On April 10th 1970, in an ambiguous self-interview by Paul McCartney, the international media correctly interpreted that the Beatles had broken up. During the “interview, in which McCartney was both questioner and interviewee, he asked himself the question “Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?” His response to his own question was “No.”
The statements Paul released to the press that day were about the upcoming release of his debut solo album, McCartney. In a Q&A format in which he was both the interviewer and the interviewee, Paul first asked and answered a number of straightforward questions involving the recording equipment he used on the album, which instruments he played and who designed the artwork for the cover. Then he got to the tough ones. He announced the start of a solo career, and admitted there were personal, business and musical differences. Yet he was not definitive in his answers.
The “interview” came nine days after American producer Phil Spector had ignored McCartney’s demands that alterations to “The Long and Winding Road” be reverted. Spector had added a fourteen voice choir and 36 piece instrumental ensemble, which McCartney was particularly dissatisfied with. McCartney was also unhappy about the ;producer’s treatment of other material on the album “Let It Be.” The album, the last the group recorded, was the only album that received some negative reviews.
The band had actually spent most of the previous three years breaking, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. By the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed with Paul’s self-interview.
Nothing in Paul’s answers constituted a definitive statement about the Beatles’ future, but his remarks were nevertheless reported in the press under headlines like “McCartney Breaks Off With Beatles” and “The Beatles sing their swan song.” And whatever his intent at the time, Paul’s statements drove a further wedge between himself and his bandmates. In the May 14, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone, John Lennon lashed out at Paul in a way he’d never done publicly: “He can’t have his own way, so he’s causing chaos,” John said. “I put out four albums last year, and I didn’t say a f***ing word about quitting.”
McCartney filed suit for the dissolution of the band on December 31st 1970, and the partnership legally ended on January 9th 1975.