Paul McCartney says he doesn’t believe a Beatles reunion would have happened, had John Lennon lived.
McCartney makes the statement in a new interview with the U.K.’s The Sunday Times, published just days before the 40th anniversary of Lennon’s death. McCartney, who reconciled his friendship with Lennon in the years prior to John’s December 8, 1980 murder, tells the newspaper, “We made a decision when the Beatles folded that we weren’t going to pick it up again. So we switched off from the Beatles. You talk about something coming full circle that is very satisfying; let’s not spoil it by doing something that might not be as good.”
“It was a conscious decision to leave well enough alone,” McCartney declares, then adds, “But who knows? We could have. We had certainly got our friendship back, which was a great blessing for me.”
McCartney also talks about the upcoming Peter Jackson-directed documentary The Beatles: Get Back, which was created using unseen footage shot during the sessions for the group’s final album, 1970’s Let It Be, and the film of the same name.
Paul says he’s thrilled at the footage he’s seen, which shows the band members laughing and having fun working on the then-new songs, in contrast to Let It Be‘s more somber tone that many consider a foreshadowing of the group’s impending breakup.
“It was so reaffirming for me,” McCartney says. “Because it proves that my main memory of the Beatles was the joy and the skill.”
Much of the interview also focuses on Sir Paul’s new solo album, McCartney III, due out December 18, which he recorded almost entirely by himself while in lockdown at his farm in Sussex, U.K. In addition, the article unveils the album’s full track list:
“Long Tailed Winter Bird”
“Find My Way”
“Women and Wives”
“Deep Deep Feeling”
“The Kiss of Venus”
“Seize the Day”
“Winter Bird — When Winter Comes”
By Matt Friedlander
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