17):
McCartney can't be expected to compete with that. It's not
his fault that he doesn't have that, but I think
without question Lennon does have that kind of significance. Yeah.
And Paul later said after John's death, when he was
talking to a friend, he said, you know, John died
a legend. I'm going to die an old man, and
which is a brutal way to put it, but I

(01:04:38):
mean he kind of nailed it. I mean. And also
I don't think there would have been a Beatles without John,
no chance. I mean, it was his group, he started it.
He and but he liked to be a gang leader,
whereas Paul was kind of more out for self. I mean,
that's not slagging him off. I think it's just true.
And so I think without John, Paul would have almost
just been like a frontman of a faceless group, or
like an all around entertainer. But I don't know. I mean,

(01:04:59):
the whole heart and soul of the band thing is
so trite and overused, but I think that's what John
really is to me. I mean, even when he was
taking a backseat to Paul creatively, I think that that
that energy there, even when he's frustrating you, even when
he's willfully pissing you off or alienating you, you felt
like he was open enough to connect to him in
a way that I don't think Paul really let you

(01:05:19):
as much. Unless there's those moments like at the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame, you felt like you knew John.
I think that's what made him an icon. Yeah, I mean,
he was definitely he had his heart more on his
sleeve then McCartney did, sometimes to a fault, but I
think mostly to the benefit of his ultimate artistic legacy.
Because I know when I first got into the Beatles,

(01:05:39):
like John Lennon was my guy like he was the
one I connected with, And I feel like when you're
a kid, it's normal to gravitate to John Lennon like
that maybe should be the one that you respond to
because he is more like a messianic type figure, and
he's someone that I think appeals like new generations of teenagers. Uh,
you know, for that reason, then maybe later on you

(01:06:00):
start to see the charms of Paul or George or
or Ringo. When we talk about these guys together, you
know why they should come together. I mean, I feel
like this case is pretty self evident. I mean Lennon McCartney.
I mean, why should Lennon McCartney be together. I mean,
come on, it's the greatest partnership in rock and they're
Lennon McCartney. When people talk about other great partnerships, they say, oh,

(01:06:22):
you're the Lennon McCartney of dentists, You're the Lendon McCartney
of of card dealerships. You know, this is the idealized
partnership that we would all want to be. We all
want to find our John Lennon or or our Paul McCartney,
someone who's going to make us whole, who's going to
allow us to achieve some greater than our parts and

(01:06:43):
greater than anyone else's parts. There's still no other partnership
really that comes close to what they achieved together. As
great as they were a part of what they created.
It's going to last as long as people care about
rock music. Yeah, you know, I mean they are the
the defining example of partnership bringing out the best in
each other. Yeah. I think that to even argue beyond

(01:07:04):
that is pointless because it's just it is the gold
standard of that. It's a great parable. But friendship, you know,
like what two friends can achieve together and how they
can follow apart. And uh, I have to say Jordan
that I hope you and I never break up. Stephen,
I will, I promise you, I will never write how
do you Sleep About You? Or we'll do like one
less podcast on like the Roof of Your Road. That

(01:07:30):
our grand conclusion. But of course we can't do a
grand conclusion because we have to do the second part
of Beatle Brawls next week dark Horse, and we're gonna
see Lennon McCartney come back together and square off against
their old mate George Harrison. And I'm really excited to
get into that because it's like a little I mean,
I love talking about Lennon McCartney, but like this is
a well known story. I feel like this is like

(01:07:51):
a less heralded rivalry. Oh yeah, no, this one. There's
a lot more to this one, and I think that
most people realize too. All Right, man, well, I'm excited
to get into it. I hope you guys enjoyed the
first part of our two part arc on the Beatles.
We'll be back with more rivals next week. YEA. Rivals

(01:08:14):
is a production of I Heart Radio. The executive producers
are shaun Ty Toone and Noel Brown. The supervising producers
are Taylor chicogn and Tristan McNeil. I'm Jordan's run Talk.
I'm Stephen Hyden. If you like what you heard, please
subscribe to leave us a review. For more podcasts for
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