Music legend Paul McCartney opened up about his struggle with depression and heavy drinking in the aftermath of the Beatles’ disbandment in 1970. Speaking at a recording of Mastertapes for Radio 4, McCartney reflected on his career and the formation of his subsequent band, Wings. The rock icon revealed that the breakup had taken a toll on him emotionally, leading him to rely on alcohol as a coping mechanism.
During the interview, McCartney expressed his sentiments, stating, “I was depressed. You would be. You were breaking from your lifelong friends.” In an attempt to find solace, he turned to alcohol, but what initially seemed like a source of comfort soon became a hindrance to his well-being. McCartney longed to start anew and rediscover his musical path, ultimately leading to the formation of Wings, his next significant musical venture.
The Beatles’ immense success left Paul McCartney with a daunting question: How do you follow such an iconic phenomenon? When discussing this challenge with presenter John Wilson, McCartney admitted to the difficulties he faced after the Beatles disbanded. Such a monumental breakup can be overwhelming for any artist, and Paul McCartney’s struggle was no exception.
The interview also delved into the criticism directed at Wings, McCartney’s band with his late wife, Linda McCartney, who passed away in 1998. McCartney openly acknowledged their shortcomings, saying, “We were terrible. We knew Linda couldn’t play, but she learned, and looking back on it, I’m really glad we did it.” He further reminisced about the experience, acknowledging that he could have easily formed a supergroup by collaborating with renowned musicians like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham. However, despite the negative reviews, McCartney cherishes the memories and emphasized his disdain for certain critics.
During the Mastertapes recording, which boasted an illustrious audience including Brad Pitt, James Bay, and Paul Weller, McCartney also touched on his relationship with his late Beatles bandmate, John Lennon. He expressed gratitude for rekindling their friendship before Lennon’s untimely death. McCartney acknowledged the challenges they faced but revealed that the reunion was essential to him.
As the interview progressed, McCartney played a snippet of his heartfelt song, “Here Today,” written as a tribute to Lennon in 1982. The emotional track conveyed sentiments McCartney couldn’t express directly to Lennon, stating, “I’m quite private and don’t like to give too much away. Why should people know my innermost thoughts? But a song is the place to put them. In ‘Here Today,’ I say to John, ‘I love you.'” The song allowed McCartney to channel his deepest emotions and truths into music, enabling him to express what he couldn’t say otherwise.
In addition to discussing his past, McCartney shed light on his collaboration with Kanye West on Rihanna’s hit song, “FourFiveSeconds.” McCartney praised West’s creativity and described their unique songwriting process, which involved sharing personal stories. He referred to West as a “monster” and credited him for inspiring his own artistic endeavors.
The episode of Mastertapes featuring Paul McCartney will air on BBC Radio 4 at 10 a.m. on 28 May, with a filmed version available on BBC iPlayer.
In conclusion, Paul McCartney’s interview serves as a testament to the emotional turmoil he faced following the Beatles’ breakup. It sheds light on his battle with depression and heavy drinking, as well as his determination to forge a new path in the music industry. McCartney’s candidness regarding his struggles