The Paul McCartney Project

Newspapers announce that Paul McCartney has quit the Beatles

Friday, April 10, 1970 • Posted in “A day in the life

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The day before, on April 9, 1970, the UK press had received advanced copies of “McCartney“, accompanied with a Q&A, where Paul strongly suggested the Beatles’ adventure was over. The Daily Mirror, dated April 10, 1970 (but available at the end of the day of April 9, 1970) announced on its first page, “Paul is quitting The Beatles“. From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page:

[…] Though Don Short of the Mirror, tipped off by an Apple employee the night before, claimed the scoop in the UK, following a press release issued by Eastman & Eastman in the US on April 7, many news outlets across the pond called it two days earlier. […]

Here is the article published on the front page of the Daily Mirror:

Paul McCartney has quit the Beatles. The shock news must mean the end of Britain’s most famous pop group, which has been idolised by millions the world over for nearly ten years.

Today 27-year-old McCartney will announce his decision, and the reasons for it, in a no-holds-barred statement. It follows months of strife over policy in Apple, the Beatles’ controlling organisation and an ever-growing rift between McCartney and his song-writing partner, John Lennon. In his statement, which consists of a series of answers to questions, McCartney says:

I have no future plans to record or appear with the Beatles again. Or to write any more music with John.

Last night the statement was locked up in a safe at Apple headquarters in Savile Row, Mayfair – in the very rooms where the Beatles’ break-up began. The Beatles decided to appoint a “business adviser.” Eventually, they settled for American Allen Klein. His appointment was strongly resisted by Paul who sought the job for his father-in-law, American attorney Lee Eastman. After a meeting in London Paul was out-voted 3-1 by John, and the other Beatles, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Since the Klein appointment, Paul has refused to go to the Apple offices to work daily. He kept silent and stayed at his St. John’s Wood home with his photographer wife Linda, her daughter Heather and their own baby, Mary. Close friends tried to pacify John and Paul. But August last year was the last time they were to work together – when they collaborated on the “Abbey Road” album.

There were other elements that hastened Paul’s decision to quit. John Lennon, on his marriage to Yoko Ono, set out on projects of his own. Ringo went into films, and George stepped in as a record producer. Today McCartney will reveal his own plans for a solo programme.

Early today an Apple spokesman denied reports that Paul McCartney had left the Beatles. But he said that there were no plans “at the moment” for any more recordings.

Don Short

Here is how Don Short, writer of the article, remembers those days:

It was the night I was never going to forget. That momentous night April 9, 1970. My world exclusive was splashed on the Daily Mirror’s front page: Paul Quits The Beatles. Unimaginable drama was to unfold, and a world was left asking: “Where will we be without the Beatles?” At the time I was the Mirror’s ­showbusiness columnist and as evening approached, I had just put on my coat and locked down my attache case when my office phone rang. Instantly, I recognised the voice of one of my Beatles’ contacts. From the quiver in his tone, I knew he had something serious to impart. Finally he stuttered: “Paul is quitting, Don. It’s definite. It’s all over. The Beatles are breaking up”. “Can you believe that?”

I slammed down the phone and called the home of a Beatles aide who was an executive of their Apple company. There was some reluctance on his part to elaborate but, vitally, he confirmed the story.

In a bold typeface normally reserved for earthquakes, plane crashes and other disasters, the Mirror’s front page first edition broke the news.

Don Short, from “The Beatles And Beyond
From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page
From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page

At the end of the day, Apple Records issued the following press statement, written by Derek Taylor:

April 10 1970

Spring is here, and Leeds are playing Chelsea tomorrow, and Ringo and John and George and Paul are alive and well and full of hope.

The world is still spinning and so are we and so are you.

When the spinning stops – that’ll be the time to worry. Not before.

Until then, the Beatles are alive and well and the beat goes on. The beat goes on.

The world reaction was like ‘The Beatles Have Broken Up – It’s Official’ – we’d known it for months. So that was that, really. I think it was the press who misunderstood. The record had come with this weird explanation on a questionnaire of what I was doing. It was actually only for them. I think a few people thought it was some weird move of me to get publicity, but it was really to avoid having to do the press.

Paul McCartney, in the Beatles Anthology

Last updated on June 7, 2020

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