Sir Paul McCartney chokes up listening to the song he penned about his and John Lennon’s “disputes about The Beatles break up”.
The 79-year-old music legend has revealed he struggles to listen to ‘Dear Friend’, which was released on the debut album by his band Wings, ‘Wild Life’, which he formed with his then-wife Linda following the demise of the ‘Let it Be’ group in 1971.
In a new Q&A on PaulMcCartney.com, he said: “And then with ‘Dear Friend’, that’s sort of me talking to John after we’d had all the sort of disputes about The Beatles break up. I find it very emotional when I listen to it now. I have to sort of choke it back.
“I remember when I heard the song recently, listening to the roughs (remastering works-in-progress) in the car. And I thought, ‘Oh God’. That lyric: ‘Really truly, young and newly wed’.”
Lennon was fatally shot, aged 40, outside his New York City apartment in the famous Dakota building by Mark David Chapman in December 1980.
And McCartney, who had to listen back to ‘Wild Life’ for the remastered 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Vinyl version of the LP, which is available from February 4, is grateful that he was able to reconcile with Lennon before his death.
He continued: “Listening to that was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s true!’ I’m trying to say to John, ‘Look, you know, it’s all cool. Have a glass of wine. Let’s be cool.’
“And luckily we did get it back together, which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he’d been killed as things were at that point and I’d never got to straighten it out with him.
“This was me reaching out. So, I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt.”
The Beatles were recently the subject of Peter Jackson’s Disney+ docu-series, ‘The Beatles: Get Back’, which shows the Fab Four – which also included Sir Ringo Starr, 81, and the late George Harrison – working on, rehearsing, and performing the album that would become their last, 1970’s ‘Let it Be’.
McCartney has maintained that he was not the reason behind the legendary Liverpool group’s split and that it was actually initiated by Lennon.
The hitmaker suggested the other members had all reached the same point in their lives when it was time to move on, even if they didn’t realize it at the time.
He said: “There was a meeting where John came in and said, ‘I’m leaving the group.’ And looking back on it, he’d reached that stage in his life. We all had.”