Paul McCartney Says John Lennon’s Murder Turned Him into a Martyr
Paul McCartney opened up to the U.K. edition of Esquire about John Lennon’s legacy and that of the rest of the Beatles. Sir Paul seems a little frustrated over the outpouring of love and admiration directed at Lennon since being murdered.
A thorn in McCartney’s side was the songwriting credits. He claims the original plan was to alternate between Lennon and McCartney and McCartney and Lennon, but that didn’t happen. When Anthology was released he hoped for credit at least for Yesterday, which he says he wrote alone.
He contacted Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, about changing the credits depending on which of the two wrote the song. McCartney claims she agreed at first. Admitting it was, “a particular issue for me,” he talked about the original artwork for Yesterday having a Lennon photo over it, saying, “Argh! Come on, lads!” adding, “Anyway they wouldn’t do it.”
It was a desire that created some issues with the prolific singer saying, “there was a backlash from people who didn’t see where I was coming from,” with some saying he was, “Dancing on a dead man’s grave.”
Citing an interview John Lennon did for Playboy in which Lennon said, “This is mine, this is Paul’s,” he thought, “Just use that! John said it!” While he thinks it was a good explanation he acknowledges it is most likely never going to happen.
He talked about Lennon being murdered in front of his home in New York City saying his death made him into a “martyr.” Calling the four Beatles mostly “equal” Lennon’s death created a figure that McCartney seems to believe transcended into something more than he was.
John did a lot of great work, yeah. And post-Beatles he did more great work, but he also did a lot of not-great work. Now the fact that he’s martyred has elevated him to a James Dean, and beyond.
McCartney says he understood but called it “revisionism,” adding, “It was going to be: John was the one,” despite the fact that he believes that all four, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, he, and Lennon were equally responsible for the music that made them a worldwide sensation.
Despite being knighted and continuing to be lauded whenever he walks on stage the man known as the cute Beatle, still seems to struggle with the legacy he shares with Lennon though when asked if he thinks his name and Lennon’s would forever be connected he responded, “Hopefully.”
What do you think about Paul McCartney saying John Lennon’s murder made him a martyr? Is he right or is it sour grapes? Let us know what you think here at Haveuheard.