McCartney: Yoko Ono not responsible for Beatles break-up

Paul McCartney has insisted Yoko Ono was not responsible for the end of The Beatles.

McCartney: Yoko Ono not responsible for Beatles break-up

Paul McCartney has insisted Yoko Ono was not responsible for the end of The Beatles.

The 70-year-old musician has attempted to end decades of anger directed at the Japanese artist for the band's demise in 1970 and is adamant his decision to quit the group was not motivated by a dislike of John Lennon's widow.

In an interview with David Frost for television channel Al Jazeera English, McCartney said: "She certainly didn't break the group up, the group was breaking up."

McCartney insists they were a number of different reasons why the band, which also included the late George Harrison and Ringo Starr, ended and he credits Ono with inspiring some of Lennon's best work.

The 'Hey Jude' songwriter believes the different creative influences Ono, 79, brought into Lennon's life helped him write tracks such as 'Imagine' and 'Dear Prudence'.

McCartney said: "I don't think he could have done that without Yoko, so I don't think you can blame her for anything. When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him.

"So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave [one way or another]."

However, McCartney did admit that when Ono started to sit in on The Beatles' recording sessions it had made him uncomfortable.

The bassist - who is married to Nancy Shevell - also admitted he still holds resentment against late businessman Allen Klein, and insists his attempts to take over the management of the band following the death of their manager and friend Brian Epstein in 1967 caused huge divisions between The Fab Four.

He said: "I was fighting amongst the other three guys who'd been my lifelong soul buddies. I said I wanted to fight Klein."

Although McCartney has been regularly touring for the past several years to critical acclaim and released a cover album this year, he hints he would "like to retire soon".

The interview will be broadcast Al Jazeera English on November 9.

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