How John Lennon Knew That The Beatles Are Breaking Up
John Lennon and Paul McCartney - Beatle Stories / Youtube
Nothing lasts forever, even for someone as immense and as popular as The Beatles. Even though we now know that the group’s tensions were at an all-time high in the late ‘60s, reports of this kind of conflict at the time were rare and open to interpretation. The Beatles disbanded in April 1970, causing widespread grief in the music industry.
With that in mind, Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary The Beatles: Get Back has candid interviews with the band members, revealing a tense dynamic between the members of the Fab Four during the recording of Abbey Road and Let It Be.
One of the fights that occurred back then may have seemed like the last straw to an outsider, the point at which the Beatles’ downward spiral reached its highest point. Unfortunately, in an interview with Rolling Stone published in 1970, Lennon reset the date to August 27, 1967—the day their manager Brian Epstein passed away.
Epstein had been the band’s unifying force from their earliest days until they became a worldwide phenomenon. In the whirlwind of rock celebrities, he was everyone’s best friend and rock-solid anchor. Without this bond, tensions inside the band have the potential to explode out of control. And it did when Epstein left the world. The news of Epstein’s overdose reached the group while they were on a retreat with the Maharishi in Wales.
“I was stunned,” Lennon said. “I don’t know whether you’ve had it, but I’ve had a lot of people die around me, and the other feeling is, ‘What can I do?’… “I knew that we were in trouble then. I didn’t really have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music. I was scared. I thought, ‘We’ve fu**in’ had it.’”
By the time the White album came out, everything that Lennon was worried about came true, and the band was supposedly disintegrating at that point. Paul McCartney then tried to fix things, but it only led them further apart from one another.