Beatles at war: The truth of the explosive rivalries that tore the band apart

  • Lord Of The Rings director Sir Peter Jackson is re-editing old footage for new film
  • Let It Be was supposed to show the geniuses at work but laid bare their rivalries 
  • Ray Connolly, the journalist by The Beatles’ side at the time, tells the real story 

When Paul McCartney announced in April 1970 that he had no plans for working with The Beatles, the world fell in on him. ‘PAUL QUITS BEATLES,’ ran newspaper headlines around the world.

And, overnight, the most popular of the four was demonised as the killer of the most-loved entertainment attraction ever.

Although within a few days he would be maintaining to me that he had been misinterpreted, it was too late. The secret of The Beatles’ rows and in-fighting was out. There would be no going back.

Paul’s mistake had been to let the cat out of the bag about the rancorous atmosphere that, by 1970, was suffocating the group as they awaited the release of their movie Let It Be — dozens of hours of which are now being re-edited by Lord Of The Rings director Sir Peter Jackson for a new film of the group at work in the studio.

As Paul remembered it this week, the filming of Let It Be wasn’t as argumentative as the rumours have since told — but maybe only because a lot of tongues were being bitten when the cameras were rolling.

Because, for sure, by the time the film was scheduled for release, Lennon and McCartney, the most successful song-writing duo in history, weren’t even talking to each other — let alone writing or playing together.

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