Paul McCartney: Yoko Ono didn't break up the Beatles
Sir Paul McCartney wants to debunk one of the biggest conspiracy theories in pop culture - no, he says, Yoko Ono did not break up the Beatles.
The iconic British rock n' roll band called it quits in 1970, a year after Ono, a Japanese artist, producer and filmmaker, wed singer John Lennon during what is considered the most turbulent time for the group. She has often been cited as the cause for the Beatles' split and has long denied blame.
"She certainly didn't break the group up," McCartney, 70, told UK presenter Sir David Frost in an interview to be broadcast in November on the English version of Al Jazeera, according to the UK newspaper The Guardian. "The group was breaking up."
Hunter Davies, author of the Beatles' official biography, told the Associated Press in 1970: "If there was one single element in the split, I'd say it was the arrival of Yoko," adding that after she and Lennon began dating, "the rest of the Beatles didn't matter any more."
Ono, who is also a singer and the mother of Lennon's son Sean, has over the years appeared at Beatles publicity events, including several with McCartney. He and Lennon co-wrote several of the Beatles' biggest hits, such as "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "A Hard Day's Night."
After the Beatles broke up, the two and the other band mates, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, continued to record music as solo artists. Harrison died at age 58 in 2001.
Before Lennon was shot dead at age 40 in 1980, he and Ono collaborated on several of his albums as well as his famous song "Imagine," which she and Phil Spector co-produced with him.
"I don't think he would have done that without Yoko, so I don't think you can blame her for anything," McCartney told Frost in the new interview. "When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave [anyway]."
Ono, 79, has long denied causing the Beatles to break up and talked about the issue in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN interview in 2010. She said she felt she was used as a "scapegoat."</p
"It's a very easy scapegoat - a Japanese woman, you know, whatever," she said. "Sexism, racism but also just remember that the United States and Britain were fighting with Japan in World War II. It was just after that ... so I can understand."
She said being blamed for the split hurt "in a way" adding: "It was sort of like a distant thing in a way because John and I were so close and we were just totally involved in each other and in our work. I just kept on ... getting ideas and he was too, so that was much more exciting."