Newspapers announce that Paul McCartney has quit the Beatles

Friday, April 10, 1970

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On April 8, 1970, some US newspapers, like the Washington Post, announced that McCartney Productions Ltd. (the company representing the business interests of Paul McCartney) had acquired the film rights for the cartoon character Rupert The Bear. The same articles speculated that this news, as well as the upcoming release of Paul’s debut solo album, “McCartney“, could mean the end of The Beatles.

On April 9, 1970, the UK press had received advanced copies of the “McCartney“ album, accompanied by 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 on Facebook:

[…] 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

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 – From the Beatles Anthology book, 2000

I never intended it to mean I’d quit. It was a misunderstanding … We got some people at the office to ask some questions just on paper, you know, and they sent them over to our house and I just filled them out like an essay, like a school thing. When I saw the headlines, I thought, ‘Christ, what have I done? Now we’re in for it.’ I didn’t leave The Beatles – The Beatles have left The Beatles, but no one wants to be the one to say the party’s over.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

The press got it and it looked like I was doing a real number. John then thought, ‘Aha, he’s done the announcement of The Beatles’ split.’ But it was months after. Someone’s got to do it. In actual fact, we signed contracts that were saying that The Beatles were still going and that was one of the terrible things when The Beatles broke up. But I became known as the one who broke The Beatles up.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Klein was not the exclusive reason why The Beatles broke up. We were starting to do our own things before he arrived, but it certainly helped. There were various reasons why we split. I don’t think even the four of us know all the reasons, but Klein was one of the major ones…

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

The inevitable thing after The Beatles, really, was that you were actually facing up to growing up. The thing of finally being on your own. The biggest trouble for me was the break-up of The Beatles. The Beatles’ break-up was shocking. It totally screwed my head. It was not easy being in a top job one day and the next day you haven’t got a job. I asked myself, ‘Am I any use to anyone? I was very useful yesterday playing bass and singing, but now we’ve broken up.’ That was very hard.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

After all we’d been through, I thought that they knew me. I think we were all pretty weird at the time. I’d ring John and he’d say, ‘Don’t bother me.’ I rang George and he came out with some effing and blinding, not at all Hare Krishna. We weren’t normal to each other at the time.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

I knew I hadn’t broken up The Beatles. I’d pleaded with them to stay together. It really broke my heart to see Paul so upset that he didn’t have a band anymore, that he felt completely washed up and redundant.

Linda McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

I was cursing because I hadn’t done it. I wanted to do it; I should have done it … ‘Ah, damn, shit! What a fool I was’ … We were all hurt that he didn’t tell us what he was going to do. I think he claims that he didn’t mean that to happen, but that’s bullshit!

John Lennon – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Well, it’s never pleasant when someone appears not to like you. I think his reasons are sad. They are his own personal problems, but unfortunately, he is obligated into Apple for a considerable number of years, so his disassociation with me has really no effect.

Allen Klein – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

This is the truth about Paul McCartney. He cannot make that Beatle scene anymore because what we know as The Beatles and love as The Beatles and prized and valued and changed our lives by, is not what it was. It is a hang-up, it’s a drag and it is a prison for four souls screaming for freedom. It was once a garden with tangerine trees and marmalade skies and girls with kaleidoscope eyes and cellophane flowers of yellow and green. Nothing can take that away. As long as all of us are alive we should all be on our knees with our stereo phones on our ears thanking God it happened… It was the only dream I ever had that came true. I love them for it. The Beatles. They have done enough for you and you have done enough for them. For every dollar you spend on them, they give you a dollar’s worth of themselves. I am sick at heart, press, public, Beatles, we seek too much of each other.

Derek Taylor – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

I don’t remember acknowledging it was a break-up. I was interviewed all day, and denied it. I said, ‘It must be temporary. There can be no break-up of these people …

Derek Taylor – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Reaction to Paul’s statement was worldwide. Hot news. I’m a bit vague as to whether there was an actual announcement: ‘The Beatles have broken up’ at that time. I did put out a statement, one of those very circular statements that actually says nothing: ‘John, Paul, George and Ringo are still John, Paul, George and Ringo, the world keeps spinning and when that stops that will be the time to worry. See you again.’ Something like that. But there was worldwide reaction, and genuine dismay.

I absolutely did believe – as millions of others did – that the friendship The Beatles had for each other was a lifesaver for all of us. I believed that if these people were happy with each other and could get together and could be seen about the place, no matter what else was going on, life was worth living. But we expected too much of them.

Derek Taylor – From the Beatles Anthology book, 2000

On the same day, Paul McCartney, Linda, Heather and Mary left their home in Cavendish to go to Scotland. One of their friends told reporters:

He’s not giving ANY interviews at the moment. In fact, fans and other people have been making his life a bit of a misery lately by picketing his pad. I wish they’d leave him alone to live his life now.

From Disc and Music Echo April 18 1970 British Pop Newspaper Paul | Etsy France

McCartney split with Beatles denied

The Apple organization this morning denied reports that Paul McCartney had left The Beatles. Mrs. Mavis Smith, of the company’s public relations department, said: “This is just not true.

But she agreed that there were no plans at the moment for more recordings: “This is quite normal. Next month their new LP will be issued. It has already been recorded, so consequently as there is already material about, there are no plans.

She knew that Mr. McCartney intended issuing a statement today on the release of a new recording, but denied that any critical statements meant a red break up of the group. She said she hoped that the group would get together for another recording after the summer.

Although Mr, McCartney had not been to the Apple headquarters since before Christmas, “he communicates by telephone and, as he has got recording studios at his own home and all facilities, it is not necessary for him to come in“.

From The Times, April 10, 1970
From The Times, April 10, 1970 – From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page

Mystery of Paul’s ‘split’ with the Beatles

There was confusion last night over Paul McCartney’s future with the Beatles. Today Paul is due to issue a statement coinciding with the release ot his first solo record album, called “McCartney.” The statement says Paul has no immediate plans to record with the group. And it also hints at disapproval of John Lennon’s current interests – while affirming a personal liking for Lennon. But last night a spokesman for Apple, the Beatles company, said Paul was not planning to quit the group.

“All that Paul has said is that he has got no plans to record with the Beatles until summer,” said the spokesman.


Another Beatles spokesman was vaguer: “Paul and the Beatles could work together soon -or they won’t.”

Ringo Starr, who has also just released a solo album of old standards, expressed surprise at the report that Paul was supposed to be drifting away from the Beatles. “It’s news to me,” he said last night.

Lennon and McCartney usually compose separately now, though their names appear on record labels as joint composers. They have seen little of each other this year.

And McCartney, once the Beatles most fervently interested in Apple has not visited the company’s headquarters in London’s Savile Row since the appointment of Allen Klein as business manager.

From Daily Express, April 10, 1970
From Daily Express, April 10, 1970 – From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page

Let Him Be!

Paul McCartney, who fled London last Friday, leaving behind him furors of doubt and rumour about his future following his “Quit The Beatles” bombshell, was back from a secret hideaway in the country on Sunday – ready to work the first project for his new company.

Paul, wife Linda, and children Heather and Mary, left their Cavendish Avenue, St. John’s Wood, house in the early hours of Friday – the day the world learned, via Paul’s specially – prepared handout, of the Beatle’s decision to split from John, George and Ringo.

A close friend of Paul’s told Disc: “He’s not giving ANY interviews at the moment. In fact, fans and other people have been making his life a bit of a misery lately by ‘picketing’ his pad. I wish they’d let him alone to live his own life now.”

Paul has – through his American lawyers, led by father-in-law Lee Eastman – bought exclusive rights to “Rupert Bear”, the traditional children’s story, for his newly-formed McCartney Productions. Paul plans to produce and write the music for a full-length animated cartoon film titled “Rupert”.

But an Apple office spokesman told Disc: “At the moment Paul and ‘Rupert’ are still only in the planning stages. We have no further details.”

“McCartney”, Paul’s first solo LP, is officially released tomorrow (Friday) and has a 19,000 advance order.

From Disc and Music Echo April 18 1970 British Pop Newspaper Paul | Etsy France
From Disc and Music Echo April 18 1970 British Pop Newspaper Paul | Etsy France

Stocks React To McCartney Split

NEW YORK – The world or the Beatles themselves are unsure whether the Beatles will again perform as a team, but Paul McCartney’s stated departure from the group was taking its toll in the stock market last week.

Capitol Industries whose Capitol label distributes Beatles product through Apple Records in the U.S., was losing ground as a result of the McCartney press-conference announcement in London. By week’s end, the firm’s common stock, traded on the American Exchange, had dropped more than 4 points. Shares of ABKCO Industries, representing three of the Beatles and their Apple Records (Paul McCartney is represented by Eastman & Eastman) was being quoted at lower prices on the Over-the-Counter market.

To clear the air over its stake in Beatles works as a group and on an individual basis — Sal Iannucci, president of the label, issued a statement early last week noting that Capitol’s recording contract with the Beatles, through EMI, has till years to run, and it covers all recorded performances, “not only by the group as a whole, but by any of its individual members,” Iannucci noted that the “McCartney” album had a pre-release order of over $2 million (the set was released last Fri.). He also said that Ringo Starr’s first solo LP — featuring the Beatles drummer-singer on a set of pop standards — was being rushed into release following its availability in England through EMI.

Adding to this new Beatlemania was United Artists announcement that it would release “Let It Be,” the Beatles latest (and last?) feature film on May 27. While UA will market the soundtrack LP, it will bear a Red Apple England, the news hardly surprised the music industry here, although it provided an overnight sensation for the national press and radio and TV, which put the Apple headquarters under siege for two days.

It has been common knowledge that McCartney and indeed all the individual Beatles have been drifting off to do their own personal things during the past year or more. In McCartney’s case the clinching factor was the naming of Allen Klein as the group’s business manager, a move McCartney opposed until outvoted by the other three Beatles.

McCartney’s candidate for the job was his father-in-law, American attorney Lee Eastman, and the setback caused by Klein’s appointment has rankled since with Eastman’s son-in-law. McCartney has not visited the Apple headquarters for months now.

Songwise John Lennon and McCartney have been writing separately for a considerable time, although compositions bear the Lennon-McCartney tag in line with a policy decision from the early Beatle days. Their widely divergent interests in music and life generally have been obviously apparent of late.

The Beat To Continue?

The Beatle recording agreement with EMI via Apple runs until 1974, and individually the Beatles are understood to be contracted to Apple until 1977. Although some cynics have noted that McCartney’s departure from the group coincided with the release of its first solo LP, it seems irrefutable that the Liverpool foursome is now a threesome, and the chances of future disks and appearances as a foursome are very remote.

Yet, McCartney and Starr offered some glimmer of hope of a reconciliation. In a “self-interview” released by Capitol, McCartney asks himself if the break is temporary or permanent. “I don’t know,” he replies in part. And Starr was quoted with more flair. “The world is still spinning 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.”

From Cashbox Magazine, April 25, 1970
From Cashbox Magazine, April 25, 1970

Last updated on December 23, 2023

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