Paul McCartney is grateful he reconciled with John Lennon before Lennon’s death

The Beatles released their last song “Now and Then” in early November. It’s a good match tonally, as the song is very wistful and melancholic in a way that seems fitting for winter and end-of-the-year reflections. It was also a smart move for stats, giving “Now and Then” a chance to break records — which it’s still doing — before the Christmas catalogues started dominating the charts. With this new, final Beatles record, Paul McCartney is naturally thinking about his time in the band, and of course John Lennon, who wrote and recorded the first demo for “Now and Then.” On his McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast this week, Paul noted how grateful he is that he and John had come together (yes, I did that) again as friends before John’s untimely death.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s tumultuous relationship has been a sore spot since The Beatles broke up, and now, McCartney is contemplating the possibilities of what would have happened had the pair not rekindled their friendship.

McCartney, 81, opened up about the “what ifs” surrounding the situation in the Wednesday, Dec. 6, episode of iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries’ new podcast, McCartney: A Life in Lyrics.

In it, he described the pair’s reconciliation as being “super, super painful,” noting that he was “glad” he was able to mend the friendship before Lennon was murdered in 1980.

“It was super, super painful,” McCartney shared. “In the end, there was something I was very glad of when he got murdered, was that I had had some really good times with him before that happened.”

“It would have been the worst thing in the world… Had he just been killed and we still had a bad relationship. I would have just thought, ‘Oh, I should have, I should have, I should have,’” he continued. “That would have been a big guilt trip for me.”

In 1969, Lennon privately told the band we would be departing in an angry letter. It wasn’t until a year later that the rift between McCartney and Lennon — which was primarily based in a divergence of creative opinions — became public knowledge and officially led to the Beatles’ break up.

At the time, many fans blamed Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono for driving a wedge between the band members, however McCartney has previously addressed this rumor, vehemently denying that Ono was at all involved in the artists’ decision to disband.

[From Parade]

Oh man, something in the way (yes, I did it again) Paul describes “I should have, I should have, I should have,” gives me chills. That fear is so relatable. And yeah, that would have been so brutal on Paul if things had been left heated and unresolved when John was murdered. They weren’t romantic partners, but they were involved in a deeply dynamic, creative, world-changing relationship. If they hadn’t begun even the barest of a rapprochement, Paul would’ve had to carry that weight (last one, I swear) for the rest of his life. I guess Paul’s holiday gift to us is the reminder to make peace with those we love, cause we don’t know the time any of us have. (Ugh, I hate it when cheeseball sentiments are proven true! Can’t the world leave me to my sass and sarcasm?!)

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