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Paul McCartney’s announcement came via a press release distributed to select UK journalists on 9 April, with advance copies of McCartney.

The press release took the form of a Q&A in which McCartney discussed his album and, with Lennon’s exit still being withheld from the public (for business reasons), matters pertaining to the Beatles’ immediate future. McCartney did not state that the group had broken up, but he talked of his “break with the Beatles” and having no plans to work with the band in the future; he also emphasised his distance from Klein’s management and ruled out the likelihood of ever writing songs with Lennon again. Although McCartney said that Apple’s press officer, Derek Taylor, submitted the questions, Taylor said that those concerning the Beatles were added by McCartney.

Newspapers around the world interpreted McCartney’s remarks as an announcement that the band had broken up. On 10 April, having been among the recipients of the Q&A, Don Short of The Daily Mirror reported on McCartney’s departure from the Beatles under the front-page headline “Paul Quits The Beatles”. McCartney later said that he did not view his comments in the self-interview as an official announcement. According to Beatles confidant Ray Connolly, Paul was “devastated” at the reaction his words had caused.

From 10 April, reporters and some of the band’s fans began gathering outside the Apple Corps offices at 3 Saville Row. A CBS News team reported that “The event is so momentous that historians may, one day, view it as a landmark in the decline of the British Empire … The Beatles are breaking up.”

Inside Apple, where he was being filmed for an episode of the BBC1 program Fact or Fantasy?, George refused to speak to the media; after completing the filming, he watched an early edit of the documentary film The Long and Winding Road (later expanded into the 1995 series The Beatles Anthology).

Asked for their response to Paul’s comments, Ringo said, “This is all news to me”, and Lennon said: “It was nice to find that he was still alive. Anyway, you can say I said jokingly, ‘He didn’t quit, I sacked him!'” Taylor issued a press release, which stated in part:

[The Beatles] do not want to split up, but the present rift seems to be part of their growing up … at the moment they seem to cramp each other’s styles. Paul has called a halt to the Beatles’ activities. They could be dormant for years … It is no secret that Klein and Paul have never hit it off … He opposed the appointment of Klein and wanted to make his father-in-law [Lee] Eastman, a New York lawyer, manager.






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