Paul McCartney reflects on meeting John Lennon and their songwriting partnership
The Beatle spoke to Lennon’s son Sean for ‘John Lennon At 80’
Paul McCartney has reflected on meeting John Lennon and their songwriting partnership in The Beatles.
John, who died in 1980, would turn 80 on October 9 and, ahead of the milestone birthday, his son Sean hosted a two-part programme looking back at his life.
In the second part, which aired on BBC Radio 2 earlier tonight (October 2), Sean spoke to his brother Julian and McCartney.
In McCartney’s segment, he recalled when he first realised Lennon was special. He said he had first noticed him on the bus and thought he was “an interesting looking guy”, but had no idea he played music until their friend Ivan introduced them at the village fete where The Quarrymen were playing.
“I knew nothing about him except that he looked pretty cool,” he explained. “He had long sideboards and greased back hair and everything.”
McCartney continued to talk about the band’s musicianship, saying that their attitude was more important than sophistication. “My attitude would be, ‘This is what I want to do’ and then John would bring another edge to it,” he said. “What was the great thing was the combination of those two attitudes and I look back on it now like a fan.
“I think, ‘Wow, how lucky was I to meet this strange Teddy Boy off the bus who turned out to play music like I did, and we get together and, boy, we complemented each other’. They say with marriages opposites attract and we weren’t madly opposites, but I had some stuff that he didn’t have and he had some stuff I didn’t have so when you put them together it made something extra.”
In the first part of the programme, McCartney spoke of his relief of managing to reconcile with Lennon before his death. “It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn’t have reunited,” he said. “It was so lovely too that we did, and it really gives me a sort of strength to know that.”
Paul McCartney, has opened up about how their break up was like a “divorce”. However, the crooner has now said it wasn’t all as “gloomy” as it may have appeared, after discovering a picture his late wife Linda McCartney took of himself and John, who died in 1980.
Sean brought up the “glimpses” of studio banter he has previously seen from the time The Beatles were breaking up.
He told Paul how from the footage he had seen, it looked as though they were enjoying themselves despite it nearing the end.
Paul explained that at the time, he was expecting director Peter Jackson to tell him they were looking “gloomy” in the footage, when in fact he told them they looked “jolly”.
Sean asked him about a picture of him and John writing together.
He divulged: “Yeah, that was a picture Linda had taken. And it really gave me hope, that picture.”Before the Peter Jackson thing, that was one little picture I held onto. In fact, we had an exhibition where Linda’s pictures were blown up and I bought one of them.”
Paul continued to go into detail about the memorable photograph as he said they both looked invested in something “interesting”.
“You can just see that we’re into each other and we’re smiling, and I will write down something, so we’re engaged in doing something artistic, something interesting,” he said.
“And I say that every time I felt a bit down, I look at that picture and go, ‘No, that’s the reality.’ And so I’m loving the fact that Peter Jackson discovered more of that reality.”