The breakup of The Beatles was characterized by intense animosity and bitter disputes. Amidst the legal battles and fractured relationships, John Lennon penned a scathing open letter to his former bandmate, Paul McCartney, in 1971. The letter, which recently went up for auction, contained four biting remarks aimed at McCartney.
John Lennon’s scathing letter to Paul McCartney exposed the deep-seated resentment and bitterness between the two former Beatles. Through these four biting remarks, Lennon called into question McCartney’s authenticity, self-awareness, cultural awareness, and relevance. The letter serves as a testament to the acrimonious nature of The Beatles’ breakup and the strained relationship between Lennon and McCartney in the aftermath.
“It’s all very well playing ‘simple, honest ole human Paul’ in the Melody Maker”
Lennon’s words exposed his belief that McCartney’s public persona was a facade. As long-time collaborators and friends, Lennon saw through McCartney’s carefully crafted image and accused him of being disingenuous.
“Have you ever thought that you might possibly be wrong about something?”
In this rhetorical question, Lennon questioned McCartney’s unwavering self-assuredness. Lennon implied that McCartney’s arrogance and lack of self-reflection hindered their creative process, suggesting that he rarely considered the possibility of being mistaken.
“Two years is the usual time it takes you — right?”
Lennon’s remark about the time it took McCartney to catch up with cultural trends was a direct jab at his ex-bandmate’s perceived musical obliviousness. By referencing McCartney’s delay in embracing LSD and dismissing some of his music as “granny s***,” Lennon highlighted McCartney’s alleged detachment from the evolving artistic landscape.
“If we’re uncool, WHAT DOES THAT MAKE YOU?”
Lennon’s pointed comment challenged McCartney’s perceived lack of relevance. By referring to record covers featuring photographs, which Lennon embraced earlier in his solo career, he insinuated that McCartney was out of touch and playing catch-up.