IT was the day the music died. April 10, 1970. The news millions of fans across the world dreaded.
Ten years after four lads from Merseyside had christened themselves The Beatles, they were no more.
They had worked so hard to get where they were to eventually become bigger than Elvis.
They played every town and city imaginable from working mens’ clubs to massive stadia.
From Liverpool’s Cavern to the London Palladium.
Maghull to Marseille; Huyton to Hamburg; Southport to San Francisco, Birkenhead to Boston…
They had simply grown weary of being Beatles.
John Lennon was angry with Paul McCartney that he had stolen his thunder.
The greatest song-writing partnership, which started at a church fete in 1957, had ended in acrimony.
John had wanted to quit The Beatles first in 1969 during the Abbey Road album recording but he did not publicly announce it.
Paul, 27, had made his announcement through a questionnaire inserted in advance press copies of his own solo album simply called – McCartney.
The others were annoyed that Paul would undermine the ready-to-be released Let It Be album.
The late Derek Taylor, a Liverpool-born journalist and their loyal head of press with Apple Corps, had the thankless task of dealing with the world’s media.
The Beatles had already started fighting over their new business manager – American Alan Klein.
Paul just did not trust the tough music mogul and would not sign the contract.
Derek Taylor, usually so upbeat, said of the split: “It is probably something to do with growing up. Once they were four boys. Now they’re four men with wives and children.
“One of the reasons for the split is that John has been going it alone for a long time and that has left Paul out on a limb. They have to work out a way of going solo after being collective.
“There is no jealousy between them – but there may be a fear of going it alone.”
He stressed it was nothing to do with money.
Ringo Starr, who had actually been the first member to walk out of The Beatles because he felt ‘unloved’ during the White Album sessions but was welcomed back, looked stunned when the world’s press gathered around his house.
“This is all news to me, ‘’ the oldest Beatle told the waiting reporters.
George Harrison, the ‘quiet Beatle' was secretly relishing going it alone to show what he could do after years of being overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney. He remained silent . . . for now. “He wants to be left alone,” said Derek Taylor.
John, with Yoko by his side, told the media: “You can say that I said jokingly that he (Paul) didn’t quit – he was fired.”
The Beatles did not publicly confirm the break up until December 31, 1970. Paul filed a lawsuit against John, George and Ringo in order to ‘dissolve The Beatles’ The Let it Be film release within a month painfully showed the tension and final cracks in their frail friendships.
At Abbey Road a wreath was left unsigned by the gate it said “To Beatles – with Love … the dream is over.”
The most successful band in music history were no more.
Now it was time to see what they could do alone as they walked separately down the long and winding road ahead.
Source: The Formby Times