Fly away, Paul: The day the Beatles broke up – archive, April 1970

Paul McCartney declared fifty years ago that he was leaving the Beatles. Check out how the Guardian covered the breakup.

Paul is held in a Beatles grip by Jackie Leishman 11 April 1970 Yesterday, Paul McCartney formally announced his split from the Beatles. But it appears certain that circumstances will keep him from straying too far, even if he wants to.

The matter is further compounded by McCartney’s reluctance to address the public other than by responding to a survey created by Apple, the band of the Beatles. At the time, he did admit that he had no idea how long his break from the Beatles would last, that he had no relationship with Mr. Alan Klein, the band’s business manager (a figure of some significance in this case), that Mr. Klein did not speak for him in any capacity, that he had no intention of recording another album with the band in the future, that he could not fathom working with John Lennon again, and that he had not missed the other Beatles’ skill in songwriting.

According to Mr. Klein, nothing has changed since McCartney’s statement six or twelve months ago. But he acknowledged that “it’s never pleasant when someone appears not to like you” and “that Paul is antipathetic towards me.” Individual issues “Paul has his own personal issues, but he is also bound by contract to Apple for a number of years, and he knows as well as anyone else in the company that if he broke his contract—which he couldn’t do—it would be disastrous for John, George, Ringo, and himself in terms of taxes,” Mr. Klein continued.

Speaking at the Apple offices, Mr. Klein stated that it was no secret that Paul had long desired for his father-in-law, Mr. Lee Eastman, to hold the position that Klein was elected to by the other three Beatles in May of last year.

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