Were John and Paul Lovers?

Lennon and McCartney Bailey 1965

Two heads are better than one, 1965.

There’s a topic simmering in a few comment threads at once, and so I thought I’d surface the topic as a post. Basically, it’s the old question of John’s attraction to Paul, and whether it was sexual in nature; and furthermore, whether the friendship of these two men — undeniably close in every other way between 1957-68 — ever became sexual in nature as well.

(This just in, courtesy of commenter @Karen: according to a new interview with Yoko Ono, John “had a desire to have sex with men.” If this is true, and why not, and John loved Paul, and why not… why not?)

This may strike some of our readers as giving a outrageous topic more serious attention than it deserves, and to some degree I agree with them. Male gender roles are pathetically restrictive; any close friendship between men is plagued with rumors of sex. That’s bullshit, and we shouldn’t make those restrictions stronger. Certainly John and Paul were the victim of such talk — Lennon himself mentioned it in the Interview self-interview.

Except: there is a moment in the history of the Beatles where John and Paul’s friendship shatters, more or less irrevocably, and any thoughtful fan has to ask “why?” Before June 1968, John loved Paul; after, he seems to have straight up hated him. Why?

In late 1967, there is no external evidence that the group dynamic is any different than it had been in, say, 1965. But by June 1968, not only is John very with Yoko, he’s apparently very angry with Paul, and so alienated that he’s allowing Yoko to speak for him in meetings. This is simply unimaginable behavior for the Lennon we know prior to June 1968.

So what happened? Did Lennon suffer a meditation-induced break of some sort? It’s possible. Or, as some have suggested, did something happen or stop happening, between him and Paul?

Lennon Spins a Tale

Lennon Remembers

Who’s the world’s greatest PR man?

One thing we know for sure: the conventional narrative seems to tiptoe around this issue. “Oh, nothing happened, we just grew apart.” Or “John just got bored with us and threw himself into his new life. He did that.” “We were like old Army buddies.” Possible? Sure. Likely? Doesn’t seem that way to me.

The ever-astute Lennon himself knew it was a question that had to be answered. The narrative John spins in “Lennon Remembers” wasn’t present before 1971, and wasn’t confirmed by any of the others until long after. John may have thought “we’ve fucking had it,” or he might have been hanging a tale on a dead man. In late ’67, John and the others weren’t visibly chafing under Paul’s iron will; that dynamic only seems to surface after India.

The Beatles were uncommonly tight, even in the world of all-male rock bands — “the four-headed monster,” in Mick’s famous phrase. And John and Paul were clearly the closest of all. Everybody may have liked to hang out with Ringo, but John and Paul were the lion’s share of the Beatles; they wrote most of the songs, and made most of the music. Back in those days, a man was what he did, and John and Paul were songwriters, often nose-to-nose and eyeball-to-eyeball. Even without any sexual attraction, the Beatles experience likely broke down any boundaries between the four men, and especially John and Paul. In March ’67, they were still very, very close. Paul’s description of his first acid trip speaks volumes.

For that to shatter abruptly, something significant likely happened. The “drifting apart” scenario simply doesn’t seem to be backed up by what we know — as of February ’68, these guys were still so bonded that all four of them stopped their lives completely and went to Rishikesh, India for a couple months. By June ’68, the open disdain that we see so clearly in “Let It Be” had begun. I don’t think it’s irresponsible to suggest that something specific precipitated this; I in fact think it’s irresponsible to avoid examining it, simply for where it might lead us.

A Generational Shift

There’s another thing I perceive in this, and it’s worth bringing up — and keeping in mind as we discuss. We are in the midst of a cultural sea-change as regards homosexuality. To people of my generation (b. 1969) and older, who someone sleeps with is very much part of how they are viewed. To younger generations, sexual preference simply seems to be less of a thing. So to me, or even more to someone of the Baby Boom generation, the idea that John and Paul slept together — regularly or even once — is likely to color our perception a lot. And it’s liberating to think that two men could be close male friends, and stay platonic.

But to someone younger, homosexuality seems to be a great deal less threatening. If it really has become the difference between “liking oysters and liking snails,” then things shift. Suddenly John and Paul being lovers is the liberating, exciting idea. The Beatles are about nothing if not liberation!

When addressing the question were John and Paul lovers, it’s key to remember this point: Homosexuality was absolutely verboten in the time and place of the Beatles. In the 70s, it became OK for (male) rock stars to be bisexual, and John was connected to the very people who pushed that change — Elton John and David Bowie — but during the Beatle years, any male-to-male relationship or even tenderness would’ve had to be kept safely under wraps. From the world, and from themselves, too.

John and Paul in India, 1968

John and Paul in India, 1968

A scenario

I can envision a scenario where John and Brian Epstein had a physical relationship; nothing too outrageous here, it’s been discussed for years. Then, with Brian’s death, John was suddenly without an outlet for that desire. He could not go outside the Beatles — short of seducing the Queen, that was the only kind of scandal that could’ve destroyed the group — so he naturally looked inside, and found Paul.

These guys, we have to realize, had likely indulged in every sexual practice known to homo sapiens, and probably invented a few new ones along the way. The sex life of a Beatle bears no resemblance to that of an average man or woman. It’s probably likely that they’d had some form of male-on-male sex even before leaving Hamburg. (You mean to tell me there were no beautiful female impersonators on the Reeperbahn?) By 1967, sex with a fellow Beatle was the only taboo left. And we all know what John Lennon did when he saw a taboo.

In Rishikesh, the Beatles were generally on their own, and out of the public eye for the first time since 1964. John and Paul were together in an isolated rural environment free of Western media, for months. They were engaging in meditation, which puts you through all sorts of changes. And they were sneaking away each afternoon to work on each other’s songs. All this we know for sure. Is it so unlikely that something happened? Not in my world. In my world, it’s more unlikely if something didn’t.

If John and Paul did cross that line in India, who among us can disagree with the suggestion that Paul was more cautious than John; while John probably quite liked the idea of setting the world on its ear by way of an open secret, Paul seems to be the type of person who would not be interested in that. And how would he say it? Not “I don’t love you, John”, because that was a lie and both men knew it. It would’ve been: “We can’t, John, for the sake of the group.”

John and Paul and John and Yoko

John and Paul and John and Yoko

I don’t believe in Beatles/
I just believe in me… Yoko and me

Suddenly, the rest of the Beatles’ story becomes clear. John’s rage and withdrawal; his using Yoko as a weapon against Paul; his hatred, not of the four men, but of the group and the idea of the group, and its false relationship with the press; his retreat into hard drugs; his disappearance into Yoko (to the point of them using the bathroom together); and so forth, right up to the current day, and Yoko’s persistent sense of “I’ve got a secret.”

It’s pure conjecture, of course. But I think we can do it respectfully, as I’ve tried. A love affair between John and Paul, ended abruptly in March 1968 and followed by Paul’s departure from Rishikesh, explains a lot that the conventional narrative doesn’t. Anyway, have at it in the comments.



388 Comments

  1. Devin McKinney wrote:

    Mike, this is a marvelous piece of writing, thinking, wondering, meditating, contemplating. Marvelous for me partly because I don’t believe they ever had sex, and think it’s the wish-fulfillment of a handful of fans. But hey, that describes my kind of fandom, even if this isn’t my fantasy. It’s not because I don’t WANT them to have slept together, or feel any stake in protecting their hetero status (read Ray Coleman’s Lennon biography for the extreme of that reaction). It’s because it just never rang right to me. I don’t see it. I see every other kind of affection shading into absolute love. But I don’t get a whiff of sex.

    But thank you for taking me through your “respectful” treatment of a question that isn’t going away, and I guess shouldn’t. You made me care about someone else’s fantasy, and good on you for that.

    As for “beautiful female impersonators,” the story of John getting caught by the others while receiving head from a she-male in a Hamburg toilet was first told in Star-Clubber Horst Fascher’s autobiography, Let the good times roll! Der Star-Club-Gründer erzählt. It’s also there in Mark Lewisohn’s biography. Good enough for me.

    • Devin, I KNEW I was dredging something up from the depths of my Beatle-brain re: Hamburg. Thank you for confirming that I haven’t gone totally into flights of fantasy.

      I am glad this is how the post struck you; to be salacious or sensationalistic is not what we do here. But this is an obsession for a significant subgroup of Beatle fandom, and a significantly thoughtful, well-read and (strange as it may seem given the conjectural nature of the topic) evidence-based subgroup at that. And I’m as interested in that subgroup as I am in the unanswerable question itself. I perceive that this conjecture is empowering for the people who pursue it — mostly female, in my experience, but not necessarily so. It seems to be part of the same cultural forces that have spawned “heteroflexibility” and are, it seems (one hopes), loosening the restrictions of gender and sexuality.

      Making John and Paul lovers is a powerful kind of subversion. For one thing, it reverses the power dynamic; John is no longer the all-powerful Chief Beatle but someone laid low, in pain under the spell of his beloved, willing to sacrifice everything for a love that cannot be (in public). Paul, softer and pretty and romantic, is now calling the shots. (Cue “Lennon Remembers” — and remind me again WHY Lennon says he allowed Paul to run everything after Brian died?) Both of these two powerful, successful uber-male males are now cast in typically female roles. John was the hard man and leader; for all his softness, it was Paul who “hunted the female hordes” — but both were playing different aspects of the hetero male role to the hilt. Having them be lovers changes everything, like how courtly love feminized medieval culture, for some of the same reasons. Just as jousting changed from men showing off for men into a prize to be laid at the feet of a woman, a John/Paul love affair changes what being a Beatle meant.

      If it makes a fan feel good to believe John and Paul were sexual, what’s the harm? If it makes The Beatles into a force for openness and self-acceptance, I think that’s where they are already. If it translates the Beatles’ — and Lennon’s — message of the primacy of love above all, into a form that current young people really relate to, how can it be bad? In their openness, and romanticism, their gender-fluidity and their determination to take a sad world and make it better, the Beatles resonate very strongly with a certain kind of person — and where we are in history seems to make that person more usually female. I think Nancy would back me up on this, but most of the under-30 Beatles fans I saw at the Fest were female. It’s not a male vibe, there; not at all like other kinds of conventions.

      I think there’s something happening here, and it feels very positive. It feels absolutely in tune with the Beatles’ message and spirit — so much, in fact, that the historical fact may be secondary. It’s like the reverse of the “Paul is Dead” stuff. If fans come to view John and Paul as a romantic couple, that is something to note — just as the emergence of Beatlefest was, or PID, or Broadway’s “Beatlemania,” or The Anthology. Viewing John and Paul as a romantic couple, even positing sex between them, it’s feeding some need. But that need seems wholesome to me, and likely to make the rest of us think a bit harder about the topics, as well.

      • Chantal wrote:

        I agree it makes the fan (or at least this fan) happy to think they may have had a sexual relationship (although I don’t think they did). At the same time, it makes me sad. It would mean they had to hide, and nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love. If they were physically intimate, they had to live a lie. If they were, it means Paul is still living a lie. And that makes me very sad.

  2. Karen Hooper wrote:

    Love this piece, Michael.

    I’m of the school that they shared a homoerotic bond throughout their lives. You just don’t get that upset with someone and stay that upset 10 years later over a friendship. It may have been of the avoidant‘we-were-so-drunk-last-night-ha-ha-ha variety, or something more. Who knows. Paul has gone on record saying that he has no secrets in his closet, so maybe whatever they shared got contextualized in Paul’s mind as something innocent.

    As an aside, I don’t believe Yoko’s statement for one minute that ‘John never found a man attractive enough. By ANYONE’S perspective, Paul would certainly be attractive enough for a bi-curious sexual encounter.

    • Thanks @Karen. I’m really trying to treat it appropriately.

      I am also of the “You just don’t get that upset with someone and stay that upset 10 years later over a friendship” school. That doesn’t mean, to me, that anything physical happened; we can’t know except what the two of them would care to share and, so far, both of them have been fairly clear! More to the point, for me, is that when trying to examine this relationship from the outside, what is commonly meant by a “romantic” relationship, is a better guide than a conventional Platonic same-sex friendship. There’s an intensity between John and Paul that, in our culture, only “romantic” relationships are allowed to generate.

      Also, I agree about the Yoko comment — very flattering to her, of course, but seems unlikely. 🙂

      I wonder if John and Paul’s relationship might’ve been quite close to the bonds forged between soldiers in World War I — sometimes Platonic, sometimes not, but as “romantic” and intense as opposite-sex attraction. (I’m thinking of the George Sherston books — autobiographies by Siegfried Sassoon. English society did certainly have room for that, and I’d guess it was a necessary thing, given the legal restrictions on actual sex.)

  3. Drew wrote:

    Karen: Actually in a recent interview, when asked about yet another bio being written about him (the P. Norman hatchet job that’s due out next year) Paul said first that he didn’t see the need for any more books about him. Then, asked if he would ever write a book, he said there WERE some secrets that people didn’t know.

    I think Yoko’s new comment about John being bisexual but never acting on it sounds a bit defensive — like she’s insisting that she’s the only one that John found both attractive and smart. She’s protecting the Lennon-Ono brand.

    As for the elephant in the room: I tend to agree with Devin that John and Paul never had a sexual relationship. But that doesn’t mean one or the other didn’t WANT a sexual relationship — maybe even at different times. I’ve always found it interesting how John repeatedly made a point of commenting on Paul’s looks (in the 60s and 70s); he clearly found Paul attractive. I’ve also found it interesting how possessive Paul was of John forming relationships with other men — jealous of Stuart and Brian Epstein and no doubt others. Then there was John’s jealousy of Paul’s close relationships with Mal and with Robert Frasier and Barry Miles. Throw in the fact that John rushed to marry Yoko shortly after Paul married Linda and all of these facts start to seem like the resentments of two unrequited “lovers than never were” (to quote a Paul song.)

    On occasion, when I have one glass of wine too many and find myself in Beatles conspiracy-theory mode, I have come up with a theory much like Micheal’s: that something DID happen between John and Paul. Sometimes I think it happened in Paris. Other times I think it happened in India. But I also have come up with other admittedly WILD theories: That John wanted to sleep with Paul; that Paul wouldn’t because he feared it would ruin their partnership. That John was, after Hamburg, a lifelong bisexual and slept with a lot of men, especially male photographers and writers (like Jann Wenner), but was kept at arms’ length by Paul. That Paul is/was himself bisexual and had affairs with men: Mal, Tara Browne, Robert Frasier, Joe Orton, and/or Brian Epstein. It was the era of free love, after all. And Paul was in many ways as experimental as John. What if — after Brian died — John found out that Paul had been having an affair with Brian? (Francie, Paul’s brief fling, did say she’d found some sort of “love” letter from Brian in Paul’s car.) Wouldn’t that be enough to spark John’s rage at Paul — i.e., that Paul would sleep with Brian but not with John? Or perhaps it would hurt John’s ego to learn that Brian had switched his affections to Paul? Maybe John found out all this in India? My point: Maybe something did happen between John and Paul in India, or maybe John found out something in India that left him feeling betrayed and angry? … On the other hand, after India, Paul and John DID go to New York together to promote Apple and they seemed to be quite close then, even staying at the same NYC apartment. So there is also a case to be made that nothing happened in India and the breach took place later. Suddenly I feel like I’m sounding like the crazy PID theorists. 🙂

    For the record: I feel stupid and disrespectful speculating about someone else’s love life. And if John and/or Paul wanted us to know who they’d slept with, they would have told us.

    But I also agree with folks here who have said the intensity of their breakup signals that the feelings between the two of them ran much deeper than any of us will ever know.

  4. Ruth wrote:

    There’s a lot to think about here, Michael. For the moment, I’d argue that the increased tolerance of the idea of some sort of homosexual aspect between John and Paul is not only demonstrative of a generational shift, but also of a narrative one. As Karen said in the post above; “You just don’t that upset with someone and stay that upset 10 years later over a friendship.” Shenk argues something similar in Powers of Two: “But the idea that John’s attention simply wandered from Paul and the band because of his other interests, that he just fell in love with Yoko in the traditional way, doesn’t ring true.” You’ve mentioned it as well: Even Philip Norman has admitted that John’s anger and the bitterness he exhibited towards Paul was disproportionate; Beatles writers, and fans, are attempting to explain that disproportion, because the standard narrative does not seem to explain it.

    During the 1970’s/1980s, this disproportionate response by John was justified by key Beatles writers such as Norman, Christagu and Coleman by painting Paul as a shallow, commercial, egotistical, manipulative hack who spewed silly love songs and refused to bow to John and Yoko’s artistic superiority. Coleman’s justification for “How Do You Sleep” in the first edition of his John bio is to blame it on Paul and argue that Paul should have known better to provoke John in the first place. Long story short, John brought a machine gun to his breakup era knife-fight with Paul because Paul deserved it. But no real Beatles authority (openly) argues that anymore, for a number of reasons, which leaves John’s disproportionate vitriol inexplicable in the eyes of many.

    I think its worth noting that both places where Norman speculates on John’s possible homosexual feelings for Paul are in parts of his work where he is attempting to explain John’s viciousness towards Paul during the breakup. In the 2002 edition of Shout!, he includes the line I quoted previously — “It almost suggests that, beneath the schoolboy friendship and mutual musical business, lay some form of homosexual adoration that John himself never fully realized.” — to attempt to understand Yoko’s quote, “John always said no one ever hurt him as much as Paul hurt him,” an assessment even Norman admits the evidence does not support. In his 2008 John bio, he includes the issue during his discussion of John’s motivations for “How Do You Sleep.” Blaming John’s excessiveness on some form of unrequited sexual interest/confusion regarding Paul helps absolve John’s frankly crummy behavior. (For the record, I’m not rejecting or agreeing with the “Lennon/McCartney lovers” premise, just mulling it over.

    And I agree with Karen: Paul was, according to numerous sources, regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful men in the 1960s. If part of John’s bi-sexual curiosity was inspired by beauty, as Yoko implied, there’s no way Paul wouldn’t have been considered beautiful enough.

    • Wonderfully perceptive as always, @Ruth. Gosh you commenters, stop being so interesting. I have a magazine to launch!

      It could be that “John brought a machine gun to his breakup era knife-fight with Paul” not because Paul deserved it — and aren’t we all glad that particular viewpoint has faded? — but because he was acting out of triggered trauma. This is where I get my theory that John unleashed some things in his psyche in India that, without the care and training provided by a full spiritual tradition, caused him to flip out basically for four years. His reaction to Paul is either proportional, in which case we have to ask, “What did Paul do?” (took over the band, was mean to Yoko, bought more shares of ATV — none of which really wash with me) Or Lennon’s reaction is disporportional, which makes us ask, “What the heck was wrong with John?” As you say, he and Paul were lovers actually paints a picture of John Lennon which is much more sane and high-functioning than the usual picture which, c’mon, makes the guy seem like an insufferable jerk and nightmare as a bandmate.

      But as ever, I’m interested in the change. The circumstances around the change — these are the clues. Maybe the circumstances were entirely internal, inside John’s mind and spirit, in which case we can’t know. But I think it’s well worth looking. Can we agree that abandonment was likely to be John’s big trigger?

      • Ruth wrote:

        “Can we agree that abandonment was likely to be John’s big trigger?”

        Abandonment and/or implicit/explicit rejection. I’m not denying the intensity of the Lennon/McCartney relationship, but while we have evidence (hearsay, but still evidence) that John was sexually interested in Paul, we have no comparable quality of evidence indicating Paul reciprocated that sexual attraction. (Or that he would have acted on it, had he felt it). Again, we have three sources who claim John told them he had a sexual encounter with Brian in Spain, and an account of John in Hamburg with the transvestite, but nothing similar with Paul being even casually sexually involved with another man. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, of course. Given what we do have, I’d speculate that, if sexual tension between John and Paul played a role in the breakup, the most likely scenario included John propositioning Paul in some form or another in India and/or New York, and Paul refusing him. Paul tells us in MYFN that the meditation and lack of LSD in India had “brought [John’s] deepest problems to the surface, but he was unable to resolve them.”

        This is somewhat of an offshoot of this topic, but there’s also how reluctant Beatles historiography has been to discuss John’s treatment of/attitude towards Linda, perhaps because that topic 1) doesn’t conform to the traditional narrative and 2) opens doors into issues such as sexual jealousy between John and Paul. The usual suspects (Coleman, Norman, Christgau) all lambast Paul for his chauvinist treatment of Yoko, but John’s treatment of Linda is just as negative. He labels the Eastmans as “fucking stupid middle class pigs” in Lennon Remembers, criticizes her “petty little perversion of a mind,” publicly announces in the interview with McCabe that he doesn’t find her attractive, and hinted that he believed Paul and Linda’s marriage would only last two years. According to Seaman and John Green, John often speculated on why Paul and Linda remained married while, at the same time, resenting their evident happiness, to the extent that he had Green do a tarot reading to ensure him that Paul and Linda were really secretly miserable and were going to divorce within a year. There’s a considerable amount of resentment and jealousy there, well after the Eastman/Klein issue has been resolved, so the question then becomes “Where did it come from?”

        • @Ruth, I think John’s treatment of Linda was actually a lot worse than Paul’s treatment of Yoko, even if Francie Schwartz’s “Jap tart” story is to be believed. Nobody but Paul was standing up for Linda, whereas Yoko had all of John’s press sycophants ready to cry “racist” or “sexist” or “square” at anybody who dare criticize. John and Yoko were really waging Total War in 1970-71, whereas I don’t think Paul and Linda were, to the same degree (they had a family, for one thing).
          Linda was just as much a victim of marrying into the whole Beatle thing as Yoko was, maybe more. She also had a career and a child from an earlier marriage. She also faced fans unwilling to see their hero get married. To have all that, plus World’s Angriest Man John Lennon heap vitriol on you? No wonder they stayed married; she had to have loved Paul a lot, just to get through that beginning.

  5. Hologram Sam wrote:

    In a late wee-hour-of-the-morning talk, he once told me, ‘I’m just like everybody else Harry, I fell for Paul’s looks.” – Harry Nilsson speaking about John Lennon
    .

  6. Saying graces.. A place where we can discuss with respect and admiration about John and Paul. I feel sorry not knowing English well to be able to write better, to expose what I feel. My native language is Portuguese. So many things comes to my mind I feel I shall answer each one clicking on replay. Later. To start with I can say it was so very well explained and so logical and possible. If it is not true is it rather beautiful. And how it explains so well why The Beatles split. I only feel what happened in India was …the beginning of the end. I feel their story started much earlier possibly in 1960, prior to the famous trip to Paris. India possibly they had a fight and made Paul leave earlier. John was already receiving letters from Yoko. The reason I feel it started earlier is due to true stories the scene of jealousy when John destroyed the dress of a woman he found with Paul. Out of friendship only? Brotherly love? Too strong for that. And the song Johnny Johnny/I don’t know they recorded in 1960 in Paul’s house in Allerton. It may mean nothing, only a joke. But what an erotic joke! Very difficult to catch all the words, mainly for me. But some people managed to understand and I found it. I know everybody has already listened to that. But I will finish my first comment on this subjet with parts of it just because I love it so much. 🙂
    Lyrics: Paul-P John-J
    P- Well oh Johnny, oh Johnny, oh god Johnny boy
    How are we gonna tell him
    Why don’t we go somewhere where he don’t own me
    Where can i go?
    Oh Johnny boy you wore me out.
    Oh Johnny, oh Johnny, oh Johnny boy
    Oh Johnny, you got me, you be my boy……..
    J- Hey little boy, I’m packing my shoes, and I’m leaving you.
    I told my Mama I’m going to see my sister

    P- A long time ago I called you Johnny boy.
    I don’t know what to tell the fellas.
    Please, oh please, Johnny.
    J- Well I’ll tell the fellas that I do love you.
    P- I don’t know what I’m gonna do.
    I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I tell my father
    You love me Johnny, I love you Johnny
    I’m not gonna let you go.
    P- I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I tell my father
    You wore me down, you wore me down.
    You’re gonna leave, you’re gonna leave me
    Please, oh, I’m not gonna let you go
    J- Take the next bus out of town
    Then you won’t let your father down.
    .

    J- Get out of town,
    I don’t know (3x)
    I want to leave right now
    To get out of town.
    P- You know I want to do it all.
    I want to go far away, far away,
    I want to go far away.
    J- No, no, no, no
    P- Yeah, I’m going far away.
    Yeah, we’re going far away.
    We’re gonna leave.
    J- We’re going away,
    Yeah, we’re going away,
    Gonna leave town right now.
    (And they really leave town. They went to Scotanl as Nerk Twins).

    • Chantal wrote:

      In all fairness, those lyrics are written down by someone who thinks they know what’s being sung, but it’s really just a guess. I’ve heard that song, and even with the lyrics, I can’t make heads or tails of it. I think those lyrics are mostly wishful thinking, with a generous helping of filling in the blanks.

      Still, even if the lyrics are correct or somewhat correct, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. The Fabs had a wicked sense of humour, and were not beyond making jokes about these things. They could have just been having a lark. I seriously doubt they’d record an actual love song during a time when homosexuality was illegal.

      • It was recorded! Not to sell, they were not famous yet, had not a manager. They were playing for themselves. So, of course they could sing about about something ilegal in peace. It was not supposed to be on you tube years later. LOL

        It speaks volumes. The most interesting is that, after recording it, they really left town. They went as Nerk Twins to Scotland.

        There is always the ‘excuse” they were joking. Perhaps they were. Perhaps they were not! This is not a proof. It is only an evidence. A strong one.

  7. Nicole wrote:

    And interestingly enough, Paul goes straight to John’s physical attractiveness when asked to describe him as well.
    .
    Parkinson: For those who didn’t know him, what was John like?
    Paul: John? He was beautiful, very beautiful.
    .
    A young boy’s bedroom is such a comfortable place, like my son’s bedroom is now; he’s got all his stuff that he needs: a candle, a guitar, a book. John’s room was very like that. James reminds me very much of John in many ways: he’s got beautiful hands. John had beautiful hands.

    • Love this. Such a great insight into the humanity of these two people. Thanks @Nicole.

    • Marcua wrote:

      It is interesting though to note that there was a rehearsal for that Parkinson show the night before that had no studio audience and which was not to be aired and was taped. In the rehearsal Paul is asked the exact same question –

      Parkinson: For those who didn’t know him, what was John like?

      Only Paul knowing it is only a rehearsal and won’t air says

      Paul: John… he was disturbed.

      • Wow, that is a great tidbit.

        I think Paul rally has held his tongue regarding John, out of love and respect. In general I’m not for that kind of decorum, but in the case of John and Paul, there’s enough material out there already. I think that, especially as Paul has aged, he has seen just how damaged his old partner was and, while that has to be saddening, it must also make John into a hero in his eyes. You know–people want to be well. John wanted to be happy just like everybody and if he wasn’t always so wise about it, well… At least we have the songs. I just get a sense of the most tremendous tenderness from Paul towards John, protectiveness almost.

    • Rose Decatur wrote:

      The problem I always saw with reading too much into the “beautiful hands” comment is that Paul was talking about his son there, and explicitly drawing a connection between how his son’s hands reminded him of John’s. Makes it hard to have an erotic interpretation when it’s so paternal.

      Howard Stern actually also assumed that gay men were always hitting on Paul and asked him about it (also specifically asking about Brian Epstein). Paul said, “No, and I wonder why,” and seemed genuinely puzzled for a moment. But Paul seems pretty oblivious in general when people, male or female, are flirting with him, probably because when everyone is overwhelmed and ecstatic to meet you for your entire adult – and everyone wants a piece of you – your ability to gauge interest gets a bit skewed. There was a recent gossip report that at Paul’s son-in-law’s fashion show, wannabe pop star Rita Ora kept trying to hit on him and embarrassed herself.

  8. Marcua wrote:

    This is a very interesting post so thank you for the time, thought and research that went into this. I think it is an interesting premise and well worth considering.

    I have two main thoughts. Firstlly, whilst it is possible as you posit that John was attracted to Paul and they either did or John sought to cross the line, as you put it, in India, would that really make the rest of the story become clear? Have you ever been attracted to someone who did not reciprocate, have you ever had a relationship you would have continued on with but whatever reason the other person ended it? Did you behave like John? Would an attraction unreturned really explain everything that happened in the following 12 years?

    I understand you are saying abandonment and/or rejection are triggers. However that seems to me the greater contributing factor if what you suggest is true, i.e. John had mental health issues that caused him to behave in a way that even this cause i.e some short-lived or unrequited romantic feelings would still on their own in most people not explain this response.

    There is a level of obssession present here that could be explained by romantic feelings but it is not the only possible explanation by any means because even romantic feelings would not clearly produce the level of anger for the length of time that John seemed to possess in relation to Paul.

    Isn’t it equally possible that we have an older boy who has two younger boys in Paul and George who were his followers. The roles and dynamic were established while they were young. He was the master and alpha and they idolised him they were the worshippers and they did whatever he said for the most part. He was the leader and he was dominant but the children didn’t stay children. McCartney grew in ability and the friendly rivalry became more intense and John became aware he was not holding his own as easily as he had done. Sgt Pepper came out and it was a triumph and John was a a mix of intensely jealous, insecure and competitively aware of how much that was Paul’s record. His role in the group was changing/changed because McCartney was reaching his creative peak and becoming increasingly confident, self-sufficient and independent of Lennon, his hero. In India it was no longer important to Paul to follow, he didn’t have to be into what John was into, he was quite happy to leave having had enough and feeling he had no further interest in John and George’s latest fascination. Here John’s fear of abandonment may play a part, as here was McCartney showing he did not need Lennon’s approval or permission, he was just doing his own thing regardless.

    I think it’s possible there may have been some romantic feelings but equally Cain and Abel weren’t having sex. Through history we see bitter and deadly rivalries and one should not underestimate the power of jealousy and competitiveness as fuel for obsession, so whilst a sexual attraction could be an explanation it is far from the only plausible one.

    I think Paul McCartney grew up and he became too great a talent for John to easily best. I think John was the greater talent in many ways but nevertheless that is not the point, the point is how John saw it. In the end I think John broke up the Beatles because the friendly rivalry turned nasty and he was too insecure. I think the diary tape from the late 1970’s where John talks about Dylan, Simon and McCartney showed very clearly John’s bitterness and envy towards those he perceived to be competition. His thoughts on that tape clearly showed his feelings towards McCartney were not romantic but purely competitive.

    So while I don’t rule out your theory as one possible explanation. I think there are other possibilities which I actually find more compelling.

    • Drew wrote:

      Marcua: Very interesting post. You make a good case.The one part I disagree with is that “John was the greater talent.” I don’t see any evidence of that. They had different strengths but I don’t see John as above Paul.

      “Sgt Pepper came out and it was a triumph and John was a a mix of intensely jealous, insecure and competitively aware of how much that was Paul’s record.” Good point. And John proceeded to badmouth the record a lot after the breakup — anything to diminish Paul’s reputation.

      “I think it’s possible there may have been some romantic feelings but equally Cain and Abel weren’t having sex.” LOL. This line made me laugh, so thanks.

      But there are some things that contradict your argument. In many Beatles books I’ve read, it’s clear that Paul ALWAYS went his own way. Paul didn’t ever do anything that Paul didn’t want to do. And in fact, Paul was more likely to be the one talking John into doing something Paul wanted to do (like record She Loves You in German). In John’s own words, he viewed Paul as an equal from the beginning of their friendship. For example, John knew from the very start of their relationship that Paul was the better musician. So that wasn’t something that just developed in the mid-60s, as Paul matured as an artist. And John was also hugely competitive with Paul from the very beginning, too. Why else did John push Brian Epstein into pressuring Paul to agree to the “Lennon-McCartney” credit? John wanted his name first. So again, it’s not like John only became competitive with Paul in 1967. They were competitive from the start. And Paul was always the band’s musical director in the studio. That didn’t just start with Sgt. Pepper. According to Norm Smith, the Beatles first engineer, Paul took the lead in the studio from the very beginning and had most of the “musical ideas,” as Smith put it. Which again makes me believe that something else happened in 67 or 68 or 69 to disrupt their friendship.

      John was a deeply insecure man — which explains his cranky comments about Dylan and Simon. But by many accounts, Lennon was obsessed with Paul throughout the 70s — not just musically but how he was faring in his marriage.There is a level of personal resentment that runs far deeper than just musical rivalry, IMO. But maybe you’re right that the whole thing had more to do with Lennon’s mental-health issues.

      • linda a. wrote:

        Drew from what I read I always thought that none of the Beatles wanted to record anything in German or any other language except their native language. There is that famous story from George Martin about them not even showing up for the recording session because they didn’t want to do it, and Martin shaming them into honoring their recording commitment. I don’t recall anything about Paul talking John into recording in German. However everything else you and Marcua are saying is right on the money. I agree completely. I also agree that there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that John had more talent. I agree they were equals, in fact although I prefer John’s Beatles music over Paul’s, I think Paul may have more I ate musical talent than John .

        • linda a. wrote:

          *sigh* In my above comment the words “I ate” we’re supposed to be “inate”. Tablets seem to take it upon themselves to “correct” the word you are trying to type with the word it thinks you were trying to type. Very annoying.

        • Drew wrote:

          Linda: I’ve read a couple of Beatles books that tell this story — how the Beatles didn’t want to record the song in German and didn’t show up for the session in Paris. How George Martin stormed into the hotel and all four of them dove behind furniture to hide (that makes me smile every time). But what happened next, and this has been attributed to Mike McCartney, is that John and the others refused to go to the session, and then — maybe an hour later — Paul started talking with John (“well maybe if we do it this way”). The way Mike McCartney tells it, this was an example of Paul’s subtle diplomacy — talking John into doing things John didn’t want to do.

          • linda a. wrote:

            Oh thanks Drew for jogging my memory on that one. Ok now I remember Mike telling this story as an example of how Paul handled John. I remember reading this in either the Sounes book or Carlin’s book. I’m not sure which one. But I had completely forgotten about that.

      • marcua wrote:

        “They had different strengths but I don’t see John as above Paul.”

        Fair enough, that was my personal opinion and entirely subjective.

        “But there are some things that contradict your argument. ..Which again makes me believe that something else happened in 67 or 68 or 69 to disrupt their friendship.”

        No offense but these things don’t contradict my argument. In my comment what I was trying to explain, but perhaps didn’t articulate very well, is that the dynamic of their relationship and the nature of the competition changed over time. They were always rivals but their came a time when that rivalry went from friendly and productive to bitter and destructive. I know they were competitive from the start. Competitive people always compete.

        However, initially when the rivalry was friendly John was not threatened, his need to constantly prove himself was not challenged to the degree that his insecurities and need to be alpha were challenged. Paul was more helper than threat. They co-wrote songs in the quest for the toppermost of the poppermost. They collaborated. Then when they wrote more separately even as Paul’s work evolved and became stronger, John could look at his own contributions and feel he was comfortably holding his own. Whilst both men felt happy with their achievements and felt it was an even contest if you will, the rivalry worked well, it spurred them on to greater heights.

        However, around the time of Sgt Pepper that changed. John did not have as much material at that time but Paul was as prolific as ever. To exacerbate matters, Pepper was received in a way and imbued immediately with a significance that no other Beatles record had been to that point. To this day I am unsure of why it was the cultural phenomenon it was, but it was. It was seen as the first time pop music could be seriously defined as art – or so I’ve read. Anyhow regardless, I think this played a part in changing the dynamics.

        The Beatles had been through the Beatle mania ‘cute boys in tight trousers beloved by teens’ phase but John saw nothing aspirational in that. With Rubber Soul and more so with Revolver, they began to be taken seriously as artists, they set the trends, they became important, people began to hang on every word, they became cultural figures of significance in the socio-political landscape but never more so than with the arrival of Sgt Pepper . It was heady stuff, people have fought to the death over the claim to be the rightful king of countries but at that time the Beatles were Princes of the world, courted by everyone and to be the leader, to see one’s own contribution as at the very least equal if not dominant in that situation, well to a competitive person that is a prize that matters. Yes they had always competed but John had never had the slightest unsettling feeling that he had lost any part of the contest until Pepper.

        I think Paul was probably blissfully unaware that the few heady months of feeling triumphant and celebrated were going to cost so much. However, after Pepper the rivalry stopped being friendly. John bought a new intensity to bear and over the following year he developed the need to beat Paul, no longer his rival but now his opponent. It became a need not only to beat him musically but to beat him on every level and to be not only triumphant but to see one’s opponent as defeated and miserable. If competitive behavior has a spectrum then friendly rivalry sits at one end and this sits at the other.

        There was a conversation between John and Paul that was recorded by John’s PA, it’s very famous so I’m sure you are familiar with it. John is leveling many accusations at Paul to the effect that Paul had too many A sides and had made it too hard for John to get material on to the albums. It was insightful in terms of how much it revealed about John’s resentment because he felt he couldn’t keep up with Paul, but it also revealed the full extent to which John was keeping score.

        I also thought Yoko’s revelation that John would lie awake in the middle of the night agonsing that People covered Paul’s songs and not his, suggests the competition had become obsessive. I don’t think this suggests a disappointed love.

        Anyway, with the scrutiny they were under and with the number of the inner circle who have happily spilled all they knew and invented a few things they didn’t, in exchange for a publishers advance. I am surprised no one has at the very least suggested something if Paul and John were lovers. I know a rivalry that turned into an obsessive need to destroy ones perceived opponent is nowhere near as sexy, titillating or fun but well it’s still what I think happened. As far fetched as it may seem. heh.

        Ok this is already tl;dr so I’ll leave it there.

        • linda a. wrote:

          . I know a rivalry that turned into an obsessive need to destroy ones perceived opponent is nowhere near as sexy, titillating or fun but well it’s still what I think happened. As far fetched as it may seem.

          Thank you marcua for your interesting, intelligent comments. I’m really enjoying them as well as everyone else’s. I just want to add that I just want the truth, so whether it’s titillating or sexy is not an issue and it shouldn’t be for anyone who is interested in the truth. What you have said is not at all farfetched. I think it’s pretty close to the truth, however elusive ‘truth’ seems to be regarding the Beatles story.

          • Linda, I happen to fall on the “not lovers” side of the equation, too, but there’s something that’s really worth keeping in mind here.

            Casting John and Paul as lovers — sexual, even just once — flies in the face of everything we’ve been told about these two guys…whom we don’t know. Whereas calling their breakup competition run amok fits with their public image to a T. That doesn’t make it wrong, but it does make the latter reading much easier to swallow, psychologically, for everybody who hasn’t been writing John/Paul slash fiction!

            The truth was what the truth was, and if we don’t know it by now, we aren’t gonna know it. When my mind hears that John and Paul were lovers and thinks, “Aw, c’mon — ” (as has been the reaction of a lot of over 40 fans I’ve told about this discussion thread), I have to remind myself that reality is a lot wilder than my mind expects. That doesn’t mean that John and Paul were lovers; but it means that my resistance to that idea would make it difficult for me to believe, and that’s just about my mind, not the truth.

          • linda a. wrote:

            Michael you and I are on the same page believe me. I will never rule out the idea that maybe, just maybe, John and Paul might have been lovers. I wasn’t suggesting that marcua’s assertions are the absolute, unequivocal truth and there is no room for discussion. I was just reassuring her that intelligent fans don’t need to believe something just because it’s more fun or titillating etc. I was simply pointing out that her suggestions seem closer to the “truth” of the matter, for whatever that is worth. But you are right in questioning, what is the truth regarding these fellows. There may be many “truths” and I think there are. They were much too psychologically complicated for there to be only one truth. When I requested to hear the truth no matter what that is, I was not suggesting that the lovers scenario is not the truth, or that it’s silly to contemplate because it’s not. There was a time when I truly believed that they were lovers, probably because I was very active in discussions on johnheartpaul. I think your mind begins to play tricks on you when you are always reading discussions of that type. Seriously some of the things they said….For instance Paul’s “in bed” comment. And his other comments to Hunter Davies that he thought were off the record. They went something like this and I para phrase, “When you are in a new relationship that is serious you tell your new lover all the dirt about your old lovers. I did that with Linda and I think John did that with Yoko in regards to us.” Huh?? Is he implying to Davies that he was John’s old lover?? And why on earth was he saying to GQ that if John came back for just one day he, Paul would want to spend the day “in bed” with him? So yes why not have this discussion? It’s perfectly valid. Is it the “truth” that they were really lovers? I agree with you that the answer would probably be no, but who knows? Certainly not us and we may never find out. Do we want to? Well it’s none of my business anyway. What I do think is what most of us are saying anyway, that they had an intense, important, creative bond with a homoerotic component. They fell in love. I think that’s another “truth”.

          • Right on, @linda. And I think this is so true: “I think your mind begins to play tricks on you when you are always reading discussions of that type.”

        • Drew wrote:

          Marcua: Well you’ve got me convinced. 🙂 I think you’re probably right that Pepper was the turning point. And maybe that album’s phenomenal success played on John’s insecurities in many ways — first, as you say, John began seeing Paul as his opponent in this game. But second, I wonder if Pepper’s success made John even more paranoid than usual. Because at the time Pepper’s success was credited to both John and Paul. The album wasn’t seen as “Paul’s baby” until well after John died. So imagine you’re John Lennon in 1967 and everyone is praising Pepper as this masterpiece and privately you know that, while you made crucial contributions, the album was really the work of McCartney-Martin. Maybe John started to get paranoid that people would “find out.” Maybe that fear of being found out helped to transform his friendly competition with Paul into deadly competition.

          “I think Paul was probably blissfully unaware that the few heady months of feeling triumphant and celebrated were going to cost so much.” This is well said. And kind of heart breaking when you think about it. The success of Pepper probably went to Paul’s head to some degree, and made him more controlling than ever in the studio and resistant to compromise. Pepper’s success made his bandmates resentful at the same time as they benefited from that success. To Paul it must have made them seem downright ungrateful, since, during the Beatles, he rarely insisted on taking credit. It was always “we.” It was only after the breakup — when Paul’s contributions were getting ridiculed and demeaned by the Philip “John was the Beatles” Norman idiots — that Paul became as defensive as he continues to be today.

          Thanks for all your thoughtful posts here.

          • @Drew, IIRC Pepper was seen as “Paul’s baby” by the time of Lennon Remembers and “How Do You Sleep?” And certainly by the time of the 1980 interviews. In the wake of John’s death, my sense was that he was given a larger chunk of acclaim for his Pepper contributions (especially “A Day in the Life”) than before because, well, obvious reasons.

            That having been said, I think you’re onto something with Pepper’s amping John’s paranoia about “being found out” — precisely because it demonstrated Paul’s strengths so amply (and, in the competitive lizard-brain, John’s weaknesses). And I think this chunk…

            The success of Pepper probably went to Paul’s head to some degree, and made him more controlling than ever in the studio and resistant to compromise. Pepper’s success made his bandmates resentful at the same time as they benefited from that success. To Paul it must have made them seem downright ungrateful, since, during the Beatles, he rarely insisted on taking credit. It was always “we.”

            …is so right-on it’s practically canonical.

          • marcus wrote:

            Good points Drew. I don’t know if John was concerned about ‘being found out’ or not. It could have been a factor but I suspect his thoughts would have centered on his own insecurities rather than anything external to the John/Paul dynamic. Your comment made me think of the Lennon Remembers interview.where Jann Wenner asks John if he is a genius and he says

            “Yes. if there is such a thing as one, I am one.”

            Wenner “When did you first realize it?”

            Lennon: “When I was about twelve. I used to think, ‘I must be a genius, but nobody’s noticed’ [laughs]. Either I’m a genius or I’m mad, which is it? ‘No,’ I said, ‘I can’t be mad, because nobody’s put me away; therefore, I’m a genius.’ Genius is a form of madness and we’re all that way. But I used to be a bit coy about it, like me guitar playing. If there’s a thing such as genius, which is just what? What the fuck is it? I am one. And if there isn’t, I don’t care. But I used to think, when I was a kid, writing me poetry and doing me paintings–I didn’t become something when the Beatles made it or you heard about me, I’ve been like this all me life. Genius is pain, too. It’s just pain…Listen, people like me are aware of their genius, so-called, at ten, eight, nine. I always thought I was–why has nobody discovered me? In school, can’t they see that I’m cleverer than anybody in this school? That the teachers are stupid, too? That all they had was information, which I didn’t need, to give to me? I didn’t become aware of it in the Beatle thing. I got fuckin’ lost in that, like being in high school or something. I used to say to my auntie, ‘You throw my fuckin’ poetry out, and you’ll regret it when I’m famous!’ And she threw the bastard stuff out. I never forgave her for not treating me like a fuckin’ genius or whatever I was when I was a child. It was obvious to me! Why didn’t they put me in art school? Why didn’t they train me? Why would they keep forcing me to be a fuckin’ cowboy like the rest of them? I was always different. Why didn’t anybody notice me? A couple of teachers would notice me, encourage me to be something or other, to draw or to paint, express meself. But most of the time they were trying to beat me into being a fuckin’ dentist or a teacher!”

            I don’t know, does that read like someone who is going to be able to deal with coming second ever? Does it read like he would have been happy for Paul to also be thought to be a genius too? How heavily invested was John in being a genius, being recognized as such and being clearly ‘cleverer’ than everyone else?

            I also wanted to say I have read some of Chris’s comments and I think he makes good points about the fact their are usual multiple factors that come together to create situations and so I do think that Yoko (the new boat) played a part, I don’t blame Yoko in any way personally, but I think it is clear listening to the audio of Lennon Remembers, and Yoko’s interjections, that she did have influence with John and she very much believed he was the genius and the real artist in the Beatles. She did think McCartney was a light weight and that John was in every way superior, so Lennon had a steady stream of commentary from Yoko in his ear and it of course influenced him. None of us live in a vacuum we are all influenced by who we are talking with, who has influence with us and what they have to say. Yoko was fiercely competitive she seemed to assess all people in terms of usefulness and potential threat, perhaps a fiercely competitive person coming into John’s life at that time was unfortunately not a great influence in terms of him keeping that aspect of his nature in balance? Just thinking out loud.

            Oh and it’s Marcus not marcua – typo there folks 🙂

        • “I am surprised no one has at the very least suggested something if Paul and John were lovers.”
          Because, @Marcua, that would bring the Mother of All Lawsuits down on you. Ask Peter Brown what it’s like to tell tales out of school.

          Dullblog readers, I say unto ye, as one who has faced the possibility of big-ass corporate media lawsuit: there is NO POINT to publishing a book if a famous person can ruin your life over it. To believe that “if it’s not published, it mustn’t have happened” or “if nobody’s gone on the record, it must be a rumor” is just not how publishing or showbiz works. My guess, having met a few of these Fabulous Monsters we call celebrities, is that most of what they do is not known, will never be known, and if it ever does come out, it’s unsubstantiated rumor. Something in a comment thread on Reddit. It is not a good idea to antagonize a Prince of the World, and the reality of publishing makes it financially ruinous to do so. Even if what you’re saying is 100% true.

          That having been said: I think the rest of @Marcua’s read here is right on. And it’s why, after Pepper was hailed as art, John set his sights on something higher. He found it in the Maharishi. After May 1968, Lennon’s objective was to become a sort of secular saint — a wiseguy guru — because he knew that Paul couldn’t, and wouldn’t, follow him there. It was checkmating Paul, post-Pepper.

          • Drew wrote:

            Peter Brown wrote a bitchy one-sided book that deserved to be scorned. Not only did he violate the privacy of clients he had promised to protect, but he wrote a fictionalized account — making up conversations he didn’t hear and recreating scenes he didn’t actually witness. Plus, he found fault with everyone but himself and he especially betrayed Brian’s trust. That book he wrote with a co-author is notoriously unreliable and just plain mean.

          • …and that is exactly what any lawyer for any celebrity would say, @Drew. It’s exactly what everybody said about Goldman’s book. It is, in fact, what Yoko said about Norman’s book, after she’d given him extensive interviews: that it was mean. And maybe they were right, but so what? None of those “mean” books has damaged my opinion of John/Paul/George/Ringo? Has it yours? I’m honestly asking.

            Do you see my larger point? I’m not holding up The Love You Make as some sort of paragon of journalistic integrity, I’m saying that the penalty for taking on a powerful person is simply not worth the reward. And so, generally speaking, what celebs don’t want to come out, doesn’t come out.

            As much as I admire and respect Brian Epstein, I’m actually quite glad we know as much about his private life as we do. Would you honestly prefer to know only the version of Brian Epstein that he would want you to know? What a loss that would be to this story! How wrong a picture that would create!

          • Drew wrote:

            Personally, I would prefer not knowing anything about Epstein than reading the half-truths in Peter Brown’s book. (It irritates me how he betrayed them and now tries to pretend he didn’t by writing up Beatles appreciation stories for magazine like Newsweek. What a hypocrite.)

            I don’t agree that we benefit by misleading, biased, fictionalized accounts. And I don’t think I really do need to know anything, at heart, about any of their sex lives in order to appreciate and value the music.

          • @Drew, I think you’re far from the only person to feel that way, and in general Beatle fandom has not rewarded muck raking. And that’s a good thing.

            But at the same time, for me, I don’t think I’m really qualified to characterize the actions of a Peter Brown. It is, to me, rather too convenient to dismiss his book as trash, knowing that whatever we outsiders are given will be a narrative helpful to some and hurtful to others.

            Look, Peter Brown is as inside as it gets (especially when it comes to Brisn Epstein). We have to judge him, just like any other source, but as we judge we have to admit that he was there. He was the guy who discovered Brian’s body, the fixer, the right-hand man. He’s at the level of Neil and Mal and Derek. That’s a person we should read, if not always believe.

            I don’t think we need to know about somebody’s sex life to enjoy their art — but to understand it? I think such stuff is hugely helpful and, if viewed sympathetically, not harmful in the least. The Beatles are Peter Brown-proof, just as John is Goldman-proof. ‘Twas ever thus, and ’twill ever be so. That’s why we can write a post about John and Paul being lovers; we all know it doesn’t change anything important. It’s just talk.

          • marcus wrote:

            I have enjoyed your post and comments and they are certainly food for thought. However, I do have to take issue with you on one point. I don’t think in respect of books on The Beatles, the absence of any comments on John and Paul being lovers or rumors to that effect, is due to a fear of being sued or consequences. There have been many Beatles books and they have contained many unverified stories that portray Paul McCartney in a bad light and there have been no suits. In truth if a primary source was to say there had been rumors and it was being discussed by those close to John and Paul and this was put forth by a member of the inner circle as their personal story and their own recollection. No defamation suit could be taken. How could Paul McCartney’s lawyers even begin to go about the process of proving that it was untrue and an intentional attempt to defame? Additionally because McCartney is a public figure and not a private citizen he must prove that there was malice. It’s very hard to establish malice legally in relation to defamation.,

            Peter Brown was really one of the first of the inner circle to tell tales out of school when he released his book in 1983. By then John had tragically died and Paul was only an important source of future work for a very small number of the inner circle, many of whom have said many negative things and told stories that Paul would have preferred stay private. They have done so freely and without fear of consequence.

            It just so happens that of the tales told and the books written no one has ever said anything about John and Paul being lovers or even suggested it was rumored .

            If we are going to consider those things that you believe support this possible scenario, I think equal weight must be given to those things that suggest otherwise and the absence of any mention in any of the books has to be taken into account.

            Francie Schwartz could include the unverified Jap tart story in her book. This carries the taint of racism something that psychologically I have far greater difficulty with, but Paul could not and did not sue and she was not prevented from publishing because of concerns about consequences and that is one of a long list of examples.

            Let’s consider everything Heather Mills has said and that was published in the papers, the judge in the divorce trial said Heather was hardly candid or credible, but all her allegations no matter how untrue could be placed out there for public consumption and McCartney could do nothing.

            An entire industry makes a profit out of the fact that celebrities have almost no control over what tabloids publish about them . You can take a defamation suit, they are very difficult to win and if you do win, you get a paragraph 3 lines long on page 17, to say that a 3 month old story that appeared on the front page had been retracted. However most newspaper and book editors know the law back to front and side ways and you can certainly phrase insinuations and mentions rumors in a way that is water tight against legal action.
            You mentioned that if anyone suggests a different explanation for what happened other than the John and Paul were lovers scenario they are doing so because it’s more psychologically comfortable but you should allow that for some of us it is just what we genuinely believe to be true. I am a gay man I have no discomfort psychologically with idea of John and Paul being lovers. I just don’t think they were. I not only read slash but I have written some in my time.

            However, there really is no evidence at all that they were. If we look at the entirety of their relationship and things they did and said, and consider the whole picture can we really say whether we think they were lovers or not? Of course we can cherry pick the odd thing and claim it’s suggestive but I don’t see selectively isolating some limited information open to interpretation as a valid method of assessment and I believe when their relationship and everything they did and said is considered there really is a lot more evidence for alternate theories. Whether they happen to be more comfortable for straight people or not is actually irrelevant.

            I mean if you subscribe to Freud’s view of things there is a sexual component to all our behavior at all times. I can’t say that sub-consciously Lennon didn’t have a desire to dominate McCartney that carried a sexual component but equally I think we are getting into dangerous territory when we can claim anyone could have thought, wanted, or considered anything, and of course they could have but it doesn’t mean they did.

          • @Marcus, what an excellent comment, thank you. So much in here, and it’s late so forgive me for meandering.

            Peter Brown wasn’t just the first inner-circle person to tell tales; he is, to date, the only. Not Mal or Neil, not Derek. Tony Barrow, is he an inner-circle guy? George’s memoir didn’t dish dirt; Paul’s did, more so. It’s not as though the Beatles have suffered through a rash of tell-alls; in fact the opposite. I mean, this is the most popular rock group of all time — where is their Hammer of the Gods or No One Gets Out of Here Alive? Goldman? Brown’s book is notable not because of what it said, but because he was the only one to attempt it — and was blackballed as a result.

            To think that Brown’s treatment, or Yoko’s handling of the Seaman affair or indeed her lawsuit with Jack Douglas, did not have a chilling effect on Beatle-related memoirs is, I think, naive. It could not help but make people tread carefully? So that they only told the truth? Perhaps. So that they self-censored? That’s also possible.

            I do not think Paul is waiting with lawyers at the ready to pounce upon anyone who writes something he doesn’t like. Clearly that’s not the case. On the other hand, I don’t recall any single book that painted him in a terrible light. I don’t think Paul has much to hide — but that doesn’t mean that celebs that do, must suffer the slings and arrows of unprincipled muckrakers. Bill Cosby done what he has done for decades. If actual criminal behavior can stay secret for decades, surely the fifty-year-old sexual peccadilloes of two rockstars could remain private, especially after the group has broken up and one member of the pair is dead?

            It’s important that you take all this in the light spirit in which I’m offering — as I’ve said, I don’t believe that John and Paul were sexually intimate with each other, but I do think it’s fascinating that a significant subculture inside Beatlefandom does. And I think for me, as a straight man, it’s a salutary thought experiment. Because even if I don’t think the evidence supports John and Paul having sex, I think it DOES support them having a relationship that — while probably non-sexual — was just as intense, complex, and nuanced as most marriages, and more intense, complex, and nuanced than many sexual ones. In my life, every adult relationship as intense, complex and nuanced as John and Paul’s has had a sexual component. Just my experience, but that’s all I have to compare it to.

            I am not suggesting that “John and Paul were lovers and if you don’t see that, it’s because you’re psychologically uncomfortable.” I am remarking that the mere idea of John and Paul being lovers makes many fans, especially older ones, psychologically uncomfortable. This has been my experience. They don’t react the same way as they do when you posit other possibilities; it seems to change how they feel about John and Paul — but why should it? This, too, is interesting. This post has generated more pageviews in the first few days than any other in the seven-year history of the site, and that, to me, suggests that it’s a great thing to be talking about. It’s not unfair or out-of-bounds or irresponsible speculation, but something bubbling under the surface of Beatlefandom for decades; I’m reminded of this from John Lennon’s 1980 Playboy interview:

            “No, wait a minute. Let’s stay with this a second; sometimes I can’t let go of it.” (He is on his feet, climbing up the refrigerator) “Nobody ever said anything about Paul’s having a spell on me or my having one on Paul! They never thought that was abnormal in those days, two guys together, or four guys together! Why didn’t they ever say, ‘How come those guys don’t split up? [bold by MG] I mean, what’s going on backstage? What is this Paul and John business? How can they be together so long?’ We spent more time together in the early days than John and Yoko: the four of us sleeping in the same room, practically in the same bed, in the same truck, living together night and day, eating, shitting and pissing together! All right? Doing everything together! Nobody said a damn thing about being under a spell.”

            And your great comment is another indicator; reader interest says this is EXACTLY what Beatle fans are interested in talking about right now. Why is a great question and I’d be interested in anybody’s thoughts. I honestly did not expect anything like this level of response or traffic. It’s eating my life right as I’m about to launch a Kickstarter! 🙂

            Even in the internet age, I think it is sound mental hygiene for all of us civilians to recognize that the images we receive of media figures are, on the whole, skewed positive. Why? Lots of reasons, but the idea that there’s “whole industries” making scads of money airing dirty laundry just isn’t so. Do you mean TMZ? Or Gawker? I’m struggling to think of any other significant source of celebrity muckraking — the tabloids? I can’t even remember the last time a major celebrity was taken down by a tabloid story. I mean, for God’s sake — The Enquirer is still running stories about Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood! Proportionally, the money to be made is a drop in the bucket compared with what is made staying mum and playing ball. The financial incentive is nearly all in one direction, and has been since Hollywood began. For every unfairly railroaded Fatty Arbuckle, you have a Joan Crawford, who worked steadily her entire life while being (apparently) monstrous to her children. To believe otherwise is to indulge in internet cynicism. It’s not how showbiz works. Showbiz is Liberace being screamingly gay for decades, and his fans believing the PR that he’s looking for the right girl.

            That having been said, I do not think that there is some vast trove of Beatle dirt being suppressed by the threat of lawsuit. I do think — shit, I know — that book-writing individuals anger powerful celebrities and the benefiting corporations at their peril, and that any book that says crazy-ass shit and doesn’t get sued, well, there’s probably something to it. Because the danger isn’t being sued and losing, it’s being sued and bankrupted regardless of your case, because you, a private individual who needs to work to live, are being sued by a non-human entity with functionally unlimited resources. And while you’re right that publishers do know the libel laws backwards and forwards, every publishing contract I’ve ever signed has indemnified them completely. That’s boilerplate. So while it’s comforting to think that the playing field is level enough so that truth is a defense, legally it may be but functionally it’s simply not.

            “In truth if a primary source was to say there had been rumors and it was being discussed by those close to John and Paul and this was put forth by a member of the inner circle as their personal story and their own recollection [,] no defamation suit could be taken.”

            True enough. But what are we to do when John Lennon himself refers to the rumors, as in the Interview piece? What are we to do when Paul McCartney himself says that were Lennon to return, they’d spend the day together in bed? Yes, it’s a joke, of course it’s a joke, but actually we have no real way of weighing that but context — reverse gaydar, if you like. All this post and thread are doing is asking… what if it’s not a joke? How does that change things for you, Beatlefan? Should it?

            I guess my beef, and it’s a small one, is that you’re applying contemporary — ie, internet — media standards to a very different time. There were rumors of John and Paul being lovers being circulated in the 60s and 70s, and we know this because John mentions them. Today these rumors would be all over the outlets I mentioned — Gawker would have an entire subsite devoted to it. But that was not how the media worked in the 60s and 70s, when the Beatles were still current.

            Back in the 1960s, not a single source referred to the rumors that John and Paul were lovers, this is true. Also, back in the 1960s not a single source — not one newspaper, book, TV or radio program — mentioned one single detail about the Beatles’ tours being “like Satyricon.” We know this to be true today, and it’s been corroborated by The Beatles themselves. Yet not one outlet told the truth back then. Was this luck? Or did celebrities clearly have have a LOT of control over what was published about them? Just what we’ve learned about the Beatles lives since Lennon’s death should be enough to suggest that we actually don’t know much at all. Only what they wish to tell us.

            However, there really is no evidence at all that they were [lovers].
            There is a mountain of evidence to suggest that John and Paul were extremely, uncommonly close for men of their era and background. They also split with an incredible amount of acrimony, apparently somewhat suddenly, and remained more-or-less obsessed with each other for the rest of their lives. With all that, I think it’s actually rather odd not to explore the possibility that their relationship was sexual.

            I’ve had a (non-sexual) writing partner for the last 20 years. If we split and acted like John and Paul did, people would have every right to wonder whether we were sleeping together. I would have every right to say we weren’t. And if we acted like John and Paul did, people would have every right not to believe me, or to suspect that there was more to the story that I wasn’t saying — because it’s highly unusual for two adults not sleeping together to act like that.

            Once again, to be clear: I don’t think John and Paul were lovers. But I do think it’s naive to assume they weren’t just because nobody’s gone on the record in a book; Beatles history shows that stuff, particularly sexual stuff that might seem to tarnish their legacy, didn’t get talked about. I think to people of John and Paul’s generation, John and Paul being lovers would be a total mindfuck. I think this because they can’t even read the title of this post without a little nervous laugh or exclamation of “how absurd!” Like we know/knew these guys and what they got up to. We didn’t and don’t. That’s always worth keeping in mind — for me, especially.

            Thanks again for a great comment. You seem reasonable and thoughtful on the topic, and any sternness I might seem to show is me trying to be definite, and figure out exactly what I think and why. As I said, I’m a little taken aback by the level of interest, and after 90 comments, things can get a little blurry. I’m definitely not suggesting that John and Paul were lovers… though they might have been. Love is strange, and life is even stranger, especially if you’re a drugged-out pop star, protected by a manager, surrounded by a publicity machine, and looking for a new thrill.

          • marcus wrote:

            I do apologize. I must have expressed myself poorly. I was not suggesting that the fact no primary source has said John and Paul were lovers was the only thing we should consider when weighing up this question. I was suggesting that if we are to consider the scenario you have put forward, we should also weigh up all of the things that suggest otherwise, of which the lack of primary source confirmation is but one.
            ==
            US defamation law has not changed much in recent decades. If a celebrity wished to take a libel suit, the burden of proof is predominantly on them as the plaintiff. The plaintiff files suit, a not inconsiderable sum must then be paid to the court for court time by the plaintiff. The defendant is served but incurs no costs at this point. The case will then go to pre-trial and the plaintiff must prove there is a case to answer. They must provide enough evidence to prove that it is probable that the defendant lied and published with reckless disregard for whether it was false or not. The plaintiff cannot argue “they said I did this and I didn’t” as that won’t suffice. They must prove that the defendant lied, and they must prove that lie was presented as fact, and was not due to a misunderstanding or a mistake in good faith but that the defendant lied maliciously with the intent to damage.
            ==
            If they are unable to establish this, there will be no case to answer and no trial date will be set down. The author will incur very little cost and of those costs approximately 60% will be entered against the plaintiff for payment.
            ==
            If the defamatory statement is couched as an opinion or put forward as a fair comment on things witnessed or heard but not as an absolute fact, then this is considered a strong defense to libel and the case will most likely be dismissed as no case to answer.
            ==
            By primary sources I am referring to people who had a direct relationship with the Beatles i.e. their information is not second hand. They spent enough time with the Beatles to have witnessed their relationships and interactions and to have been in a position to form an opinion . I am thinking of people like Francie Schwartz, Pete Shotton, Peter Brown, Derek Taylor (who did write a book as I have read it), Alastair Taylor, Tony Bramwell, even Geoff Emerick, Ken Scott, Glynn Johns, George Martin who spent a lot of time with John and Paul, and Richard DiLello who was certainly plugged in to the rumor mill. There may be more but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Now even if we agreed that Peter Brown’s was the only tell-all, although I think Francie told all too, and Pete Shotton was pretty candid – nevertheless how many ‘tell-alls’ from a primary source do you think it would require for a mention of John and Paul being lovers to be made? I don’t think Peter Brown would have left that out if he’d had any inkling of it.
            ==
            Many of those primary sources included stories in their books that Paul might have preferred remained private. Certainly Paul and Linda made no secret of how much they despised Brown’s book. There were no suits though because how exactly would Paul McCartney go about proving he never left a note calling Yoko a Jap tart on the mantle-piece some years ago? Many things come down to one person’s word against another and that is insufficient under US defamation law.
            ==
            Now British defamation law is a different animal, the proof is on the defendant to prove what they have said is true or at least it was until new defamation legislation passed into law in 2013. However, Peter Brown’s book was originally published by McGraw-Hill in NY and likewise Francie Schwartz’s Body Count was published by a US publisher. As was Pete Shotton’s book.
            ==
            Now given we are speculating what if they were lovers. I am really not concerning myself here with why didn’t a primary source make this up and put it forward as some ‘crazy-ass shit.” I am considering why if it was true and therefore the author would be acting in good faith, has no one said it? In that case what they were saying would not be able to be established as an intentional malicious lie, because it wouldn’t be.
            ==
            It is only one thing to consider it is by no means definitive but given the many things that have been published and given many primary sources have strayed into intimate areas of John and Paul’s lives. I am surprised it has not been eluded too. There is no reason for them to fear the mother of all law suits or financial ruin if they did so.
            ==
            Anyway not a big issue in the scheme of things Michael, sorry to have upset you.

          • Well, I really don’t regard anything John said in that Rolling Stone interview seriously. For me that is something he should be ashmed of. And probably he regretted lots of things he said with his head full of heroine. In his last interview to the same magazine he was very different. The reporter commented about it sayng he had said the opposite the first time. And he answered he had told lies that time. Out of anger. The only thing I find it is interesting is when he compares their sexual parties to those in Satyricon. He insisted on it and suggested people to see the movie. And yet the interviewer didn’t show any surprise. People don’t talk about it, sort of ignoring he had just declared they used to have gay sex all the time. The story is very homoerotic, and he said their parties were just like that. Exactly equal, he said.
            I don’t think Yoko believed John was the only genius I know she said so. For me Yoko only says things on her benefit. Not exactly the truth. For me she said so in order to seduce John. Only for this reason. She knew he was not the only talented composor in The Beatles. But…this is just what I feel. It doesn’t mean I am right. My intuition tells I am right, though.
            . and she very much believed he was the genius and the real artist in the Beatles. She did think McCartney was a light weight and that John was in every way superior, so Lennon had a steady stream of commentary

          • Drew wrote:

            Michael, you write: “I do think — shit, I know — that book-writing individuals anger powerful celebrities and the benefiting corporations at their peril, and that any book that says crazy-ass shit and doesn’t get sued, well, there’s probably something to it.”

            I disagree with this. In fact, we see very very few lawsuits by celebrities against authors not because “there’s something to it,” but because the only way for a celebrity to “win” one of these cases is to go to court and risk laying bare their whole lives. Who wants to do that? Who wants your lawsuit to be the front page of tabloids day after day, revealing all sorts of things about you that would be required in a court case.

            Also, most Beatles books I’ve read have an anti-McCartney taint, from Peter Brown’s fictionalized half-truths to Philip Norman’s Shout. Heck, even Mark Lewisohn’s Tune in is most critical of Paul (and Lewisohn, disappointingly, goes out of his way to rationalize or whitewash John’s bad behavior.) Paul is always the bad guy in these books. And yet, as Marcus said, Paul didn’t sue. Not because all of these portraits are accurate but because he really can’t win, even if he wins, because in the process he has to violate his own privacy to prove his side of events.

          • @drew, in haste– Paul couldn’t possibly sue a book slanted against him in the way Shout! Is for example. That would be idiotic, and it’s like suing a reviewer for giving you a bad review. But Yoko could certainly have sued over the Goldman book, which is what I was referring to. The fact that she didn’t is, to me, indicative of something, probably that there’s a least some fire to all that smoke. Or whatever. But the kind of dismissal and disrespectful treatment that Paul gets? Not what I’m talking about in that sentence, nor in my larger point.

            Norman’s bio calls Paul “a no talent hack”? He won’t sue it. But if he says he pinched “Yrsterday” from so and so knowingly and covered his tracks? I betcha he would sue.

            This isn’t a difficult point. Normal people can’t risk lawsuits from celebrities and massive corporations. Legal fees are ruinous and suits eat your life. If you’re a billionaire with a team of lawyers, the downside to pursuing legal remedies is an inconvenience, but if you’re an author, it’s a profound disincentive unless you are completely irresponsible. Some authors are. And of course we take every book with a grain of salt.

          • marcus wrote:

            @michaelgerber Just about out of time here but just quickly wanted to question a couple of things.
            =
            1. You talk about a subculture. However I have always found the PID subculture to be larger. I am aware of JohnheartPaul but it seems to have an active membership of about 20 people, 19 of whom are women. Are there other sites? What subculture exactly are you referring too?
            =
            2. I don’t believe John was addressing rumors about he and Paul in the quote you have cited from Playboy. He was addressing and quite annoyed by (understandably) the fact many people said Yoko had cast some spell kind of spell on him, that it was some kind of black magic that had led to JohnandYoko and that it was a strange relationship. John is simply commenting on the fact that when the Beatles spent all their time together, no one queried the Lennon/McCartney thing or the Beatles thing and they were all living in each other’s pocket. What makes you think that John is addressing rumors that he and Paul were lovers? If he had been that quote would have caused quite a sensation at the time, I would have thought?
            =
            3. The ‘in bed’ answer came from a January 1998 Q magazine piece called Cash for Questions. The format is that the public submit questions and if their question is used they receive 250 quid. It was not an interview and yes McCartney gave joke answers, such as saying he would spend the day in bed with John who was obviously famous for his bed-ins. We can try and read more into it but sometimes a lighthearted moment is just a lighthearted moment I guess.
            =
            4. You’re right the 1960’s press did not make reference to the fact the Beatles were having orgies on tour (Satyricon does depict both heterosexual and gay debauchery) but there have been books since then that provide details. Why do you think when we have plenty of details now about Mal’s role in recruiting girls on tour etc. we still don’t have any details, all these years later, of John and Paul being lovers?

          • @Marcus, as stated many times in this thread, the rumors that John and Paul had a sexual relationship are as old as The Beatles. JohnHeartPaul is — can only be — an expression of a permanent feature of the greater fandom. I believe that JHP, and John and Paul slash, is related to changes in our larger society; just as “Paul Is Dead” is a direct outgrowth of the assassination/conspiracy culture of the 60s and 70s.

            2. I agree with you; that was what he was talking about. But I included that quote because I felt that Lennon was pointing to a double standard that existed in popular culture then — if a man and a woman spend a lot of time together/have a powerful connection, that relationship is sexual and thus less trustworthy, in some sense (“put a spell on”). But if two men, or four men spend a lot of time together/have a powerful connection, that’s unremarkable and even laudable. That double standard is less prevalent now, but it cuts both ways — just as we no longer assume mixed gender couples are having sex, we can no longer assume that same-gender ones are not, and I think that’s interesting.

            3. I agree. If the truth is different, we won’t find it in off-hand remarks.

            4. What books, @Marcus? DON’T HOLD OUT ON ME MAN
            Because I think anybody with half-a-brain already assumed that Mal was recruiting girls on tour, etc. That’s not “Satyricon,” to me. “Satyricon” is the kind of freaky-deaky stuff that we’re all up to our nostrils in these days, via the internet — and nothing like that has ever surfaced. Compared to what I hear on Dan Savage’s podcast, the Beatles on tour were less adventuresome than your average 20-year-old from the Midwest, and I don’t believe that. I think, especially in regards to sex even more than drugs, a code of silence and wanting to protect the Fabs was, and is, strongly in effect. Does that mean John and Paul did it? No. But it means that if they ever did, we’d never be told, not by Larry Kane or Bob Spitz or any other conventional biographer. I really believe that.

    • @Marcua, what you say makes sense (and indeed Nancy has just posted something similar); but that theory is well-articulated, and furthermore it doesn’t squick anybody out — it fits with the Lennon and McCartney we are comfortable with. And it may be correct.

      What I like about this new train of thought is that it forces us as Beatles fans to look at our beloved John and Paul in a new way, even if just for the length of a blog post. And as I said, the “lovers” angle seems to be a product of young Beatlefandom — just as the “Paul Is Dead” phenomenon was a product of 60s assassination and 70s coverup paranoia.

      Each generation gets the John and Paul it needs, I guess. 🙂

      • marcua wrote:

        Well it is a matter of opinion and attitude. For example I belong to one of the communities that advocated John and Paul were lovers and the leading members are women in their 60’s. They are not young, there are women across all ages and a few young ones.

        Some of these women and those who first came up with this theory were teenagers when the Beatles split and loving both John and Paul as they did, they looked in their young girlish hearts for a way to rationalise a very unpleasant situation. If John and Paul were lovers, then really it was all just a tragic ‘love gone wrong’ story and John could not be blamed for anything because the poor man was secretly broken hearted and Paul could not be blamed for anything either. Perfect. And who could blame them for falling in love with each other when these women had all fallen in love with one or both of them, themselves.

        For a lot of Beatles fans the only narrative that is squick is one where John is held to account for his actions and his choices. Whether people sign up for the let’s make Yoko the proxy who we can blame for everything John did, school of thought or the John can’t be blamed because like millions of people he had a crappy childhood, or whether he can be excused on the grounds of a broken heart, or frustrated hormones depending on your perspective or whether we go with the well of course he grew bored of that inane insufferable Paul and his granny music. It seems all paths lead to a narrative where John is protected from any real responsibility. So believe me my narrative is not the standard one. I know that all too well.

        Anyway, their is nothing wrong with speculating but I sometimes think where we fall down, is we try to explain their behavior through own own eyes and based on our perception of ordinary human behavior but they lived through an extraordinary situation and we have no frame of reference for what it felt like to be them.

        • Gosh, @Marcua, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this expressed so well:
          “For a lot of Beatles fans the only narrative that is squick is one where John is held to account for his actions and his choices…[and the rest]”

          This is true, to be sure, and it’s why for me the big breakthrough came in the early 2000s when I realized that John — not Yoko, not Paul’s bossiness, not Brian’s death — just John, broke up the group. Viciously, systematically, and on purpose. As I’ve written before, I think that truth strikes at the heart of Beatle fans so painfully that they just cannot bear it. For lots of people, for lots of reasons, John is the Beatles. For him to wreck the group — in part to hurt the fans, whom he blamed for the parts of his life he hated — is just too painful.

          As to your other point, about the psychology of John/Paul slash, it resonates a lot with a conversation I had last night with my wife, who doesn’t write slash (or DOES SHE) but grew up a fan of Star Trek/Doctor Who/Star Wars, and knows that subculture well.

          But particularly when it comes to the Beatles and sex, I must admit your final paragraph is my only guide: “we try to explain their behavior through own own eyes and based on our perception of ordinary human behavior but they lived through an extraordinary situation and we have no frame of reference for what it felt like to be them.”

          John Lennon and Paul McCartney are two of a very small collection of people in human history to have experienced literally unlimited sexual choice. This is a very peculiar situation, and not one which human psychology (or neurology) is developed to handle. In the absence of any external limits, either or both of them might well have felt a powerful craving for transgression. And in England, in the mid-60s, at the height of Beatledom, sleeping with each other would’ve been the single most transgressive thing they could’ve done.

          I simply don’t believe that John Lennon didn’t feel that, consider that, and be attracted by it; this is a man who openly mused about incest — knowing that in some way, that information would get to the public. It is perfectly in tune with who we know John Lennon to be, to proposition Paul. What happened next is nobody’s business — but I think to dismiss the line of thought because we can’t know, or because it’s attractive to a certain fanbase, isn’t being quite honest about the reality of their lives and situations. Not ours.

          If, to use Nancy’s line of thought, John introduced Yoko Ono into the mix, hired Allen Klein, and did everything else in order to “bring Paul in line,” what would be a more elemental way of asserting his dominance than by “topping” Paul? I’m not suggesting that happened, but if you believe that Nancy’s line of reasoning is persuasive, that makes sex more likely, not less. To suggest that John would do everything to dominate Paul, up to and including breaking up the group, but somehow avoid the sexual realm is, I think, the life experience of all us non-Beatles getting in the way.

          To be a Beatle was to live a hyper-sexualized life. That’s pretty much why they did it, back in 1957. But of course the reality is different, but you wouldn’t know that until you were sitting there in Weybridge, bored with your wife, bored with groupies, bored with everything — and your mind is craving the next thrill. And the only person on Earth who knows how you feel? Paul.

  9. Karen Hooper wrote:

    @ Nicole: another Paul quote about John: “he was delicious; a delicious broth of a boy.”

    @Drew: The secrets Paul references are usually about John’s sexual activities. He used to say that he didn’t want to spill the beans out of fear of hurting Yoko or Cynthia. Hmm.

    I always get a bee in my bonnet about Paul’s supposed mistreatment of Yoko when she first appeared. Patently false. If you listen to the Let It Be sessions, Paul bent over BACKWARDS to accommodate her, and defended the JohnandYoko meme to Neil and who ever else was around to complain about them. His only issue–reasonably so–was that he found her presence intimidating while he was trying to compose.

  10. linda a. wrote:

    I always get a bee in my bonnet about Paul’s supposed mistreatment of Yoko when she first appeared. Patently false. If you listen to the Let It Be sessions, Paul bent over BACKWARDS to accommodate her

    Karen I get really annoyed about the same thing. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many times you reference the Let it Be/Get Back tapes where Paul can be HEARD by those who have listened to the tapes, defending John and Yoko to the likes of Ringo, Neil, Linda etc who can be heard ridiculing and making fun of them. Linda even makes animal noises if I remember correctly. But it doesn’t matter. It’s ingrained in people via John, Yoko, and their “followers” that Paul was singularly unfair to Yoko, and for no reason at all except that he’s a racist, sexist pig apparently. Paul is also heard elsewhere on the tapes, telling the others that they should apologize to George and plead for his return to the group. Also the only person who can be heard on tape ridiculing and generally mistreating George is not Paul, John. Yet Paul is continuously accused of mistreating George, while John gets a pass. It’s unbelievable.

    • @Linda, what I always remember — and which is seldom brought up — is Paul’s liner notes on “Two Virgins.” Far from being shitty about his partner’s new love affair, he actually goes out of his way to support him (and Yoko) in the most public way possible.

      “When two great Saints meet, it is a humbling experience. The long battles to prove he was a Saint.”

      The most likely interpretation is that Paul is calling John and Yoko “great Saints.” That’s pretty damn flattering. (The other interpretation which just occurred to me is that he’s saying that he and Lennon were the Saints, and that John’s taking up with Yoko is John’s attempt to prove his Sainthood to Paul.)

      • linda a. wrote:

        Michael regarding the Two Virgins liner notes, I always thought that was tongue in cheek! I really thought he was sort of gently poking fun at them and John was in on it too of course. I thought more than anything it just proved their closeness and mutual sense of humor. What do you think? Maybe I’m merely projecting my own feelings onto it? As in oh Paul you’ve got be kidding?

        • That’s a neat way of thinking about it. I always assumed it was Paul reassuring his partner, “yes I like Julian and Cyn, but you’re saying you love Yoko, so…”

          And maybe hoping John’s new enthusiasm would be short-lived?

  11. Chantal wrote:

    Re: were John and Paul lovers?

    Good question. I’m inclined to say no, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. One thing is for certain: they weren’t ordinary friends in the way George and Ringo or Ringo and Paul are just friends. JohnandPaul appeared to go much deeper than that.

    I don’t know where and when I read it, or who said it, but I recall an interview – my memory tends to recall it was either Yoko or Linda. In said interview, it was said that the way John and Paul behaved during and after the Beatles’ breakup was more like two lovers ending a romantic relationship than just two friends no longer in the same band. I paraphrased, of course, as I don’t recall the exact source.

    Now, while I don’t think the lads ever had sex, I think there was a certain level of being in love. The way they would look at each other, the way they would touch when there was no apparent need for it (e.g. sitting squished together on a sofa when there was ample space to sit apart), but also the way they spoke about each other. This was no ordinary friendship; they adored each other.

    Of course, we largely see what we want to see. What we perceive as doting glances and loving touches may very well just have been their natural behaviour. After all, they were *almost* as hands-on with George and RIngo. Almost…

    Anyway, the whole question tends to make me sad more than anything. Because: what if the suspicions are true and they did have feelings beyond friendship? Let’s, for arguement’s sake say that was the case. Then how incredibly sad is it that they lived in a time where they had no choice but to hide their true emotions? In this day and age, they could have come out and most of the world would have been fine with it. Heck, they could have gotten married if they wanted to. But as it is, they were lads when homosexuality wasn’t just frowned upon; it was illegal. I believe people could get up to 6 months in prison for what was then called ‘sodomy’. Even though the British law changed in (I believe) 1967, they still wouldn’t have been able to be open about it. Not without risking losing most of their fans and even risking their lives!

    Anyway, like I said: even if they were in love, and I guess on some level they were, I doubt it was consummated. But whatever went on between them, something must have gone completely awry some time in the late sixties. Friendships fall apart, but the way those two went at each other in song, and (in John’s case) in interviews, that tells me how much they loved each other before they fell out.

    Sadly, we’ll never know. John can’t tell
    us, Paul won’t tell us, and Yoko enjoys her mind games too much to ever give a straight answer.

    • But @Chantal, I don’t think John and Paul ever hid their true emotions towards each other — for precisely the reasons that you mention. They were openly intimate and affectionate with each other in every way but sexual. And that was in public; surely they were even more honest and connected in private! I don’t think they were ever “living a lie” in this regard — any more than being a Beatle necessitated “living a lie” in a serial sense, until society grew more open.

      In my opinion, we mustn’t get too hung up on the sex/no-sex question. One of the most interesting things to me about this discussion, is that it get at what all this stuff means to us right now. It exposes all the aspects of contemporary love and sex and friendship that are, at bottom, arbitrary aspects of society. Love without sex = still straight; love with sex, even once = gay! The very concept of homosexuality as a distinct orientation is a modern invention (Germany in the 1870s, if memory serves). And the idea that this behavior must be part of a larger set of attitudes and preferences — that’s all modern, too. And a lot of this taxonomy, to me, is not very helpful to people, whenever it happens and whoever does it.

      In ancient Rome, for example, it very well could’ve been that John and Paul felt the same way, acted the same way, and were successful in the same way — but because Lennon was of a slightly higher social class, he could sleep with Paul, but not be “dominated” by him. (That is, Lennon could be the receiver, but not the giver.) So in 67 AD, rather than 1967 AD, there would have been different restrictions. Which is just as crazy, to me. What could it possibly matter?

      We know that John and Paul weren’t gay in the way we usually recognize male gayness in contemporary Western society; they weren’t “out,” they didn’t present as gay (although Lennon apparently liked to camp it up a bit); they do not call themselves gay or even bisexual. But we can’t know everything that went on between them and that, in the end, is quite wonderful. It means that even within the Beatle experience — the biggest hurricane of privacy-invasion there ever was — there remained moments of privacy and humanness, a private, personal Lennon and McCartney. Yay!

      For John and Paul to have displayed publicly everything they were privately would’ve exposed them both as fundamentally small, uncomplicated people (like, for example, Keith Richards — do we have any suspicion that the Mind of Keith harbors secret vastnesses? I don’t). And it’s exactly this complexity, this profundity, in Lennon and McCartney that made their contemporaries often threw the rumor out there. It wasn’t about the sex, it was about the friendship, and in a small person’s mind, any two guys that close had to be doin’ it. What a load of malarkey.

      I do think it’s terribly sad that there were ever laws against homosexuality, or indeed any kind of non-harming sexual behavior between consenting adults. That seems, to me, to be a form of tyranny and torture. And I think it’s a good thing — no, a great thing — that Beatle fans can examine this topic without flipping out. All of this is much more important than whether John’s parts and Paul’s parts ever did x or y things. If it pleases one to think that happened, I say, go with that pleasure. It doesn’t impugn either man, or the other two, or the Beatles, to think it might’ve.

      • Chantal wrote:

        Please forgive me for not getting my point across the way it was intended. My only excuse is that I’m not a native English speaker. Oh, and I was tired 😉

        I am definitely not implying that no sex = straight, sex = gay. I understand that’s how it came across, but it’s not what I was trying to relay. Here’s how I see it:

        – John and Paul most definitely loved each other. There’s no question whatsoever about that. We all know about the time John was asked why he wore a button that said ‘I love Paul’, to which he replied, “because I love Paul”. And of course, Paul is also very vocal about his love for John. So, that’s a fact nobody can deny. However, it is unclear whether this love is platonic or not.
        – The things John said in interviews, the things that were implied – by him and others, the way both of them – but mostly John – behaved after the breakup, would suggest that John very well may have had romantic feelings for Paul. We can’t know for sure, but it would seem likely. However, even if he did have romantic feelings towards Paul, he may never have told him. Paul might have guessed, but he also might not have known.
        – There’s a (smaller) chance Paul was in love with John, but a chance nonetheless. But even if he was, would he ever have acted on it? History shows he was the most cautious of the four: the PR man who did indulge in drugs and drink, but never as much as the others. The one with the carefully maintained public image of the charming, sweet lad, who behind the scenes could be a cold bastard when it came to business. Even if he did have romantic feelings for John, I don’t know if he would have said so.

        So, and that’s what I was hoping to get across, even if there were requited romantic feelings, they still don’t necessarily have to have been in a romantic relationship. It’s not a relationship until feelings are expressed and acted upon, is it? And by that, I don’t mean they would have to have had sex. Just telling each other how they felt and allowing themselves to express those feelings around each other would have been enough to qualify as being in a romantic relationship. But what if one or both never expressed those feelings to the other? Then they wouldn’t be together, would they? If I’m in love with a bloke, and he’s in love with me, but we never tell each other, then we’re not a couple. It’s not a relationship until both parties agree it is.

        FWIW, I’m glad John and Paul loved each other the way they did – whichever way that was. Because without that deep and complex bond, they never would have been able to write the music they left us. Their solo catalogs prove as much. I’m a huge fan of Paul’s solo work, but it doesn’t compare to what he created in the sixties. And I can’t stand most of John’s solo work. It would seem that when he lost Paul, he lost his muse. And to me, that’s what these two were above everything else: each other’s muse.

        • Beautifully said. Couldn’t have written it better myself, @Chantal.

          “FWIW, I’m glad John and Paul loved each other the way they did – whichever way that was.”
          Which, to me, was probably intensely romantic, seldom spoken, not sexual — but a great love story nonetheless. A world-changing one.

          If there’s one thing I hope to express in this post and thread, it’s that love comes in as many forms as there are people, and that is at the core of what the Beatles were/are about. It doesn’t matter to me one little bit what any of them got up to — because I know that John and Paul were connected in a profound way to each other, and to the other two. And that is a revolutionary act. To love, wholeheartedly. To show oneself, wholeheartedly. To give, wholeheartedly. If this happens — and we know it did between John and Paul, and the Beatles and the world — all the rest is just trivia, mere circumstance.

      • Karen Hooper wrote:

        @ Michael–“love without sex = straight; love + sex (even if only once) = gay”. So true, that. It must have been hard for John trying to come to terms with his sexuality in all its forms back in the day–or even in the 70’s, for that matter, no matter how liberal he was.

        The other thing that’s worth asking is why now, Yoko? Why make this proclamation about John now? Is it because you’re trying to garner support from the gay community for some reason, or, maybe you’re trying to promote a movie that’s apparently going to be made about John and Brian? She’s up to something.

        • @Karen, we must also keep in mind how straight-up homophobic most of the male counterculture was. The sexual revolution of the 60s made it OK for straight men to have a lot of casual sex. Women were not given nearly as much freedom (the freedom to say “yes,” but suddenly saying “no” had a political dimension — when you might’ve simply thought the asker was a creep), and gays and lesbians remained firmly other-ed.

          The reason, perhaps: Males in the counterculture had “faggot” thrown at them so much — the long hair, the not wanting to go kill Vietnamese people — that they were hypersensitive to this. But whatever the cause, the male counterculture has a lot to answer for in how they treated women and gays of both genders.

          So outside of the Gay Lib movement, John might not have sensed much support for any admission he might make. Elton and Bowie were bisexual in a theatrical, almost professional kind of way; for John, it seems to have been much more personal and not presentational.

          Yoko has, for at least the last decade, attempted to curry favor with the queer elements of the art world. So she could just be trying to stay hip. Or, as I said, she could be planning to drop a tell-all, a final publicity blitz before age really slows her down.

  12. Nicole wrote:

    For the sake of it, a quote from Paul on The Beatles, love and homosexuality. From 1997.
    .
    Michael Parkinson: What was sad too was the way it drove a wedge between your relationship, you and John – was it always a spiky relationship? I mean, you said you loved him-
    Paul: Yes.
    Michael Parkinson: -and that love comes through in the book. Did he love you?
    Paul: Yeah. I don’t think it was… Yeah, I think he did actually. *laughs* We’ll check. Just excuse me for a moment. ‘John, come on, baby, did, yes.’ Yeah, I think he did, yeah. It wasn’t actually a spiky relationship at all. It was, uh, very warm, very close and very loving, I think. All The Beatles. We used to say, I think we were amongst the first sort of men to come out openly – and you remember, it was quite sort of strange in those days, we’re talking about a long time ago now when homosexuality was still sort of largely illegal – we used to say ‘I love him’ on interviews and the interviewers would get slightly taken aback, a man saying he loved someone. But I think, quite genuinely, we really did and I still do. Um, but the business thing came right in the middle of it, the lawyers came along with the business thing and I talked to John for many years. Because the great saving grace was we did put our relationship back together.
    Michael Parkinson: You did, it-
    Paul: Thank god for that! Because I don’t know what I’d do now with him gone if we hadn’t. I think I would be, uh, wracked with all sorts of guilt. But we did.
    .
    And more generally, when talking about painting in 2000. As you do.
    .
    “My view is that these things are there whether you want them or not, in your interior. You don’t call up dreams, they happen, often the exact opposite of what you want. You can be heterosexual and be having a homosexual dream and wake up, and think, ‘Shit, am I gay?’ I like that you don’t have control over it. But there is some control — it is you dreaming, it is your mind it’s all happening in.”

    • This kind of thing is convincing to me. Not of sex/no sex, we can’t determine that and never will, but of an uncommon bond between all four Beatles and John and Paul in particular. That’s what made me use the WWI example — an extraordinary situation forges extraordinary bonds, and in cases like these, I think our vocabulary fails us. I think it’s not adequate. [and now this part I’m dredging up from the dusty recesses of a book I read years ago, but you’ll get the point I hope] Did Siegfried Sassoon love his batsman Dickie? Of course. With a passion as great or greater than any he felt for a woman or partner? Arguably, yes. Did they have hot monkey sex in the trenches? No, and I suspect both would be appalled at the suggestion — not because it’s appalling itself, but because that was not the terms of the relationship as they led it. Today, it might be different.

      If the Eskimos have 37 words for “snow,” and they probably don’t but go with me on this, it’s impossible for us — a society based upon competition, which is just a polite form of war — to describe what was going on with John and Paul. Romantic love is closest… but then you trigger all of people’s weirdnesses about sex and taboo and obscenity and how-dare-you and all that. Which has nothing to do with John and Paul, what their relationship was, and the terms under which they led it. Were they so different than “foxhole buddies”? I’d say not.

      At the very least this discussion can point out the lack in our vocabulary, and how we tend to jam affection into one of a few acceptable categories. When it, like all living things, is much too unruly for that. TL;DR–I think you’d have to be crazy not to sense an erotic charge between John and Paul, and they’d had been crazy not to have felt it, too. I mean, seriously; these guys spent hours and hours a day writing and singing love songs together. Not whaling songs or sea chanteys.

      • Karen Hooper wrote:

        @ Michael: ” I think you’d have to be crazy not to sense an erotic charge between John and Paul, and they’d had been crazy not to have felt it, too.”


        Exactly. The reason we and everyone else is having this discussion is because it was there in the first place. I was around when The Beatles were on the scene (giving away my age here) and the charge was apparent to me, as a child. I remember reading a fan mag and when a teen was asked what she liked about the fabs, she said “I like the way Paul and John look at each other all the time.” That says a lot.

  13. Chris Dingman wrote:

    I don’t think there needed to have been a sexual/romantic relationship to elicit the strong feelings around their break-up. Artistic connection is intimate in and of itself. I have written (screenplays and comedy) with two partners and both ended with us not talking. That hasn’t happened with me and other “normal” people. There’s something about a shared sensibility and shared creative endeavor that is similar to being lovers but that isn’t sexual. Add to that Paul and John’s other ways of being connected (like early mother deaths). John was an extreme guy. His guilt around wanting to move on given his awareness of how much he owed to Paul probably meant he felt the need to completely reject and villify Paul. It was a way of negating the incredible debt of gratitude he owed Paul and perhaps too his anger came partly from resenting the huge role Paul played in elucidating, contributing to, and making possible John’s creative output. John needed Paul creatively more than Paul needed John creatively. (They both needed each other of course. Their post-Beatles output shows this.)

    • Nancy Carr wrote:

      Chris, that makes a lot of sense. One way to end a close relationship is certainly to have a knock-down, drag-out fight. If you’re not able/willing to talk about the painful underlying issues, it’s pretty much the default way.
      .
      I can see guilt playing a definite role in John’s behavior towards Paul during the breakup.

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      @ Chris: artistic endeavors elicit strong connections and even stronger dissension when those connections are broken, but I think it only accounts for a tiny bit of John’s post-breakup reaction.

      Bottom line is, there was no logical reason for John to be that upset with Paul, and to stay that upset for the next decade. None. Something else accounts for it.

      • Chris Dingman wrote:

        Thanks for the reply, Nancy and Karen!

        @ Karen: No logical reason, true. But strong illogical reasons. Having been in creative partnerships and then having moved on, I can attest “from the inside” as it were. But there’s something even more intense about John’s connection to Paul that in my view absolutely could account for his bitter swing away from Paul. And it doesn’t require anything sexual: Paul rescued John. John was a 16-year-old angry, out-of-control genius who had no capacity to ensure that genius was channeled into something productive, namely the entire career of the Beatles. Without Paul, I think John would have ended up dead before he turned 20—from drink, a fight, whatever form the self-destructive anger took. Instead, John ended up one of the most famous people in the world! John had to have sensed this without being able to acknowledge it. That is huge.

        But people move on. They want new things. John felt restless within the Beatles at a certain point (just as George did), and fell in love with Yoko hard. So how to move on, away from this brilliant man, collaborator, friend, rescuer? How to move on when you lack the emotional wherewithal to express how much that man meant to you? Add to the mix, the growing sense of insecurity, which macua documented, about his creative output and quality compared to Paul’s and you have a perfect storm of reasons to angrily push Paul away, the weight of which makes sexual acts quite beside the point.

        I wrote about Paul’s “rescue” of John in a blog post a while back. (I also believe John rescued Paul, but in a different way.) Here’s an excerpt:

        Before he met Paul, John could only sense his brilliance in flashes amid the chaos of his soul. Paul, though, was a like a mirror in which Lennon could see a stable image of this inner self. As such, Paul was a lifeline towards a future for John. Since high school, John had kept a band going with rotating personnel but they weren’t going anywhere. It was only Paul’s incandescent talent along with his ambition, discipline, charm and diplomacy that allowed The Beatles to march doggedly forward and corral John’s feral genius . Perhaps crucially for their connection as well—another synchronicity in the dazzling array that blessed The Beatles’ career—Paul had also lost his mother, to cancer, at about the same age as John. (Much has been made of this parallel in both musicians’ early lives.)
        After they met, it was clear to everyone around them that they were the nucleus of something—and things began happening for the group. Skilled and dedicated themselves, they began tolerating less amateurism in other group members. A new determination and sense of purpose took form. It was Paul who suggested George become a member. It was Paul too who sparked John’s songwriting. To an English kid in the early sixties, songwriting seemed unreachable, the province of “experts.” No groups in Liverpool wrote their own songs, and before meeting Paul, John too was content to sing the rock and roll hits of his day. But Paul, with his own brand of boldness, had written a few songs, which he played for Lennon.

        • Karen Hooper wrote:

          I see the homoerotic bond as not necessarily including sex, by the way. It’s way more intense than just the physical act of love.

          Love the quoted synopsis of how Paul rescued John.

    • Totally agreed, @Chris. My artistic partnership is a deep and profound one. (And non-sexual, no matter what Jon writes on The Intercept.)

  14. Kim wrote:

    Great piece of writing Michael.

    I’ll add a comment if though I’m just reiterating things that have been said here before. But what an intriguing conversation!

    I do feel like there has to be more to the story regarding John’s behavior towards Paul after the breakup. It’s hard not to compare it to someone who was scorned by a lover or romantic interest. The more that I think about this whole John/Paul business, I sense that John’s feelings were most likely much much stronger for Paul than the world realizes. Why was he so obsessed with Paul during the 70s? He was so tuned in to what Paul was doing, what music he was making, how much money he was bringing in… I think jealousy was a big part of it but I can’t help but think there was the possible romantic feelings he may have had for Paul. When Paul describes their strong relationship as “love/hate”, he was very right. If John couldn’t have Paul and if he loved him that much, it must have brought out all these ugly emotions as well. John was a very mixed up and disturbed person. His ideas of love and loyalty were different from the normal person. He had to “attach” himself to the one that he was obsessed with and devoted to. He did that to Paul in the Beatles and then after the breakup, with Yoko. To quote him directly: “I was riding on the boat called Paul, and now I’m going to ride on a boat called Yoko.”

    • …and, @Kim, the question is: WHY SWITCH BOATS?

      Really, that’s the nubbin of all this. John had been, or seemed to have been, quite content with Paul being his primary relationship from 1957-68. Women (including Cyn, bless her) came and went. What changed in 1968?

      Given the tumultuous nature of their relationship — and Yoko’s long periods of coolness towards him — I just don’t buy that John, who had known Yoko since 1966, suddenly awoke to her charms. I mean, maybe, but it seems random.

      • Kim wrote:

        WHY SWITCH BOATS? Yes, you are right. That is the question. After reading Cynthia Lennon’s book, it seems like Yoko was a stalker who (after approaching Paul first but was brushed off), set her sights on John to further her art endeavors. According to Cynthia, John was pretty annoyed with her for hanging around the front of their house and sending him strange gifts and messages. He was annoyed but also found her amusing and slightly interesting. John was so odd. I can see why he may have been intrigued by Yoko’s weirdness. But to fall so head over heels in love right after India was so strange. He fell in love with her in a different way than he did with Cynthia. It was with an intense focus and obsession, and then to become JohnandYoko. Having her at the the White Album sessions and shutting down his band mates was strange. What happened in India??? I am afraid we may never find the answer to this puzzle.

      • Chris Dingman wrote:

        I must say I’m really perplexed at the notion that sex needs to be involved in order to account for John’s massive emotional debt to and insecurity around Paul (see my longer reply above.) I’d love to know why people don’t think the nature of that complicated bond going back to their teen years and simultaneous artistic/personal competition would not be enough to create a massive enough emotional storm in someone as troubled and extreme as Lennon. I have no problem (I don’t think!) with either of them being bi or having sex, but to focus on their supposed physical acts of intimacy to me really minimizes, even belittles, the emotional connection they had–the extent to which they “completed” and propelled each other to the incredible heights they reached.

        • Nancy Carr wrote:

          Chris, I agree — I think arguing that sex is necessary to explain John’s post-India hostility toward Paul actually underestimates the intensity of the Lennon/McCartney artistic partnership and friendship. That’s what I was getting at when I said that their partnership suggests that we need to expand our conceptions of what friendship can be and mean.
          .
          I think the main thing the India stay did for/to Lennon was to take the lid off his emotions (in something of the same way Janov did later), without his finding a way to deal with them productively — apart from turning the turmoil into songs, of course. The cocktail of affection, resentment, and dependence he seems to have felt for Paul was inherently unstable. It isn’t surprising it finally blew up.

      • Karen Hooper wrote:

        @Michael: “why switch boats?”

        Exactly. What prompted John to decide to ride the Yoko boat?

        I have a pet theory of John’s personal psychology with respect to his love interests: he learned from the cradle, through the tormented tug of war between Mimi and Julia, that you can only love one person. When he formed an intense bond with Yoko, he couldn’t reconcile that with the bond he shared with Paul. Someone had to go.

  15. Chris Dingman wrote:

    Nancy, yes. The respite from the normal routine and the meditation allowed a bubbling up of emotions. (And that, Michael, is enough to account for a shift in India, along ith working through guru/parental issues.

    Funny. Just today as I was going through my poems with an eye towards collecting some of them for a second book, I an across this little piece. I don’t know that I’ll include it in the book, but it speaks to what the bottom line in this:

    The Beatles once
    ruled the world
    and no one else
    has come close
    and I don’t care
    that they fell
    apart in acrimony
    because it was
    love made them
    feel betrayed

    • Nancy Carr wrote:

      Chris, that poem sums it up for me. The acrimony of the breakup doesn’t undo the love that fueled the band.
      .
      Your description of Paul rescuing John rings true to me. It also goes with the quote of John’s that Kim brought up, about switching the boat he’s riding on from Paul to Yoko. That’s quite a passive way of describing one’s role in an ongoing partnership, and seems more like looking for rescue than anything else. Seems as if he needed someone else to set the course and steer.

  16. Kim wrote:

    I realize that the emotional connection between the two was profound enough. I don’t think that physical sex had to have happened in order for us to validate that connection. Talking about the romantic angle is interesting because over the years, we are finding little things that support that theory in regards to John. Now Yoko has confirmed that John had sexual desire for men but never acted on it. All of sudden the conversation opens up even more. So John and Paul had this deep emotional connection, yes, but now there is a possibility that John may have looked at Paul in “that way”. That just makes things much more complicated and interesting as far as the Beatles narrative and the devastating breakup is concerned.

    When I was in Liverpool last May, Colin the caretaker of Mendips told his story about John’s youth in that house and how desperate John was to do something with his life but couldn’t get going because he was lazy and unorganized. He then talked about how John and Paul met and said something like: “Little did John know that his future was in the hands of the boy who lived down the road in a council estate house.” When he said that, it made me think that John needed Paul very much to get going, to make things happen. I think John knew how much he depended on Paul. And later on when he realized that Paul could stand on his own without him, it must have hurt him very badly. Maybe this is the reason why Yoko said that “no one hurt John as much as Paul did.”?

  17. I am wandering. Why is so difficult for some to imagine they could have been lovers? Lots of them, including here in this space, feels the necessity to say they don’t think it happened. Sure , if they don’t think so, that’s what they should write, but they don’t give any explanation for why they don’t accept the possibility of a true romance between them, even though there are evidences. As I said in another place, if they were on a trial with the possibility of going to jail for this reason, all the evidences we have would not be enough. However, they are not on a jury and having an affair is not a crime anymore ( except in 72 countries), so we don’t need concrete proof to accept a possibility. We need proof only to be sure, but not to imagine it could have happened. That is what we are supposed to talk about: the possibility. And yet, I feel a sort of rejection to the idea. Of course it is not necessary to have sex in order to create strong feelings. But it is not forbidden! Strong feelings can also happen when sex is involved. Most fans have this tendency to say they had a brotherly love, as if this would be more acceptable, more beautiful. But it is not! There is nothing wrong in sex between people from the same gender. It can as beautiful as any other relationship. And if they wanted it, if both wanted it and never did for fear, this is truly sad. I feel deep inside fans still feels this is kind of shameful and the Beatles are too sacred for such things. Only that sex is also sacred and sublime. Maybe they fear Paul have access to this page and feel upset? If so, I do pray he never feels upset. I hope he is sensitive enough to see our feelings for them are intense, and we only suspect something beautiful might have happened. We don’t guarantee. We only think there is a possibility. I have no means to know they were lovers. Maybe they were. Maybe not. Fine. But I also have no means to know if they were not. Nobody presented evidences about it. They only think. On the other side, those who see the possibility think on real facts. I am almost sure that if The Beatles were a quartet with three boys and a girl, and if, although John was married, some fans noticed something between him and the girl, the tone of a conversation about it would be different. If we had, for this imaginary case, the same evidences we have now about him and Paul, people would be certain John and the Beatle woman were lovers. If I am right, the reluctance to accept it, is only because John and Paul are both males. Remember that when I say “it” am not referring to them being lovers. “it” here is only opening our heart for this possibility.

  18. “I seen religion from Jesus to Paul”

  19. karen Hooper wrote:

    John may have been frightened by Paul’s creative command vis a vis Pepper, but I think everyone is missing another important element: The start of Pepper was roughly the end of touring/togetherness/life as John knew it. He tried to convince the others to buy a greek island together for crying out loud. John was losing, for all intents and purposes, his family when touring ended. I think the beginning of emotional dissension started for John then.

  20. Karen Hooper wrote:

    I wish my brain farts happened all at once, geez.

    Anyway, I also wanted to add a Yoko-sourced comment from John. She told Philip Norman a long story about how her sex drive wasn’t on par with John’s, and how John could get his needs met. According to Yoko, John said that it would hurt her too much to go with a woman, so maybe he should choose a guy–although he’d have to be in love with him. Interesting.

    • “…Except, of course, the one guy you’re obviously in love with. Because that would threaten the hell out of me.”

      I dunno, whenever I read stuff like this — “John never found anyone beautiful enough” — it sounds like heavy Yoko spin, though who she’s trying to convince is up for debate. “He was heteroflexible, and I was cool, but…”

      God bless all these people. I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be famous like this, where complex people get together in complex relationships and then answer questions about it. 🙂

      • Karen Hooper wrote:

        @ Michael:…”Except, of course, the one guy you’re obviously in love with. Because that would threaten the hell out of me.”

        Exactly. I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to the tape Yoko made during the Let it Be sessions, but it’s pretty revealing. She was essentially carrying on a one-woman dialogue while the Beatles were working. In it, she says that if Paul was a woman he would definitely be a threat, and that she definitely picked up a vibe between herself, John, and Paul.

        • do you have a transcript of that Karen? Let’s post it if we can.

          • Karen Hooper wrote:

            I can’t find it,naturally. 🙁

            It was on-line–the entire transcript of Yoko speaking into a mic while John and Paul worked in the background. I’m gonna have to go hunt for it.

          • Nicole wrote:

            http://lifeofthebeatles.blogspot.com.au/2006/06/revolution-chaos-tape-yoko-ono-june-4.html
            .
            Y: After the initial embarrassment, that how Paul is being very nice to me, he’s nice and a very, str- on the level, straight, sense, like wherever there’s something like happening at the Apple, he explains to me, as if I should know. And also whenever there’s something like they need a light man, or something like that he asks me if I know of anybody, things like that. And like I can see that he’s just now suddenly changing his attitude, like his being, he’s treating me with respect, not because it’s me, but because I belong to John. I hope that’s what it is because that would be nice. And I feel like he’s my younger brother or something like that. I’m sure that if he had been a woman or something, he would have been a great threat, because there’s something definitely very strong with me, John, and Paul. And. . .

            J: Ringo, you’re just a bit out with him.

            Ringo Starr: Okay.

            J: Yeah, Paul. Do come in lad.

            Y: And probably among those three people of George and Ringo and Paul. Paul is the one I feel the vibration, sort of sense it.

            J: If you knew, what we’d been through while you’ve been gone, I can tell you. . .

            Y: That something is . . . among the . . .

            GM: Okay, let’s go.

            Y: You know, ‘cause Ringo and George, I just can’t communicate. I mean, I’m sure that George and Ringo, they’re very nice people. That’s not the point.

  21. Approving a bunch of comments this morning, I had a thought: why is it so easy for me — apparently easier than it is for others — to imagine a world where John and Paul were sexually involved? And I immediately thought of two well-known, uncontested nuggets of Beatles history:
    1) Brian and John’s Spain trip in April 1963; and
    2) George and Maureen Starkey sleeping together in 1970.

    Because we’re used to them, and nobody’s ever denied them, t’s easy to forget how unlikely both of these incidents are. Imagine how outrageous the Spain trip would be, if someone was positing it now:
    1) “Everybody knew Brian was gay. John’s macho would never let him…”
    2) “There’s no evidence that John was ever anything but straight. So why would he go to Spain with Brian?”
    3) “John had a wife, and a new baby. The idea that he would abandon them to go off to Spain with a gay man is crazy.”
    4) “If anything happened, the press — and possibly the authorities — would be watching both men ever after. Not worth it.”

    All of these very logical arguments would present themselves. And yet we know it DID happen, and every fan has integrated it into their ideas of Brian and John, respectively, with no apparent injury to either.

    Similarly, you could ask the following about George and Maureen:
    1) “Why Maureen? George could have nearly any partner he wanted.”
    2) “Weren’t George and Ringo friends? Why would he do that to his fellow ‘economy Beatle’?”
    3) “Surely if they were attracted to each other it would have happened before 1970.”
    4) “The risk of discovery would be too great…”

    And so forth. These are perfectly fine, logical, defensible arguments, that take into account everything we know. But they’re all trumped by crazy ol’ reality, the crazy ol’ human heart. Both these events did happen, and the roof did not fall in — they are merely incidents in a larger life. It’s worth keeping in mind when discussing Beatle Sexuality, which is very different than yours or mine; and yet, the same for all of us.

    • linda a. wrote:

      Because we’re used to them, and nobody’s ever denied them, t’s easy to forget how unlikely both of these incidents are. Imagine how outrageous the Spain trip would be, if someone was positing it now:

      Michael this is an excellent analogy. I’ve never thought of it this way.

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      @ Michael: ” I had a thought: why is it so easy for me — apparently easier than it is for others — to imagine a world where John and Paul were sexually involved?”

      *Waves hand* I can imagine it. The only obstacle I have in thinking it happened is Paul. I don’t think anyone ever disputed the idea that John was at least bi-curious, for lack of a better descriptor. But Paul….he’s the wild card. He’s gone on record saying that John never approached him sexually. If I was Paul, and I had a sexual relationship with John and didn’t want the press to know, how would I react to all the questions? I guess I would have to lie, knowing that the only other persons who know are LInda (most likely), Yoko (maybe) and John himself. LInda wouldn’t spill the beans, Yoko wouldn’t if she knew about it because that you tarnish the JohnandYoko meme, and John is no longer with us.

      • Karen wrote: But Paul….he’s the wild card.

        For a reason I never thought he was the wild card. Quite the opposite. Maybe because he looks feminine,a though I know that it doesn’t mean much. A man can look feminine for other reasons. I am saying that maybe because of that I always see him as a man inclined to experimentation. And it always seemed so natural to me. I have to say the first time I read about John and Paul was in 69, maybe early 70, in a Brazilian counter culture publication called Pasquim. Prior to that, me and friends were listening to Abbey Road when our maid stop to listen Oh Darling. She said: ” I love this so song so much…Oh Johnny”. I said: ” Actually it is Oh darling”. But from then on we only listened Paul singing Oh Johnny. Suddenly it was like the book of revelations was opened in front of us. We had no doubts! We looked at each other. No need to say anything. We sort of …knew. 🙂 Of course, no proof. Maybe it is a fantasy. But is sounds so…right!

        • linda a. wrote:

          Virginia if you don’t mind, do you remember what was written in that underground? I’ve heard about this before, a story that appeared in a Brazilian underground that claimed John and Paul were lovers. And if I remember correctly I think Michael mentioned in another post, underground newspapers and how they operate. If it’s the same story, did this anonymous person say that their sexual relationship began in 1962 and was actually started by Paul?

          As for Oh Darling, I’m not a big believer in ‘every song is about John’ but I have to say that one did strike me as being about John. Not necessarily about the end of a sexual relationship between John and Paul, but a song about the end of their partnership..their creative love affair. I’m curious as to what Michael has to say about this Brazilian underground and it’s anonymous story.

          • Hi Linda. I don’t think it is the same story because it is a kind of joke. No historical evidence about when it started. It is not anonymous either. It was written by a journalist called Nelson Mota. I wish I could remember what he wrote. I’ve been looking for it on internet in vain. I have not tried getting in touch with him, though. He is alive and well, sometimes he writes about the Beatles. A few days ago I found a text by him about John Lennon. He is a fan. In a very respectful way he called our attention for the possibility of a love affair between John and Paul. He explained why he got to that conclusion but, at the same time, he gives the impression he was not saying anything seriously. The only thing I remember was he mentioned the song “Oh Darling” because darling sounds like Oh Johnny. I got suprised when I read it because that was what my group of friends felt listening to that song. Do you know when we simple feel something and are sure about it? We simply knew. And then I read it on the Pasquim! Sure it could be the end of the partneship, but gosh…he sings it in such a despair! He calls him “darling”…”Believe me darling” and here he pronounces it well. So, why would be the reason to say darling like Johnny in the other parts of the song? 🙂 I don’t know of any other story about John and Paul in Brazil. Only this one. Guess I should send Nelson Mota a message…He maybe will laugh and answer that was only a joke. Anyway, joke or not, it crossed his mind.

    • Just to say I liked your argumrnent so much! Things usually nobody things about. This is maybe the best comment posted here so far.

  22. Kim wrote:

    God I wish Paul would tell us more. I’m not sure why Yoko has brought up the bisexual thing with John now after all this time. In the past she has hinted that John probably had the hots for Paul. But now she claims no one was “beautiful enough” for John. Is this a dig at Paul?

    Yoko has a Q&A Friday on her facebook page and I was thisclose to asking her about John’s attraction to Paul. But I didn’t want to upset the JohnandYoko fans…

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      @Kim- I think Paul had a lifelong struggle with his sexuality, certainly in terms of how he was perceived, and I suspect in terms of how he felt. He said a few years ago that he was comfortable with gay persons now because he was comfortable/confident about his own sexuality–and added “it’s about time.”

      In terms of asking Yoko, you will never get a straight answer out of her.

      • Also, guys — think about being Paul McCartney in the 60s. You are incredibly handsome, accomplished, attractive — in a somewhat soft, feminine way. Can you imagine the sheer number of times Paul must’ve gotten hit on by gay guys into that kind of person? Saying no — nicely but firmly — must’ve been a full-time job. In that situation, any inkling that you were curious/open to it, oh my God the floodgates would just open and you’d never be seen as heterosexual again.

        John could afford to camp it up, because his looks and mien were so irretrievably masculine. Paul didn’t have that luxury, precisely because he was so “pretty.” And this fending off of unwanted attention may be, among many other reasons, why he’s so tuned-in to women. He’s had that experience, which most men haven’t.

        • Karen Hooper wrote:

          @ Michael–‘ Can you imagine the sheer number of times Paul must’ve gotten hit on by gay guys into that kind of person? Saying no — nicely but firmly — must’ve been a full-time job.”

          Absolutely. That must have been a full time job since he hit puberty. I recall Tony Sheridan’s rather ignorant comments a few years back when interviewed about Paul: I’m paraphrasing, but essentially it was “he had those eyebrows and I thought, is he queer?”

          • I suspect that was a fairly typical reaction. And in that case, Paul would take every pain to be seen as straight. “Hunt the female hordes,” for example. Not to say he wasn’t totally crazed for women, it seems he was and is — just that the stakes were higher for him than John.

          • Guess he mentioned more than his eyesbrows. He noticed the feminine in Paul in general. The way he moves his hands and head. Of course looking feminine doesn’t mean a person is “queer”, although lots of them look feminine. Others look very masculine!

        • Drew wrote:

          “Can you imagine the sheer number of times Paul must’ve gotten hit on by gay guys into that kind of person?”

          Interestingly, though, none of the Beatles have EVER been gay icons in the way that Mick Jagger and David Bowie were. And they still aren’t today. Sure, I would guess that Paul heard a lot of comments about his “girly” features, but many gay men aren’t interested in “girly-looking” boys. I’m not so sure Paul did get hit on a lot by gay men. I am sure he took a lot of ribbing from straight guys about those “girly” eyebrows. Maybe it wasn’t the gay boys who were attracted to Paul, it was the straight boys who were uncomfortable about the fact that they were attracted to “girly” Paul. 🙂

          In the first book ever written about the Beatles, Michael Braun’s “Love Me Do! Beatles Progress” (a GREAT out-of-print book, by the way), there is an interesting line where Braun — who is writing about the band in 1963-ish — writes about how Paul looks feminine in photos but is far more masculine in person. So even back then people thought he looked “girly” in pictures but that was not the reality in person. Perhaps we are assuming from the way Paul photographs that that’s how he looks in person, and it isn’t.

          • Ruth wrote:

            I believe somewhere in Many Years From Now, Paul claims that he never got hit on by other men. I’m quite ignorant of the tastes and preferences of gay men, but I have to say … I find that claim quite difficult to believe. Either that, or Paul is that oblivious.

          • Karen Hooper wrote:

            @ Drew: I remember a fan mag where a fan said the exact thing–that Paul wasn’t as “girly” in person.

  23. Kim wrote:

    I’m reminded of Paul’s story (in the book Many Years From Now) about friend and gay poet Royston Ellis whom John was friendly with when they were still in Liverpool. Royston tells the Beatles that “one in every four men is homosexual.” Paul: “So we looked at the group! One in every four! It literally meant one of us is gay. Oh fucking hell, it’s not me, is it? We had a lot of soul searching to do over that one.”
    Paul definitely had not come to terms with his own sexuality at the time. Which brings up so many more questions!

  24. Karen Hooper wrote:

    And a final quote from Paul:

    ” Paul McCartney went public to defend his partner against Goldman’s mostly unfounded and slanderous attacks: “‘Oh, well, he went on a holiday with somebody who was known to be gay; and therefore I think he’s gay!’ The trouble is, see, he’s not here to defend himself, and we can’t ask him, ‘S’cuse me John — are you, have you ever been gay?’ I mean, I remember people used to ask that — lots of people asking cheeky questions — y’know, ‘Why. . . have you ever tried homosexuality, John?’

    They used to ask all that kind of stuff. I remember John saying, ‘No. I never met a fella I fancy enough.’ And that was his kind of opinion; ‘Y’know, I may go, I may be gay one day if some fella really turns me on’ — he was that open about it.”

    I kind of think John did meet a fella who turned him on, but that’s just me. 😉

    • linda a. wrote:

      s: “‘Oh, well, he went on a holiday with somebody who was known to be gay; and therefore I think he’s gay!’ The trouble is, see, he’s not here to defend himself, and we can’t ask him, ‘S’cuse me John — a

      Of all the things in Goldman’s book to pick on, and Paul picks the incident with Brian and the gay rumors? Why does he seem to have such a problem with this? I think he doth protests too much. There is something a bit off about this little rant of his in regards to Goldman’s book.

  25. anny wrote:

    I think what makes everyone be so doubtful about john and paul affair is that we’re talking about two men.
    There are so many interviews and facts that, if one of them had been a woman, none would have had a doubt they were lovers.
    Furthermore, there’s that big ‘problem’ about beatles fans, that consider the beatles as gods, and most of them wouldn’t approve of john and paul together. Why Yoko only now admits that John was bisexual? Why she didn’t say it years ago? Because now there’s more acceptance in the world for gays, transgender and bisexual people, because only in the last few years they’re getting their rights. She’s clever, she knows when to speak. It’s the same with Paul. He knows that people could kill him if he admitted something happened between him and John, fans would get mad, and he probably would be considered a liar. I don’t think the world is ready to know. Why in the last years in many interviews Paul described John as a friend ‘he slept with’? He said it twice, when a journalist asked him what he would do with John if he came back for a day, Paul answered ‘I would spend it in bed with him’.
    Now, if John was a woman, what would you think? That Paul would like to spend a day in bed with her because he would like to talk to her? Or because he would like to make love with her?
    It’s the same when Paul occasionally said that John Lennon was “a wild and woolly genius,who it was my pleasureto work, walk, talk, and occasionally sleep with.”
    Was it necessary to add he slept with John Lennon? We’re talking about two songwriters and friends, why add such a comment? And what would you think if John was a woman? That Paul slept with her holding hands and making tender dreams or something else?
    He also admitted that there are many secrets about John that he can’t talk about because Yoko is still alive…..this probably means that there are things Yoko doesn’t know about John that also regards Paul.

    I uploaded this file for you all, it’s a studio recording of Rubber Soul, you can easily download it at this link:

    http://www.filedropper.com/rubbersoulthinkforyourself1965session20minutesofpurestudiochatpart1of2

    They are recording ‘Think for yourself’ and, in my opinion, many times here john kisses paul and viceversa. I can’t be 100% sure because it’s just and audio, but if you skip at 1:18 it sounds like a kiss, and Paul adds ‘just to say about the girls that you do’, and more obvious is the kiss at 2:07 with John saying in a sexy voice ‘alright, Paul come along now’ followed by other kisses. The other kiss is audible at 10:05 when John says ‘Now (Neil? Mal?) give us a kiss haha’ and you can hear a kiss.

    I’ve always tried to read as much stuff as possibile about them because I wanted to investigate about their relationship that seemed too strong for me to be just a simple friendship, and in my opinion John and Paul had a relationship, they were lovers, secretly in love during the 60s when being homosexual was considered a mental illness, and they were the most famous band on heart, so they had to be very cautious not to tell or show anything. But something happened between them between 1967 and 1968, it’s not a coincidence that Paul and John got married with Linda and Yoko in the same period, and it’s not a coincidence that John said to Paul he was going to marry Yoko telling him ‘I don’t want to hold your hand anymore’. A friend doesn’t cry running out abbey road studios when he understands his best friend has left him for a woman running home in the car with Mal Evans, and he doesn’t even has resentement for ten years. That’s not how best friends react, it’s what lovers do.

    • Rossy wrote:

      i’ve listened to that audio…and I was surprised. It really sounds like a kiss. I’m not sure about the others but the one you described at 2:05, god..I could perfectly hear a kiss and then john surprised says ‘ok paul, come on now’ and he kisses him again. it’s the sound of a kiss, I’ve never heard that tape, thank you for sharing it.

      • What a surprise to see this audio here today because since two days ago I’ve have been looking for it. It used to be available in youtube. Not anymore. I ask you also to pay attention in a moment we can listen to John whisper “MaCartney” in a very soft voice. Very dificult to listen…He is whispering. I had to listen ten times before being able to listen. Suddenly it was so clear!
        However…I could not access the link. I tried to download but something went wrong. It didn’t work for me. I shall try again later.

        • felix wrote:

          this doesn’t mean they had sex, it doesn’t mean nothing. it’s just a sound, you’re saying it’s a kiss, I can say it’s another sound, how can you be so sure it’s a kiss? and why on the mouth and not on a cheek? you’re forcing yourself to look into things that are different from reality, that’s why i think it’s bullshit all the things i’m reading here, because you’re trying to give answers to something that never happened forcing yourself to explore and give stupid examples. that’s just an audio and you can’t say we’re talking about a kiss, you can’t say it.

        • anny wrote:

          if you have troubles with the audio, I could upload it somewhere else if you want to listen to it.

      • Bee wrote:

        I’ve just listened to it carefully. Those sounds are similar to those of someone chewing gum with an open mouth (probably John) and that sound being transmitted into the mike. Can also be someone sucking in their lower lip and letting it out. The context doesn’t fit a kiss at all as they seem very preoccupied with getting the chord correct.

        • Did you listen John whispering “MacCartney”. I don’t thnk they really kissed that way because they were in the studio full of other people. But I would not doubth John wanted it to sound like a kiss.

          • anny wrote:

            @virginia”John wanted it to sound like a kiss” it doesn’t have much sense, you know. I’ve also thought it could be some chewing gum but it doesn’t fit with what john says. Why john would say in such a sexy tone ‘alright paul, come along now’ and then, boom, that sound. why would they sing with a chewing gum in their mouth? they did it sometimes during concert, specially john, but not in the studio, recording a song that would put the chewing gum sound in the song. A couple of them are clearly kisses. I don’t think john cared who was there in the studio, when he wanted to do something, he did it. and there were just the four of them, and george martin. that would explain what john said in an interview ‘me and paul know each other in many different levels that very few people know about’.

        • anny wrote:

          but they also joked a lot during recording, and had a lot of fun. i’ve listened to it many times, and I’ve also thought some of them could be the sound of a chewing gum, but others are clearly sounds of a kiss, that also would justify what john says ‘now, give us a kiss’ at about 10:00 and soon after you hear a kiss sound…why would it be the sound of a chewing gum? it wouldn’t make sense, you know. probably most of them are just sounds of their lips/gums, whatever, but two sounds, the one you hear at about 2:00 when john says ‘alright people come along now’ and the other one at about 10:00 when he says ‘now give us a kiss’, that is clearly a kiss sound. wonder why after that sound john says ‘oh, good, that might be an idea’, and paul nods…and then they talk about the song again.

    • Anny. I could not download that audio. A friend of mine also tried in vain. Is the link correct? Do you need to have a special tool to download? I really would love to listen to it again. Specially the whispering: MacCartney. I ask if any of you could listen to it. What did you do? 🙂

  26. I was “surfing the net” and I came across this message board with a heading “The Beatles Were Bi” and it was hundreds and hundreds of anonymous comments and speculation mostly about John and Paul. There were a few that raised my eyebrows. Now, what I want to know is, if this is all true, is it possible that the PR machine is so good,that it was hidden so well from the public? And if it’s all just chatty gossip, WHY? Why would these people create these kinds of rumors? Please read the following accounts and let me know what you think :

    “I was born in Liverpool and was a child of the Sixties I was around at that time and i can def tell u John and Paul were a couple. I’ve seen both of them together many times I worked in Whitechapel 50 yds away from Brian’s record shop. The truth will never be printed while Paul is alive . ”

    “Ok guys someone told me about this site and i have been loving it so far. Anyway my great uncle who lived in Liverpool told me a story some years ago. He told me that John and Paul actually were living together at some point during the sixties (John even stated it in a 70’s interview) and he is invited by a friend of his to a party that John and Paul are having at their house. He said as he walked in he saw Paul, who was walking around in nothing but a white shorts and John some feet away playing pool. He said throughout the day John and Paul is behaving like a regular couple and he is shocked since so many other ppl are there. Later in the evening as he is getting ready to leave Paul casually walks over to him and thanks him for coming and he leaves. He told me this some yrs after John’s death because he was sure Paul would have admitted they were a couple, well it has not happened and I don’t think he ever will. I really don’t know what to make of this story since he was the first person I ever heard claiming John and Paul to be a couple but apparently he is not the only one! ”

    “Since everyone is anonymous here, I guess I can give a bit of info I got from a female friend of mine who at one time was Paul worked as one of Paul’s assistants. According to her Macca is a bisexual, who makes no secret of this when he is around his inner circle. She does not know for certain if John and Paul were involved but she suspects it since to this day whenever John’s name is brought up he acts in her words ‘like a widow’ and he also addresses John in present tense. He would say things like, ‘John thinks that the music should be like this,’ and during his bitter divorce from Heather he was saying, ‘John says that this is getting nasty.’ Kind of creepy. She claims he always talks about Linda and obviously misses her very much. As for the threesome rumours she heard ppl talk about it and would not put it past him. She is also certain that the BI about the bisexual Rock&Roll legend over 65 yrs was Paul. ”

    “In the music circles it is spoken as a fact that John and Paul were a couple (My Dad was a musical director in Liverpool). Their affair started long before 1963, but came to a halt after Stu Sutcliffe became the central person in John’s life, hence the reason Paul hated Stu so much and even to this day blames his dislike of Stu on his lack of musical ability. Even Stu’s sister said that Stu and Paul were fighting for John’s affections. After Stu died Paul became the centre of John’s world again and he remained that way until Yoko replaced him.”

    • anny wrote:

      we will never know the truth about these comments, because we know that on the net there are thousand of people who tell lies everyday, and these stories could be lies, too. We don’t know who these people are and how they knew these stories..we’re talking about the most famous band in history, and it’s very easy to hear lies about them. The first and last experience I’ve ever had with someone who was in contact with the beatles was an english woman I used to write to through emails, now she lives in new york because her son moved there, but she lived in england when she was young. I knew her in a beatles forum, and we exchanged emails, and so I started writing to her regularly. She always told me that in the music inner circle everyone knew that paul and john were a couple, but very few people knew it. (she also told me that Mick Jagger is also bisex, and he knew about john and paul, too.) I used to exchange emails with her many years ago, about six or seven years ago, now I don’t anymore cause she’s ill and very old, but reading your comment reminded me of her and her stories during the sixties as beatles fan. That’s how I got interested in paul and john relationship, she introduced it to me, and I was kind of shocked because I couldn’t understand how such a big thing never came up on tabloids or anything..

    • anny wrote:

      The story of Paul talking about John in presence tense was also told once by Paul himself, I read it in an interview in which he said that when he composes and write songs he can hear John’s voice telling him if the song is good or not, and Paul replies to him as if John is next to him.

  27. Ruth wrote:

    “reader interest says this is EXACTLY what Beatle fans are interested in talking about right now. Why is a great question and I’d be interested in anybody’s thoughts.”

    Short answer: Because Beatles history has failed to give us an accurate, in-depth analysis of the Lennon/McCartney partnership, the axis around which the group revolved. A great deal of this thread doesn’t even debate the sex/no sex question, but instead attempts to understand the incredible intricacies of this fundamental relationship. And the reason for that is that there’s never been a comprehensive, accurate, impartial and insightful analysis of Lennon/McCartney. If Beatles authorities won’t give it to us, we will have to figure it out for ourselves, on threads like this one.

    During the official narrative, you have Paul denying that that there was any jealousy whatsoever in his songwriting partnership with John — in 1966 or 67, I believe. There are some admissions that the two wrote separately as well as apart, but the common conception was of the two, side by side, banging out another tune on the piano. One critic may have preferred Lennon’s work to McCartney’s, or vice-versa, but they were viewed as an almost singular creative entity. They were a smaller unit within the larger unit of the band.

    Now, thanks to post-breakup accounts, we know a lot of that is simplified. We know jealousy was a *huge* issue; that they wrote apart as much if not more than they wrote together, and that they could be, in George Martin’s words, “cruel” to each other in their competition. After the breakup, the narrative predictably swung to the opposite of its predecessor: Now John and Paul were antagonists; their partnership was unequal, because John was a self-proclaimed genius while Paul was a commercial hack; the two were never close and wrote, in John’s own words, almost everything — post-1962!!! — apart.

    Of course, we now know a lot of that isn’t true, or that its exaggerated. They didn’t stop writing together in 1962; Paul wasn’t a shallow, conventional lightweight who refused to musically experiment; he wasn’t terrible to Yoko; John didn’t take heroin because of the way Paul and George treated him and Yoko. But the next version of Beatles history wasn’t much better: You had Norman chronicling the group in a horrendously biased, speculative, and methodologically flawed biography that provided *another* inaccurate representation of the Lennon/McCartney partnership. And this one had a stamp of authorial impartiality on it, since, unlike Davies, it wasn’t an official one. You had Coleman arguing in his John bio that “Paul and John never had much in common.” You still have Norman, in 2008, arguing that John and Paul’s relationship was more “professional” than John’s more personal relationships with George or Ringo.

    But that narrative is wrong, too. There are reams and reams of evidence to contradict Norman, and Coleman, and similar versions of Lennon/McCartney. Only now are we getting decent looks at the most important songwriting partnership of the 20th century: Doggett’s was excellent, albeit depressing, given his time period. Lewisohn’s is going to be crucial, and I think that his introduction to Tune In centered on John and Paul, and their early songwriting partnership, is no coincidence, because Lewisohn also realizes that no one has done it yet. This thread has struck a chord not only because of the controversial nature of its topic, but also because of two truths: The Lennon/McCartney relationship is at the crux of Beatles history, and no one has given us a satisfactory account of that relationship.

    • @Ruth, it strikes me: if Beatles history hasn’t yet given us an accurate, complete account of the Lennon/McCartney relationship, what the hell has it given us? Journalism, I guess.

      • Ruth wrote:

        “@Ruth, it strikes me: if Beatles history hasn’t yet given us an accurate, complete account of the Lennon/McCartney relationship, what the hell has it given us? Journalism, I guess.”

        I think Hertsgaard put it very well in his bio, A Day in the Life.

        “One simply cannot trust that the ‘facts’ in most books about the Beatles are anything more than speculation, heresy or opinion. The daily media reporting about the Beatles over the years was often careless or simpleminded. Book authors then compounded the confusion by making vast deductive leaps they then presented as truth, or by using technically factual evidence in selective ways, or by surmising what a given person, usually a Beatle, must have thought in a situation and then putting those words in his mouth. Authors rarely bothered to document their conclusions; very few books on the Beatles contain a list of often questionable citations in supporting their claims.”

        That’s not history, or real journalism. Myth, blatantly biased interpretation, authorial speculation presented as fact, hearsay presented as fact — that’s much of what Beatles writers have given us.

        • What do you think of Hertsgaard’s book, @Ruth? I haven’t yet read Gould’s book, but I loved Hertsgaard’s; I seem to recall him being particularly good with the intergroup dynamic, which is so much of the story here.

          • Ruth wrote:

            I think Hertsgaard’s is the first Beatles biography that qualifies as actual history. He cites sources: he’s not biased; his musical interpretation is actually informed, rather than mere opinion, and he distinguishes between evidence and his own interpretation.

            Gould’s is superb. Its highly interpretive — I don’t think he did any original research — but it has all the same strengths as Hertsgaard’s. Along with Norman’s, its the best written book in Beatles historiography. I find his interpretations and conclusions extremely credible and insightful: if you could combine Gould’s interpretation with Lewisohn’s research, you just might have as-close-to the truth as we are ever going to get.

    • anny wrote:

      The only one who could give us the truth about john and paul is only Paul. Journalists, writers…they only want to make business, and they will never know the real truth as much as Paul. Several times he has admitted that he wants to write a book about him and john, a book about their story. This would be a good answer for us…but I also remember he said that he couldn’t do it when John’s wife is still alive..and I also remember that he said that he wouldn’t like to tell so many private things about him and john, that he would like to keep them for himself.

    • Drew wrote:

      Ruth: Spot on. I think the reason that P. Norman persists in his stupid “theory” that Paul and John’s relationship was only “professional” is because Norman doesn’t value Paul or his music and can’t see why John would. It’s a shame that Norman has persisted with the Paul bio he’s writing. I mean, hasn’t he caused enough damage? It’s too bad that Paul has yet to have a biographer who actually understands and appreciates his music and talents, without being an apologist for his worst work.

      You’re absolutely right that no one has yet explained the Lennon and McCartney relationship in a substantive way. But frankly I don’t have much hope for Lewisohn’s book on this front, either. Facts are his strong suit (he’s certainly more accurate than the others) but I don’t see analysis and relationships as his strong suit at all. For example, Lewisohn writes (as we’ve read before) that Paul was unliked by the others during their first Hamburg trip. Then, not long after Hamburg, when the Beatles start being successful in Liverpool, all of a sudden Lewisohn is quoting people about how Paul and John were inseparable and a force of nature together when you met them on the street. There is no explanation of how the two got from Point A (Hamburg, where Paul is the odd man out) to Point B (the two of them being inseparable and going off to Paris — the closest of friends). But II didn’t see much insight into the Lennon-McCartney friendship in Tune In; and Lewisohn wouldn’t be the type to conjecture about that without facts. Or did you see insights in Tune In about their friendship that I am missing?

      I don’t know. Maybe the problem is as Paul has said: There’s only 2 people who understand John and Paul’s complicated relationship, and one of them died 35 years ago. And the other refuses to speak in any detail. Ringo and George might offer insights but George is gone, and Ringo speaks in even more cliches than Paul these days (“peace and love, peace and love” and “they were my brothers”). Anyone else who was in the inner circle and could offer real insights into the John-Paul friendship is dead (Mal, Brian, Neil, Cynthia, Maureen, Linda).

      • linda a. wrote:

        For example, Lewisohn writes (as we’ve read before) that Paul was unliked by the others during their first Hamburg trip.

        But Drew wasn’t Lewisohn quoting from a letter that Stu had written to someone back in Liverpool? I think in light of that anything Stu said regarding Paul should be taken with a grain of salt. Those two couldn’t stand each other and it seems to me Stu was pretty catty whenever he spoke of Paul, especially in relation to Paul’s social position within the group vs. Stu’s. In other words I think that Stu exaggerated when he said that no one could stand Paul. I think that’s what Stu wanted to believe. That’s why it doesn’t mesh with later quotes from others who said that Paul and John were inseparable. And of course the later quotes come from a time when Stu was no longer in the picture. Paul and John did become close after Stu left. They were close before Stu. Their was such a rivalry between Paul and Stu that anything Stu says about Paul loses credibility.

        • I enjoy thinking about them with love. Believe me, that is the feeling inside of me. As a fan, not like a detective. LOL Because it is almost impossible to know everything for sure. Best way to have a glimpse bit of what happened is to concentrate in real facts. And use the intuition, the feelings. We don’t need to proove anything. I play with the idea and think it is lovely. So, this story of Stu’s declarations doesn’t make any sense. I would not invite someone I don’t regard as a close friend to spend my 21st birthday with me in Paris. A man receives a high amount of money as gift, decides to go to Paris of all places to celebrate his important date and invites only one person to celebrate with him. For sure he’d invite someone he cares a lot, he likes very much…No other explanation. He took only Paul with him. So, “dear Stu, I am sorry, but it seems you were only jealous he didn’t invite you. :)”
          I don’t think Noman would say Paul and John’s relationship was only professional for not giving value to Paul’s music. It doesn’t make sense. I understand he didn’t like his music in his solo carreer. Lots of people felt disappointed with his first solo efforts, including Paul. He said once he always considered it sub standart. In fact ( and here some fans will hate me) it was not as good as the songs he used to write for The Beatles. Being fascinated by Beatles music I also felt very disappointed. I’d find a couple of good songs in a album. Some really good. But most were not good for me. The worst part: they sounded corny. Sure it is only a matter of taste, but I can understand those who didn’t like. But Norman was talking about the Beatles days. And he just can’t ignore what a musical genius Paul was composing for The Beatles. Nobody sane could not see the beauty and Art in albuns like Revolver, Sgt Peppers, MMT and Abbey Road. Nobody can ignore Paul was very important in the making of their albuns, he was always full of good ideas. Even in this earlier songs, which I love too, we can see how well John and Paul worked together. ” I saw her standing there” became a classic rock tune. So the reason Norman decided to give us a wrong information about them has to be another one. Maybe he didn’t like Paul as a person, based on the campaign against Paul that John started in the early seventies. A time things were really dark for all of them. Lots of people believed Paul was a kind of villain. As for his music, though it is OT, I feel I have to add I think Paul improved quite a lot with passing time. I love his NEW Cd. And I keep finding real gems in his B sides, in bonus, in unreleased songs, and also in Demos! OMG his Rude demos are sheer perfection. I fell in love again. 🙂 I can only think that, in fact, he never lost his talent, but he was not surrounded anymore by …Ringo, John and George. So, singing alone he would be as wonderful as before. Once in the studio things would not be so good. Also he seems to hide his best pieces. I also got fascinated by an audio showing he only checking up the sound for a concert. And that was breathtaking. I saw him in concert once and simply adored it. Wow. But that sound show was even better! What an amazing musician.

      • Ruth wrote:

        “I think the reason that P. Norman persists in his stupid “theory” that Paul and John’s relationship was only “professional” is because Norman doesn’t value Paul or his music and can’t see why John would.”

        Agreed. Norman doesn’t like Paul and so can’t conceive of how John could, or would.Which goes back to my reply to Michael which pretty much roundly condemns the vast majority of Beatle writing — having a “favorite” Beatle is fine. Allowing that favoritism to dominate your work is not. Norman has admitted his bias: it wasn’t until *he* was able to understand why John would have “wanted Paul around” that he could even begin to portray their partnership and relationship with any semblance of impartiality. And that’s a massive amount of authorial self-insertion that skews the evidence Norman chooses/rejects, his interpretations of that evidence, and his conclusions.

        You’re right; Lewiswohn is a facts man. His strength is research first, writing and interpretation second. He’s not going to speculate. But Tune In reveals his stance on the two most common debates concerning John and Paul: Were they close friends — Did they really love each other? And second, Which one was the greater genius — which was more important to the Beatles? Lewisohn answers both of those questions in his introduction, and reiterates them throughout the book 1. John and Paul were incredibly close; their friendship was competitive and intimate and driving and intense and obvious to almost everyone who met them, even prior to their fame. 2, Lewisohn declares them equals — no equivocating, no dancing around: he states it in the intro.

        The thing about methodologically sound Orthodoxies is they are almost impossible to dislodge, for good or bad. If, as I fully expect, Lewisohn continues to reiterate these two main aspects of the Lennon/McCartney relationship/partnership throughout the rest of his work, its going to shift the debates. Lewisohn won’t speculate and analyze and interpret too much — you’re right. He’s not going to tell us anything about Lennon/McCartney that isn’t 100% supported by facts, and there obviously has to be some amount of authorial speculation. But his research will provide the foundation for other writers to do so. By the time Lewisohn is done, the question won’t be “Were John and Paul really close? Did they actually love each other, or was it more of a professional relationship?” It will be “How close were they? How much did they love each other?” Larry Kane and Norman can downplay the Lennon/McCartney relationship, but Lewisohn’s Orthodoxy will overwhelm them. Same with the “Who was the greater genius?” question. If Lewisohn continues to confirm them as equals, than the debate will shift, to an extent, from “who is better/greater” to “As equals, how did they make each other better/greater?” Once we’ve finally moved past these paralyzing and obscuring debates, we can finally start to delve in deeper, and get a more complete picture of Lennon/McCartney.

        “Anyone else who was in the inner circle and could offer real insights into the John-Paul friendship is dead”

        I’d agree with that, with the exception of George Martin. I think Martin is the very definition of a credible source, for a number of reasons. And Martin has always given the same answers, whatever version of Beatles history was in vogue: Yes, they loved each other. Yes, they were equals. One of the biggest flaws with the post-breakup and Shout! versions is that they wholly ignore Martin’s assessments.

        • What a great, meaty comment @Ruth. And great questions to spur it, @Drew.

          Unfortunately, George Martin’s relationship with the Beatles was, at base, a professional one. He can’t answer the kinds of questions that have set our comments section on fire since Thursday — which is why they remain, and I think they will remain.

          George Martin’s such an interesting source; he is the only person Present At the Creation whose income from the Beatles is not subject to any kind of shenanigans. Plus, he seems to be a straight-shooter — and that’s why I think he was able to be so strongly pro-McCartney during the 1980-2000 period where the “One Genius: John” line dominated the discourse. You can’t listen to George Martin talk about Sgt. Pepper and not come away with a sense of Paul’s towering talent.

          So much to say, I think George Martin has done Beatle people a huge service by being the source that he is; but I don’t think he can offer us much in the way of John and Paul’s intimate dealings. Professional process, yes, but there was a lot going on beneath the surface that George was not privy to. Case in point: John’s mistaken trip during the recording of “Getting Better.” George can say, “John wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t concentrate, so I took him up to the roof and he said, ‘Aren’t the stars incredible?'” He can’t say anything about LSD, or Paul’s taking John to Cavendish Avenue, or to John and Paul’s tripping together — which are the only reasons that incident is meaningful. George Martin is great, but he’s very very limited in what he can speak to with any authority. Right?

          • Ruth wrote:

            “George Martin is great, but he’s very very limited in what he can speak to with any authority. Right?”

            Outside the studio that’s true, but I think the professional nature of his relationship with John and particularly Paul blurred as time went on. We know they socialized with each other both during and after the Beatles years; Paul was on record a few years ago as saying that George Martin is one of the “most important men” in his life, along with his father, brother, and fellow Beatles; Sounes argues that Martin and John Eastman are two of the very few men whose judgment Paul trust implicitly, but I can’t recall if he cites a source on that or not. In Miles’s book “In the Sixties,” he recounts watching George Martin and Paul at a 1967 dinner together: “There was an obvious mutual respect and friendship from working together for years, but now it seemed to me that George was relating to Paul more as an adult than as one of the Fabs … However, it was still more like the relationship of a father to a grown-up son than man-to-man.’ George Martin frequently socialized/saw the McCartney family in the 1970s and beyond, going to their birthday parties, etc., at least according to The Beatles After the Breakup. I’d like to see a thorough analysis of the George Martin/McCartney relationship, but that would also drift back, in part, to John: given John’s belief that Martin favored Paul’s songs, how would that have influenced John’s relationship with George Martin? Which is my long-winded way of saying I think George Martin is about as close to an authority as we are going to get on Paul, since Paul’s family won’t talk, John Hammel won’t talk, and Linda is gone.

            “but I don’t think he can offer us much in the way of John and Paul’s intimate dealings.”

            I think you’re right, to a considerable extent, especially regarding things that happened outside the studio, but I also believe his long relationship with Paul in particular demonstrates that he understands very well how Paul ticks. Your LSD example is a very good one, though, and illustrates your point very well; the only people who could give us the information on that would be John, Paul and/or Mal, and two of them are gone.

          • linda a. wrote:

            I’m pretty sure Michael that George Martin has called their relationship/partnership a marriage and I’m also pretty sure that he even went on to say that their wives were replacements for each other. He mentioned that that’s part of the reason why Paul insisted on bringing Linda on tour if I remember correctly. (Gould)? So I think he might have a good understanding of their personal relationship. If by “intimate dealings” you mean a sexual relationship it would be hard to say of course, whether he would be privy to information like that. But I think George Martin is quite sensitive and astute and he’s in very good position having spent so many hours with them to at least have a sense of something if it were true. Hell if it’s really true that industry insiders supposedly know about John and Paul then George Martin is as insider as you can get.

          • anny wrote:

            George Martin and Paul McCartney are the only one who know everything, and could talk about it. George Martin wouldn’t do it, because his relationship with John and Paul has always been professional, and he was seen as a kind of ‘father’ from their perspective, without any doubt he knows what was going on between them, but he’s too respectul of them to actually make a statement without their consent. He has always spoken about them in a professional way, he rarely talked about their personal relationships, and I’ve always seen him as a very decorous gentleman, who never liked to make gossip and talk about beatles secrets. The only one who could talk is Paul, and it’s uncertain if he’s willing to do it or keep this question unresolved forever. Maybe, after Yoko’s interview, he will give another one soon telling something more about them..who knows. Some of you was wondering how this story of john and paul relationshipwas never discovered if really something happened beween them, and why this ‘secret’ never came out and why John or Paul never publicly talked about it. I’ve tried to give an answer myself, and I think the only solution is that the relationship was something bigger than we expect, not something about ‘one night’ or some kisses, something John would laugh about in some interview during the 70s. Because it was something bigger, an estabilished, long relationship, that started before they became the Beatles and kept secret for long, with John keeping his wife Cynthia and son everywhere to give the image of perfect heterosexual man and loving husband and father, and Paul did the same with Asher, ready to publish thousand of photographs of them on magazines to show how loving they were. And we know that’s not quite true, John being bisexual and having relationship with women and men during the 60s. Homosexuality was illegal during that time, and they couldn’t talk about it, in some interview they joke about it with reporters, making them laugh, leaving it to a simple joke. The only explanation I can give for this story kept in silent for so long is that John and Paul had a very long, estabilished relationship, that would also confirm what Martin and also Ringo said, talking about them as ‘husband and wife’ in a ‘marriage’. That’s why Paul wouldn’t talk about it, because he was like Yoko, in a strong and long relationship that was kept secret for long, that would also justify John’s behaviour when they split up. They wouldn’t kept a secret if it was simply for a kiss, or for something that happened one night when they were drunk. It wouldn’t make sense.

      • Karen Hooper wrote:

        @Drew: exactly. I think Lewsohn excels in certain areas (who recorded what and when) but misses the mark in the relationship arena.

        And Phillip Norman is a hack, IMO.

  28. Nicole wrote:

    I’m sure that if there was anything to tell [about John’s trip to Spain with Brian], it would have been Paul John would have told. Forget what happened later–at that time, they were closer than any two men I’ve ever known.
    (Alistair Taylor)
    .
    …and Paul? Well, call me crazy, but he lost the wife. I’m certainly not implying anything of a carnal nature here, but to almost all intents and porpoises (as John would have put it), what they had was a marriage… John and Paul were meant to meet, meant to create and one was designed to play sturm and drang to the other’s yin and yang…
    (Ruth McCartney)
    .
    When asked if John and Paul were “as close as the media made them out to be,” Julia [Baird] giggled and said, “Oh, no, they were closer!” She then elaborated, ‘”Paul and John would come to [her] father’s place, go upstairs and lock themselves in for hours and hours, listening to records and thumping about up there.” She said they were closer than any two people she’s ever met, and that they used to be able to “look at each other, stare at each other, and convey a whole conversation beyond all of us.”

  29. linda a. wrote:

    I’m quite ignorant of the tastes and preferences of gay men, but I have to say … I find that claim quite difficult to believe. Either that, or Paul is that oblivious.

    For some reason there was no reply button under your comment Ruth, but you may be right in not believing Paul’s claim. There used to be a website that was gathering information from people who had something to share about the Beatles, whether it was a memory of the first time you heard their music, or memories of having met them. In the section where people talked about meeting them, I remember one story from a guy who was in the U.S. Navy in 1960 and was stationed in Germany. He was with his buddies and they wandered into the Kaiserkellar where a British group they had never heard of were on stage. He sat at a table next to another group of guys who I guess we’re gay. He watched while one of them kept sending drinks up to the stage to hit on Paul. The guy was apparently a bit relentless, and this American sailor who was watching it unfold, said that Paul was extremely uncomfortable, and flustered with the attention. He ignored the overtures. Also there is a video out there, of Paul being interviewed in Australia. The male reporter kept putting his hand on Paul’s knee and again Paul was uncomfortable. He began to say loudly, that the best thing about Australia was the GIRLS and Take your hand off my knee.

  30. Michael wrote:

    This is such a fascinating discussion, and I want to add to it, but much of what I could contribute has already been said so well. A couple of thoughts, though.

    John and Paul loved each other—as friends, or more, or whatever—and I think they were also clearly each other’s surrogate girlfriend/spouses. Saying their relationship was like a marriage gets to this truth, but it’s not just that the relationship was that close; it served, I think, the emotional functions that most young men, even in 50s/60s Liverpool, would have found from their SOs by their mid-twenties. I think all those comments in the John section of Hunter Davies’ biography point to this—Cynthia mildly complaining that John wanting to take all his vacations with the other Beatles, for example. Even if there was no sex, John leaving Paul for Yoko was not akin to leaving his old army buddies behind to get married. Not at all—he was divorcing his real “first wife,” Paul, for Yoko. John couldn’t do something that momentous without working himself into anger, I think, and I think for the rest of his life, the nagging feeling that he’d made a huge mistake compelled him to sustain that anger, to justify why he destroyed the best thing he’d ever had.

    I’m inclined to believe the tipping point has something to do with John being in India, meditating intensely, and more or less drug and alcohol free for the first time since maybe 1956. I imagine that so much repressed rage boiled forth during those three months, not only from childhood, but also toward Paul, relating to competitive insecurity, from the past two years, which he’d been repressing with endless acid trips and joints and coke and pills. I think the bender he went on when he got back to London stems from this, from not knowing how to handle everything he was feeling. I think he was probably flooded with raw hurt and blind anger at everything he saw as putting him in that position. He doesn’t just go after Paul, post-Maharishi. He forces Cyn to listen to every indiscretion on the plane back; he wants to get caught with Yoko by her. He was, basically, in a prolonged rage and smashing up everything around him. His jealousy at Paul’s songwriting, his A-sides, Pepper, his relationship with George Martin, his popularity, at being ‘managed’ by his one-time perceived inferior all explain 1968-70 without any actual sex.

    But then, there could have been more. The “eye contact” thing alone is so intense—when I read THAT for the first time, I thought…that’s something I’ve only done with people I’ve slept with.

    I read somewhere that Paul said he’d heard that John wrote “Jealous Guy” to Paul. If that’s true, it’s both a remarkably intimate song to write for a friend, and a remarkably revealing one.

    • anny wrote:

      yes, “jealous guy” was a song for paul. In an interview published in the February 1985 edition of Playgirl magazine, Paul McCartney revealed that Lennon wrote it with him in mind. “He used to say, ‘Everyone is on the McCartney bandwagon.’ He wrote ‘I’m Just a Jealous Guy,’ and he said that the song was about me. So I think it was just some kind of jealousy.” (Source: http://www.beatlesbible.com/people/john-lennon/songs/jealous-guy/)
      And I also believe “just like starting over” was, because there are too many things in that song that makes me thing he’s singing it to paul .I’ve always believed that most of the songs they wrote during the 60s, in the beatles era and in 70s were written for each other.
      John didn’t mind to tell that he always thought that “Hey Jude” was a song for him.

      “[Paul] said it was written about Julian. He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then. He was driving to see Julian to say hello. He had been like an uncle. And he came up with ‘Hey Jude.’ But I always heard it as a song to me. Now I’m sounding like one of those fans reading things into it…Think about it: Yoko had just come into the picture. He is saying ‘Hey, Jude’ – ‘Hey, John.’ Subconsciously, he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me.’ On a conscious level, he didn’t want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying ‘Bless you.’ The Devil in him didn’t like it at all, because he didn’t want to lose his partner.” -John (Source: Playboy, 1980)

      Here, There and Everywhere

      Paul wrote this song in John’s house while he was waiting for John to wake up.

      I remember one time when we were making Help! in Austria. We’d been out skiing all day for the film and so we were all tired. I usually shared a room with George. But on this particular occasion, I was in with John. We were taking our huge skiing boots off and getting ready for the evening and stuff, and we had one of our cassettes. It was one of the albums, probably Revolver or Rubber Soul…I’m a bit hazy about which one. It may have been the one that had my song, ‘Here, There and Everywhere.’ There were three of my songs and three of John’s songs on the side we were listening to. And for the first time ever, he just tossed it off, without saying anything definite, ‘Oh, I probably like your songs better than mine.’ And that was it! That was the height of praise I ever got off him.“ (mumbles) ”’I probably like your songs better than mine.’ Whoops! There was no one looking, so he could say it.“ – Paul (Source: Playboy, 1984)

      I Saw Her Standing There

      “I’d like to thank Elton and the boys for having me on tonight. We tried to think of a number to finish off with so I can get out of here and be sick, and we thought we’d do a number of an old estranged fiancé of mine called Paul.” – John, introducing “I Saw Her Standing There” at the Thanksgiving show at Madison Square Garden in 1974

      Free As A Bird

      “At the end, after he heard [‘Free As A Bird’], Paul gave me this great big hug and said, ‘Oh, John, give me a kiss.’” – Jeff Lynne

      My Old Friend

      “A guest at the sessions was the Beatles’ long-time friend rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins. He played McCartney a song he had just written, entitled ‘My Old Friend’. ‘After I finished,’ he recalled,

      Paul was crying, tears were rolling down his pretty cheeks, and Linda said, ‘Carl, thank you so much.’ I said, ‘Linda, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry.’ She said, ‘But he’s crying, and he needed to. He hasn’t been able to really break down since that happened to John.’ And she put her arm around me and said, ‘But how did you know?’ I said, ‘Know what?’ She said, ‘There’s two people in the world that know what John Lennon said to Paul, the last thing he said to him. But now there’s three, and one of them’s you, you know it.’ I said, ‘Girl, you’re freaking me out! I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ She said that the last words that John Lennon said to Paul in the hallway of the Dakota building were, he patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘Think about me every now and then, old friend.’

      And that, with minor alterations, was the chorus line of Perkins’ song, ‘McCartney really feels that Lennon sent me that song, he really does.’” (Source: http://beatlephotoblog.com/think-about-me-every-now-and-then)

      Now and Then

      “In January 1994, Paul McCartney was given two tape cassettes by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono that included home recordings of songs Lennon never completed or released commercially. The songs on the tape included the eventually completed and released “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”, in addition to two other songs was a tape with the words “for Paul” scrawled hastily in John’s handwriting, which included “Grow Old With Me” and “Now and Then”. In March 1995, the three surviving Beatles began work on “Now and Then” by recording a rough backing track that was to be used as an overdub. However, after only two days of recording, all work on the song ceased and plans for a third reunion single were scrapped permanently” (Source: Badman, Keith (2001). “The Beatles Diary Volume 2:After The Break-Up 1970–2001”)

      Dear Friend

      “”’Dear Friend’ was written about John, yes. I don’t like grief and arguments, they always bug me. Life is too precious, although we often find ourselves guilty of doing it. So after John had slagged me off in public I had to think of a response, and it was either going to be to slag him off in public – and some instinct stopped me, which I’m really glad about – or do something else. So I worked on my attitude and wrote ‘Dear Friend’, saying, in effect, let’s lay the guns down, let’s hang up our boxing gloves.“ (Source: Club Sandwich [Paul’s official fan club magazine], 1994)

      Here Today

      “I was kind of crying when I wrote it [‘Here Today’]. It’s like a dialogue with John. One of my feelings even when he used to lay into me was that he really didn’t mean it. I could always see why he was doing it. There was this spectre of me, which I understand because he had to clear the decks just like I did. In the song, John would hear me saying that and say ‘Oh, piss off, you don’t know me at all. We’re worlds apart. You used to know me but I’ve changed.’ But I felt I still knew him. The song is me trying to talk back to him, but realising the futility of it because he is no longer here, even though that’s a fact I can’t quite believe, even to this day. The ‘I love you’ part was hard to say . A part of me said, ‘Hold on. Wait a minute. Are you really going to do that?’ I finally said, ‘Yeah, I’ve got to. It’s true.’” – Paul (Source: April 1982 interview promoting “Tug of War”)

      “It was a love song about my relationship with him.” – Paul (Source: Bill Harry, The John Lennon Encylopedia, 2001)

      Early Days

      “On the day (I wrote the track Early Days) I was thinking about the past, particularly me and John in Liverpool in the early days so I just ran with that. I started to get images of us in the record shop listening to early rock and roll and looking at the posters and the joy that that gave me remembering all those moments.” (Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-24388317)

      AND THE AMAZING…. Oh Johnny, Johnny

      This is a record made in early 60’s in John’s house. You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzTVBP5e_vY

      The fantastic lyrics:

      P- Well oh Johnny, oh Johnny, oh god Johnny boy
      How are we gonna tell him
      Why don’t we go somewhere where he don’t own me
      Where can i go?
      Oh Johnny boy you wore me out.
      Oh Johnny, oh Johnny, oh Johnny boy
      Oh Johnny, you got me, you be my boy
      Well, a long time ago, I called you Johnny boy.
      J- Hey little boy, I’m packing my shoes, and I’m leaving you.
      I told my Mama I’m going to see my sister
      She don’t see me, I don’t know what I’m going to do.
      P- A long time ago I called you Johnny boy.
      I don’t know what to tell the fellas.
      Please, oh please, Johnny.
      J- Well I’ll tell the fellas that I do love you.
      P- I don’t know what I’m gonna do.
      I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I tell my father
      You love me Johnny, I love you Johnny
      I’m not gonna let you go.
      P- I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I tell my father
      You wore me down, you wore me down.
      You’re gonna leave, you’re gonna leave me
      Please, oh, I’m not gonna let you go
      J- Take the next bus out of town
      Then you won’t let your father down.
      I don’t know what good I am since I see life in front of us.
      P- Well get out of town,
      don’t hold me down.
      I don’t care.
      J- Get out of town,
      I don’t know (3x)
      I want to leave right now
      To get out of town.
      P- You know I want to do it all.
      I want to go far away, far away,
      I want to go far away.
      J- No, no, no, no
      P- Yeah, I’m going far away.
      Yeah, we’re going far away.
      We’re gonna leave.
      J- We’re going away,
      Yeah, we’re going away,
      Gonna leave town right now.

      They both were an inspiration for each other, and they always used songs to communicate, mostly during the 70s, when they were apart. ‘If I fell’ is another song I’ve always tought John wrote for Paul, even if paul never said anything about it, but in an interview during the 70s a journalist asked John about ‘if i fell’ and he answered that it was song he didn’t write for cynthia.

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      The eye contact thing was remarkable in terms of it even happening, but also because Paul so freely disclosed it.

  31. marcus wrote:

    @michaelgerber – with regards to the Goldman book, you can not defame the dead in the UK or the majority of the US and certainly in the state of NY in which Goldman published the book there is no statute to provide for defamation of the dead you can only defame the living. Yoko could not take any legal action. That’s why when I have been discussing defamation I only talk about Paul McCartney because John Lennon can not be defamed.
    ==
    Sorry there was no reply link on your comment so I am just popping this up here.

    • Thank you, @marcus. But that’s only half the story: Yoko most certainly could’ve taken legal action, because Goldman’s book was (arguably) even more critical of her than it was of John. Open the second half at random, and you’ll find something said about Yoko that is appalling.

      Don’t misunderstand — I think the things you’re talking about are definitely part of the calculus, and I’m sure there are books that are written cunningly, so that every loophole is skated through and every possible lawsuit would be Pyrrhic. But I think those are rare — publishers make much more money with celebrities, than with celebrity dirt; simply from a marketing standpoint, the group “people who hate x celeb sufficiently to spend money on a tell-all” is much much smaller than the group “fans of x celebrity.”

      Not saying irresponsible tell-alls don’t happen; just that they are rare, and get rarer still as the target is shown to be litigious or well-heeled or both. Publishers and writers just don’t need the hassle. And in that case — if the target will go to court, and has the money to go to court, yet does NOT go to court — for me that says something about the content. It must. But my instinct is mine and yours is yours, and together we traipse mildly into the future. 🙂

      • marcus wrote:

        Ah my mistake I thought we were talking about John being Goldman-proof and as this book was about John that the fact that Yoko hadn’t sued proved their mus t be something to some of the salacious content which was principally about John. Of course Yoko is living and she could sue in theory for defamation against her, if as I outlined in a previous post, she had a clear case and Goldman has presented a defamatory statement as absolute fact and not as opinion or fair comment.

        I actually work for a publisher in legal and I can honestly say we make the most money from books that have some controversial content. So we try to find the best way to include such material and provide effective legal advice to authors on how to word this information so it’s not actionable. Controversial books, with salacious details sell best. All the fans buy the books good and bad on their idols and these books get headlines which means more of the market that are not “fans” but people who might be made curious, buy as well.

        Headlines like “Were John and Paul Lovers’ get the page views, the tabloids don’t use the headlines they do for nothing and books that have sensational elements generate the most revenue.

        The reason I explained defamation law in boring detail in a previous post was to explain that no matter how litigious or well-heeled anyone is they must have a case under the law and US defamation law is very ‘freedom of speech’ focused which I believe is a good thing but celebrities are limited to what they can do, based on what the law allows. If you don’t have a case being a billionaire won’t help.

        Many of the primary sources in respect of the Beatles could give their opinions or make fair comment now. They could release a revised version of their book if they wished at any time, people do put out updates. For people like Francie Schwartz, Pete Shotton, Peter Brown they could give an opinion or comment on whether John and Paul were lovers without consequence. It’s not really a matter of instinct. It just is what it is. Pete Shotton talked in detail about what he knew of John and Brian’s trip to Spain. Francie Schwartz commented on Paul’s sexuality. These people have had no compunction in writing on such topics but they have not eluded to a sexual relationship between John and Paul. Francie said that she was asked by her publisher, Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone, to expand on what she wrote, he asked her to talk about the sex and anything salacious she knew. The marketing department of publisher s need something to sell, they want that stuff, they ask for that stuff. People aren’t buying as many books as they once did and sex sells. It is no coincidence that the big reveal, the big marketing tool for Tune-in was that the Beatles were signed because George Martin was having an affair with his secretary. The truth is, in Tune-in the story about how the Beatles were signed came from one unverified source, now deceased. It also came from two staff members of George Martin’s saying what they think the gossip was but they couldn’t corroborate the main source’s story. That’s it. Several claims are made on behalf of people that were never interviewed and who are dead. It is a reasonably weak piece of research but it is more than sufficient for Lewisohn to give his opinion that that is what happened. And it absolutely was wanted by and chosen by marketing to be that books big reveal.

        And, it should be noted and let me repeat again, I am not talking about irresponsible tell-alls, we are talking about the truth. It would not be irresponsible for someone to elude to the truth especially now and in recent decades. Attitudes have changed, thankfully.

        • Drew wrote:

          ” Francie said that she was asked by her publisher, Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone, to expand on what she wrote, he asked her to talk about the sex and anything salacious she knew.”

          Good god, that is appalling. And definitive evidence that Paul never had a chance. Jann Wenner went on a personal crusade to ruin McCartney, and no doubt John and Yoko were egging Wenner on. This statement leaves me with no respect for Wenner at all.

        • @Marcus,
          Jeez, if you’re a lawyer who works for a UK publisher, you should’ve said that in your first comment, so that we all could’ve given your replies their proper context. You know who I am, and why I say what I say — I do this on purpose. It’s a friendly, informal forum, and I really like to discourage “gotcha” arguing. Too internetty. That having been said, I’m loving your comments, please keep ’em up.

          “Of course Yoko is living and she could sue in theory for defamation against her, if as I outlined in a previous post, she had a clear case and Goldman has presented a defamatory statement as absolute fact and not as opinion or fair comment.”
          So why didn’t Yoko sue Goldman? I think it was because by doing so she would either have had to
          1) admit that Goldman’s version was partially true in certain embarrassing regards, and/or
          2) open up areas of her life to public scrutiny that would be disastrous from a PR perspective.
          I think that’s a reasonable opinion for an educated outsider to have; do you disagree? What’s YOUR opinion? Once again, friendly, informal forum; no need to say, “Well I couldn’t possibly know why, and it would be irresponsible etc etc…” You’re a man of the world, squire. Tell us your opinion.

          I’m frankly amazed that your experience has been “some controversial content” sells best. My experience — in both the US and UK, and you better believe I talked to people just like you ad infinitum for five years running — is that fans don’t “buy the books good and bad on their idols.” My experience was exactly the opposite: especially with a beloved celebrity (like Harry Potter or, say, The Beatles), that they are quick to backlash if they think you’re being unfair or shitty; and that, as an author, you mess with rich people at your peril — you have to indemnify the publisher, and legal action is but one avenue open to an angry rich person. This is a powerful disincentive to “telling all.”

          @Marcus, given the length and frequency of your replies, I can’t help but feel that you’re somehow offended by the topic, and if that’s so, I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intent. I’ve been tracking this subculture for at least six months, and find it resonates with larger societal changes in gender identity and sexuality, which is why I posted on it. I personally don’t think it’s important whether John and Paul were sexual with each other; it wouldn’t change what I think about either man or their partnership. But this subculture is of a piece with Yoko’s statements, and Norman’s book, and may represent a shift in how people are thinking about John and his relationship with Paul. Therefore, it’s grist for this blog.

          • marcus wrote:

            I’ve never been to this website before and I don’t spend much time online. I’m very uncertain as to internet etiquette. I don’t usually give any personal details beyond gender and nationality as I rather like the free exchange of opinions in an environment where one is essentially anonymous.
            =
            I don’t think it is all that relevant per se that I am a lawyer, after all doesn’t the saying go if you ask 3 lawyers for legal advice you will receive 3 different opinions. I don’t think your view is any less valid than mine but I did want to offer an opinion based on my first hand observations, so I provided a context. I don’t think it is a matter of “gotcha” is it? After all you are speaking from first hand observation too as an author(?) I think based on a couple of your comments though I don’t know who you are. I am not even certain what internetty is I’m afraid, but if I’ve offended you I’m sorry to have inadvertently done something you discourage.
            =
            On the issue of whether controversy sells perhaps I would have been better not to mention any industry knowledge, I’m never certain on what one should or shouldn’t say online. It might have been more relevant to point out that Goldman’s book, which was very controversial, debuted at number 2 on the NY Times Bestseller List for Non-Fiction and remained in the top 10 for another 8 weeks. Those sales figures were strong because plenty of fans of John Lennon bought the book, even if they read it just so they could say how terrible it was, they still bought it and that’s what publishers care about, sales.
            =
            Why didn’t Yoko sue? No way to know for sure. She could have decided against it for the reasons you suggest or it’s possible she couldn’t make a legal case. Perhaps she had no way to prove that Goldman had lied maliciously and had recklessly disregarded that the information was false even if she believed he had. It’s such a long time since I read that book I can’t recall how Goldman worded things now tbh.
            =
            I don’t think I’ve commented on this topic more than many others, I seem to have been subscribed to this post so new comments keep popping up in my inbox which brings me back to the thread and I do apologize for my verboseness, I always write rather lengthy comments, I’ve never been terribly good at being succinct. It doesn’t mean that I am offended. I am merely expressing my thoughts, long-winded as they are, on an interesting topic, I have always been fascinated by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and their story.

          • [@Marcus, before you read this, know that your comment is the occasion for me to write down these feelings and observations — which I think are useful because I haven’t read them anywhere else, and I think they speak to an attitude that is straight-up killing book publishing. Your comment is not the reason, just the occasion. And you don’t even have to read it; I’m just getting stuff off my chest.]

            My context: I’ve worked in publishing and media for 25 years; I was consulting for major US magazines at 23, writing for The New Yorker at 28, and “Saturday Night Live” at 29. I’ve been in more meetings than I can count where somebody tried to convince me that 1) fans are stupid and will buy anything; and 2) the law is equally applied whether you’re a billion-dollar corporation/celebrity, or you’re a guy writing in an apartment in Greenwich Village. Both just ain’t so. They are illogical on the face of it, and proven wrong constantly. Only people inside media companies think this, for reasons I cannot fathom, and I would beg you to reconsider.

            I say “beg” because it really does matter. A cynical viewpoint is, for some reason, common in publishing; and UK publishing is ten times worse. Is it Fleet Street? A “pound the nail down” thing? I don’t know. But what I do know is that “people will buy anything” discourages good work, and perpetuates exactly the kinds of abuses your comments seem to deplore. If the editors and publishers are cynical, eventually the creators become cynical, and lose the faith necessary to produce good, honestly felt and offered work.

            In a world of practically infinite entertainment choices, people will only buy what they like. Maybe in 1957 Confidential magazine could make a dollar providing thinly sourced Hollywood gossip to housewives obsessed with Liberace, but not today. And maybe Fleet Street survives skirting libel laws, but here in the US — even with our more permissive legal tradition — big companies are profoundly not interested in confronting celebrities. There’s much more money to be make selling to fans than to haters. And we know this because (for example) the allegations against Bill Cosby were apparently show biz gossip for many years, before Hannibal Burress referenced them in his standup. By a cynical reading, that shouldn’t have happened — there should’ve been anti-Cosby books coming out for years, because here was something really shocking, and “controversy sells.” Clearly the financial benefits of doing that project were outweighed by something more powerful. And would a controversial Cosby book sell as well as, say, Fatherhood? From the NYT:

            “It was a miraculous birth, indeed: in the United States alone, the book proceeded to go through 30 printings in record time, selling 2.5 million hard-cover copies along the way. Even more astonishing was the small matter of what is called ”contributions to overheads and profits”: figures obtained from former employees reveal that the Doubleday coffers grew between $15 million and $16 million richer courtesy of that one slim volume.”

            Fatherhood: not controversial, 2.1 million in hardcover.
            Book telling the other side of Bill Cosby: doesn’t exist. Or maybe it does? My point is, I’ve never even heard of it. It sure as heck isn’t another Fatherhood.

            So maybe playing ball is a better, less risky, more predictable, more profitable business than selling controversy? And maybe big media corporations know this and discourage tell-alls with any possibility of pushback from the subject?

            In 2003 I had a massive hit for Orion in the UK. They took a self-published parody I wrote (self-published because every lawyer for the US Big Six said I’d get sued, even though I knew I wouldn’t — and didn’t) and turned it into a Europe-wide phenomenon. One million copies, 25 languages. And then Orion wrecked the market by cynically flooding it with a bunch of shitty copy-cats, because “fans will buy anything.” But it turned out they wouldn’t, because that’s crazy — it’s like saying, “People who like potato chips will buy shit-flavored ones, because chips, right?” And that typical piece of stupid corporate publishing cynicism cost me probably millions of dollars in sales and contracts. So yeah, I’m a little salty when a lawyer from a publishing firm in the UK talks about how Beatle fans will buy anything, even if it’s garbage. They won’t and don’t. Goldman’s book was a huge disappointment, the publisher probably took a bath on it, and I’ll break this down in a sec.

            “I don’t think it is all that relevant per se that I am a lawyer”
            Oh, it’s absolutely essential context, especially on the internet where “nobody knows you’re a dog.” You’re a UK publishing lawyer with significant knowledge of libel and defamation law, speaking about the legal restrictions on celebrity bios. That’s like me going to your comedy website, and responding to an opinion you have about the direction of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” and waiting five comments to say, “I’m a professional comedy writer, and I know Terry Jones, and [blah blah].” So you can see why I felt a little blindsided. But no big deal — unless NOW you’re going to say you represent Paul McCartney or something. (I kinda wish you do. That would be awesome.)

            “It might have been more relevant to point out that Goldman’s book, which was very controversial, debuted at number 2 on the NY Times Bestseller List for Non-Fiction and remained in the top 10 for another 8 weeks.”

            And THAT is the sales profile of a shit-flavored potato chip. Big initial sales, no jump forward, and then a steady slide down. People knew about it, were excited for it, distribution was good, but when they read it, they hated it. And word-of-mouth, which we both know is the driver of any actual hit, was terrible. As anybody could’ve predicted; the market for a Lennon bio is Lennon (and Beatles) fans, not haters. Obviously? OBVIOUSLY. Sure, you can get the first group of people to buy — such typical publishing thinking! “Ha ha! We tricked 35,000 people into buying it!” — but then no one else will. A biography of John Lennon in 1988? Do you realize how many copies that could’ve — should’ve — sold? Flippin’ Fatherhood sold 2.1 in hardcover!

            Unlike the London Times where I got to #2, I only got close to the NYT list — then the publisher stopped buying comp and doing promotion, and we dropped back. But the week I got to #12, #10 had sales of 3,300 copies. I remember the number because it shocked me to my core. 3,300 to get on the NYT bestseller list?

            A high debut followed by a steady decline is not the profile of a hit. It is the profile of book that the house is behind, with an interesting topic, and a ton of publicity behind it, that ultimately fails to find favor with the people its aimed at. Which, once again — totally predictable, unless you think Beatlefans are stupid and will buy anything that says “John Lennon” on the cover.

            Goldman’s publishers reportedly gave him a $1 million advance, and in 1982, that was real money. Though as we both know it’s impossible to get hard numbers on any of this — especially in the days before BookScan — I’d argue there’s no way that a book that charted like that made back its advance. Let’s be generous as hell and say Goldman sold 100,000 copies in hardcover: $22.95 x 12.5% x 100,000 x .85 = $243,843.75 to Goldman. And the book did not make $757,000 in paperback. If it did, the sales figures would be on the cover of every edition — “2,000,000 sold!”

            Those sales figures were strong because plenty of fans of John Lennon bought the book, even if they read it just so they could say how terrible it was, they still bought it and that’s what publishers care about, sales.

            But those figures weren’t strong, @Marcus, as I’ve just explained. They were only strong for a shit-flavored potato chip. Forgive me, but for my entire career very serious, tie-wearing people in the publishing biz have been lecturing me on how the only thing that matters is sales. And then they buy, package and promote books cynically — thus depressing their sales — because to them, cynicism is an act of faith. “[T]hey read it just so they could say how terrible it was” is, pardon me for saying so, a statement of faith. Debuting at #2, then dropping off the charts, then being reviled (not read) for decades? Huge fucking mistake, costing tens of millions in profits, and so so typical of book publishing. Being right — not changing — not serving the market in obvious ways if it goes against your beliefs — all these things are much more important than sales.

            TV and movies spend massive amounts of time and money figuring out what the audience wants, and giving it to them. Only book people believe that consumers actually spend money “just so they could say how terrible [something is].” That just isn’t how consumer behavior works, not in 1988, and certainly not now, when consumers have essentially limitless choice.

            Forgive me for being stirred up, but these nonsensical attitudes have cost me a lot of time and money, and you are the unfortunate recipient of that annoyance. If you can, try to see past all this pointless badinage, to spy my real love of books and readers, neither of which I think are being served well.

        • Ruth wrote:

          “Francie said that she was asked by her publisher, Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone, to expand on what she wrote, he asked her to talk about the sex and anything salacious she knew.”

          Do you remember where you read this, Marcus? I’m particularly interested in the way Wenner’s biases helped shape the breakup-era narrative, so if you could point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.

          • That’s a fascinating topic, @Ruth. I’d particularly be interested in how much explicit co-ordination there was with the Lennon camp.

            Lennon and Wenner are interesting enough for their own post. We don’t do open threads generally, but I might try one, just to see what the commentariat thinks about those two.

  32. marcus wrote:

    As a lawyer, I have to say the fiercest, emotional, out of control fights that I’ve been witness to were fights between family members usually over money. When families fight – they can really go at each other. There is usually years of resentment present. Who was Mum’s favorite? Who always had to be the center of attention? Who was always selfish and carried? and yes you always get the rivalries, the brother who hates the other brother just because he thinks maybe Dad loved him a little more and he’s seen as a bit more of a success. And on and on.
    =
    I suppose for me, I have never thought for a second that the level of animosity that seemed to exist between John and Paul after the Beatles broke-up was actually all that unusual. Perhaps it’s because I’m Irish and family fights are nothing new to me. I certainly don’t see anything in their relationship that could only be explained by a sexual element far from it.
    =
    I think John and Paul were like brothers. I think they met young and bonded in part over the loss of their mothers. They had shared dreams, and they strove together, struggled together and they went through this extraordinary thing together. They went from small gigs and not enough money to afford the luxury of jam on their toast to a time when their songs were on the radio and their records were number one. This was something they did together and it was bigger than their wildest dreams. This was beyond most brotherly bonds, this was perhaps like the bonds forged in a kind of war in as much as it was bonds forged under the most intense, emotional and extraordinary circumstances. They were Lennon/McCartney. They won awards; the BBC aired a show called the music of Lennon and McCartney they were lauded as Britain’s most important song-writing partnership of that time. They were the other half of each other’s greatest fantasy coming true.
    =
    Two guys who met young, immediately recognized in each other a talent they’d never found in anyone else. They immediately found someone else who could keep up with the speed at which they spoke their particular creative language. Imagine living in a world where no one can speak the language you speak and then finding someone else who is truly fluent – it would be thrilling. You have big dreams that anyone else might laugh at but you tell each other. You write your first songs, those fledgling awkward efforts that you’d be embarrassed to play elsewhere; you play them for each other and the other boy he doesn’t laugh. He says your good and he encourages you and thinks you are going to do great things together. It takes some time but you do. You do rule the world. You do become the most shit hot little band there has ever been. And you love each other and you love the life you’ve made a reality, The giddiness, excitement, delight and victories are just so beautiful and no one else in your life; not father, not brother, not aunt, not wife, no one else will ever know how this feels. How you felt the first time a song you wrote together was on the radio or how you felt the first time a record of yours sold a million copies. They’ll be pleased for you, they’ll cheer for you from the sidelines, they’ll love you but they won’t know and there will always be this gap between those you shared it with and those you didn’t.
    =
    How could they not be closer than most people? They lived a dream, a dream made possible by each other, they had a bond none of us can comprehend or understand but of course it is patently obvious it would be there. And just as the white hot intensity of what they shared must have been truly electric. Of course the white hot intensity of that kind of fame and success held within it real perils for losing one’s self and losing one’s way. And they did sadly.
    =
    The human capacity to adapt to anything is incredible. Even to being feted lauded and acclaimed. At some point the joy of this success and reaching the stratosphere gave way to ‘ho hum another day as Prince of the world”. It then gave way to: Are you more popular than me? Do they love you more than me? Will they think you were the real genius and not me? John began to wonder about how he would be remembered. He had hit the crest of the wave but now he was caught up in its momentum as it curled under and carried him with it. They say if you don’t love yourself you can’t love anyone else, perhaps John is a testament to that, as he could never be completely convinced he was loved, he always felt he had to prove himself over and over, he could never really even sit comfortably in his own skin with his own achievements, he seemed to always be seeking a means to fill some kind of hole that his insecurities had made in his heart. The fear of being second best, of not being needed and of being abandoned began to grow in John. Many factors could have contributed to this Pepper, drugs, meditation. However, anybody who lives with a fear of abandonment who was left by one or both parents early in life will tell you that the natural reaction is the pre-emptive strike. I will leave you before you leave me, I will find a way not to need you, and I will separate myself from this thing I fear being abandoned by, so that it cannot hurt me.
    =
    However, deep buried in this strategy, is a desire for the other person to give chase, to beg you to come back, to show they want you, need you and would not abandon you?
    =
    You might begin with a period of cold behavior, you form other attachments, and if there is no great immediate chase, you then up the ante with declarations of departure optionally accompanied by door slams if you so choose. If the person who is not psychic and doesn’t know what the hell you are doing or why, misreads their cue – you may decide to hate them for it. I dear say this will all read like a very odd ball theory but I think a very unique combination of a brotherly relationship, insecurities, competition, fear of abandonment and then anger at not getting the intended responses all contributed to John’s anger.
    =
    This was a unique relationship, between two artists, played out against an extraordinary background; we cannot necessarily explain it away by conventional means.
    =
    The McCartney and A, in my view, did not make John angry because he wanted to tell first or to sell a record. The Beatles weren’t exactly hard up for publicity they could have gotten an entire army of press to turn out to hear one of them sneeze. It was that the Q&A said ‘there is no Lennon/McCartney’ any more. It was the declaration to the world, I’ve left and it was soon followed by a law suit that said I want to make it formal that I’ve left you all. It’s over.
    =
    Our family relationships if we are close are forged by sharing a common history, by knowing these people and being known by them better than anyone else, having a short hand with each other. Being able to have screaming fights (I’m sure it’s not just us Irish who do that right?) and then being able to know we’ll be tight again, knowing the bonds can never be completely destroyed.
    =
    People don’t have to be related for family dynamics to be present. I believe the Beatles were a family and the falling out was between two brothers.
    =
    In my view for all these reasons I don’t see these guys as unusually close given their shared experience, it would have been stranger if Lennon/McCartney the most successful post-war song-writing partnership did not have an extremely close, volatile, intense creative partnership. It could have had a sexual component theoretically but it certainly does not need that element in any way to explain the nature of their bond or their falling out.
    =
    It would seem to me to sell male relationships short to suggest that we cannot love another man deeply without a sexual connection. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the only two people in all the world to know what it meant to be Lennon/McCartney and they knew their names would be linked forever. We can’t really compare that to our own lives necessarily or our own partnerships, unless you too know what it is like to be that famous, that successful and living at the toppermost of the poppermost
    =
    disclaimer: this is a pretty rambling stream of consciousness type comment that may not make sense.

    • anny wrote:

      I agree with you. who wouldn’t like to try, only once in life, such a relationship? such a bond? I think that they never had such a deep relationship not even with their wives, that they kept as replacements for each other. It makes me think of john interview in the 70s when he said that he didn’t need McCartney by his side to feel him while playing and writing songs, that their relationship was something so deep that he could feel him by his side even when they were so far from each other, and that he would have never written Imagine or other solo songs without Paul in his life.

    • Nancy Carr wrote:

      Wow, Marcus. I think you expressed what I was trying to say in my post, but better. A few things you said that I can’t second heartily enough:
      .
      “They were the other half of each other’s greatest fantasy coming true.” YES. And that is key to the dynamic that Chris points out on the “Friends and Rivals” thread: they were dependent on each other artistically, and that dependence could easily tilt into insecurity and rivalry.
      .
      “I think a very unique combination of a brotherly relationship, insecurities, competition, fear of abandonment and then anger at not getting the intended responses all contributed to John’s anger.” Again, YES. This is what I was getting at when I said John wanted to get Paul “back in line.” Like you (if I’m reading correctly), I think the breakup was driven by John’s emotional needs, not by any kind of logic. Thus, I think, he didn’t really have any idea what the band would be or look like if he “won” by getting Paul to sign with Allen Klein; the emotional point (however unconscious) was getting Paul to admit he couldn’t live without John artistically and personally.
      .
      “It would seem to me to sell male relationships short to suggest that we cannot love another man deeply without a sexual connection. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the only two people in all the world to know what it meant to be Lennon/McCartney and they knew their names would be linked forever. We can’t really compare that to our own lives necessarily or our own partnerships, unless you too know what it is like to be that famous, that successful and living at the toppermost of the poppermost.” ABSOLUTELY. This is what I meant when I said that the Lennon/McCartney relationship seems to me an indication that we need to expand our definition of friendship and what it can mean.
      .
      Now, if John and Paul are one day proved to have had a sexual relationship, it won’t alter my admiration for what they achieved one iota, or make me think any less of them as people. My reasons for doubting that they did have such an ongoing relationship are practical.
      .
      We know how touchy men of their era and background were about homosexuality: recall John beating up Bob Wooler at Paul’s birthday party for suggesting that John and Brian had had sex in Spain. And from Brian’s life we see how difficult it was to forge a stable homosexual relationship if you were carrying the baggage of that time (it’s a sin, it’s illegal, etc.). It would have been incredibly tough for Lennon and McCartney to forge a halfway stable love relationship, even had they both been strongly homosexual and highly motivated to make that happen (which I do not believe they were).
      .
      In the end, my opinion is that explaining the intensity of the Lennon and McCartney relationship and the acrimony of the breakup as sexual substitutes a more understandable pattern for a bond that was, in fact, unique. What they achieved together as songwriters is just baffling, really. Their catalog is insane. I don’t think that ANY explanation is finally going to clear up that mystery.

      • “We know how touchy men of their era and background were about homosexuality…It would have been incredibly tough for Lennon and McCartney to forge a halfway stable love relationship, even had they both been strongly homosexual and highly motivated to make that happen (which I do not believe they were).”

        This is where I come down on it, too, @Nancy. And I think you’re right to link this discussion to their achievements being just otherworldly. Were they lovers? is just another way to ask, “How the hell did they do it?”

    • linda a. wrote:

      disclaimer: this is a pretty rambling stream of consciousness type comment that may not make sense.

      Marcus, not only does it make sense but it’s one of the best pieces of writing on Lennon/McCartney that I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. I’ve read just about every major Beatles related book published, and many not so major ones as well and I have never read anything, not Gould, not Hertsgaard, not Spitz, not Emerick, not Doggett, not even Lewisohn, so perfectly written on Lennon/McCartney. This is simply an amazing piece. I was enthralled by it. In fact Lewisohn should publish it verbatim at the end of volume three of his book series. I’m not trying to flatter you either. I really think Lewisohn should use this.

      Also your explanations about the libel laws were not “boring” at all. I learned a lot about publishing law and it was very interesting. Thank you!

      • “it’s one of the best pieces of writing on Lennon/McCartney that I’ve ever had the privilege of reading”

        Couldn’t agree more, @linda a.!

      • marcus wrote:

        Thanks Linda, you are far too kind but I do really appreciate the kind words.

        @Nancy. I think you’ve done a better job of summarising the main point of my rambling comment than I could have and I do agree with you, especially “In the end, my opinion is that explaining the intensity of the Lennon and McCartney relationship and the acrimony of the breakup as sexual, substitutes a more understandable pattern for a bond that was, in fact, unique. What they achieved together as songwriters is just baffling, really. Their catalog is insane. I don’t think that ANY explanation is finally going to clear up that mystery.”
        =
        @Drew. Thanks for your kind words Do you have thoughts on what was driving Paul during this same period? You know your risking a War and Peace length reply with a question like that. 🙂 Seriously though I don’t really have any fully realised thoughts on that. it is much more difficult to talk about Paul in my view.
        =
        I once told a colleague that I thought Paul McCartney’s story was the most interesting story in rocknroll that had never been told. So therefore how to talk about Paul. Even Paul himself gave up trying to really tell his own truth by the mid 1970’s. He remarked in an interview on the BBC that he had decided to stop justifying himself, that he would know the truth, Linda would know the truth his kids and immediate family would know but that otherwise it was no way to spend a life.
        =
        After Paul won his court case in 1971. Allen Klein told the New Yorker that he was going to “roast McCartney’s ass” and their was a fairly concerted campaign to portray McCartney negatively. Paul was also seen by those inside the Beatles camp as the man who derailed the gravy train for those who had survived the Klein cull. So naturally there has been a bit of bias in how the Beatles story has been told but many of the tales have become canon. McCartney for example never purchased NS shares in secret to give himself leverage.
        =
        We also have the problem that during 1969 and 1970 McCartney gave very few interviews and then post the break-up even less for several years. Paul is called Mr PR by some but he is polite which is not the same thing as being good at public relations at all. Leaving a void and being mostly silent meant others established the narrative and filled the space. Now 45 years later a lot of the stories from that period still can’t be shifted.
        =
        So I’m gonna pass the buck back on this and ask what do you think drove Paul, Drew?

    • Drew wrote:

      Marcus: Once again, a terrific post. But I have a question: Most of your post is about John’s motivations. Do you have thoughts on what was driving Paul during this same period?

      “It would seem to me to sell male relationships short to suggest that we cannot love another man deeply without a sexual connection.” Agreed. Just because they loved each other deeply in some complicated way didn’t mean they were “in love” or that they wanted to “make love.”

      • Adding something else I think it is important to avoid misunderstandings. I didn’t say people on denial are those who have a different view on this subjcts. If I sounded like that, it was again, my fault. What I wanted to say by living in denial was refusing to see some very interesting signals as if they didn’t mean anything when they are strong enough for us to consider the possibility. Of course, having a different opinion is something else.

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      “It would seem to me to sell male relationships short to suggest that we cannot love another man deeply without a sexual connection.”

      I’ve read this a few times now. This statement, of course, is true, but isn’t what this thread of about. No-one is suggesting that simply because John and Paul loved one another that sex had to be involved. It is the shared history, the intimate, particular interactions, the vitriol after the breakup, and a million other things which begs the question.

      Take, for example, the “spider fingers” interaction: John would run his fingers up Paul’s arm and tweak his nose. During a press conference, John ran his fingers across the table to Paul, stopping short of his arm. Paul then continued the journey up his own arm and tweaked his own nose. It was sweet, loving, intimate, playful–and not the kind of thing you’d regularly see between two friends, no matter how close they were. It suggests a tighter, more intimate bond.

      ==

      My belief is that there existed a loving, homoerotic bond between these two men, whether or not they acted on it.

      • karen Hooper wrote:

        Meant to say, Isn’t what this thread is about, not of about. Damn this font is hard to read.

        • Nancy Carr wrote:

          Karen, since the title of the post is “Were John and Paul Lovers?” it makes sense to me that some of us are saying “probably so” and others “probably not.” While I’m in the latter group, I’ve learned a lot from listening to those in the former.
          .
          Agree about the font, but not sure we can change it!

          • karen Hooper wrote:

            @ Nancy–I probably didn’t make myself clear–as I explained to Drew, my point was that caveats for the discussion probably aren’t necessary because I don’t think anyone is jumping to conclusions based on typical conservative reactions to close male friendships.

        • Lemme see what I can do.

      • Drew wrote:

        Karen: This thread asks an open-ended question. You believe that John and Paul’s bond was homoerotic. Other people are arguing that their bond was NOT homoerotic and yet could still be both intense and playful. So, in fact, the statement — “It would seem to me to sell male relationships short to suggest that we cannot love another man deeply without a sexual connection.” — IS what the thread is about. It’s just a different answer to the question in the headline than your own answer.

        • Karen Hooper wrote:

          @ Drew: I wasn’t debating whose opinion was right or wrong; I was simply making an observation that no-one here is predicating their opinion–WHATEVER it might be–on the mere FACT that these two men loved each other, so caveats for the discussion (such as I quoted) probably aren’t necessary.

          • Nancy Carr wrote:

            Karen, I think I understand what you mean. But I don’t think it’s just “typical conservative reactions to male friendship” that we’re talking about — at least, what I mean is that IMO our society generally doesn’t value/recognize/accord enough power to intimate nonsexual friendships between men OR women.
            .
            I see people on the thread debating whether the degree of intimacy and later vitriol between John and Paul points to a sexual relationship, and to figure out what you think about that you have to decide how much “room” there is in a nonsexual relationship for that kind of behavior, so that’s what I read Marcus’ quote as getting at.

          • Drew wrote:

            Sorry, I’m not following your comment, Karen. It’s not a caveat that Marcus was offering. It’s an alternate view. He’s not talking about conservative views of close male relationships. It seems to me he views the John-Paul bond as brotherly, not homoerotic. And close brotherly relationships between two men (who are not actually brothers) can be intense and intimate and playful without being at all sexual — hence his comment about not selling male relationships short. IMO of course. But I’m sure Marcus can speak for himself.

      • felix wrote:

        nothing was homoerotic, that’s just a bunch of bullshit that came out from some shitty blogs, it’s a shame to read all this shit by old people making assumptions about lennon and mccartney, it makes me laugh how you all pretend to write nice and decent stuff and instead it’s just a bunch of bullshit decorated with romantic words, you are wasting your time and furthermore you don’t understand nothing, i’ve read everything about john lennon and i’m hundred per cent sure he wasn’t bisexual, that’s bullshit that yoko ono said and i don’t know why, and you are all a bunch of stupid people who try to follow her stuff and justify the shit she said, writing more shit about lennon and mccartney

        • In my modest opinion it is a shame to think homoerotic is shitty. It is not. To see adult people still with this equivocated idea is so sad. But the most strange is that, due to this way of thinking, they ( I say in the plural becaause i think Marcus represents well most people around the world) are unable to see the signals, very clear signals. They live in denial. I am not talking about this case here of John and Paul only. In this case we are not sure, we just imagine. We see it is possible because it is possible. And there is nothing shameful on it. But they usually act like that in any case. I have to add urgently I am not attacking those who feel like this and…they have the right to express their ideas. But they also have to accept ours peacefully. We are not stupid. We may be wrong, but definitily we are not stupid. If we are wrong is only because, ocasionally, 2 plus 2 may be 5. But nothing really wrong thinking the answer is 4. Peace and Love!

          • Nancy Carr wrote:

            Virginia, when you wrote “I think Marcus represents well most people around the world” in thinking the homoerotic is “shitty,” did you mean to say Felix? I don’t see Marcus saying anything negative about homosexuality in general.
            .
            I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that those who answer “no” to the question the post poses are living in denial or have a negative attitude toward homosexuality. In nearly all the responses to this post I see reasonable differences of opinion about how to interpret the ambiguous information we have about Lennon and McCartney’s relationship specifically. Speaking for myself, I don’t regard homosexuality as shameful at all. I’m just not convinced that John and Paul had a sexual relationship.

          • Drew wrote:

            Nancy: That bothered me, too. There are no “clear signs” about the nature of John and Paul’s relationship. That’s why we’re debating. And it doesn’t help to suggest that people are “in denial” if they state a differing opinion.

          • I think — and I’m going to try to mute myself a bit, to help the dialogue strengthen — where this thread gets less interesting is when someone tries to decide the issue. “This, definitely, because that.”

            Not only is that impossible — I mean, we’re trying to determine whether two guys fifty years ago ever had sex — it’s also needlessly concrete. What I’m enjoying, and why I think this topic has rocket-fuel, is how it forces us to examine the John-Paul relationship fiercely. If that relationship didn’t resonate with each of us, we wouldn’t be here; and to look at it anew is great fun and reminds me why I love this group.

        • anny wrote:

          “i’ve read everything about john lennon and i’m hundred per cent sure he wasn’t bisexual”
          You didn’t know him personally, you can’t say he wasn’t bisexual just because you probably read all the books published about the beatles. It doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t give you the right to say that you’re right and we are all wrong just because we are discussing a topic. None is saying that john and paul had a relationship, we’re discussing if it was possible, how and why. We are all giving different opinions, that’s called democracy. Saying that all of this is just bullshit is your opinion, but we’re not fighting here to ‘be right’, we’re just discussing about the topic, which is very interesting in my opinion, and I like to read many comments and reply to them. If you don’t agree with something it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bullshit just because you read some books about Lennon. You didn’t spend most of your life with him, so you can’t say it, you can only make assumptions.

          • felix wrote:

            I know what John did and said, I know everything about him, that’s why I’m so sure he wasn’t bisex. So many people tried to write shit about him: bisexuality, the killer of stuart, maniac who bit his women, and that was just made up to sell magazines. Then probably Yoko said different stuff, and then the journalist wrote something else, sometimes you change a word and it changes everything, and journalists love to do that. I don’t think Yoko said her husband was bisexual…it’s not in her style, and anyway I don’t think it’s nice to say if she really said it. why say it to all the world?! And if you read the article, she never actually says that John slept with other men, she only said he had a desire, it’s something that can happen in artists and creative people, to experiment things different from their sexuality.

      • Wow, @Karen, I didn’t know that. That’s really something, especially for men of their time and place.

      • marcus wrote:

        @Karen. I respect your view on this although I may not see things as you do.
        =
        If you allow John and Paul grew up in Liverpool 1940 – 1960 these were very repressed but in a way also very innocent times, where homosexuality was so outside of mainstream society, people behaved in ways we would now think of as ‘gay’ without ever giving it a second thought. Men actually touched more not less in that climate. Men topped and tailed in single beds, men especially within the Liverpool working class football supporting community, hung together in little tightly knit gangs. They drank together, hitch-hiked together, went on holiday together. There was actually less concern about being thought to be gay as it wasn’t something people were very conscious of.
        =
        Now in Liverpool when you are children, your parents, relatives and older siblings will play certain games with you such as ‘round and round the garden ran the curly bear one step, two step tickle you under there’. There were a whole range of little games where fingers are run up arms and noses tweaked, or underarms tickled.
        =
        Two men playing those game when they’re older is child-like. It’s not necessarily sexual at all it can be quite innocent.
        =
        For men of that era those sorts of things were still possible, now they would be labeled as gay in a second. We are supposed to be becoming more tolerant and accepting but male behavior has never been so constrained and even the amount of male traditional rough-housing and things like pillow fights that the Beatles engaged in, these things are all on the way out because it’s construed as a ‘bit gay’.
        =
        For example back then Noddy and Big Ears (British children’s book characters) slept in the same bed and no one had decided it was all a bit gay. Of course in the 1990’s it was decided that it was sexual and their was no more snuggling up for beddy byes for Noddy and Big Ears any more.
        =
        Men should be free to express affection for each other without it being presumed as sexual. Young men in their teens and twenties can be a bit ‘silly’ and they enjoy that thing of being a bit silly with their mates. It just is what it is. Any way that’s just my opinion I understand you see it otherwise.

        • Karen Hooper wrote:

          @Marcus: of course it’s not NECESSARILY sexual. It’s playful and affectionate. It’s part of the mosaic that comprises the J/P relationship–ending, of course, with Yoko’s recent admission.

          __

          And I’m getting annoyed with the lecture that men can have an affectionate relationship without it being sexual. I’m almost 60 years old; I kind of figured that out already.

          • Drew wrote:

            Karen: I guess we’re getting to the end of this discussion being fruitful when people are taking offense and getting “annoyed” at someone restating their opinion. I see no reason to jump on Marcus for making his point. You in fact have stated and restated your opinion several times that the John-Paul relationship was homoerotic. Nothing wrong with restating an opinion as well all have done here. It seems to me you’re getting upset because you disagree with his point, not because he’s restated it, as you have done here, too. And so have I.

          • It’s not only annoying. It’s fruitless because even if we find a picture of them kissing each other with passion, they will say something like ” in Liverpool all the guys used to kiss each other like that but didn’t mean anything sexual”. LOL. So it is like a waste of time when they just can’t stand the idea of two men in love. In a side there is group asking about it with respect , and understanding there is a possibility. Nobody is saying it is true. We only are open to a possibility. On the other side we see those who just dismiss everything that really may mean something else. Only because in their minds it is not something to accept. Not based in real facts. They also don’t present any evidence they were straight. In spite of lack of proof they were not lovers, they are sure. The idea here was not to be sure of anything. It is only to ask ourselves without intolerance. I already know the result. It is simply impossible to be sure they were or that they were not. However the evidences they were are much higher.
            As for the spider, of course it may be only a joke. Wbat kind of joke? It may not be sexual. But it also could be sexual. The question is: What is the meaning of the spider joke between John and Paul in Adelaide? Possibly something not even remotely related to sex. Possibly something totally sexual. As we don’t know the meaning we can’t say it is sexual and we also can’t say it isn’t. However, some came running to say it is not. How come? They don’t know! As I said before, I am not asking anymore if they were lovers. No way to find the asnwer. My question is why this possibility of love between them is so hard for so many Beatles fans? Don’t they know the Beatles arrived in the world to break rules? To cause a revolution of behaviour? I remember when they declared they would never sing to seggregated audience in the south of USA. How amazing was thatr? Nobody never dared to do such things before in the rock world. They came to make us Twist and Shout leaving all prejudice behind. The moment people knew their manager was gay, they did it again, because gay men were not well considered at that time. They accepted to be directed by a gay! That was also revolutionary. Look also to their hair! They sort of brought more freedom to guys who had to have a clean cut image before them. They had a feminine hair, people got upset, shocked…but they won. Today every man can wear their hair as they wish. Hair was such an important symbol of freedom that the most important play in the sixties was called simply Hair. And it all started thanks to the Beatles. that is why iI am surprised to see so many Beatles fans that can’t even imagine naturally a situation of love between two of them. You may argue that they also never talked openly about it. Of course not. They only could give some hints. Or say in a way people would only think they were joking. But they showed no intolerance. Like in Play Boy 1965. When they asked them about homossexuals, George answered that was what they were. Ringo agree. Paul also said they were all queers but asked Play Boy not to print it. Oh, they are so funny, people would say. Between the lines they could be also saying, we have not the right to judge anybody. They could never say anything seriously or they would be crucified. And things didn’t change at all. Things remain the same. If, by chance ( not stating they were) they were lovers, Paul will have to deny it just like he had to deny before. He could be killed for that. Hate crime.

            Not even when John declared three times in the same interview they use to have orgies like those in Satyricon people opened they minds to possiblities. That is a rather gay story! The main character is a man looking for his male lover!

    • I love this, @Marcus, and would like to surface it in a post. Is that OK with you?

      • marcus wrote:

        Thanks that’s most kind but I really don’t think it warrants it. It’s full of typos. I have meandered all over the place and I’m not sure it would make much sense outside of this topic where we are discussing John and Paul’s relationship and why it was so intense and what that indicates.

        • Nancy Carr wrote:

          Don’t want to badger you, Marcus. But you or we could clean up the typos and reformat your comment before posting it.
          .
          Or, would you be interested in writing a post about the lawsuit and the aftermath? Looking at it from a legal pov would be very interesting, I think. I also saw there’s a new bio of Klein that apparently shows him in a more favorable light, and that might be worth looking at as a source or reviewing.
          .
          Just an invitation to think about contributing a post, because I think your take on things would interest a lot of people. And you’re a very good writer.

          • Ruth wrote:

            “I also saw there’s a new bio of Klein that apparently shows him in a more favorable light, and that might be worth looking at as a source or reviewing.”

            If Marcus is truly interested in reading the bio of Klein, then he’s certainly welcome, but I’ve already read it, and it would be a serious waste of time and effort.

            ——-

            The author, Fred Goodman, (who has worked for Rolling Stone, btw) was contacted by the Klein family to write the bio, and swears that there was no quid pro quo involved, but its hard to reach any other conclusion, given his biased interpretation and the large amount of information he omits. He argues that Nanker-Phelge wasn’t a scam to trick the Stones out of their catalog, but a legitimate effort to establish a tax-shelter. He fails to mention the numerous other catalogs Klein wound up controlling through similar means. He says that Klein’s insertion into the “My Sweet Lord” lawsuit wasn’t an attempt to punish George for leaving his management but an attempt to woo George back. He implies that it was okay that John, George and Ringo all signed contracts changing Klein’s managerial percentages without asking or notifying Paul, but never tells us whether that was legal or not. He states that Klein’s wooing of John at their first meeting, by going through the Lennon/McCartney catalog and identifying who wrote what, was accurate, and we know it wasn’t; not when you have Klein convincing John that *he* wrote 70% of Eleanor Rigby. He argues that Paul’s lawsuit was entirely motivated by money and fails to mention Paul’s severe depression at the time. Paul’s refusal to trust Klein is portrayed as selfish and unreasonable, rather than informed.

            ———–

            Its a shame; I’d like to see an impartial evaluation of Klein that doesn’t steretype him as the Demon King, but this work had serious impartiality and methodological issues. Doggett did a much better job of delving into the issue; I wouldn’t suggest anyone else waste their time on it.

          • For me, @Ruth, the whole point isn’t that Klein is the Demon King — but that he’s all-too-typical, and exactly what he appears to be: an unscrupulous music business sharpie, who skims extra from his artists, and takes their rights if he can. This is a stereotype as old as show business. And that’s because the relationship is inherently ripe for abuse by the manager/agent/producer, etc.

            Allen Klein is the anti-Epstein, and why I’m such a Brian Epstein fanboy.

            Out here, the WGA has a mountain of rules regulating this relationship; conversely the book business has none — and the book biz is rife with the very conflicts of interest, sharp dealing, and casually exploitative practices that make it nearly impossible to make a living as a writer.

            It’s really simple: if creatives can make good money and have reasonable protections, those industries get a lot of talent and make everybody a lot of money. Then the middlemen start to squeeze — corporations from the one side, agents/managers/producers from the other — and the golden age ends. It happened in books and magazines, it happened in music, and it may happen in movies and TV. People like Klein are a blight. Lennon was famously terrified he’d end up singing “She Loves You” in Vegas, because that’s how the pre-Beatles (or, more appropriately, pre-Epstein) industry treated talent. It wasn’t a bug, it was a feature.

            It’s not Klein’s fault for being what he was; he was created that way by the business he was in. And Lennon hired Klein precisely because he was a shark; then, typically, the too cynical-by-half Lennon was shocked when Klein began screwing him.

          • Nancy Carr wrote:

            Ruth, would you like to review that bio? As an historian, you’re well-qualified. I’d love to read a full review of it by you.

    • Now it is indeed Marcus. Of course there are deep brotherly love. Of course men can be very tight without thinking of sex. However, though it is not necessary to have sex, it is not …forbidden! So Is it possible to have deep friendship without sex? Yes. But it is also possible to have deep friendship with sex as well. And why not with Paul and John? That is the question. Why so many still resists this idea it might have happened? Good to know your admiration for them would not change. There is no reason to change because it is not wrong! It is not a sin either. Not even a crime. However, here in Brazil I heard a man saying he would never listen to their songs again. And I heard a woman saying she feels like puking when she reads about it. So, my question now is not if they were lovers. We shall never know. Good question is: why so many still feels it is not acceptable? Not only unacceptable them as lovers. They also thnk it is unnaceptable to discuss about it. It unaccpetable to admit a possibility. As for their fights, I also know family members fight over money. I lost practically all my relatives for this reason. But the John and Paul story is not like that at all. Their behaviour was so diffferent that even Ringo said they looked like husband and wife. It must mean something. They decided to talk to each other using their music. I only know two similar cases and both were out of passion. The Brazilian singer Dalva de Oliveira and his former husband, the composer Herivelto Martins. They divorced and started sending messages via songs. It became a serie in Brazilian tV. The other case is about two female singers: Angela Rorró and Zizzi Possi. They had a lesbian affair. They broke up and started singing to each other. Paul and John did the same. I don’t need to list all songs here. I know some maybe were not for each other. But most were. John could not start a song using the same introduction of I got a Feeling for nothing. And including the expression ” it’s getting better all the time” for nothing. Paul had written that some people never know and John delivers ” I know ( I Know). ” I know and I am sorry yes I am but I never could speak my mind. Today I love you more than yesterday,…” Is it a proof? No. But it does sounds like. And sounds beautifully…The song is great. No, their story of fight has all colours of the rainbow. on it. Can’t be compared to any other.

    • Rose wrote:

      Hello Mr. Marcus. I just read your post here, some seven months after it was written. I would like you to know that for my part, your comment is so well written it brought me thrills to read it and there was something to earn for me in every paragraph. Your analogies are so accurate. You have the ability to describe at once how Lennon & McCartney are two very normal men and at the same time unattainable masters of their craft. I was especially touched when I read your imagery of a person alone on earth with their language, at last meeting someone else who speaks the same language. It is very true of Lennon-McCartney but I can also borrow a little bit for myself and this entire topic here, it is much how I felt when I read your text, as at last someone thinks what I think. Along with that feeling for my little self I also felt an even greater feeling of relief for the two geniuses/fellow human-beings who, at last, are given the freedom they merit!

      • Karen Hooper wrote:

        “You have the ability to describe at once how Lennon & McCartney are two very normal men and at the same time unattainable masters of their craft.”

        They WERE two very normal men–regardless of whether they had a love affair, or were just close friends. friends.

  33. anny wrote:

    @linda a. & @ruth, George Martin could answer many questions about John and Paul. But he has never talked about their private lifes, and I don’t think he would start now. In all the interviews given he has always spoken as producer, in a very professional way, leaving few personal comments about the four guys. He spent many times with them, and without any doubt he knows something, but he wouldn’t talk, and I think that’s how it should be, the one who could talk is only Paul.
    If there was really something between John and Paul, the only explanation I could give to the fact that none has ever talked about it, it’s that they had a long, estabilished relationship, something very important that started before the beatles era and went on until 67/68…and that’s why none has ever talked about it, cause it would be a gigantic shock, let’s think about how Sean Lennon, or Yoko, or Mary, James McCartney would react, or Jullian Lennon. And let’s talk about the beatles fans…some of them, or most part of the beatles fans would probably turn mad. I’ve always read many and many comments in lots of beatles forums I’ve been on in which they refused to think john and paul had something writing rude comments on some stories they read about them on the internet….Paul is probably thinking about that, too, the beatles legacy, many fans would probably not listen to them anymore because of that. It’s not something so ‘easy’ to talk about, it would be a huge change in the beatles story that would keep the attention of the world. And probably Paul doesn’t want that. That’s the only explanation I’ve tried to give myself, if the story of john and paul was true.

  34. Kim wrote:

    @marcus, that was a brilliant read, thank you for your insight.

  35. Felix, indeed. Sorry Marcus. Really sorry. But I am not sorry about anything else I wrote, except that it seems Nancy and Drew ( hope I got the right names) thought I was talking about people like them. In this case it was also my fault, not to be clear that I was talking about homophobic people only. I meant only the homophobic kind. Yes, they live on denial because they see the signals and prefer to think they mean something else. To think it may mean something else is okay. To be sure they mean something else is homophobia. Same way we can’t guarantee some signals mean John and Paul were lovers , or any other male couple, nobody else can’t guarantee they mean nothing. And yet, they are sure. About John and Paul, I am not sure the evidences I see mean they were a couple. And I am not sure they don’t mean it. I see a strong possibility. That’s all. I can’t deny the signals are strong, though. They are. How many signals? Around one hundred. I am going to count them some day. I can also see here some people are missing the point. They refuse to accept the idea because the signals don’t prove anything. They need proof. But…we are not sure either! The difference is we understand there are possibilities. And to accept a possibility we don’t need proof. We are not stating they were. It is a question for us to think. We say…they might have been. Possibly. Not for sure. What is wrong with that? One thing I have to say. If we were talking about a man and a woman, with the same evidences we have linking John to Paul, most would be sure about it. They would have no doubt. And some might be still in doubt, however not shocked or saying we are stupid. They would consider the possibility. The only reason for such reaction is only because we are talking about two males. By the way, nobody presented any proof they are totally straight either. Most are sure they are only because it is considered the right thing to be. They are so sure they use the word “straight” to describe heterosexuals. And “Bent” to gay. This should be considered politically incorrect. Time to find another word to replace “straight”. I apologize again to Marcus. Also to Drew and Nancy for not making myself clear enough. Sometimes it is hard for me as English is not my first language.

  36. kim wrote:

    I hope we get to over 250 comments like Michael is predicting!

    I’m really enjoying this conversation about John and Paul. Sex or no sex, they sure had a special relationship that only one of them now is living to tell about it. I admit that thinking of them as secret lovers gives me a thrill but realistically thinking, they probably were not and were just very close. I do still believe that John’s feelings for Paul were much more intense than for a normal friend.

    When Hunter Davies’s book “The John Lennon Letters” came out, he did an interview and it was asked if Paul had any personal letters from John. He said that Paul had two and they were private. Only 2? I wonder what’s in those letters… John was very forthcoming in all of his correspondences so makes me wonder what he would say to Paul in a letter.

    And speaking of things in writing, I wonder about Paul’s little book that he wrote while in Japanese jail. He said he made very few copies of it and has shared it with only a few close friends. I wonder if he wrote anything about John?

    And i just thought of something else, regarding Paul’s conversation with Hunter Davies in the 80’s. There is a quote: ”
    “I understood what happened when he met Yoko. He had to clear the decks of his old emotions. He went through all his old affairs, confessed them all. Me and Linda did that when we first met. You prove how much you love someone by confessing all that old stuff. John’s method was to slag me off.”
    Can we talk about this for a bit? When Paul is saying “he went through his old affairs, confessed them all….John’s method was to slag me off.” Doesn’t this sound confusing? As if Paul is saying that he was one of John’s “old affairs”?
    Sorry about all the rambling, I should be headed to bed soon! Goodnight Dullblog!

    • For me it is not confusing. He clearly put himself among John’s old affairs. It may mean something else, but he said it in a very clear way. 🙂 You also said that r “realistically thinking, they probably were not and were just very close.” This is what I have been thinking and thinking and thinking. Why so many people think so? There is no evidence they were totally straight. Realistically thnking we have to consider all signals! I mean, if we want to know a bit more about reality, have at least a glimpse of that, we can’t ignore the signals. And the signals point to another direction. They don’t look straight not even physically. Sure they can be, altought they don’t look and don’t sound like straight.

  37. kim wrote:

    I wanted to follow up on the Hunter Davies conversation with Paul in the 80’s. You may want to read it in it’s entirety. I found a transcript online (Thanks to the person who did this!). I think the following will provide a lot more insight and fuel for the current conversation about John and Paul. I like that we have an account of Paul’s feelings here since we area always talking about John’s all the time.
    Hunter Davies wrote the following as an addendum to his Beatles bio:
    “Paul rang me on May 3, 1981, and went on and on for over an hour, all about how hurt he was. He had already been moaning at length to my wife, as I had been out walking on Hampstead Heath when he had first rung. He said he was fed up with all these people going on about him and John and getting it all wrong. Only he knew the truth. It wasn’t anything like the things being said.

    Paul had a go at me for having gone on some TV program after John’s death. In my tribute to him, I had said that John was more the hard man, with the cutting edge, while Paul was more soft and melodic.

    But what had really got Paul upset that day was an interview with Yoko in which Yoko was quoted as saying that Paul had hurt John more than any other person. Paul thought they were amongst the cruelest words he ever read.

    “No one ever goes on about the times John hurt ME,” said Paul. “When he called my music Muzak. People keep on saying I hurt him, but where’s the examples, when did I do it? No one ever says. It’s just always the same, blaming me. Could I have hurt John MORE than anyone in the world? More than the person who ran down Julia in his car?

    “We were always in competition. I wrote “Penny Lane,” so he wrote “Strawberry Fields.” That was how it was. But that was in compositions. I can’t understand why Yoko is saying this. The last time I spoke to her she was great. She told me she and John had just been playing one of my albums and had cried.”

    So why don’t you ring her up, I suggested, and find out if she really made that remark?

    “I’m not ringing her up on that. It’s too trivial. It’s not the time. I wouldn’t ring her up on that.”

    What did he think then might have hurt John?

    ‘There’s only one incident I can think of which John has publicly mentioned. It was when I went off with Ringo and did “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?” It wasn’t a deliberate thing. John and George were tied up finishing something and me and Ringo were free, just hanging around, so I said to Ringo let’s go and do this.

    “I did hear him some time later singing it. He liked the song and I suppose he’d wanted to do it with me. It was a very John sort of song anyway. That’s why he liked it, I suppose. It was very John, the idea of it, not me. I wrote it as a ricochet off John.

    “Perhaps I hurt people by default. I never realized at the time John would mind. At Ringo’s wedding (the previous week) Neil happened to say to me that Mimi was upset I’d never contacted her after John’s death. I’d never even thought of it. I don’t know Mimi. I probably hadn’t seen her for about twenty years, since Menlove Avenue. I was just the little kid that hung around with John. We didn’t get in her house.

    “Anyway, I rang her up, in case she really was upset, and apologized for not ringing, saying I hadn’t got her phone number, and she was terrific and we had a good chat. We discussed Philip Norman’s book and she didn’t like it either. She said I should write and complain. I told her I’d been writing letters constantly, but I’d torn them all up. She said I should do something about it, stop all this sort of thing.

    “‘In an earthquake you get many different versions of what happened by all the people who saw it. And they’re all true.’ That’s what I wrote in one letter. But how can you get the full story from someone who WASN’T there, nor has talked to the main people? But I tore that one up as well.

    “Nobody knows how much I HELPED John. Me and Linda went to California and talked him out of his so-called lost weekend, when he was full of drugs. We told him to go back to Yoko, and not long after he did. I went all the way to L.A. to see the bastard. He never gave me an inch, but he took so many years and feet.

    “He always suspected me. He accused me of scheming to buy over Northern Songs without telling him. I was thinking of something to invest in, and Peter Brown said what about Northern Songs, invest in yourself, so I bought a few shares, about 1,000 I think. John went mad, suspecting some plot. Then he bought some himself. He was always thinking I was cunning and devious. That’s my reputation, someone who’s charming, but a clever lad.

    “It happened the other day at Ringo’s wedding. I was saying to Cilia [Black] that I liked Bobby [her husband]. That’s all I said. Bobby’s a nice bloke. Ah, but what do you REALLY think Paul? You don’t mean that, do you, you’re getting at something? I was being absolutely straight. But she couldn’t believe it. No one ever does. They think I’m calculating all the time.

    “I do stand back at times, unlike John. I look ahead. I’m careful. John would go for the free guitar and just accept it straight away, in a mad rush. I would stand back and think, but what’s this bloke really after, what will it mean? I was always the one that told Klein to put money away for tax.

    “I don’t LIKE being the careful one. I’d rather be immediate like John. He was all action. John was always the loudest in any crowd. He had the loudest voice. He was the cock who crowed the loudest. Me and George used to call him the cockerel in the studio. I was never out to screw him, never. He could be a maneuvering swine, which no one ever realized. Now since the death he’s became Martin Luther Lennon. But that really wasn’t him either. He wasn’t some sort of holy saint. He was still really a debunker.

    “For ten years together he took my songs apart. He was paranoiac about my songs. We have great screaming sessions about them.

    “In the beginning he was a sort of fairground hero. He was the big lad riding the dodgems and we thought he was great. We were younger, me and George, and that mattered. It was teenage hero worship. I’ve often said how my first impression of him was his boozy breath all over me—but that was just a cute story. That was me being cute. It was true, but only an eighth of the truth. I just used to say that later when people asked me for my first memory of John. My first reaction was never simple—that he was great, that he was a great bloke, and a great singer. My REALLY first impression was that it was amazing how he was making up all the words.

    “He was singing “Come Go with Me to the Penitentiary,” and he didn’t know ONE of the words. He was making up every one as he went along. I thought it was great.

    “He became so jealous in the end. You know he wouldn’t let me even touch his baby. He got really crazy with jealousy at times. I suppose I’ve inherited some of that…..

    “It’s true I didn’t care for Stu, but I wasn’t against him personally. He just couldn’t play bass. That was all there was to it. I had a functional, ambitious-for-the-group sort of objection to him. He knew he couldn’t play. I was the one that told him to keep his back to the audience, as that photograph shows. I didn’t want him out to get the bass job. Stu himself left us, to stay on in Hamburg. John asked George first to play bass. I’ve checked that with George the other day. He remembered it well. George refused. So he asked me. I got lumbered with playing bass. It wasn’t my scheme.

    “It was the same with Pete Best. I wasn’t jealous of him because he was handsome. That’s all junk. He just couldn’t play. Ringo was so much better. We wanted him out for that reason.

    “The idea of Brian’s murder is crazy, but all that merchandising trouble was true. We got screwed for millions, but in the end it wasn’t worth suing everybody. We’d never get it all back and it would take such time. We knew most of them would in the end get away with it. It was all Brian’s fault. He was green. I always said that about Brian. Green.

    “We knew he was gay, but it didn’t matter. For awhile he didn’t know we knew, and we pretended it that way. It didn’t matter. We never discussed it with him. He kept it very private. It didn’t matter. We might make faces at each other behind his back, you know if someone was dressed up in drag. We’d try to catch Brian’s eye, to see if he was blushing. But we didn’t say anything. It was all affectionate. As for that drawing with Brian in the middle of a row of kids in the Cavern, SALIVATING, that is not true. I’ve heard of artistic license, but that’s ridiculous. The other drawings were meant to be true, as they started with one based on a photograph, so you took this as being true. It’s just part of trying to build up Brian’s gay thing. He NEVER sat in the Cavern. He never mixed anyway. He just stood at the very back, so no one could see him or knew he was there. There was no salivating.

    “I idolized John. He was the big guy in the chip shop. I was the little guy. As I matured and grew up, I started sharing in things with him. I got up to his level. I wrote songs as he did and sometimes they were as good as his. We grew to be equals. It made him insecure. He always was, really. He was insecure with women. You know, he told me when he first met Yoko not to make a play for her.

    “I saw somewhere that he says he helped on “Eleanor Rigby.”. Yeah. About half a line. He also forgot completely that I wrote the tune for “In my Life”. That was my tune. But perhaps he just made a mistake on that. Forgot.

    “I understood what happened when he met Yoko. He had to clear the decks of his old emotions. He went through all his old affairs, confessed them all. Me and Linda did that when we first met. You prove how much you love someone by confessing all that old stuff. John’s method was to slag me off.

    “I’ve never come back at him, not at all, but I can’t help hide my anger about all the things he said at the time, about the Muzak, about me singing like Englebert Humperdink…..

    “If I had to start listing all the times when HE hurt me. Doing that one little song on my own, compared with what he said about ME….

    “When you think about it, I’ve done nothing really to him, compared with that. Anyway, he did the same with “Revolution 9″. He went off and made that without me. No one ever says all that. John is now the nice guy and I’m the bastard. It gets repeated all the time.”

    But until John’s death, I said, the general image was that you were the nice guy and that John was the bastard. Neither of course was true, not completely. Things will shake down. Don’t worry. Keep cool.

    “But people are printing FACTS about me and John. They’re NOT facts. They will go in the records. It will become part of history. It will be there for always. People will believe it all.

    “Anyway, me, George, and Ringo have promised to be nice guys to each other from now on. When we meet and talk now I never mention Apple. I’ve learned that. Any mention of Apple just leads to rows and slagging off…

    “I apparently hurt George Martin by default as well. I didn’t know that till I read his book. I didn’t let him do “She’s Leaving Home.” I rang him up, but he was busy, couldn’t make it for two days, or two weeks or something, so I thought what the hell, if he can’t fit me in, I’ll get someone else. I was hurt at the time, which was why I got someone else. Now he says I deliberately hurt him. Well, if that’s the only hurt I’ve done him…

    “John and I were really Army Buddies. That’s what it was like really. I realize now we never got to the bottom of each others souls. We didn’t know the truth. Some fathers turn out to hate their sons. You never know.

    “At Ringo’s wedding, I happened to go to the toilet, and I met Ringo there, at the same time, just the two of us. He said there were two times in his life in which I had done him in. Then he said that he’d done himself in three times. I happened to be spitting something out, and by chance the spit fell on his jacket. I said there you go, now I’ve done you three times. We’re equal. I laughed it off. It was all affectionate. It wasn’t a row. It was slagging off. He just suddenly said it, and we moved on. But NOW, I keep thinking all the time, what are the two times that Ringo thinks I put him down…

    “I suppose we all do that. We never publicly come out with little hurts. George told me the other day of a time I’d hurt him. He’d done worse, I think, like saying he’d never play guitar with me again.

    “I was very upset when they said I was just trying to bring in Lee Eastman, because he’s my in-law. As if I’d just bring in a member of the family, for no reason. They’d known me twenty years, yet they thought that. I couldn’t believe it. John said, ‘Magical Mystery Tour was just a big ego trip for Paul.’ God. It was for their sake, to keep us together, keep us going, give us something new to do…

    You were justified over the Klein case. In the end, they all came round to your opinion. You won in the end. I’m sure the truth will come out this time. So just wait, forget it…

    “Yeah, we lost four million dollars every year. Legally, we were mugs. I still have Lee Eastman, and he’s made me a fortune. For me, I was forced to sue the Beatles, in order to prove what I knew. I didn’t want to. I went up to Scotland and agonized for three months, cut myself off, before I decided it was the only way. To sue the Beatles. It was a terrible decision.

    “I still get slagged off for it. In the history books, I’m the one who broke up the Beatles.

    “I didn’t hate John. People said to me when he said those things on his record about me, you must hate him, but I didn’t. I don’t. We were once having a right slagging session and I remember how he took off his granny glasses. I can still see him. He put them down and said, ‘It’s only me, Paul.’ Then he put them back on again, and we continued slagging…That phrase keeps coming back to me all the time. ‘It’s only me.’ It’s became a mantra in my mind.

    “I have some juicy stuff I could tell about John. But I wouldn’t. Not when Yoko’s alive, or Cynthia. John would. He would grab, go for the action, say the first thing in his head. We admired him for that. It was honesty; but it could hurt. And it wasn’t really all THAT honest. He KNEW he could hurt. He could be wicked. But I’m always sensible. That’s me. I would never say the things he said.

    “No one else knows the truth, such as it is, that’s the trouble. I was talking to Neil the other day, having a laugh and remembering some incident, a funny story. We remembered everything exactly, what we said, what I was wearing, that someone had a fan. We were absolutely exact on seventy-five percent of the story, except on one vital thing. I said it took place in Piccadilly and Neil said it was Saville Row. I can see it so clearly, every detail as it happened—and so can Neil, yet it’s in different places.

    “Until I was about thirty, I thought the world was an exact place. Now I know that life just splutters along. John knew that. He was the great debunker. He’d be debunking all his death thing now.

    “I can’t really remember the sixties anyway. I went through it in sort of a purple haze. The other day we are at a place, me and Linda, and this gorgeous blonde came up to me and flung her arms around my neck. ‘Remember me, Paul?’ I said hmmm, yeah, now, let me see, but I had no knowledge of ever seeing her before. ‘But Paul, we made love in LA…..’ Oh, I said….’Really. Meet the wife. This is Linda….’Scuse us, we’ll have to go….’

    ‘It happened before of course. It was before I was married. It can be dodgy, but Linda’s a good skin.”

    Why don’t you write it all down, or tape it all, put down what YOU think was the relationship between you and John, exorcise it once and for all, then stick it in a drawer and forget it?

    “I might. I did that after being in jail. I’ve written my feelings about that. I wasn’t allowed pencil and paper in jail, and it was all I wanted, so when I came home, I wrote it straight out. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t want that usual publishing scene. It’s just for me. It’s about 20,000 words. Linda and one or two other people have read it and think it’s good. I got a private printer, just to print for me one copy, one only. I’ve got it. I just wanted a plain white cover, and inside just black words on white paper. On cheap white paper. I wanted an Olympia Press book. Just a cheap little thing. It fits in the pocket, just six inches by four. I did for a time think of publishing a few and selling them off the back of a barrow. Telling no one, just suddenly selling them in the street, for a few bob. But I don’t want a big thing. Then I heard that some pop musician had ready done this, so I didn’t want it to look like copying. So I just have the one copy. I’ll let you read it someday. Tell me what you think.

    “As for me and John, yeah, I might write it down. You know I helped him with his first book. That’s never been mentioned by anyone. Not by John anyway…..”

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      Thanks for sharing this. I’ve read excerpts but nothing in its entirety.

      Poor Paul–he even got into trouble for THAT interview. All that was printed was that Paul called John a “manouevering swine” and “John Luther Lennon.” Paul went on about a zillion tv shows, trying to explain himself. Hunter Davies really sold him down the river.

    • anny wrote:

      thank you so much for this! Paul suffered a lot, and not just for john’s death, but also for how bad he was treated. I’ve only read the last part once, when he talks about that book he would like to write…that shows how much Paul doesn’t like to talk about his ‘private’ life with John, the little secrets and moments he shared with him. I believe he always preferred to keep these things private, I sadly think that we will never know about the ‘juicy stuff’, but I respect his choice.

  38. hologram sam wrote:

    It was obviously a powerful love, possibly the love affair of the century. Was there smooching? I haven’t the slightest idea. These comments (with all competing theories) are smart and civilized as usual. Very rare for online discussions! It reminds me that dullblog commenters are a fine breed.

    My personal belief is this: There are Beatles, and there is everyone else. We (everyone else) can’t hope to comprehend what they experienced. It’s astrophysics. Books are written, but in the end all we can do is look up at the starry sky in amazement and wonder.

  39. Karen Hooper wrote:

    @ Felix: The gif is the precursor to the video, to put the play between John and Paul in context during the interview.

    Also–with all due respect, you come across a tad bit homophobic. Many in this thread don’t think John and Paul had the slightest romantic interest, but they aren’t getting angry about it like you are.


    I think you doth protest too much.

  40. Ruth wrote:

    Nancy and Michael —

    For whatever reason, there was no ‘reply’ button available under either of your requests, so I’ll just tack this on to the end of the thread.

    I’d be happy to write a review of the biography of Klein, but it may take some time. I checked it out from the library (and am now infinitely grateful I didn’t give Goodman any of my hard-earned money) and would need to get it back and skim it again before I felt comfortable reviewing it.

  41. Paul Guay wrote:

    “McCartney for example never purchased NS shares in secret to give himself leverage.”
    Marcus, would you elaborate?

  42. ChelseaQW wrote:

    Wow, this is a long thread! I’m pleased I made it all the way through, and have enjoyed everyone’s thoughtful comments.

    I think it might be useful for us to distinguish between sexual tension and sexual attraction. They are not mutually exclusive, but they certainly can (and often do) function independently. I think it can be universally agreed that J and P had palpable sexual tension, at least whenever they worked together, which is why they are so exciting to watch onstage. A large part of their creative genius was their specific, unique chemistry and that chemistry is evident in virtually every performance we can watch today. Almost every account of their partnership, no matter how shallow or slanted, pays tribute to this essential component as a given.

    But feeding off someone’s sexual energy, either consciously or unconsciously, is not the same thing as being sexually attracted to that person. It’s a fine point, but I think it’s an important distinction to make. It’s possible that J and P maintained a relationship rich in sexual tension but without any actual sexual attraction. Maybe there was some attraction, but only occasionally. It’s very likely that John was attracted to Paul (based on his own numerous accounts), but how forthcoming he was about this with Paul is a mystery. It’s possible that both of them (particularly Paul) would be most comfortable living in this ambiguous middleground, where attraction is sometimes felt but not openly discussed or directly acted upon.

    The other issue is that it’s very clear that they had a deeply loving relationship, and that they often used romantic tones to describe it. Of course men can and do have intimate platonic friendships. But the combination of their intense love, the sexual tension, the train-wreck that was their breakup and at least one party experiencing sexual attraction for the other… it’s a short leap to get to a lovers-type relationship. I’m not saying it’s the only conclusion, but it’s certainly a reasonable one.

    John is no longer around to testify, but he definitely dropped a lot of odd-ball hints to the press in the 70’s. We’re just not really clear what he was hinting about. As for Paul, he is so careful about the things he says but I think if you listen closely, he is consistent. And what he says is consistent with a More-than-Friends type of relationship. I mean, Paul’s said they loved each other and were intimate… what else do we expect him to say? Are we really expecting him to give details on that intimacy? The word “intimate” is suggestive, but not necessarily implicating. (For instance, parents can have loving, intimate relationships with their children that are definitely in no way sexual). It would also not be inconsistent with a strictly platonic bond. Yes, this sounds like Paul wanting to have his cake and eat it too, but… that sounds like Paul! Some of these details might be subjective. Everyone has unique boundaries when it comes to intimacy. Intense bonds are formed in all sorts of ways: shared experiences, mutual pleasures, creative collaboration, secrets, etc. What sounds gay to someone in 1965 might feel and sound a lot different in 2015.

    Honestly, the physicality of the relationship seems kind of nitpicky to me since everything points to the fact that they had an intense emotional affair. My impression is that they never had sex but that they were in love. (just my 2 cents)

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      interesting point, @Chelsea, regarding the sexual attraction vs sexual tension. I disagree with you, thought that sexual tension can exist between two people without sexual attraction. One is bound to the other. At least one of the persons involved have to feel sexual attraction for the tension to exist.

  43. linda a. wrote:

    Chelsea great comment. Yes I think it is important to make the distinction between sexual tension and sexual attraction. I also think that is exactly what everyone is picking up on when they talk about their unique chemistry. Whatever Lennon’s curiosities or sexual leanings may have been I don’t think that he and Paul were actually lovers, but I agree that they had an intense emotional affair and yes there’s no doubt in my mind that they were in love.

  44. King Kevin wrote:

    I think that John knew his work was stronger when he was writing with McCartney, and it burned him up. I mean, for all he goes on about how much better and more “real” his Yoko- era solo stuff was, the proof is in the pudding, innit? And Paul was able to forge on alone and have a bunch of #1 hits and successful tours, too.

    • However we don’t know exactly what feelings they had to each other. Only them could say. Quite pessible they had tension and attraction together. I’m commenting about what Chelsea wrote. I still feel a kind of fear and rejection to sex between our dear boys. I mean, in some comments, not in all of them. It’s still a taboo for most. To talk about other things, like incest, is more acceptable, it seems, as John talked about his attraction to Julia and I didn’t see anywhere any rejection to that. Well, Yoko said he wanted Paul sexually. People freaked out. So this time she didn’t mention him anymore.
      To King. To my taste all of them missed each other. Paul got some number one hits, but…his songs were not so good as when he was with The Beatles writing with John or at least when he was around. I confess I got very disappoinated. I expected he would be as extraordinary as when he wrote with The Beatles. He had some good songs, but nothing remarkable. And some of them were rather corny, something I could never imagine he would do. Same goes for John, however John was a bit better. Number Nine Dream was extraordinary. During his Lost Week end he was quite good. And I love “Starting Over”. Problem with John’s albuns was I had to skip yoko’s tracks and it was quite annoying. But at least she didn’t use to sing with him excpet in Plastic Ono Band. George, for me, was the best as a songwriter. And my favoirte solo album of them all is…Ringo! The Beatles had a magic power…while together. Separated they were good, but …no more magic. For me, Paul was the worst, in my opinion, though I loved a few of his songs. I am talking about the Paul in the seventies. He improved a lot with passing time and today I consider him a kind of genius. He is wonderful. He is carrying the Beatles torch in his shows, somehow. Magic returned to our boy. I also had a chance to listen to some of his demos and got amazed. Much better than his albuns. The Rude one is sensational. All his geniality is there. Paul alone, playing all intruments, singing with himself, no corny arrangements.. Paul naked! Wow. I fell in love again. I had to think problem was others around him were not good, so demos were better! Probably he used to do that while with the Bealtes, and take the tapes to other amazing guys: Ringo, George and John. They could catch what Paul was producing. Apart from them he had to take the demos to ordinary musicians… Nothing really fantastic could happen. Sorry for talking about something so different. I have to add this is only a personal opinion, and I respect those who think Paul was the best. He became the best. But I could not stand Wings, have to confess. Could never undestand why he invited Linda to sing either. She just could not sing. Bad idea. His music lost with that decision.

  45. john wrote:

    john already said many times he was bisexual, but probably everyone always thought he was always joking and didn’t take him seriously. When he said he went out in gay bars, or called paul his ex fiance and wife…this is another proof http://www.ina.fr/notice/voir/I10278322, when says that when he was 15 he saw himself at 34 married with a rich woman, or a man. Sadly, the journalist laughs when john says ‘man’, another proof that they didn’t take him seriously, everyone thought it was a joke, and he knew it, too.

    • I am so thankful to you for this link. Precious interviews. More than one! He speaking in French, saying how much he misses Paris…He also talks about the interview he gave to Dr. Winston O”Boogie, that happens to be himself. Guess everybody knows this precious interview. By the way, in this interview he also plays with bissexualism. He denies he had ever had sex with a man, but he was only waiting to complete 40 years old, as life begins at 40. Then he asks to himself if he had something with Paul. He didn’t deny, He only askes if the rumour was not about Brian. And informs all juice stories with the Beatles would be revealed…after 40. As we know he died at 40. I also think he said about it in a very casual way knowning everybody would think he was only joking. Lots of people use jokes as a way to hide the truth. Again, thank you for the link. So, when a teen, he considered the possibility of getting married to a man. Bravo, John. What a shame you didn’t live to see it is possible now.

  46. Just reading the back-and-forth here, and what I’m more interested in is: what would it MEAN to you personally if John and Paul were sexually intimate? Is it the “hidden-ness” of that which makes it interesting? Or the sense of a wrong being righted? Does it explain something about the band to you?

    If anybody has answers to these questions, I’d be interested! For me, I find the more I think about it, the less determinative physical love seems between these two guys. But that’s me. What’s y’all?

    • Just reading the back-and-forth here, and what I’m more interested in is: what would it MEAN to you personally if John and Paul were sexually intimate? Is it the “hidden-ness” of that which makes it interesting? Or the sense of a wrong being righted? Does it explain something about the band to you?

      The same as any kind of love, Michael. Finding about love is always beautiful. The hidden-ness is not interesting to me. The sense of wrong being righted also doesn’t mean anything because there is nothing wrong in it. It has been right all the time. Only in some people’s mind it is wrong. The more I think about it the more I feel how interesting it is. Suppose it is true and it caused the Beatles split. It is quite possible. If they broke up they could not go on as musical partners. It led to the separation and suppose they split due to prejudice and homophobia. How sad that would have been. As the the Hores song. “The shame is on the other side.” Something else not so important, but also special: what a hot couple they were, wow!

  47. linda a. wrote:

    I think it is the idea that it is hidden information that does make it interesting. What would it mean to me personally? I guess it’s just one more thing about them that makes them interesting. It’s almost like an extra dimension to two (actually four) people who are already multi faceted. I have to admit I find the idea delightful. It adds to the romance and intrigue that is already there. But there is of course my gut feeling that they weren’t and that is fine too. It doesn’t really matter because everything about the Beatles is delightful and/or interesting to me.

  48. anny wrote:

    A question for you all:

    if it was true that john and paul had a (sort of) relationship, why Paul wouldn’t reveal it? What do you think he would fear most? Yoko Ono? bad reaction of some beatles fans? or something else?

    • ChelseaQW wrote:

      Hypothetically…
      Well, the first thing is that Paul is discreet. I’ve NEVER known him to kiss and tell about anyone (or even boast about his sexual conquests), and this is a dude who, by all accounts, slept with a ba-jillion women in the 60s, including several very hot and famous ones. So, there’s that.
      Secondly, if it came out that there was something physical/sexual, I can’t see how that wouldn’t completely dominate the Beatles narrative for a LONG TIME, if not forever. And then it would all be sensational, tawdry, etc. And lastly, how would he be able to prove it? There are lots of people (including Beatles fans) who would just say he’s delusional or a liar, etc. So basically I see ZERO incentive for Paul to ever say anything.

      • anny wrote:

        you’re right. thank you for your answer!

      • I am not sure if I understood what you mean by never seen Paul kiss anyone. Do you mean a passionate kiss? Or only a kiss? Because I have seen him kissing other people. Not with passion, though. Like friends. I Never seen him kissing Jane Asher. I saw him kissing only Linda on the day they got married. And a very fast kiss. Not French kiss. 🙂 Never seen him kissing Heather or Nancy either. It seems he is discreet about showing passion in public. But I’ve seen him kissing Stevie Wonder, David Gillmour and Elton John. We can see him and Elton on the documentary The Love you Make. He even said that was his first kiss in a movie. On the lips. Sure it was out of friendship only. Oh, I saw him kissing the lips of Dhany Harrison too.

        • linda a. wrote:

          Virginia “kiss and tell” is an expression. It means to talk about your sexual conquests and intimate relationships. Chelsea was saying that she’s never known Paul to discuss his sexual relationships.He’s discreet. I know sometimes translations get lost when there’s a language barrier. But it’s interesting that Paul is more openly demonstrative with men especially fellow musicians, than he is with girlfriends and wives, as you’ve mentioned. I’ve seen him all over guys like Elton, Stevie, and Neal Young. It’s very nice to see. He seems to be a very affectionate person. He loves his fellow musicians/brothers. But yeah he holds back with women. I disagree about his and Linda’s wedding kiss though. It may have been quick but just look at their faces as their kissing and right after! So much tenderness in that kiss and the way they look at each other. I thought it was revealing. Contrast that to his and Heather Mills pre wedding kiss…stiff, tense and expressionless. This was also revealing. They were clearly having problems even before their marriage.

          • Oh, thank you. Kiss and tell. I didn’t know this expression. Improving my English here. 🙂 But…I still think he didn’t say much kissing Linda when they got married. HOwever, I didn’t mean it was a cold kiss. Only quick. It was not like a …french kiss, for instance. And it was not supposed to be more that what he did. That is what usually happens in public after getting married. It’s natural to be that way. But I confess I could not see anythng revealing in that kiss. Just a “social” kiss. And I am quite good in observing body language. Nothing there during that kiss. I mean, I didn’t notice it. It could be my fault only. I guess he just don’t like to show his feeling in front of the cameras, that is what I thnk. Bettter saying, he may feel embarassed. Just guessing. I’ve never seen him kissing Heather. It is strange, because when they got married, he was supposed to be in love. She had not showed her other side yet. I will look for a video because I got curious.

  49. Kim wrote:

    If Paul and John really were really lovers, what would it mean to me? I think it would give me some sort of satisfaction because it would answer so many questions on WHY they were the way they were with each other. It would be very special to me. And I would NOT be thinking, “OMG they must have been having sex, like ALL the time!” No, I think to me, it would mean that they had found a soulmate in each other, that person who just “gets” you like no one else. And I would also think “My god, how fucking incredible is it that Lennon and McCartney were really LennonandMcCartney? As talented as they were separately, they were just magic together and to discover that they were also in love and enjoying each other sexually would blow my mind. I would just feel so happy knowing it. It would be an amazing discovery. But if they were really not lovers in real life, that’s ok too because what they are as JOHN AND PAUL is pretty damn marvelous too. I love it both ways. I do hope we hit the 250 posts mark. This topic has been a blast to read and join in on.

  50. Chris Dingman wrote:

    @Kim: You don’t need sex to make their connection–and what they did and who they were for each other–to constitute the most dazzling partnership in the history of Western culture. Without Paul, John would have likely spiraled into alcohol, violence and general self-destruction, and would have likely died before age 20. Without John, Paul might have been a school-teacher. With each other, they were the greatest songwriting team in history, THE icons of the transformative sixties, leaders of the best band the world has ever known. How much more do you need from their connection to confirm the sense of gratitude and love they must have felt for each other? Sex is great and wonderful. But it just seems irrelevant to me here.

    • @Chris and all, if I might be so bold I think that one’s opinion on this issue is a reflection of one’s own view of sex and the size of the role that it plays in human affairs in general. I personally see sex everywhere — and I don’t mean the weird commodified version of sex yoked to advertising and entertainment, but the often subconscious, often sublimated, pheromone-drenched, unruly, we-are-also-animals kind.

      So, to me, sex is never irrelevant. Because we are driven to mate and create, it can’t be. And because that’s the life I live, our attempts to make it so — to tell the story of, say, World War I, without at least attempting to tease out the role that sexuality played in it — move history farther into a story acceptable to our brains, and away from life as it is lived.

      Which is not to say that in this particular case, John and Paul were lovers. But if they were indeed “the most dazzling partnership in the history of Western culture” it would be peculiar if they hadn’t at least discussed it. Right? You can’t be “tmdpithoWc” with a big Verboten sign around, of all things, sex. Creation is erotic; success is erotic; they were the only pair who knew what it was to be them; sexual variety is a craving commonly shared, and the access enjoyed by Beatles forced them to (ahem) range more widely than your average bear. So…

      In the absence of hard evidence — which I don’t think I want, or would believe — I do think it’s down to one’s personal psychology, which we necessarily project on John and Paul. This entire blog, we say, “they were like this”, which is to say, like me. And that’s what makes it worthwhile, an exploration of the self via history. There’s never any right answer on Hey Dullblog, much as our brains crave ’em. (Almost as much as sex.)

  51. kim wrote:

    “Creation is erotic, success is erotic…” I agree with you Michael. I think the creation of art and music is, most of the time, erotically charged and because of this I don’t think sex is irrelevant at all when discussing John and Paul and their collaboration/connection. Paul said in an interview somewhere that writing a song was like sex. I know what he means. I’m an artist and musician so I get it. But I don’t need “proof of sex” (to use an old dullblog term here) between John and Paul to validate their connection at all. John and Paul are magic to me – a fairytale I want to believe in forever. There need not be any sex involved. What they had already blows my mind. But Michael did ask what it would mean to us if they had been lovers, so I answered it. Those were my personal feelings about it.

  52. linda a. wrote:

    Hell even the cover art of the hard cover version describes John and Paul to a T. No words are needed. Nevertheless I’m grateful to Joshua Wolf Shenk for putting into words what we in this thread, many threads on johnheartpaul, but curiously not many Beatles bios have paid much mind to, and that is the magic of this particular creative pair, and what it was however elusive, that made them so magical.

  53. kim wrote:

    @Michael, I think I said it wrong. I think the term was “Proof of Sex Happening” which is even funnier. 🙂 I agree with what you said about the depth of their intimacy after all that time of doing it (art, music) together. That is a long time, not only as musicians/artists but as Beatles. There is a dynamic between them that is magnetic and interdependent, and it wasn’t happening with the other two Beatles. I sometimes can’t believe it when I read stuff about how great John and Ringo got along (Ringo got along with everyone!) or how good John and George were together during the Plastic Ono Band era (George finally got to be on Team John!) but when it comes to John and Paul? Nah! They hated each other! John couldn’t stand Paul’s granny shit and his silly love songs! This seems to be a general belief held by many die hard Lennon fans. I want to shake them and say “DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT WE SEE?!!??”
    @Linda A, I have read Joshua Shenk’s book and I absolutely loved it. I have not seen any other author write about their partnership the way he did and I’m glad that he did. He also describes their bond as magnetic and kind of all consuming. Really interesting study of creative pairs and how much they rely on each other and save each other, kind of like a marriage.

    • Ruth wrote:

      “They hated each other! John couldn’t stand Paul’s granny shit and his silly love songs! This seems to be a general belief held by many die hard Lennon fans. I want to shake them and say “DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT WE SEE?!!??””

      I think Pete Shotton put it best: John may have found it easier, at times, to hang around with Ringo and George … but that was because he considered them “second class” Beatles, less of a threat to him musically and willing to do his bidding. Paul was the only one he viewed as an equal, and that equality put their relationship on an entirely different level, for both good and bad.

      —-

      There’s a great quote by a historian by the name of John Lewis Gaddis: “It’s all too easy to find what you’re looking for when you’ve already decided ahead of time what it is.” Some people have spent the last thirty/forty years invested in an image, or mythology of John: John the iconoclast, John the Truth-teller, John the peacemaker, John the real artist, John the sole genius, John the victim, John the hero. They believe these things because John told them that was how it was in “Lennon Remembers” (which he later renounced), and because people like Norman and Christgau and Coleman believed John, and repeated them until they became accepted wisdom.

      —-

      Nothing threatens this erroneous and unbalanced “Lennon Remembers” version of Beatles history like taking a balanced, impartial, factual look at the Lennon/McCartney partnership and relationship from 1957-1980. Which is why so much of this narrative depends on omitting facts — Coleman’s bio of John identifies “A Day in the Life” numerous times as solely a ‘John’ song — or making patently absurd interpretations that are contradicted by countless sources: “John and Paul never had that much in common.” “John was experimental, Paul was conventional.” “John was the intelligent Beatle: Paul was a pretty boy.” Mythologizing John requires inferiorizing Paul’s importance to John, both as his songwriting partner and friend. For John to retain his halo, someone else has to be the bad guy in the breakup era — first it was Paul, now, to a certain extent, its Klein. For “How Do You Sleep” not to be character assassination, and John not to be an utter hypocrite, urging other people to practice peace while lashing out viciously in his own life, Paul had to deserve it. For this ridiculously inaccurate version of events, we have to ignore fifty years of testimony from George Martin, who constantly reiterates the incredible closeness, intensity, competition and love between Lennon and McCartney. Some Beatles fans do this, numerous influential Beatles writers have done this because these sources — these facts — don’t support their preconceived hypothesis. Arguing with people who don’t accept credible sources or even facts is pointless: there are some Beatles fans for whom nothing short of John descending from Heaven and declaring that Paul actually wrote most of “Eleanor Rigby” would make them believe it, because conventional wisdom tells us that John was the superior lyricist, and therefore Paul couldn’t have written what is regarded as one of, if not the, greatest lyrical masterpieces the band ever produced.

      ——

      Michael and I have had our disputes about the “common sense” methodology regarding source analysis — see the “Paul better than John/Rolling Stone” thread — but Paul demonstrates this method very well in his own argument on the issue. Paul has had argued, several times, that if really was everything “Lennon Remembers,” Coleman, Norman, and some Beatles fans say he was — if he was really that shallow, sappy, manipulative, egotistical, domineering, and contributed less than 25% of the Beatles unique genius — why did John keep him around? Screw that: Why did they become friends in the first place? They were friends for *years* before fame was anything other than a pipe dream, and if Paul was the longstanding villain of the Beatles story the way some versions make him out to be, he wouldn’t have made it two months in the Quarrymen. That’s common sense methodology right there. If you look at the *evidence* impartially and analyze it for agenda, if you evaluate it without partisanship and don’t already have your thesis in mind before you’ve written your conclusions, if you apply, as Paul does, the most basic “common sense” methodology, there’s no question what the correct interpretation of Lennon/McCartney is; its not a question of “were they close” and “did they help each other create:” its a matter of degree: “How close *were* they?” “How did their individual genius fuse into greater genius?” These are the questions of Beatles writers and fans who want a real, in-depth, accurate look at the band — instead of having their own biases and skewed, fanboyish, inaccurate myths trotted back out to them.

      • @Ruth, I don’t recall what our “dispute” was — I think that’s much too strong a word, whatever it was — but here’s my issue with common sense methodology.

        “…if Paul was the longstanding villain of the Beatles story the way some versions make him out to be, he wouldn’t have made it two months in the Quarrymen.”
        I don’t mean to be pointlessly contentious, but my common sense says there’s lots of perfectly valid reasons why John the singular genius would’ve kept around a very smart (though not a genius), handsome, excellent singing, bass-playing, incredibly musically facile, people-pleasing workaholic as a partner…as long as that person acknowledged John’s leadership role and deferred to John in every meaningful way. Here are some common sense reasons:
        –John was flattered.
        –John was lazy.
        –John knew that he wasn’t always full of melodic ideas, and Paul was.
        –John knew that their ability to harmonize was “a killer app.”
        –John was frightened to go it alone.
        –John knew Paul would do a ton of things that John didn’t want to, or couldn’t do (PR, business, studio — “dealing with the straights”).
        –John felt that Paul might be more successful than he would be, and so he preferred Paul to be inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in.
        –Even: John was in love with Paul.

        All of these are completely commonsensical, if you believe certain things about John, and certain things about Paul. The reason that the “Lennon Remembers” version of history is so pernicious is that, if you have only a surface knowledge of The Beatles and their intergroup dynamics, it makes total (one might even say “common”) sense. It’s only after you read more deeply that it begins to fall apart, and you demolish it wonderfully.

        Of course historians must use their common sense; but I think they should say when they are doing so, and they generally don’t, because it ruins the argumentative flow. Investing a common sense methodology with the same weight we assign to more evidence-based conclusions is, I think, unsound. What strikes a person as “common sense” depends entirely — entirely — on their own biases. If you think John and Paul were bisexual, for example, your common sense is vastly different than if you don’t believe that.

        • Ruth wrote:

          Michael, I agree (and hopefully made it clear) that the “common sense” methodology doesn’t equate with actual hard evidence; that’s why I tacked on the example at the end of the rest of the post, after having mentioned the numerous factual reasons why the “Lennon Remembers” version of events is flawed in the previous paragraphs. Again, I want to stress that its the “last resort” and that it should be done by the author and/or historian providing both differing accounts and picking one, but allowing the reader to choose. In this specific instance, however, its important to note that the example I used wasn’t *my* common sense analysis; it was Paul’s, and that distinguishes from the evaluation of some secondary writer or journalist. Paul knew John, and the basic premise of his argument — that John did not suffer fools lightly — is reinforced by numerous, independent sources.

          ——

          I read Shout! fairly recently — all three editions, in fact, comparing and contrasting them — and I’d argue that the Paul depicted in that book wouldn’t have lasted two weeks in the Quarrymen, regardless of the other strengths that you mention. Norman’s Paul is petty, selfish, conventional, egotistical, and whiny; the other Quarrymen did not like him very much, and he was so obviously inferior to John that Ivan Vaughn hesitated to introduce Paul to John because Ivan only invited “great guys” to John, and, according to Norman, Ivan was unconvinced Paul merited that honor.

          ————-

          “The reason that the “Lennon Remembers” version of history is so pernicious is that, if you have only a surface knowledge of The Beatles and their intergroup dynamics, it makes total (one might even say “common”) sense.”

          I think there are two reasons “Lennon Remembers” retains (some of) its power 1. It was ubiquitous in the media, both during the breakup period and afterwards. When Paul issued the “McCartney” press release, he created a vacuum where one of the most popular mythologies of the 1960s had existed … and did little to nothing to fill that vacuum. John did that with “Lennon Remembers,” and its basic structure was reinforced by similar interviews with Yoko, Klein, and, to a lesser extent, George and Ringo. If you look at the numbers, its no contest; John and Yoko’s interviews vastly outnumber Paul and/or the Eastman’s from 1969-1971. John gift wrapped a new narrative for the press — one which, coincidentally or not, suited the politics of the R&R press at the time — while Paul said almost nothing at all. Initial narratives are the devil to dislodge.

          Second, much of the inaccuracy and partisanship of the “Lennon Remembers” narrative was perpetuated in Shout! and other, later biased works. I had a friend in high school who watched Anthology when it came out, found himself fascinated with the Beatles, and wanted to learn more about them. In 1995 (largely pre-internet) that meant books. Guess which book was widely regarded as the band’s “Definitive” biography? Having watched Anthology, he liked all four Beatles, but after reading Shout!, he wondered aloud to me “Why did John put up with Paul for as long as he did?” He was 15 at the time, removed from the breakup-era politics, a younger generation that should have been able to evaluate the band with a measure of historical distance … but Shout! presented him a skewed version of Beatles history, heavily dependent on the “Lennon Remembers” account … and he believed it.

          • Nancy Carr wrote:

            Oh Ruth, you deserve a medal for reading multiple versions of “Shout!” You could write a whole post on comparing them.
            .
            I just cannot with Norman. After that “obituary” he wrote about George and the screed he produced after Paul lost his temper with some journalists, Norman is firmly in my Unreliable Narrator file. If I never read another word he writes it will be a week too soon.
            .
            I would add to the reasons you give for the persistence of the Lennon Remembers view that the saint/martyr status of John helps underwrite the role of rock music as practically an alternative religion. If you’re a critic and make your living writing about rock, you are going to latch on to what makes it seem most important and serious. Painting Paul as the mere entertainer and John as the genius is one way to do that.

  54. anny wrote:

    regarding john and paul, I was listening to this tape of John of ‘just like starting over’ and in this version (different from the original) there are mentions of the walrus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fZHM50jOyA

    do you think this song was about paul? that john really wanted to come back working with him?

  55. kim wrote:

    It’s true how much people have invested in these long standing Beatles myths. There is a recent interview with Paul meeting with a fan who said to him “John was the smart one, you were the cute one etc, etc…” and he just didn’t bother to retort. He just agreed. It must be frustrating. Who was John? Who was Paul? Who were they in relation to each other? As far as bios go, I really do hope Lewisohn gives us a better picture in the next two volumes of his books.

    I just got Beatles 1+ and watched all the videos. What a joy! On the first disc though, the last video is Long and Winding Road and my god it made me sad. Paul is at the piano singing with forlorn eyes, “You left me waiting here a long long time ago. Don’t leave me standing here. Lead me to your door.” while John sits with Yoko on the floor, totally oblivious.

  56. kim wrote:

    @anny,
    Thanks for that link! Love the alternate lyrics.
    “The time has come the Walrus said, for you and me to stay in bed.” Which brings us to Paul’s “In bed.” comment haha, just a coincidence I’m sure. But the Walrus was Paul right? 😉
    And the other line: “Why don’t we fly off alone, spend the weekend in an old motel. A little place without a phone. A second honeymoon we’ll do as well.” Hmmm….
    I read in johnheartpaul there is a rumor that John wrote this song for Paul. It was supposed to be a message for Paul that he wanted to work with him again. He was using his “Elvis Orbison” voice which goes back to their roots together. Don’t know how true that is but if it is true, it’s very sweet. I feel like John always wanted to “get back” with Paul. In Peter Doggett’s book there is an incident in the early 70s where he is arguing with Yoko in public and he says out loud “I wish I was back with Paul.”

    • anny wrote:

      @kim yes, I heard about it, too. I’ve always been curious about the messages they sent to each other after the beatles split. And despite many songs are obviously about yoko, others seem to be more cryptic messages he sent to Paul. Just like starting over seem to be one of them in my opinion. The last songs Paul wrote in let it be are all sad and melancholy, all talking about someone being left alone, ‘let it be’ ‘oh darling’ ‘the long and winding road’, they were all songs written for john, and i believe that john knew it, too.

  57. Ruth wrote:

    For whatever reason, the elusive “Reply” button has disappeared beneath your post, Nancy, so I’ll just tack this on to the end of the thread — now 250 posts and counting.

    —-

    “You deserve a medal for reading multiple versions of “Shout!” You could write a whole post on comparing them.”

    I’m fascinated with comparing and contrasting evidence — both what the primary sources actually say, as opposed to what the secondary sources *say* the primary sources say, and in how different secondary sources interpret the same facts in such wildly different ways. I’m also interested in how historiography — the story of how a historical event is told — changes or evolves over time, and that’s why I read all three versions of Shout! (I also did so, admittedly, in an attempt to understand just *how* this horribly partisan, halfway-researched, and completely undocumented work became so influential for decades).

    Ultimately, there’s not a major post to be had out of it, because the differences between the 1981 edition and the “revised” 2002 and 2005 editions are virtually non-existent. Despite his admittance that the 1981 edition was “unfair” to Paul, in actuality this changes almost none of Norman’s biased interpretations or his partisan selection and use of evidence. For example, in 1981, Norman stated — not speculated, but stated — that Paul sought to oust Stu from the band in order to take his position as bass player. He never presented any evidence supporting it, but it stuck, and became part of the accepted wisdom. By 2002, Paul, George, and Ringo had all given interviews arguing that Paul did not want the bass, and got “lumbered” with it after John and George both refused it.

    ——

    So we have one version of events, entirely reliant on admittedly biased authorial speculation, and a contrasting version of events, reliant on the testimony of three primary sources … but Norman does not even acknowledge the contrasting argument’s existence, event though it is the more more credible version. He continued, in both latter editions of Shout!, to argue that Paul plotted to kick Stu out. That’s just one example of countless instances in the latter editions where Norman flatly refuses not only to provide both sides of the story, but to even acknowledge that the other side even exists … even when it is proven fact. If you’d read the 2005 edition of Shout!, you wouldn’t know that Paul contributed the tape loops to “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and you’d still believe that George left the “Let it Be” session solely because of Paul (because there’s no mention whatsoever of John and George’s dust-up). Norman’s interpretations of these instances had been disputed, if not disproven, between 1981 and 2002, but he changed none of them in his latter editions. If his goal was to provide us with an accurate history of the Beatles, rather than regurgitate his own biased drivel, these omissions are, simply, methodologically unforgiveable.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with the importance of “St. John” to the religiosity of rock and roll, Nancy.

    • Drew wrote:

      Ruth: Your post is why I have ZERO confidence that Norman’s forthcoming biography of Paul will be anything but a hatchet job.

      • Ruth wrote:

        To give Norman full credit, Drew, he does provide accurate versions of all these issues in his 2008 biography of John. (There are other issues, such as the “Eleanor Rigby” dispute, where he is less impartial, and his omissions are glaring and unforgivable). But yes, I fully anticipate that his bio of Paul will indeed be a subtle, condescending, masquerading-as-impartial but really biased hatchet job. I’m interested in reading it, if simply to see what sort of linguistic contortions Norman is going to resort to in order to *not* refer to Paul as a genius.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever had a chance to read “The Beatles Bibliography,” by Michael Brocken and Melissa Davis, but it might please you to know that their evaluations of all Norman’s Beatles work — from Shout! to the John bio — are downright scathing. They rank Shout!’s overall credibility as approximately equal to or less than Goldman’s, and call Norman out on his blatant pro-John and anti-Paul/George biases.

        • They rank Shout!’s overall credibility as approximately equal to or less than Goldman’s

          Whoa, holy shit. I think I gotta read that book, Ruth!

        • Drew wrote:

          Ruth: Thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t seen that book. Not like I need another Beatles book (Ha!) but anything that treats Paul fairly (positives and negatives) as opposed to the usual demeaning his work and casting him entirely as the villain of the piece would be a breath of fresh air.

        • Nancy Carr wrote:

          What I don’t get, if Norman does produce the kind of pretending-to-be-objective-but-actually-condescending biography of McCartney I agree it’s reasonable to expect, is WHY anyone would spend years writing such a thing. I mean, how painful must it be to spend that kind of time researching and writing about someone you don’t like as a person and whose work you don’t appreciate either? To me that would be a trip to an inner circle of hell.
          .
          I can well understand choosing to write about someone you think has major flaws as a person or an artist as long as you fundamentally respect the person’s work, but I don’t get that vibe from Norman on McCartney at all.

          • anny wrote:

            @nancycarr Money, that’s why he does it. Just for cash, and probably ’cause he loves to throw mud at McCartney.

          • Ruth wrote:

            I think he’s writing the Paul bio in an attempt to salvage his reputation on Paul, and therefore his credibility as a Beatles authority.

            ———-

            Norman is obviously touchy about Shout!’s declining reputation, if Lewisohn’s previous statements are any indication. Shout! is so blatantly biased, both against Paul and George as well, although the anti-George bias strangely doesn’t get nearly as much coverage, even though, in its own way, Shout! was just as damaging to George’s reputation as it was to Paul. As he did in the John bio, I believe Norman will use his new work to distance himself from his previous work, i.e. Shout!, without explicitly disavowing it. Norman isn’t writing the book because he’s interested in or respects Paul’s work; he’s doing it for his own professional self-interest. Personally, I will be just as interested to see if his view of George is improved any; he was far more generous to Paul in the John bio, but still largely dismissive and negative concerning George.

            ——

            The profile of the book on Amazon puts the page count at approximately 500 pages, which tells me the extent of Norman’s personal disinterest in the subject. His John bio was over 800 pages, and John died at forty; but Paul, who has outlived John for thirty-some years, has a biography that is considerably shorter than John’s. IIRC, Norman worked on the John bio for ten years, but they only announced Norman’s bio of Paul in … 2012? So he hasn’t spent nearly as much time researching and/or writing it as he did John’s. All of which indicate, to me, Norman’s personal lack of interest with the subject. And given how we know how much Norman’s personal likes/dislikes flavor his methodology and his interpretations, I can only guess he’s writing this book less because he wants to, and more because he has to.

  58. Karen Hooper wrote:

    “Karen: I guess we’re getting to the end of this discussion being fruitful when people are taking offense and getting “annoyed” at someone restating their opinion. I see no reason to jump on Marcus for making his point. You in fact have stated and restated your opinion several times that the John-Paul relationship was homoerotic. Nothing wrong with restating an opinion as well all have done here. It seems to me you’re getting upset because you disagree with his point, not because he’s restated it, as you have done here, too. And so have I.”

    @ Drew: Someone repeatedly saying “I don’t think John and Paul had sex” is a statement of position. Someone repeatedly saying “John and Paul had an homoerotic bond” is a statement of position. Someone repeatedly saying “Men can be friends without sex” is, to me, an effort to educate where no such effort is necessary. It’s something we all KNOW is true–so why say it, over and over again? That was my point. THAT is annoying. And no, I don’t care if someone disagrees with me. Happens all the time, as a matter of fact. 🙂

  59. Karen: just to say that …I agree with you! 🙂

  60. anny wrote:

    I think that they had a pretty intense relationship, that went from friendship to something deeper, which I think that made them break up and kept john so harsh for so many years.
    I believe that John was bisexual, and that he loved Paul. And if Paul loved to joke about it in the first years, maybe sharing something with John, too, like a kiss, after some years (1966, 67) it became difficult to handle, for both of them. From John’s side, cause he had to deal with his feelings for Paul, and from Paul’s side, ’cause he was a family man, someone who had a deep love for John, but couldn’t and didn’t want to accept what John felt.
    I believe that something happened between john and paul, maybe just once, a night, or a kiss.
    What I’m sure about is that we will never know it. Because Paul is not the kind of person who is keen to reveal his emotions and private stories in public, specially if it’s about John. He’s the kind of man who prefers to keep it for himself, as a treasure, rather than write a book about it and sell millions of copies. We will never have a ‘the truth about me and john’ book or an interview in which he would reveal the real truth about his relationship with John, which is weird, because we’re talking about the most important and successful partnership in music history, and I honestly have never watched a quality documentary about them, or a long Paul interview about it, not the usual ones, in which he just states a couple of easy stuff about him, the kind of stuff we always read everyday. Not even a good movie: If we think of what Martin Scorsese did with Bob Dylan, or the Rolling stones, or George Harrison…and what he could do with John and Paul story! That could be a beautiful movie to watch in which, maybe, Paul would reveal himself and the real relationship he had with john.

    • linda a. wrote:

      Funny that you brought up the idea of a film about John and Paul. I was just talking to someone about that about an hour ago. I just got the Brian Wilson movie, Love and Mercy and I was saying how much I enjoy musical biopics if they are done right. We were remembering how much we both enjoyed Walk the Line and I mentioned how disappointed I am that no one has done a really good musical biopic about Lennon and McCartney. Not one about the Beatles, or John Lennon and the Beatles….but about Lennon and McCartney. Because to me any Beatles biopic that doesn’t focus on Lennon and McCartney would be completely missing the point.

      • @Linda a., I think the reason why there hasn’t been a really good musical biopic about Lennon and McCartney is the complexity of the friendship. Very tough to get right. Also, see my comments on the Beatlebone thread about the difficulty of creating a literary version of Lennon (or any Beatle). In 50 years, there will be a great movie about John and Paul. Not yet.

    • ChelseaQW wrote:

      Here is my (possibly harebrained) theory, based on things I’ve pieced together recently.

      1n 1968, Paul says “John’s in love with Yoko and he’s not in love with the three of us (i.e. me) anymore.” You could choose to blow this off, but in 1971 he very explicitly sings to John, “I’m in love with a friend of mine.” And then there is Yoko’s story about how John played one of Paul’s records, cried and told her “There you go.” I assume that Paul record was “Dear Friend” and that “There you go,” was John confessing/explaining to Yoko what went on between him and Paul.

      So it seems that, prior to them breaking up in 1968, the idea of being in love was something they were aware of, and something that was probably said aloud at least once. A plausible/likely version of these events was that this awareness occurred and/or was expressed in Key West (which is clearly a pivotal moment in their relationship, as Paul has been singing about it ever since), possibly by John to Paul. Perhaps Paul didn’t reciprocate as openly, which is why he makes the public declaration in 1971 (with the odd retrospective reference of being young and newlywed), at which point it is sadly too late.

      It almost looks like they entered into a bizarre secret romance that was unspoken and platonic. Almost imaginary, but mutually so, if that makes any sense. And I think this is why it drove them both half-way insane. If you’re in a relationship that you don’t acknowledge… How do you ever know if it’s real?

      Post break-up, it seems that Paul tried very hard to re-establish a friendship and that John was always reticent or at least conflicted about this. I think Paul was content to be happily married and still have a friendship with John, which seems to indicate to me that he was probably more satisfied with the original relationship. John more likely realized that it wasn’t enough to be half-way invested and decided to move on first (in 1968). So Paul is like “I still want to be friends!” and John is like “I can’t just be friends.” (and Yoko is like, “Yeah Paul, STAY AWAY from my husband” haha) Which must’ve been so hurtful to Paul, because I think Paul always did (and still does) consider John his FRIEND above all else.

      • Paul is like “I still want to be friends!” and John is like “I can’t just be friends.”

        Wow, I’m shocked at how true this sounds to me, as an explanation of Lennon and McCartney in the 70s. And if you add in Yoko’s utter possessiveness towards John (not as much towards him as a person, but him as something to possess, like a fur coat), then it all makes sense. This paradigm answers why, for example, Yoko would approach Paul about getting them back together in 1975; why Paul would agree to act as a go-between; and then as soon as they were back together, Paul would re-enter Yoko’s Non-Person List.

        • ChelseaQW wrote:

          Absolutely. It is a very smart move on her part as it involves Paul in their personal life and allows Paul to curry favor with Yoko (which he would be eager to do). She is also sending the message that even though she knows that John and Paul are going to be spending time together, John ultimately belongs to her and she expects Paul to return him.
          I’m sure Paul was hoping for some possible payback in the form of extended visitation rights (God, it really does sound like John is in prison!) or maybe just Yoko to speak well of him… Of course it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

          Although to have Yoko’s back for a moment… Of course she didn’t want Paul and John spending time together! What woman in her right mind would let her husband alone with the person who is ostensibly his “Ex” and who is pretty openly trying to get back together with him? Once John separated from her, there wasn’t much she could do to prevent it, but she did what she felt she had to do to save her marriage.

          • anny wrote:

            absolutely. But to do this, I think Yoko had to be 100% sure that Paul didn’t feel what John felt for him.
            Really Yoko knew so much about them? Or simply she knew that, at that point, in the 70s, there couldn’t be any chance for John and Paul, both with kids and wives, to get back together, even if, in the late years, we all know John wanted it so bad.
            And I wonder if Yoko knows everything about them, if John told her everything, or if it’s uncertain for her too what John and Paul felt for each other. If I think about all the stuff she said about them, in the white album tapes when she says that she felt a strong tension between her and Paul, that if Paul had been a woman she probably wouldn’t have never existed in John’s life, and all the stuff about the tapes she heard of John calling Paul’s name in a pleading way, or the late interview about John being bisexual…did she tell all these things to open people minds? Or simply because she truly didn’t know the whole truth about them?…And, once again, Paul never replies.

          • My feeling is: if John felt it, Yoko knew it. Especially in this realm. That was incredible leverage to have over her partner, and those two were always looking for a way to control the other.

      • anny wrote:

        it all makes more sense to me now. And I believe that this is might be what really happened between them. Thank your for your comment!
        and also thanks to @ChelseaQW, so I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who thinks that it’s time to watch a good movie about Lennon and McCartney 🙂

        • ChelseaQW wrote:

          thank you, @anny! I felt very proud of myself for connecting those dots. HA! Of course the nature of the relationship is total conjecture and I have no idea what went on behind closed doors, but the dots I connected are actual things that happened.
          Also, I believe Yoko eventually learned everything, but I think it came out piecemeal. You can actually watch her piecing things together in real time, if you read her comments in context. Also, I just assume that John would reveal unnecessary details during a fight, to be hurtful. Doesn’t that sound like something he’d do? Actually, didn’t someone tell a story of him screaming “I wish I was back with Paul!” at her during a public fight? So yeah, seems very likely to me.

          • Where did you hear that, @Chelsea? I’d love to know.

            Honestly, John&Yoko are rather thinly sourced, from a third-party perspective. And the times people do speak out — like Jack Douglas — they are usually put on a spit and roasted for it.

            I suspect, from the very few anecdotes I’ve heard, second-hand, that the information wouldn’t be flattering, so people have kept it to themselves out of respect (you fall in love with someone, you fight, we all know that, and after a certain age, you stop judging), and admiration for John Lennon. He was so incredibly loved, you know — especially by acquaintances.

          • ChelseaQW wrote:

            I confess I read the “I wish I were still with Paul!” anecdote, unsourced, on the internet. So, grain of salt.

          • Ruth wrote:

            John’s “I wish I was back with Paul” comment is also in YNGMYM: Doggett mentions John reportedly yelled it at Yoko at a party in 1972, when their marriage was disintegrating, briefly before John left to begin his Lost Weekend.

            Which, bit of a tangent … but I’ve always found it ironic that its John, in 1971, who is predicting that Paul’s marriage to Linda is only going to last about two years (and then only that long because Paul loves his kids) and that in two years, Paul will be “out” and willing to taken back into the fold, under Klein and John. Instead, Paul’s marriage strengthens: It’s John’s relationships with Klein/Yoko, not Paul’s with Linda/Eastman’s, that crumble by 1973.

      • “A plausible/likely version of these events was that this awareness occurred and/or was expressed in Key West (which is clearly a pivotal moment in their relationship, as Paul has been singing about it ever since), possibly by John to Paul.”
        I believe the awareness ocurred much ealier maybe in 1960. They got to know each other in 57. It seems the attraction was at first sight. Paul said in a note he found John very beautiful up there on the stage and that was one of the reasons he wanted to be in his band. Because he was beautiful! During Hamburg John had that explosion of jealousy when he found Paul with a woman, cutting her dress to pieces. It is a fact. It really happened. If there was really something between them, of course they were already aware of it that time. This is not speculation. George told us about it in the anthology. Another fact I already commented about and it seems most didn’t find it as an evidence. But it is recorded. We can listen that song Johnny Johnny/I don’t know in youtube. Though it is hard to understand the lyrics clearly, we can catch a lot of them and some people already managed to write everything. It was already posted h ere twice, once by me. We do listen John saying “Paul I love you”. While Paul sings things like ” I got you, you are my boy, you warned me out”. And asks he is going to tell his dad…What could that be? What subject would be so hard for John to tell to Paul’s father? By the way, Paul is the one insisting to John to tell his dad and also to his friends. John wants to leave the town. Paul says he won’t let him do it. Also in 61 they went together to Paris. Alone. It is also a fact.
        I can see that something important really happened in Key West. But it is something else that made them cry. The night they cry. It could be related to their situation. But they
        were already very much aware of that. I mean, in my theory. LOL I am conscious it is only a theory. However based in facts. It doesn’t make sense to me, tthose two hot guys singing passion songs to each other, travelling alone together ( they also went to Scotland as the Nerk Twins), sleeping in the same bed in romantic places like Paris, and only discover what they felt for each other many years later. Specially when John was already aware he could not accept Paul making it with a woman. In fact, he could not tolerate it to the point of making a drama.

        You mentioned a song I wander about for a long time and could never understand. Dear Friend. He is singing for John. He never denied that. So “I m in love with a friend of mine” could be John? I never understood who was he talking about. Could not be Linda, as she was not a friend. She was his wife. And never was a friend before. She already stepped in as a date. She was not young and newly wed. with hm. He wrote the song more than one year after he got married. But John was not young and newly wed either. I asked about it once in facebook in a page by someone who is really loves Paul. She deleted my question. She found it offensive. I had just asked if any of them had any idea of who he was takling about, and if they had a clue of what he wanted to say. I saw no offense. But she got angry. So I remained clueless. I see you have a theory about it that sounded true to me, but I’d love if you could explain it better. Could you please?
        I think everything else you wrote sounds quite possible. Anyway, it is a beautiful theory.

        • ChelseaQW wrote:

          @ Virginia… I haven’t heard the “Oh Johnny” song you referenced, but I’ll check You Tube and give it a listen. I have no idea about the time line of their so-called awareness, so won’t argue about that. Your guess is as good as mine.?
          Paul said point blank that Dear Friend was about John and he added (paraphrasing) “One minute you’re in love, the next minute you hate each other.” I would find the quote, but I’m too lazy. Anyway, I have also heard people trying to argue that Paul COULDN’T POSSIBLY have been talking about being in love with John and I never understood that. I mean… what is the reasoning behind saying something like that? The song is very straightforward.

        • anny wrote:

          another song of john in the beatles era that could be connected to them is ‘you’ve got to hide your love away’, and ‘if i fell’ (that john said it wasn’t about cynthia).
          I’ve always read them as songs for paul.

          • ChelseaQW wrote:

            Deciphering Lennon/McCartney song lyrics and all their ridiculous secret messages is a rabbit-hole that personally drives me nuts. Speculation in this regard is ENDLESS, because a) they really, actually, admittedly did it and b) how the hell would we know what and where those messages are? We can take educated guesses, but unless they explicitly speak to the meanings of specific songs (i.e. Paul and “Dear Friend”)… we’re just filling in the blanks and trying to keep up.
            Although, while I’m on this topic, can I just complain for a moment about “Jealous Guy?” A few weeks back I was curious if there were any good Beatles-related podcasts out there… So I randomly tried one (which shall remain nameless). The topic was John and Paul’s post-break up songs. So this particular set of dudes spent nearly an hour parsing the lyrics of Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Ram and Wildlife…. and never ONCE uttered the words “Jealous Guy.” It was like the giant, vaguely-homoerotic elephant in the room. These same guys discussed (and played clips from) “Dear Boy,” even though Paul has claimed a non-Lennon inspiration for that song. However, Paul actually said that John told Paul he wrote Jealous Guy for him. So, unless Paul is lying… Jealous Guy needs to be included in this discussion. There is NO REASON to exclude it, other than the fact that it makes certain people uncomfortable. Not to get too ranty, but this is why I have never enjoyed Beatles fandom outside of my own personal friends. Traditional Beatles fandom (and “journalism”) is SO dominated by straight white male baby boomers and -with all due respect to everyone involved- I am soooooo tired of hearing that stale perspective, over and over again. New fans seem to be actually ENJOYING the Beatles, not focusing on that tired “Lennon v. McCartney” narrative and are willing to ask the obvious question: “What’s up with John and Paul?” It doesn’t have to mean they were having sex, but there is obvious journalistic oversight when it comes to these two. No one bothered to ask pertinent questions. And now I feel like John, with his “why didn’t anyone ask?” rant.

          • anny wrote:

            I totally agree with you. I left a couple of beatles forums for that: I couldn’t say a word, the topics were all about ‘lennon vs mccartney’ and when I tried to focus on their relationship, trying to involve them, like in this discussion, trying to understand the nature of their relationship, they removed my discussion. Deleted it. I laughed at it, but soon realized that I had nothing in common with them. When Yoko’s interview came up about john’s bisexuality, they all agreed that Yoko is a liar, that it wasn’t absolutely possible that john could be bisexual, and that the journalist probably wrote something different from what she really said. They couldn’t accept that john could be bisexual. I mean, beside beatles music, I never actually cared if they were hetero, gay or bisexual, I always thought they were free to do what they wanted to do. And instead, everything revolved about how great they were and the ‘hate’ between paul and john, making it a kind of ‘fight’ between who was wrong and who was right. Something I never enjoyed, to be honest.

          • ChelseaQW wrote:

            @anny, that’s pathetic! I understand if someone gets tired/bored of talking about the John-Paul incessantly, but to not discuss it at all is just… stupid. And to freak out and delete harmless discussions is just hysterical and homophobic. Needless to say, this blog is a breath of fresh air! (they seem evenhanded and lighthearted in their approach to ALL Beatle topics, which is sorrily missing from this fandom)

  61. Just to add another log on this fire: this morning as I was listening to “Free As A Bird” (I post about it here), I was struck by McCartney’s addition to the song:
    “Whatever happened to
    The life that we once knew?
    Can we really live without each other?

    Where did we lose the touch
    That seemed to mean so much?
    It always made me feel so…free”

    And especially how it compared to Harrison’s part, which was simply:
    “Whatever happened to
    The life that we once knew?
    Always made me feel so free”

    Where did we lose the touch/that seemed to mean so much…interesting…which led to the following thought: if John and Paul were conducting a clandestine affair prior to 1967, doing so would’ve been illegal in the UK. But after 27 July 1967, it would not have been.

    The counter-narrative that seems to be emerging from this thread is of a strongly bisexual John and a lightly bisexual, willing-but-reticent Paul. This is total speculation on our part, if this dynamic is accurate, the legalization of homosexuality in Britain would’ve upped the pressure on Paul immensely. Prior to ’67, as he acquiesced to the behavior but not the openness, Paul could have always said, “But John, it’s illegal” — a barrier for McCartney, but a positive enticement for Lennon. After legalization, the depth of Paul’s reticence — his fundamental straightness, the fact that he and John could never really live together as a couple — would’ve been revealed, and John would’ve felt a profound rejection, profound alienation/isolation, and (probably) a great desire to strike back. To destroy what Paul loved most, and what they’d built together, the Beatles.

    To me, this begins to explain Lennon’s actions much better than the conventional narrative, which depends on John Lennon “just doing stuff” because “he got bored.” That’s an explanation, but it’s so baggy it means nothing. It could be just as easily explain John’s shacking up with the Queen, as meeting and falling for Yoko (whom he’d known and dismissed for a year or more).

    Just an interesting thought for a Thanksgiving.

    • ChelseaQW wrote:

      I’ll throw some lighter fluid on that fire!
      Here’s a lyric that jumped out at me for the first time only about a week ago and broke my brain (and heart):

      In another world, we could stand on top of the mountain with our flag unfurled…

      UGH. Devastating.

      • A…rainbow flag? 🙂

        OK, now I’m getting silly.

        • ChelseaQW wrote:

          @Michael, you are getting silly. 🙂
          I think the flag is a metaphor, but it’s clearly a metaphor for being open and proud and PUBLIC about who you really are.

          Or maybe it was just that dumb asshole McCartney, celebrating imperialism, like he’s so wont to do! You know, in the middle of a remorseful song about his relationship with JL when he’s lamenting all the time and energy they wasted being prideful and competitive…

          Yeah, it makes much more sense that he was having fantasies about colonization!

    • “The counter-narrative that seems to be emerging from this thread is of a strongly bisexual John and a lightly bisexual, willing-but-reticent Paul”. Michael, that is not my view. We are equal only because my version is also only speculation and I can be equivocated. But I just can’t see Paul as lightly bisexual. I see him as totally bi. I have already noticed most of fans who imagine it could be possible tend to think of Paul as a straight guy who felt something only for John and nobody else. I wander why. He looks far more bi than John! I mean, physically. I am not only talking about his feminine face only. But all the aura around him. In fact he looks rather gay. John didn’t look like that. I am conscious some men can look feminine and it means nothing. It might be his case. But lots who look feminine mean something. Even the way he talks and the way he walks. There is something in the way he moves…When I saw him in person during a show I was more surprised because he looked even more feminine than in pictures or movies. My friend, a male friend who went to the concert with me, and who is not a fan ( but loved the show) told me when it was over. ” My dear, don’t be upset with me, but I have to tell you Paul is gay! It’s everywhere on him. So clear.” I said that nobody knows, but it seems he really enjoys women very much to be gay. Apparently he is one of those guys who seems to be but is not. He started laughing. I told him some of us think maybe he is sort of bisexual. But maybe it is all imagination. There is no proof about. ” But we don’t need proof. Come on, look at him!” Anyway, at least he was not making fun of him. He is not homophobic and even showed me gratitude for inviting him to go, as he really appreciated it. “Wonderful night”, he said. I, for myself, got to the conclusion we may never know for sure, Now I ask about his fans, not about him. I just can’t understand how come so many imagine him as almost totally straight while they don’t have doubts John was bisexual. Because, even though he might be straight, he doesn’t look straight at all. How come fans don’t see it?

  62. ChelseaQW wrote:

    Hi Virginia! I think it is because McCartney is a well-documented…. err, ladies man. He slept with a LOT of women when he was single. A LOT, LOT, LOT. Sure, all the Beatles did, but Paul’s trysts (and his libido) are kinda legendary, in both quantity and quality. Every account I’ve seen purports that he is quite the stick man. (And that he puts that stick into the ladies) Of course this doesn’t mean he can’t be bisexual (anything is possible, and how would we know?) but I’m about 100% sure he’s not gay.

    • The commonly quoted number of Macca partners during his Beatle years (pre-Linda) is 500-600. I think this comes from the man himself.

      • Ruth wrote:

        “The commonly quoted number of Macca partners during his Beatle years (pre-Linda) is 500-600. I think this comes from the man himself.”

        I’ve seen the 500-600 estimate before, but the only place I remember reading it is, of all places, Pravda, and they failed to cite where they got their figure. (I don’t recall Paul ever offering an estimate). If true, that number really drives home your previous point, Michael, about the sex-life of a Beatle being unlike that of almost anyone else in the history of the world. Assuming most of those encounters occurred between 1963 and 1969, that means Paul would have been having sex with an entirely new female approximately every four days, every year, for approximately six years.

        I honestly haven’t read too much sexual shaming of Paul, or any of the other Beatles, by (male) Beatles authors. Sexual double standards, as applied to Linda or Yoko, however, are rampant, particularly in the articles/books of the breakup era. That Peter McCabe can brush off the Beatles sexual histories in “Apple to the Core” and then have the gall to judge Linda for her infinitesimally smaller sexual history prior to her marriage to Paul is appalling.

        • ChelseaQW wrote:

          “Sexual double standards, as applied to Linda or Yoko, however, are rampant”

          @Ruth, OH MY GOD, don’t get me started on this one! Hell hath no fury like a bitch who’s been slut-shamed.
          How furious was I when I read Linda McCartney referred to as “a groupie.” Groupie! SHE WAS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, you sexist assholes! Are you fucking kidding me? Would anyone EVER refer to, say, a male fashion photographer who sleeps with his models as a “groupie?” UGH, I’m so mad right now I can barely type….

          • Ruth wrote:

            “How furious was I when I read Linda McCartney referred to as “a groupie.” Groupie! SHE WAS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, you sexist assholes!”

            Agreed. But no male author — with the exception of Doggett — has acknowledged this egregious double standard.

            ————

            There’s also how male Beatles author inevitably compare/contrast Linda and Yoko, pitting their characters and personalities against each other and making value judgments depending on which Beatle (and therefore which wife they prefer): Yoko was artistic, Linda was a shallow ‘groupie.’ Yoko was a “malevolent omnivore,” Linda was “warm, funny, and talented.” We can’t simply let each woman be who she was: no, we have to turn Linda’s choice to focus on marriage, children and Paul into a larger discussion of Paul’s chauvinism, especially contrasted with Yoko’s political activism and dominant role in her relationship with John. So many writers and fans seem to believe that celebrating one woman seems to require demeaning another, and I am tired of it.

          • I think it’s even worse than that, @Ruth — neither Linda nor Yoko are ever seen for themselves. They are inevitably portrayed in a certain light for what that reveals about Paul or John. Linda was a shallow groupie… because Paul was a shallow tunesmith who craved adulation. Yoko was a confident world-changing artist… because that would be the “proper” mate for another world-changing artist.

            Or, Linda was a devoted wife… because Paul, unlike John, came from a stable family and was a good husband and father. Or Yoko was a controlling Iago because… John was a drug-addled mother-craving mess.

            I think the best compliment one can give Linda or Yoko isn’t portraying them well, but attempting to finally see them as whole and complete individuals, with strengths and weaknesses, with goals of their own, lives of their own. Just as we see their more famous husbands.

          • linda a. wrote:

            How furious was I when I read Linda McCartney referred to as “a groupie.”

            Oh yeah that really really annoys me too. Sexist assholes indeed. The crap that’s been written about these people is just unbelievable.

          • B ut…we don’t know them personaly! I mean, I don’t know them. I never met Linda in my life. So how can I say for sure if she was a groupie or not? I don’t get furious about it because, first, I don’t know if this is true. And secondly because it it was true, what is the problem? i don’t see anything wrong in that. She was not accused of being a robber or killing anybody. Only having sex. Oh, come on…that could be good. What should I bother about it? Some people who said so, said they investigated. She also became a phographer but at first she was not. Somebody made a mistake thinking she was one. Then she decided to be. Not a very good one, in my opinion. But …okay. It is possble she never slept with Warren Beaty and that story they tell about them and Heather, you have to know about it, is a lie. But…what a pity. Warren Beatty is such a charm. I don’t feel it is offensive to say someone is a groupie. And someone can be a phographer and a groupie. After all groupie is not a profession!
            I also have no idea how was her life with Paul. And I also don’t know if they were always together. People say they were, but I have no comprovation of that. They were together on tours and recordings, and this is something I don’t understand, as she could not sing. They were always together in pictures. But their lives were more than that. It also sounds fabricated to me. I heard Linda said it out of anger when Paul was arrested in Japan. I don’t know if this is true. She showed how worred she was because Paul had never been apart from her and was there among prisoners, locked. I also read that, after her death, someone asked him about it. And he said that “it was not exactly like that”. Again, I can’t guarantee if he really said it. I only read it. But what leaves me confused is why something like that becames so important for so many people. I don’t care a bit if he was faithful or not. It’s not even an interesting piece of conversation. And why would they said it as something to be applauded? isn’t it what all married couple should be? If they were both true to each other, it is nothing different than other couples. They were doing what they were supposed to do. It seems they said about it once in an interview. Why? Maybe someone asked them. If so, I can understand. Someone asked and they anwered., If not, I am sorry to say they were rather silly bringing this subject to an interview. Something else: what if they were living an open marriage? In this case, having other pair for sex would not be infidelity, as both agreed! And that would be sometthing new they could talk about. But would they be brave enough, in case something like that used to happen? Most people around the world are still very conservative. Paul post Beatle got a strange image of well behaved guy. He could disappoint his fans. Not me. I am not saying they lived like that at all. Just asking…what if? What I want to say is the private life is private! We may dream we know how they were, so conventional…and maybe they really were that conventional. But…maybe not. For me it doesn’t mean anything shameful. Please, don’t be upset with me. I’ve got a free mnd. Besides, I am not saying they were. Just imagining. We have to remember that: what happened behind close doors belongeed to them. He will never tell us the details. And we simply don’t know. We have to remember that celebrities just can’t tell the truth all the time. Paul once said officialy to the Japan govern he had stopped doing drugs. He had to. He wanted to give a concert there. But…he was not careful enough and was arrested with his luggage full of grass. I was not disappointed. I remember I only got really worried. But some friends of mine gave a sort of party named “Paul is Back”. I went to this party because I wanted to feel better. Do you get why they were celebrating? They were convinced Paul had became really straight in the worst meaning of the word. Really square. Where was that Paul that faced the press saying openly he had taken drugs? And saying midia was responsable to spread it, not him! What a smart reaction. Well, that arrested showed that, inside his private life, he was still our Beatle Paul, daring Paul, just like we loved him. Breaking rules and conventions. So, we had that party in a bar. But deep inside I was so worried… What if he had to spend a long time there? What a relief when I heard he was free again. It seems I changed the subject totally. I didn’t. It is inside the same point: we don’t know what he or his wife, or friends, lived in their homes. And we can’t believe in everything they say. It not hipocrisy. Paul just can’t say, and besides, he deserves to keep his intimacy for himself. And we can wander…with respect and love. No matter what his private life is…he is a kind of genius, adorable…and I love him so!

          • Karen Hooper wrote:

            She was a photographer who bedded many of those she took photos of. Doesn’t negate her photographer creds, and it doesn’t mean that she should be “slut-shamed”, but I think she earned the groupie title, to some degree.

          • Karen Hooper wrote:

            true enough. But they’re both groupies, in my book, insofar as groupies are defined as people who sleep with famous people. It’s a terrible double standard that the male photographer doesn’t get the label but the female photographer does.

          • To me, a big part of the groupie dynamic is that the star has all the power, and that the seducing partner seeks to steal some of that power from the star by sleeping with him/her. I wouldn’t call Linda Eastman a groupie at all, because taking a photo of someone (itself an erotic act) puts the photographer in control; the photographer has the power, not the star. And I’ve never seen any evidence that Linda used sleeping with, say, Jimi Hendrix, to her benefit. I more get the impression that she was a pretty, talented person who turned on these famous men, and was turned on by them, and sex happened, and then both parties went on their merry way, basically as they had been before.

            Of the two, Yoko is much more the groupie in behavior than Linda is — until John succumbs. Then she’s the boss.

            Also, I see some second-wave versus third-wave feminism stuff coming out when you and @Chelsea talk, @Karen. Keep going, you two! Loving the dialogue.

          • The truth is that we don’t know Linda. We don’t know what was inside her mind. People tell lies, people tell the truth but we never know what is a lie and what is the truth. When we don’t have any prejudice against groupies we accept she mght have been without problem . When we mistake groupies with prostitution ( it is not the same thing) and when we know the difference but even so we reject women that acts like that ( but think men who does the same with lots of women are cool), then we can’t see Linda as a groupie. Paul would not marry a woman like that. Oh, really? Why not? Anyway, just think for a second she was indeed a groupie, but not to have power ( not all groupies are like you described dear Michael) but to have fun. Or for any other reason. ( I read somewhere her goal was to find a rock star millionaire to get married. I only read it, okay? I am not saying it is the truth.) then, people who likes her, but rejects groupies, don’t really like her. If our admiration for anybody is only if that person is exactly the way we approve, then there is no admiration. We like someone in spite of not being perfect. So, it is important to remind we really don’t know Linda. We don’t know her story. We can’t judge her. We can’t say she was a groupie and we can’t say she was not. I confess I am not interested on her as I am a Beatles fan. Not a Wings fan. She was not part of The Beatles. Ah, I read she really had an affair with Jimy Hendrix. And it came from a true fan of hers. As for being a photographer, I also read she used to pretend to be one. She would carry a camera without film on it. As someone really believed she was a professional she decided to practice and learned the job after a while.It smells like gossip, I know. Possibly created by haters.
            I wander why do some Paul’s fans need to see her as a kind of saint? Is it that important? Iif she was not, but Paul didn’t mind, so everythng is fine. No problem. And what if people created only lies about her? In this case, she was the one who could have complained about it. She was the only one who knew her truth. But it seems she never complained, as far as I know. So, everything is fine.

        • “Paul would have been having sex with an entirely new female approximately every four days, every year, for approximately six years.”

          Maybe I’m revealing something here about myself, but that sounds about right. Paul was 21-27 during that time, and in excellent health; he was enjoying fantastic success; and he had nearly unprecedented access to sexual partners. And the Coolidge Effect is an amazing thing. Frankly, I think that estimate seems a little low — but he was producing a lot of work. (Which, to me, is in itself a marker of high sex drive.)

          The whole concept of “slut-shaming” is absurd, inhumane, inherently unfair and should be thrown in the garbage. It’s a type of emotional terrorism predicated on a view of women as property and their sexuality as something to be feared and controlled. If you want to say someone is not a nice person, there are lots of ways to say that — one’s sexual behavior is of a piece with the rest of one’s life, so if somebody is narcissistic and cruel to their lovers, it will be easy to call attention to those qualities without involving their (supposed) bedroom behavior. “Slut-shaming” is an appalling double-standard with no other purpose but to unfairly humiliate and control women.

        • Linda’s sexual story prior to meeting Paul is not so small. Of course not 500 men or 600. But that is not true to Paul either and it didn’t came from himself. If so, he was just giving a number as a joke. I also remember reading it in Pravda. Amazing. A very bad article, by the way. But there are talks Linda was also had a swimming life. I am not saying it is true, as I have never met her and of course, I have no ways to know the number of men she slept with. But since they met I have been reading several stories. It is also in the book “FAB”. They say she was a groupie and this alone tells a lot. It means lots of men, all of them very famous. Warren Beatty was one of them. Also Jimy Hendrix. Guess Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison are in her list too. All I can say is, if this is true, she always had a good taste. Wow.

          I am talking about the truth, which of course I don’t know, I am talking about what is in several places in the net , and also in the book “Fab”. They say she was a groupie, not only a phographer. She usually had encounters with celebrities, though. Warren Beaty, Mick Jagger, Jimy Hendrix, Jim Morrison and some others

    • Oh no. This story is so fabricated. I don’t understand how people believe in that. And I do hope it is a lie, because womanizers are the worst kind of man in the world. The ones I know at least, are empty kind of guys that can’t even have an interesting conversation. It is a legend, a hoax….It is not well documented. Where are the documents? I have never seen any. I don’t think Paul created this silly story. In Many Years from Now he doesn’t say it was true, and it is not true. Lots of women seem to believe this kind of man are fantastic. They are not! I believe Paul is a great guy. So he could not be like that. Who did the research to know the number of women he had? If it was like that he could not have time to compose. No, no, people, come on. Wake up.
      Sometimes i think it was created by equivocated fans. Male fans who think it something to be proud of. That is sick! They like to imagine they would be like that. And female fans also equivocated, maybe thinking they could have an affair with him, as he can’t resist a woman. Also could be for, deep inside, they fear he is gay, and that would sort of “prove” he is not. Sort of homophobia. And yet, it doesn’t mean much. . I know a bissexual guy who created this image for him to hide the truth. I am not saying this is Paul’s case, because I don’t think he created it. He is smarter than that.
      By the way, I guess that Frances something said the opposite regarding quality. He was that good all the time. His ex wife said something similar. But of course we can’t believe in any of them. I only mentioned because there are diffferent talks about it. John also said that he did him once but he was not good. Remember that? Course he was kidding…or not? Anyway, impossible to believe in this story of Paul being with thousands of women. This is too ridiculous. Like the story he is dead. But there is something that is really true: he really looks feminine. So, I still don’t get why people believe John is bissexual but Paul could not be. He looks much more bissexual than John. Of couse, it is also possible they are not. What I mean is that, as we are only imagining, there is no explanation why so many can’t see it in Paul . There is , indeed, something in the way he moves…Very attractive, by the way. I do adore the way he looks.

      • linda a. wrote:

        Whether or not it is true that he slept with that many women is beside the point. He was Paul Beatle, he was 20 something, and single…and he was Paul Beatle. Women were literally throwing themselves at him, and he wasn’t the only one who slept with a lot of women. The others slept with just as many. It annoys me that only Paul has been called a womanizer. To me that’s just part of the overall picture that biographers have tried to paint. I mean c’mon folks it was the Beatles. Calling any of them womanizers at that time is really really beside the point. To me it’s how they behaved later on when they were much older and Beatlemania was long over, that makes them womanizers or not womanizers. Paul never cheated on any of his wives as far as I know, and he married Linda when he was only 26 and still a Beatle, and still one of the world’s most sought after bachelors. Yet he’s called a womanizer, while the others are never labeled that way. To me that’s just another rather clueless label given to Paul by John worshipping biographers. John was a tortured artist, so lonely and misunderstood, so abandoned by his mother. But Paul? Oh when he wasn’t booking the studio and being “bossy” he was “womanizing”. Really? And what were the other three doing, not to mention every other rock star with women falling at his feet?

        • Yes, lots of women around them all. Even so, maybe it was not that much. I was not there to see, but the fact they were around all the time doesn’t mean they had to involve themselves with all of them. 🙂 Thank you for givng another clue…I had not thought about it before. Paul only booking the studio, being boosy, thinking only in women all the time, People selling a bad image of our Paul. Yes, it makes sense to me.

          But…Beatlemanis was never over! Why do you think we are here talking about their private lives even though most of us never met them? Talking with affecton and love…This is Beatlemania. I consider myself a Beatlemaniac and proud of it.

          AS for being always true to all wives…maybe, but it also may not be. And it is totally irrelevant to me. If he was not really that “true” ( being true for me is something different) he would never say, so we don’t really know. Not saying he is not true…only that we can’t be sure, and if not, that doesn’t bother me at all.

          • linda a. wrote:

            but the fact they were around all the time doesn’t mean they had to involve themselves with all of them. 🙂

            And truthfully Virginia I think that there were plenty of times when perhaps they just wanted to be left alone. There are plenty of stories of them playing Monopoly or Poker all night long. But seriously from what I read the women were literally lined up waiting for the opportunity to sleep with them. It must have been very bazaar and surreal to be in that situation. And isn’t it true that the more sex available to a person the more they want it? So it seems promiscuity was a given for them. As far as Paul being true to his wives, I think it is probably true. He and Linda were together literally all the time so it would have been practically impossible for Paul to cheat even if he’d wanted to. Except for that time when it is rumored that they secretly separated. Regardless my point was that I think history labeling Paul a womanizer but not the others is beyond silly. Especially given the bazaar situation they were in . And you’re right it didn’t really ever end. May Pang tells that story in her book, about she and John being fondled by strangers in an elevator. John’s reaction was ‘here we go again’ as if this was just part of the job of being a Beatle.

  63. ChelseaQW wrote:

    For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a promiscuous youth. Yes, the sheer AMOUNT of sex partners in Paul’s case is a bit mind-boggling (so he essentially had a side job as a porn star?), but when you consider how easy and available the sex was… I mean, I personally don’t judge him at all. I think it’s cool that he could go from being a total whore to a faithful husband. To me, that is just one of the many fascinating dichotomies of Paul McCartney.
    Paul always struck me as more promiscuous with his (platonic) friendships outside the Beatles, too. YMMV…

    • Nothiing that wrong in being promiscous, but….there is no evidence Paul was the way people say. Except that people say. it doesn’t mean anything. It would be physically impossible, unless, as you said very well, he had a side job as a porn star. LOL. I loved this. This story smells too strongly as something fabricated. Sex was not easier than nowadays. I know John Lennon said their lives were like Satyricon, but even so, that would be only during tours. And if John was not exaggerating, ( I think he was) than it was not only women available. As everybody knows Satyrican is rather gay. What else? All of them were there. Not only Paul. So, how come only Paul got this ugly adjective over him? He deserves a better image. Because men like that don’t like women. They use them only. They don’t have respect for women.

      I can’t judge him either. How come? i don’t know the truth to emit a serious opinion. But this story of sleeping with thousands girls…and John Lennon ( I have see it written like that) seems to be a kind of bad joke. I don’t see signals of truth of him coming from a whore to faithful husband. To my view it’s not cool and it is not uncool. It is nothing. Doesn’t sound real. And it .sounds a bit like, can’t find the word in English, something created to show how Paul was not a true beatle anymore, surruounded by straight people, rather conservative, right wing and so on. . Not representing the revolution they made anymore. Like John said. But of course being a whore was not what he meant of being revolutionary. Only becaming a traditional family man in conservative way was rather strange. I don’t believe Paul’s marriage was so conservative. I do think Paul was a revolutionary father. Recently Mary said they were a bunch of gypsies children. Oh… I could see that. That sounded true to me. Beautiful! But, the fact I liked it doesnt mean much. It means only it pleases my fantasies.

  64. kim wrote:

    I would have lined up to sleep with Paul too, just sayin’… I’m jealous of the girls that got into his bed.

    Maybe the rumors of Paul being a womanizer and “sex gladiator” (as John I think put it) is maybe because he was the last of the Beatles to get married? And he was known to sleep around even with Jane as his “steady” girlfriend. John had Cyn, Ringo had Mo and George got Pattie pretty early on. So that leaves Paul as the available one. How many press conferences have we seen where there is a question like “Is Paul planning to get married in the near future?”. He was always seen as the bachelor Beatle so naturally where there is a handsome, talented, charming, confident young man, there are ladies swarming all around him.

  65. linda a. wrote:

    It’s just that people have a tendency to talk about the Beatles both individually and as a group, as if they were normal. They try to compare them to normal society. Nothing they went through can be compared to anything even approaching normal. Especially their sexuality. None of the normal societal labels like cheating on girlfriends, can be applied to them in the same way. They were in John’s words like “Caesars”.

    • @Linda A.,
      In fact, if you want to understand the Beatles and sex — not judge, but understand — I’ve found that the Caesars are the best guide. The Beatles had unlimited access to partners (of both sexes); were utterly above the law; and literally any whim they had could be indulged. Human biology has not developed for that, and it makes people in that situation act in ways that to us seem strange.

      In that kind of scenario, fetishes become almost necessary for normal sexual response (and I’m including “a different person every night” as a fetish). And if we believe the standard line that male reproduction is about producing as many offspring as possible (I think it’s much more complex, but let’s assume it’s somewhere in that neighborhood), fidelity, in that situation, is actually maladaptive. You could call it a dysfunction, if you wanted to be provocative about it.

      It’s rather a testament to both the guys, and especially their partners, that they all managed to maintain reasonably stable relationships during the Beatle years. John’s really the only one where we hear of outright cruelty And once again, look at the Caesars. As Julius was catting around (with both sexes, probably) he was divorcing his wife with the parting shot, “The wife of Caesar must be beyond reproach.”

      One of the reasons that George was so resentful about his Beatledom was how the unlimited access to sex partners and drugs and lots of money made it difficult for him to master his cravings. The Beatles were in a situation that actively encouraged them to be monsters in lots of ways; if they had been, we’d know it by now. But they (mostly) were not. That’s amazing.

      • The Ceasers…Well, it makes sense as John mentioned the Satyricon. And Paul said his song Helter Skelter is about the Roman Empire. About Satyricon I just found that this book of Petronius is so permeated with the culture of male-male sexuality that in 18th-century European literary circles, his name became “a byword for homosexuality.”
        Julius Cesar was famous for being “Every woman’s husband and every man’s wife”, Fascinating.

      • linda a. wrote:

        Beatles had unlimited access to partners (of both sexes); were utterly above the law; and literally any whim they had could be indulged. Human biology has not developed for that, and it makes people in that situation act in ways that to us seem strange.

        Exactly @Michael Gerber. I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I scratched my head at the simplistic references to Paul’s sexuality. Especially his “cheating” on Jane Asher. He’s written about as if he was a normal guy like everyone else.

      • ChelseaQW wrote:

        “The Beatles were in a situation that actively encouraged them to be monsters in lots of ways; if they had been, we’d know it by now. But they (mostly) were not. That’s amazing.”

        I’m late to the party here, but I just wanted to high-five @ Michael for this comment. The whole thing.

        The other thing is that, you know, for all the reports of Paul being a terrific lover, I highly doubt any of these girls (strangers) got more than 15 minutes apiece. Sex without courtship or foreplay REALLY cuts down the time investment. So in that case, a new girl every 4 days is NOTHING. You could have 3 or 4 partners a night and take a break for several days and still rack up the massive numbers we’re talking about. So again… more power to him. Sex is fun, y’all. Paul was just having fun.

  66. Karen Hooper wrote:

    @Michael: “My feeling is: if John felt it, Yoko knew it. Especially in this realm. That was incredible leverage to have over her partner, and those two were always looking for a way to control the other.”

    And I would add: if John felt it, Yoko knew it, and therefore John denies it by slagging off Paul at every opportunity. Makes sense.

  67. Karen Hooper wrote:

    @ chelsea said: “When Yoko’s interview came up about john’s bisexuality, they all agreed that Yoko is a liar, that it wasn’t absolutely possible that john could be bisexual, and that the journalist probably wrote something different from what she really said.” Holy cow. Talk about homophobia. If Yoko had said the opposite, they would be flaunting that like it was gospel.

  68. Ruthie Rader wrote:

    https://youtu.be/-J_AnrUosF8

    The above link will take you to an interview with Paul. You might find it interesting. And then there’s this classic:
    https://youtu.be/rss-ZVgZz9g?list=RDrss-ZVgZz9g

    Whatever John Lennon and Paul McCartney had together was their own. They struggled through life and we got their incredible songs.

    I think that they have given us enough.

    Let it be.

    https://youtu.be/oDNRWBBFZNM

  69. Chica wrote:

    Well, according to the Memoirs of Billy Shears when Faul (fake Paul) took over after Paul McCartney’s death in the fall of “66” one of the things that was prerequisite for him to take on the role was that he would in the future be in charge of the group. Since John had founded the group that probably didn’t set well with him. If you believe the PID (Paul is dead) theory that could account for the chasm that developed between them.

    • @Chica, who was dictating terms to John and Paul? Wasn’t the whole PID idea supposedly John’s?

      • Chica wrote:

        Hi Michael, As far as I know it has never really been determined who instigated the idea. Last year Ringo came out and said that Paul was dead and, for the survival of the group it was decided to cover it up temporarily, but when no one noticed the difference they just kept up the scam. As far as I can remember from the article he didn’t say who’s idea it was.

        It’s interesting to listen to George Harrison’s acceptance speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in “88”. He says “we loved John” and “we loved Paul” not “love”. It can be found on youtube. He says this is what’s left of the Beatles and then says it’s growing every day and motions in the direction of John’s boys Julian and Sean.

  70. Virginia Abreu de Paula wrote:

    Oh, come on Chica. This Paul is dead subject is already over and should have never been talked about anywhere. It is not even funny. That’s not what we are talking about here.

    • Chica wrote:

      Hello Virginia, My first post was in answer to why the seemingly distance that developed between Paul and John from Michael’s OP and then it was Michael that continued with the PID aspect being John’s idea. Before you pass judgement on me maybe you should give a listen to the “88” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame speech of George. I never said it was funny. Far from it because the forensic evidence proves that the man claiming to be Paul McCartney today is a liar and an imposter and is guilty of identity theft of the highest and prolonged magnitude. If you have the time you should check out Plastic Macca.

  71. Virginia Abreu de Paula wrote:

    Chica…Oh My God…Why do you do that? I don’t believe you really believed that Ringo said so. You wrote: “Last year Ringo came out and said that Paul was dead”. He never did it. It was created in a site specialized in creating hoax! And it was written in the site you should not believe. At that date Ringo was travelling on tour. He came to Brazil…He never gave such an interview. I am sure you know that is a hoax. So why do you spread it? This is so mean…

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      You’re right, Virginia. It was a hoax written by an online satirical website.

    • Chica wrote:

      To my chagrin I was totally unaware of the reputation of the site, thanks for the heads up. Ringo did do an interview with the Daily Mirror where he said he was the last remaining Beatle.

      • Nancy Carr wrote:

        Chica, don’t worry, starting new threads is something that happens a lot here, and that we’re happy to do.

        Here’s a link to a piece on the Daily Mirror site that says the “interview” with Ringo was satire. The “interview” originally appeared on WorldNewsDailyReport, which cited “The Hollywood Inquirer” as the source. Here’s what the Mirror has to say:

        “The Hollywood Inquirer doesn’t actually exist, and Ringo Starr certainly hasn’t granted them an exclusive interview. WorldNewsDailyReport is a satirical news website and is for entertainment purposes only.”

        I’m cross-posting this to the PID thread as well, since it’s relevant there.

  72. anny wrote:

    Listen, first, this is a topic that discusses the relationship between john and paul and you shouldn’t spam it talking about a different topic.
    Secondly, this paul is dead theory is so stupid, shaming and offensive toward a genius called Paul McCartney, that if you claim to be a beatles fan, you shouldn’t even be allowed to listen to their music anymore.
    I’m so TIRED of this paul is dead theory, really, people like to joke about it but it’s offensive toward Paul, a genius that is able to create music and lyrics like none has ever done before.
    And If you think that it’s so easy to find a genius like him, someone who even looks exactly like him and is able to get on well with john lennon to be replaced, then go and discuss about it with your pid plotters somewhere else and don’t infect a healthy place like this that wants to talk about the greatest band in the world and their music, written by the real Paul McCartney and his soulmate John Lennon.

    • @Anny and everybody — in an effort to keep threads on-topic, I will be adding an Open Thread where people can discuss the Paul is Dead theory. All future PID comments should be posted there, and will be moved there if posted other places.

    • Chica wrote:

      I’m gonna say this one last time. It wasn’t my intention to start a PID scenario. I wanted to show that I didn’t believe that Paul and John had anything sexual going on because of what had happened in the dynamics of the group with Paul gone and an imposter taking control of the band. This caused the split not some lovers spat. Read my first post, it was Michael that started it.

    • Chica wrote:

      You said believing the PID theory is stupid and offensive toward a genius called Paul McCartney. I think trying to tie Paul into a homosexual relationship is stupid and offensive.

  73. anny wrote:

    this is called homophobia.

  74. Virginia Abreu de Paula wrote:

    You said everything. I am glad I am not alone about this subject. Yes, it is offensive. Very offensive. I am sad there will be na open thread where people can discuss the Paul is Dead theory. Specially because I fear lots of people who keeps spreading it don’t believe on it. It would be necessary to be terribly stupid to believe on it It would be a confession of lack of inteligence. Most do it for being real mean people and envious and also to steal our energy. Like all trolls do. So, giving this people a space is a mistake. But of course I have no rights to intervine in this blog. But I am disappointed.

  75. Michael wrote:

    Sorry to bump an old thread, but I just thought of something, months after reading this.

    When I was in high school, I had an extremely close-knit group of friends. We were popular, but not the most popular, goofy and irreverent, somewhat disruptive in class, and (so I thought, at least), all comfortably and assuredly heterosexual. In the second semester of senior year, one guy—let’s call him David—inexplicably, and seemingly overnight, became furious with another—call him Josh. He talked shit about Josh when Josh wasn’t there. He was sarcastic and belittling. He tried to turn girls in the class against Josh. He basically embarked on a three-month campaign of character assassination against one of his closest friends. It didn’t really add up: why had he turned his sights on this friend of his? His reasons–Josh was a phony; he was a poseur; he was trying to be someone he wasn’t–didn’t really make sense in context.

    Well, it turned out, I discovered in college, that David was bisexual. That in and of itself was amazing to all of his high school friends, when we heard, myself included. He had always been comfortable with camp humor, and seemingly interested in being accepted by gay kids in the class, but no one thought anything of it because he had dated girls and was obsessed with (straight) sex. But the summer before senior year, it seemed, he had tried to cuddle with Josh after everyone else had fallen asleep at someone’s birthday party overnight. Josh was open or curious or didn’t get the significance of it and hadn’t said anything. Sometime in February, David had come out to Josh and asked, in some way or another, for more, and Josh said no, that wasn’t who he was, and he wasn’t interested. And after I found that out, all of that behavior made more sense.

    My point is, things can happen out of most people’s sight that aren’t talked about, that you wouldn’t guess would be possible, that nevertheless were possible. Those things can directly bear on what is seen.

    • Karen Hooper wrote:

      Such a relevant story, Michael. I’ve always wondered why–if that kind of scenario played out with John and Paul–Paul so steadfastly sticks to his story that John never made any advances toward him. Is he worried that a scenario of that nature would reflect more upon him than John? Would it be uncomfortable for Paul to admit that he had been fibbing all these years? It just seems like such a likely scenario, given what we know about both men.

      • Michael wrote:

        Karen, I think it may actually have to do with what we’re discussing in the current thread about Paul enabling/protecting John. My guess is that, whatever Paul’s private and personal thoughts on sexuality, he operates from a mindset that the greater Beatles-loving public doesn’t want to hear that John was bisexual, and especially doesn’t want to hear that John came onto Paul. That is, if Paul isn’t telling us everything that happened, I think he’s doing it to “protect” John as much as he’s doing it to “protect” himself. He may also think it would hurt Yoko, or Sean or Julian. It may also embarrass him, for all we know—”my best friend had a crush on me”—but I think he views this as his way of protecting John.

  76. Virginia Abreu de Paula wrote:

    “Paul (being the way he is) actually carries a fair amount of guilt over “rejecting” John in the first place (whether that actually happened or just happened in John’s mind)”. Or only in Yoko’s mind. Or maybe he didn’t reject him. It is already a lot a husband saying to his wife he wanted to experiment with his best friend. Most husbands would never do it. But we don’t know if John said the truth. I mean, if Paul didn’t reject I don’t think John would tell Yoko about it. It’s safer to say part of the story…with a bit of lie to protect himself and his friend. Not telling it happened. Only that we heard if from Yoko and she was only his wife. And wives don’t know the secret lives of their husbands.

  77. SFJ wrote:

    I didn’t have time to read all of the comments, but came across this account of Paul’s first acid trip, with John, and thought you might enjoy it. (sorry if it’s a repeat).

    http://mclennonanthology.tumblr.com/post/61281059775/pauls-first-lsd-trip-with-john-was-on-march-21

  78. Water Falls wrote:

    Paul and John, John and Paul. I believe that there was deep love between them, more than brotherly, although I don’t know if they were lovers in the sexual sense. It wouldn’t be hard to believe it though, just going by the lyrics in the songs they sang to, for and about each other. It’s like connecting dots to a secret code at times, hearing words and music juxtaposing with real events in their lives.
    (Just Like) Starting Over could be John’s message to Paul coded (John Lennon) Starting Over. And the lyrics.
    “I know time flies so (Mc)Quickly” (Paul’s Rutles character) “But when I see you (Oh) Darling” (P’s Beatle song)
    “It’s time to spread our Wings (P’s band) and fly, don’t let Another Day (P’s song) go by My Love (P’s song)
    ‘If I Fell’ is another. I read it’s Paul’s favorite Beatle (John) song. Could that have anything to do with them both
    traveling happy and carefree as two unfamous young boys, when $100 and Paris seemed like riches and heaven? Could ‘If I Fell’ and Eiffel (tower) be a shared city of love secret? May Pang wrote that Paul and Linda visited them in L.A. and Linda asked John if he missed England, and John replied “Frankly I miss Paris.” while glancing at Paul. Is ‘Sweet Loretta Martin’ sweet Lennon McCartney? “She thought she was a woman but she was another man.” Is Lady Madonna, Lennon McCartney? Is “making ends meet” and “stockings needing mending” a euphemism for something else?
    Talk about ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret? Yeah John, enquiring minds wanna know, but only our hair dresser knows for sure. There’s ‘We Can Work It Out with, “Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting My Friend. I have always thought that it’s a Crime…”(pre 1967 in England when gay lovemaking was illegal) ‘I Want You! (paul) She’s So Heavy! (yoko). John stayed with Yoko and Paul (with George and Ringo sang) Boy You Gotta Carry That Weight A Long Time’.

    SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this next sentence if homo imagery makes you squeamish and you love The Backseat Of My Car, I don’t want this beautiful song ruined for you.

    Disapproving daddy declares “Making love is wrong!” to hormonal teens in Backseat Of My Car (Macca) “We believe that we can’t be wrong! No No No! ‘Let Me Roll It’ “you gave me lovin’ in the palm of my hand”) A host of other post Beatle songs Paul wrote even after John’s death. Now John too wrote other songs to for and about Paul post Beatles, even some that folks think are about Yoko, like ‘Jealous Guy’ could be to soften the blow of ‘How Do You Sleep’, Paul said John told him it was to him. I think ‘Oh Yoko’ was John’s answer to ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ (in a kind of battle of the love ballads…Paul won) ‘Intuition’ seems to be a message to Paul with lyics alluding to “a ride” like Ticket to Ride, and suicide (Paul wrote a song called Suicide at 14) and also words of “Intuition takes me there…everywhere…anywhere” (shades of Here,There and Everywhere, P’s Beatle song) also ‘I Know I Know, “The years have passed so quickly” (McQuickly again) “Today I love you more than Yesterday (clue) “And I know It’s Getting Better all the time” (P’s song) ‘Going Down On Love’ with lyrics “…please please help me (Pleas Please Me and Help). Along with that “eye contact, body proximity” thing they had going you can see in so many of their pictures. I know I’m not alone noticing all the ‘tell tales’…am I?
    Maybe I’m reading too much into and in between the lines, but hey, THEY wrote the lines, they wrote the hints, they wrote the double entendre teasers……….and I love ’em for it!

    • Well, maybe not everything you noticed is about it. Quickly is such a common word, it could have been a coincidence. But of course some others are quite possible. Far too many. Impossible that everything was a coincidence. About Just like Starting over” there are more clues. Here: Why don’t we take off alone
      Take a trip somewhere far, far away,We’ll be together all alone again,Like we used to in the early days”. As far as I know John didn’t use to travel alone in the early days with yoko. . They went to Gibraltar for getting married, to Canada for the festival with a group of people. And they moved from England to the United States. It can’t be considered somewhere far far away. But he did take Paul to Paris. And also to Scotland hitchking. Only Paul and John. Besides, John himself told he was inspired by his early days in Liverpool before The Beatles, when he was stil a teen listening to rock and roll. That is why that song sounds like the fifities. Come on, Yoko was not in Liverpool with him. Paul was. And now we know for sure John was really commited to go to england in 81 to participate in Ringo’s new album..with Paul! Paul had already said yes to that project. He even had signed for it. The producer of Double Fantasy told so in an interview. So it would be just like starting over. But, as we know, he was killed. As for ” I know I know”, listen to the introduction..It is ” I got a feeling”. And listen to Bless you. The first notes sounds like the first notes in Band on the Run. And he also sings ” remember…though love is strange…” Paul had just recorded Love is Strange by Buddy Holy. People say it is for Yoko because he talks about wedding rings. But we have to remember John used to say the Beatles split was a divorce. So, it used to be like a marriage. Sure, with all of them, but Paul was more than another member of the band. He was his partner for the songs! Also he called him his former fiance when he sang in Eltton John’s concert. Quite interesting also he chose a song by Paul to close that concert. And if he meant Yoko he should have chose songs she wrote for the lyrics, some of her poetry. Not songs by Paul or that he recorded. ” Oh, I am going to write a song sending my blessings to Yoko, or saying how much I love her more than before…using Paul’s songs.” Come on, that doesn’t make sense. We also can’t forget the last one he never recorded. ” Now and Then”. He could not miss Yoko now and then. They lived together. He would not ask her to “return to me”. Some say he meant the time they were apart in the Lost Week end. In this case he would have composed it at that time. Not four years later. John used to write only about this feelings at that present time. Some others think maybe he planned to have Cynthia back. In this case, he would have written “For Cynthia” in the box. But he wrote, as far as i know…”For Paul”. And how about Paul singing ” Oh Darling” sounding lie “Oh Johnny”?

  79. Water Falls wrote:

    Virginia, I’m glad you mentioned other examples that I didn’t in my post. I have spoken of those same examples you mentioned. I will say that “Quickly” is most definitely a clue. John could have used “swiftly, speedily, or any other word that conveyed how time flies. He had to be assured that Paul got the clue. “Quickly” or “McQuickly”
    was the Paul character in The Rutles. Just like the song was sung in the mid 50s Elvis style, his and Paul’s Rock n Roll hero was another clue. The line “It’s like we both are falling in love again…” tells me they fell in love.
    As far as being lovers (full fledge lovers) I don’t know…for sure, I only suspect they probably were. But even if they never engaged in complete homosexual sex, they certainly could have pleasured each other in other ways.
    The “I’ve got a secret” smiles, ‘wink winks’, ‘nudge nudge’, playful hints and innuendo they both engaged in, without declaring beyond all doubt “We fucked…each other!” has made the guessing game fun to play. Paul still plays the game in interviews from time to time, but when asked if John was gay or bi, he denies it. No one dares ask him in a serious interview (serious excludes Howard Stern, whom he handled expertly) “Are you or have you ever indulged in gay sex”. His death stare alone could freeze hell over, and the real risk of that person ever getting another interview with him, or maybe even having a job after such an affront, probably is the reason he never gets asked, but IS asked, if John was gay or bi. And he protects John’s memory. I can respect that Paul’s first obligation, priority and loyalty is to his wife, family and John’s children, so he protects them from those who would fling ugliness and hatred towards them because of their own bigotry.

  80. Yes, I see your point. I only think that sometimes it may be a coincidence. But so many coincidences can’t be possible. Songs they wrote after the split are full of clues ( Paul’s Seems like old times, for instance) but also other they wrote during their Beatles days. And even before, like ” Oh Johnny Johnny/ I don’t know”. People usually refuse to see how clear that song is about themselves. Guess some talked about it here but most didn’t see how impoortant it is. I fail to understand, aa the lyrics are very clear. I also understand why, in case it was true, Paul has to deny. I understand but I feel very sad till today people “have to hide their love away”. There is nothing to be ashamed of. And deny it, being a Beatle, who used to break all rules and open doors to a cutlural revolution in the world, makes it even more sad. He should be allowed to say, in case it is true. Tha is why I loved to see him involved in a gay flag recently supporting the victims in Orlando. He showed that, at least, he is not homphobic. Ringo also did something similar recently. About Howard Stern, we have to remember that, although Paul denied John had anything gay in his body, it was not such a strong “no”. He even liked that theory. And in certain moment, when Stern asked Paul who would satisfy him sexually, Paul answered: ” You”. Nobody talks about it, nobody comments about it…I don’t know why. It was quite interesting if we remember he didn’t even laugh. I don’t think he is attracked to Howard Stern, but the fact he said so, looking damn serious, meant something good.

  81. Joely wrote:

    Francie Schwartz was also asked by Charlton Heston’s son if Paul was gay, because he had heard so. Pause. This is a man connected to show biz and probably the Laurel Canyon scene asking this, not some random fan. Schwartz answered, “he could have gone that way, but didn’t.” Wait, Francie lived with and slept with Paul for several months. Where would she get that information unless Paul himself had said it to her? All that means to me is, “yes, he is, but he decided not to openly live as a gay man.”
    Also, Paul wrote a song with lyrics “I’m in love with a friend,” after John’s death, and stated that the song is indeed about John Lennon. I’m not sure what more people want.

    • Nancy Carr wrote:

      In my opinion, that’s putting a lot of faith in one interpretation of a comment of Schwartz’s that has hearsay status. And if she said it after she and McCartney broke up, I question how objective her remarks were.
      .
      I don’t care one jot about the sexual inclination of any of the Beatles, or what they did with other consenting adults. But I see claiming that McCartney is gay and has been in the closet for 40 + years as a major indictment of his character. It’s not something I would claim without some verifiable evidence.
      .
      It’s one thing to be in the closet, as Brian Epstein was, in the 1960s when the laws made homosexual activity illegal. It’s quite another to be in the closet during the second decade of the 21st century. Consider how Elton John has come out, gotten married, and is raising a child with his husband.
      .
      The huge amount of evidence that all the Beatles had a prodigious appetite for sex with women, especially during the touring years, has to be considered as well. For myself, I think there’s only too much evidence that when it comes to women, McCartney is besotted, sometimes to the point of foolishness (e.g. Schwartz and Mills).
      .
      Finally, for what it’s worth, the lyrics of “Dear Friend” say “I’m in love with a friend of mine / Really truly, young and newly wed.” So I think there may be two “friends” in the song — the one being addressed, who is clearly Lennon, and the one McCartney’s just wed (Linda).

      • “t’s one thing to be in the closet, as Brian Epstein was, in the 1960s when the laws made homosexual activity illegal. It’s quite another to be in the closet during the second decade of the 21st century. Consider how Elton John has come out, gotten married, and is raising a child with his husband”.

        No. It is still ilegal in people’s minds. Don’t you know? The simple fact people react so badly when some fans starts asking themselves about it shows it. Recently, because he simply covered himself with the gays flag, only to support the victims in Orlando, provoked really bad response from homophobic fans. No. He just is not allowed to open himself about it, in case he is gay, of course. I don’t know anything for sure. I only know that if he is he could never say so. Don’t compare him with Elton John. Elton John never was coinsidered a Charmng Prince by women. Elton John was never a Beatle.
        .
        “The huge amount of evidence that all the Beatles had a prodigious appetite for sex with women, especially during the touring years”…,

        We can’t say that is true. It could be only something to cover their real sexual life. Let’s remember John said about four times in the same interview that their sexual life was like Satyricon. I you read the book or saw the movie you know that is a rather gay story. Lots of orgies including women, but also guys, and teens! Male twins. Even the ´plot is about a man looking for his boyfriend. I fail to understand why those reporters didn’t ask for details. It seems he wanted to talk more about it because he kept repeating, and saying it was exactly like that movie. Then he’d repeat again and again. Exactly equal! So their parties were not only straight sex at all.

        ” the lyrics of “Dear Friend” say “I’m in love with a friend of mine / Really truly, young and newly wed.” So I think there may be two “friends” in the song — the one being addressed, who is clearly Lennon, and the one McCartney’s just wed (Linda).”

        This part of the song is not clear. I don’t think it could be about Linda at all. Linda has never been his friend. Since the beginhning she was his lover and then his wife. And when he wrote the song she was not newly wed. They got manrried about two years before. She also was not young. Paul was not that young anymore and Linda was older than him. So, no way he could be talking about Linda. I have no idea who he was talking about, but could not be Linda. And if two years could be considered not a long time ago, then John also was newly wed. And he was a friend. Not so young, but in our machist world, a man of 30 is considered young. A woman is not.

        • Nancy Carr wrote:

          I have to disagree that McCartney “could not be open” about being gay, if he was. Would it be difficult? Sure. But every day there are new examples of people being open about their sexuality and helping to change the world’s prejudices by being so.
          .
          I also think there’s a mountain of evidence — from close friends and eyewitnesses — that both Lennon and McCartney had a lot of sex with women. And both had marriages where they seemed to be deeply in love. I don’t see a way to hold to the “they were gay” position without seeing them both as long-term liars using women as human shields (McCartney more than Lennon, because he’s lived longer).
          .
          Some degree of bisexuality / curiosity is another matter, in my opinion. Sexual orientation isn’t a pure binary.

          • It seems you have no clue about who Paul McCartney is. ( As if I have LOL). But I am not alone in this feeling. It seems to me Paul is too proud of his image. And he’s got a lot of women fans who even travel around the world only to see him. Women who would be heart broken if he would come out. He doesn’t want to break their hearts. Not all women accepts and like bissexuals. As I said before, only because he wrapped himself in rainbow flag they protested. And it was only to show he cared for the victms in Orlando. Look here…What is happening here? Lots of people just prefer to ignore the mountains of evidence Paul is not straight. You mentioned mountains of evidence of him with girls…as if being with girls is the same thing as being with boys. Gosh, it is so different. Nobody thinks it is wrong to be surrounded by women. The word womanizer is, to by surprise, still considered something good, when in fact it is something really bad. So, of course, there are thousands of stories of Paul with girls. People applaude it. I am surprised you don’t see the difference. We hardly see a gay story that everybody applauds. It is considered shameful! No, Paul just could not say at all about it. His image, so dear to him, would be broken, can’t you see? It is so obvious.
            Just to finish it, I feel it is very strange when talking about John and Paul people bring this “curiosity” subject. Why? Experimentation…If someone is curious he tries once. Only once. After trying once, the second time is because he liked it. Not curiosity anymore Not experimentation anymore. He tried and approved it, of course. I am talking about Paul here. I am talking about everybody else because it happens all the time. It sounds very homophobic to me. As if having a gay affair is so wrong, that it is necessary an excuse to justify it. It is the same as saying ” Gay is sinful and ugly,, but he was only experimenting, it is another case, then we can, maybe, accept…As long as if remains straight.” Noobdy need labels for their sexual life. Paul doesn’t need either. And none of us know for sure about his feelings and his sexual intimacy.. No proof he is gay, no proof he is bissexual, no proof he is straight either. Lost of evidences he is all of that. In fact, there are more evidences he is bi than straight. Much more. All I know he is damn sexy. And I love him.

          • Nancy Carr wrote:

            I think we’re talking past each other at this point, and just have to agree to see this question from different perspectives.

        • linda a. wrote:

          “This part of the song is not clear. I don’t think it could be about Linda at all. Linda has never been his friend. Since the beginhning she was his lover and then his wife. And when he wrote the song she was not newly wed. They got manrried about two years before. She also was not young. Paul was not that young anymore and Linda was older than him.”

          Seriously? It couldn’t be about Linda “at all”? Who else was Paul ‘wed’ to then? And the rest of your comment seems to be twisted to fit, like trying to get a square peg into a round hole. Linda was not his friend? So you’re saying that spouses and lovers can’t also be friends? As far as being ‘young’ I think 31 and 32 is still fairly young. And two years is still fairly newly we’d. Actually I think the song was written in 1971 so they hadn’t been married very long and Paul was only 29 years old. I don’t know whether John and Paul were ever lovers or had a sexual attraction to each other, (my gut tells me no and frankly I don’t care either way) but I’ve seen a lot of picking apart of song lyrics by people who perhaps want it to be true. They try to make every lyric fit this idea that the two songwriters were secret lovers. The whole thing seems a bit too much like the Paul is Dead conspiracy theory.

          • Nancy Carr wrote:

            That’s an interesting comparison to the PID rumor, Linda. In addition to the way we can all see “evidence” for something we’re looking for, PID seems to me to impugn all the Beatles’ integrity if you follow it. I don’t see a way to believe it without also seeing Lennon, Harrison, and Starr as long-term liars.
            .
            And that’s what bothers me about assertions that Lennon or McCartney were/are gay — it’s the integrity aspect. Whatever theorizing is being done, I think we also need to recall that these are real people and not accuse them of engaging in lifelong coverups at all lightly.
            .
            I also find it interesting that the Paul / John lovers theory seems most heavily subscribed to by women, yet the theory depends on downplaying the importance of women in their lives, especially their wives.

          • linda a. wrote:

            “PID seems to me to impugn all the Beatles’ integrity if you follow it. I don’t see a way to believe it without also seeing Lennon, Harrison, and Starr as long-term liars.”

            Oh absolutely. On top of that it just doesn’t add up, not even in the smallest way. There is zero evidence to support it. In fact there is probably more evidence that John and Paul were lovers than the idea that Paul died in 1966. But I’m only saying that because anything, even John and Paul as lovers is more feasible than PID. The only “evidence” is what people choose to believe and to me it seems the theory that John and Paul were lovers is the same thing. People hang around forums day after day that center around these weak theories and they feed off of each other. After a while they become completely convinced by song lyrics or photos etc, that these theories are the truth.

          • Well, after reading your comment I see it is impossible to open your eyes. But I have to say it is quite offensive to compare this situation to that hoax of Paul is dead. There is no evidence at all that Paul is dead. And it is clearly to hurt him. While there is nothing wrong in being in love. If it is not true, at least it is not disrespectull. Being in love is beautiful. Linda, you said the only evidence is what people chose to believe? You must be kidding. There are about one hundred evidences and some are so strong the only reason people don’t accept is because they think the “right” way to be is straight. Of course it is not. I mean, is there any proof Paul is straight? No. Only evidences that are not so strong. And yet, people don’t demand any proof of that. So he is married and have children. So was Oscar Wilde and Leonar Bernstein. And Cole Porter. Have you ever listened to the song ” Johnny Johnny I don’t know? Have you ever heard about John’s reaction when he found a woman with Paul in Hamburg: He destroyed her dress! He stubbed the cupboard…? George told us about it in Anthology. The evidences are very strong, Linda. There is nothing wrong in imagining it might have happened. But to spread Paul died and there is a lier using his name fooling us all is another story, not to mention all the proofs they present doesn’t prove anything. As for the song, paul doesn’t say he got married to the friend he is in love with. Pay attention to the lyrics. He said he is in love with a friend of his who is young and newly wed…That is what he said. Not a word this person got married to him. Maybe this person got married with somebody else. If Paul was thinking of Linda when he wrote this song, then he did a real bad job. He should have let it clear it was about her, as she was his wife, and didn’t need to hide anything. So why using a puzzle?

    • Paul didn’t write this song after John’s death. He wrote it after the Beatles split. Some poeple think he was telling John he was in love with Linda. OMG. I can’t be sure he was not but…if so, what silly lyris is that? It is a song he wrote because John recorded a very offensive song for him called “How do you Sleep”. He decided to write a song saying they could be friends again. Showing he wanted that. Though, for me, that was sort of ofensive too, because he asks “Are you a fool?” Anyway, no point in telling John he was in love with His wife. LOL Total non sense. That was not being discussed. John knew he loved Linda. Besides, it is strange he describing Linda, older than him, as young. And newly wed? They were not newly wed. And also saying she was a friend of his. Linda was not a friend of his. I imagine she was a frienly wife.But, not a friend of his, unless she was only a friend before and they got married. But she was not. John also was not so young, but he was a friend of Paul. And got married some days after Paul. I would not be surprised if this “friend of mine” was also John. It is quite unclear, though. Maybe he did it on purpose just to tease.

  82. Water Falls wrote:

    Like you Nancy, I don’t care what sexual inclination any of The Beatles had, I care about their music which I love. But since the subject of this discussion is where John and Paul lovers, I put my two cents in for what it is worth.
    .
    You think it would be an indictment of Paul’s character if he was gay and hid in the closet for 40 + years in this day and age when he couldn’t be jailed for such. Frankly I don’t think Paul is gay…if he was any kind of “fluid”, he would be bi. At least in my opinion. Also if he were bi or gay, even in this day of openess and confession, I think he is probably wise to steer clear of admitting anything. Since day one when The Beatles hit American shores they have been analyzed, picked apart, studied, labeled etc. “to death”. Even to this day Paul is seriously thought to be dead and replaced in some quarters. Why would he (why should he) open up a can of worms and admit anything (if there was anything to admit)? The very act of gay sex and positions it requires to perform would be judged, harshly by those so inclined, in this day and age. Even heterosexuals believing themselves to be “safe” could find themselves frowned upon and judges harshly, if their sex lives were discussed, analyzed, picked apart and to pieces. For example: “Toe sucking as foreplay? Ew that’s nasty! You do that, or have that done to you? Ew! That puts one on the defensive. Imagine discussing any other body parts sucked that could be judged “Ew!” So I think Paul is wise not to admit anything if he were…or not. Because it’s none of our business. Elton John being “out”, married and raising a child with his husband is not quite the same. He’s not a Beatle. And to me Beatles were/are NOT gods, no celebrity is, but to some people I guess they are. Damn shame too, that that is so.
    .
    As for loving and marrying women, I believe Paul and John both loved and enjoy(ed) sex with their girlfriends and wives. I do believe both Paul and John (and George and Ringo) did use fans, groupies for sex. Used them and forgot them quickly. That sickening perk of male privilege that many boys and men believe they are entitled to, is reinforced by society as a whole. I don’t believe Paul (John maybe?) used women as shields. And ‘IF” he did, surely then the women who loved him allowed themselves to be used and got something out of it for themselves. I’m not trying to shift responsibility or blame to the women, I’m just saying “If they were used, and were aware they were being used as beards, and stayed they must have wanted to stay and got something out of it for themselves. At least I hope so, so they too could have some measure of happiness and satisfaction.
    .
    As for the song Dear Friend, it is my understanding that song was written to/for John. The lyrics to me speak for themselves. “I’m in love with a friend of mine. Really truly young and newly wed.” Both he and John were friends, young and newly wed. Assuming both of their wives were their friends as well. Paul writes brilliantly in a way that can be interpreted as “in particular and universally” at the same time. Another song he’s written titled Twice In A Lifetime, where he describes how it is possible to have at least two great loves in a lifetime. (And I say since he’s married for a third time, maybe it’s possible to have more than two great loves in a lifetime.) Another song he’s written, Heaven On A Sunday, he writes “If I only had one love YOURS would be the one I’d choose.” He doesn’t tell us Who this particular “Yours” is, it is left to the imagination of the listener. Many believe it is to Linda whom I believe was ailing at the time. Linda over who? Jane Asher? He married Linda not Jane and stayed married, with no evidence he ever pined for Jane once he married Linda.The John and Paul dynamic is still being discussed nearly 35 plus years after John’s death, and nearly twenty years after Linda’s. And to Linda A., your comment about “I’ve seen a lot of picking apart song lyrics by people who perhaps want it to be true.” Picking apart or not, Paul (and John when he was alive) are the ones who have written the lyrics the way they did. Paul continued to write lyrics in his songs that sure can be interpreted as messages more so than any other songwriter since slaves sung coded messages to each other during those times. Is it the fault of listener who hears a message to or about John? The plain truth is whether or not John and Paul were lovers (I don’t know or care if they were) they clearly loved each other dearly, more than they loved George and Ringo (whom they also clearly loved) no matter whom they eventually loved and married, Paul and John’s love never died. That is a fact. A fact so strong that it gets wondered about, analyzed and discussed back then and to this day even after all the affairs and marriages to women between them. Is that the fault of the listener of lyrics in songs written by them? I think not.
    .

    I do not believe it is ‘impossible’ to love two persons at the same time. Maybe when faced with having to make a choice, it gets made. I only hope that in the end, happiness was gained. I believe it was, at least in one instance, perhaps more so than in another. (Yes I did that deliberately.)
    Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

  83. Tiffany wrote:

    John Lennon and Paul McCartney are indisputably mean for each other, look at them, they look like soul mates to me.

  84. Shelly wrote:

    Two years after this blog started, I am just reading it. Yes, I’m late to the party. I don’t know if this is possible, but when Paul wrote Dear Friend, could he have been thinking of the time when they first fell in love, when John was young and newly wed to Cynthia? That is likely when they were first infatuated with each other, but Cyn got pregnant. I have been reading this thread for a total of about 12 hours off and on. I’m fascinated with everyone’s ideas. The Paris trip was in Sept. 1961. John married Cyn the next year in August. Maybe it was Paul’s way of reminding John about their early years in love??

  85. Virginia wrote:

    Who knows? Maybe. I have never got why in Dear Friend Paul decides to declare he was in love with a friend of his really truly young and newly wed. It never made sense to me. It could not be Linda, because they were not newly wed. And she was his wife. But he didn’t say he was in love with his wife. He was in love with a friend. she was not young either. She was an adult, over 30. Besides, it was no sense to talk about that in the middle of the song. So maybe you are right. He was remiding John about their past. Somehow it still sounds weird to me. But could be.

  86. Hologram Sam wrote:

    I’m convinced John’s last songs were written for/inspired by Paul. “Just Like Starting Over” “Free As A Bird” “Now and Then” etc.

    • Starting Over, Sam? Really?

      • Virginia wrote:

        Just Like Starting Over for sure is inspired on Paul. There are signals in the lyrics and even in the style. John himself said he was inspired to write an old rock tune based on his time in Liverpool pre Beatles, the kind of song he used to listen when a teen. It means…the kind of song he and Paul used to listen together. We know now that it is true John really was about to work with Paul again for Ringo’s next album. Double Fantasy producer talked about it. Paul had already signed a document for this project. John had the hope that George would participate. So, they were starting over as partners. At least as musical partners. In the video for the song we can reaid a message: I still love the Beatles. All of sudden he inserted this message. That is because he had this plan, that unfortunately could not became true for the reasons we know. Now listen to the lyrics and everything fits. “It’s time to spread our wings and fly,
        Don’t let another day go by my love,” Wings is Paul’s band. Another Day is Paul’s song. “We’ll be together all alone again,
        Like we used to in the early days,” He is talking about a person that it is been a time they don’t spend a time all alone. Could not be yoko who lived with him. But we know John and Paul used to to travel all alone in the early days. Like when they went to Scotland and used to sing as a duo. And later to Paris, the famous Paris trip for his brithday. They went all alone. Even the wiord “quickly” could mean something else. Because in the Rutles there is a Macquickly played by Eric Idle, inspired in Paul. There is also the story Paul spent a time listening to this song over and over again on the day John died. Coulbe be because he knew it was about they starting over. Of course I can’t guarantee anything. But if Paul was a woman I am sure everybody knew for sure why John wrote this song. For her. Lots of evidences. However, as he is a man, people refuse to see.

        • @Virginia and @Sam, you might be right — the answer was in Lennon’s mind — but I personally don’t buy it. The lyrics you quote could just as easily apply to his marriage to Yoko.

          For example, @Sam, “Everyday we used to make it love” — “making it” was 60s era slang for intercourse. Which is more likely object of the lines “Every day we used to make it love/We can’t we be makin’ love/Nice and easy”, his then-estranged wife, or his old songwriting partner (whom there is no direct evidence that he ever slept with)?

          Do I think “Starting Over” was Lennon attempting to channel his 50s rocker side, in an attempt to rekindle/reconnect with his muse? Sure — not least because that’s what he said it was.

          I’ve long been a proponent of the idea that DF was
          1) originally conceived as a Lennon solo album;
          2) spurred by “Coming Up”; and
          3) going to spawn a World Tour in 1981.
          All of these things, plus the Beatlemania documents, suggest to me that a reconnection with Paul (and perhaps even the other Beatles) was very possible, even as soon as their planned trip to England in early 1981. But to say that “Starting Over” is a song explicitly to Paul — or even more, a declaration of his love to Paul — that’s much more of a stretch, and I don’t think the circumstantial evidence is there to outweigh what John actually said it was about.

      • Hologram Sam wrote:

        .
        Starting Over, Sam? Really?

        .
        Sure. It’s a song about starting over with someone from the early days.
        .
        “Everyday we used to make it love” Is John reminiscing about their songwriting together.
        .
        Songs on Double Fantasy & Milk and Honey that are Yoko-themed (both composers):
        .
        Kiss Kiss Kiss
        Cleanup Time
        Give Me Something
        I’m Losing You
        I’m Moving On (this is supposed to be an album about the Romance Of The Century™?)
        Yes I’m Your Angel
        Woman
        Dear Yoko
        Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him
        I’m Stepping Out (this one might be about Yoko AND Paul)
        Sleepless Night
        I Don’t Wanna Face It (another one about the marriage)
        Don’t Be Scared
        Nobody Told Me There’d Be Days Like These
        O Sanity
        (Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess

  87. Tasmin wrote:

    I’m new to Hey Dullblog, and have read this thread several times. Fascinating!
    I go back and forth about whether J & P were lovers. My gut says no, but I would also not be surprised if they were.
    I was thinking the other day, that maybe after Paul and Yoko are gone, if it’s true they were lovers, one of the
    kids, maybe Sean or Stella would say something? What if there’s a letter one of them (J&P) wrote to the other, or Paul has a diary or something written down about the true nature of their relationship. Maybe Paul has not wanted anything to come out until he had passed on?
    I don’t know, pure speculation, but I was curious if others out there felt that one of Paul’s kids, or Sean, would
    share that with the public?
    I have to say that the people here have handled this topic with such class and respect! A pleasure to read!

  88. Tasmin wrote:

    Just had to add, remember the movie The Bridges of Madison County, where Meryl Streeps kids found the letter telling them about her affair with Clint Eastwood?
    That’s the scenario I’m picturing. Mary and Stella finding this diary of Pauls. Silly and romantic, I know!!

  89. Water Falls wrote:

    Tasmin, your comment is one after my own heart. Your ‘Bridges Of Madison County’ scenario where the adult kids finds the letter revealing their mom’s brief affair as being the love of her life. You wondered if perhaps Paul’s adult daughters Mary and Stella, might find in Paul’s diary, a similar reveal…WOULD THEY share with the public. Who knows? I had imagined the ‘Citizen Kane’ scene where John whispers Paul’s name with his last breath. I like your scenario better since it would be provable…IF…such ever occurred, and Paul’s children ever chose to share.
    And there would still be those people who would not believe and just dismiss it because they don’t want to believe it.
    One thing that is provable, is that both John and Paul loved each other deeply. They both have said so in interviews on several occasions and even today, Paul would shout his love for John from the rooftops if he felt so inclined. I believe the love they shared for each other was more than brotherly, but not necessarily sexual.
    I think they still loved each other, even when they hurt one another badly, and did try to find their way back home to each of their hearts, but circumstance and others with “self serving agendas” got in the way of, and worked to prevent a repeat of that closeness the two once shared. I may be wrong, but I think Paul and John then had to resume to communicate their affection for one another through song, like they did when they were frustrated and angry, and fought each other through song. My two cents for what it’s worth.

    • Tasmin wrote:

      Thanks for replying Water Falls.
      I know this thread was started a couple of years ago, but I felt like commenting. I didn’t expect anyone to respond!! Ha!
      In fact, I felt sort of silly writing “The Bridges of Madison County” reference. I just was thinking it would be nice to have closure if true, and how cool if Paul left evidence for his adult kids.
      I agree with you, I don’t think John and Paul’s love was necessarily sexual, but deep and all consuming. I also think that they would have worked together again. Yoko be damned!! They were soul mates, and I don’t think they would have stayed estranged. I don’t think they could.
      I also agree that some of their songs were messages to one another. Like Jealous Guy. Paul said in a Playboy Interview, John had told Paul he wrote it for him. And you know the middle of the song where John whistles?
      Well, right now I am reading Tune In, and Lewisohn writes that John and Paul were both good whistlers, and would often whistle while writing and playing. Paul especially thought Johns whistling was excellent. Coincidence? Who knows. I think not.
      Anyway, thanks again for replying. I enjoyed reading your comments throughout this thread. Insightful and articulate. Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

  90. ” I believe the love they shared for each other was more than brotherly, but not necessarily sexual.” Also not necessarily not sexual. I don’t know your feelings about it, but I have noticed some others that exclude sex but believe in love, feel better this way, as if sex is something shameful. But sex is not shameful. If they were in love, why would they avoid sex? I see no reason for that. There is a song they composed in 1960 called ” Johnny Johnny / I don’t know” where we can listen Paul saying John wore him out. ‘you wore me out. You are my boy…” And we all know what it means. So, if they were serious about this song like it seems to be, they had sex.

  91. Water Falls wrote:

    Hi Virginia! I heard that song ‘Oh Johnny Johnny’ and I was amazed at the words. In my mind, these two, John and Paul, were alone at one of their homes, probably Paul’s. No adults around, kid brother Mike, not there…leaving the two of them to horse around and play with a grown up’s toy…the tape recorder.

    The song they sing, is made up as they go along…free wheeling…free styling…saying whatever comes to their minds. What do they sing? A love song…to each other!…It’s raggedy…it’s uninhibited…it’s fun…and revealing!
    This song of love…about THEIR love…their love is forbidden. So much so…that they’ll just have to leave town.
    Such teen angst! “Don’t know what to tell the fellas…I’ll tell the fellas that I do love you!…What I’m gonna do when I tell my father…gonna have to leave town!…You love me Johnny, I love you Johnny…I’m not gonna let you go…Oh Johnny you wore me down…Oh Johnny you wore me out…We going away…gonna leave town right now!…{me}:Lord have mercy! Lawdy Lawdy!

    Sure they were playing around, having a laugh with the tape recorder, singing a made up song…BUT STILL!
    To me, there is something very honest and real about this old song. The fact that it wasn’t erased or recorded over. It survived…what?…some sixty something years? John’s adorable ‘Woody Woodpecker’ laugh at the end of it (goodness…the double entendre jokes just write themselves!) Anyway this little nugget is golden and thank heavens it survived. To me it’s another “clue” in a long line of clues, that hints to more than just brotherly love by Paul and John. And it’s beautiful. They were soulmates. Virginia, the reason I say that “their love was not necessarily sexual” is because even if I were 99% sure it was sexual, that 1% of uncertainty makes me hesitate. I know they had “wanking” parties along with other boys…and perhaps with just the two of them, maybe even masturbated each other (which is forplay, a form of sex) but I don’t know if they ever engaged in full on homosexual sex. I almost said “bow-chicky-wow-wow” but that’s just being silly and we’re all adults here. Anyway, I know, because they have both said interviews, that they loved one another. I know that Linda McCartney knew it, was unthreaten by it, and wished they could have healed their bond together more. I know Yoko knew it, even mentioned it, (“If Paul had been a woman, he’d would’ve been a threat”). By her actions of preventing them from getting together for even a few minutes after 1976, and intercepting Paul’s calls to John (“John is very busy and can’t come to the phone right now”…click) show that she was very threatened by a very male, married, family man. What’s up with that? I’ve been poo pooed on this blog for reading too much into the lyrics of their songs. Songs that tell me a certain story about John and Paul’s love for each other. I’m okay with that. I can’t help what my gut tells me about these two, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I can respect that their guts tell them something different. As Michael Gerber says, (and now so do I) Let a thousand flowers bloom!

    • Thank you so much for your long explanation. Adding that Yoko also told the author of Shout ( the book about John) that John wanted to try sex with Paul. Once I started collected all the “clues” and got to 83! I got to the conclusion that the only reason so many people refuse to see is only because they are both male. If The Beatles were a quartet of 3 guys and a woman, if Paul was Paula, nobody would doubt they had an affair. And sexual. LOL. I say sexual because it would be really strange two adults in such an attraction to each other, declaring it…and never touch each other. If it hever happened they mjust be the only couple that kept their love platonic. And the song…That song you also know. “You wore me out” is about having a great sex time with somebody. That is the meaning of this expression. It also interesting the really left town at that time. They sung about it and later they went to Scotland where they spent a couple of months working in the Fox and Hounds pub singing as a duet: The Nerk Twins. They used to sleep together in the same bed, according to Paul’s relative that owned the pub. Today it has a Blue Plaque for his historical meaning. After all Paul and John spent a time there. How about that drama John created only because there was a naked woman in Paul’s bed in Hamburg? Gosh, he destroyed the woman’s dress! He stabbed the cupboard..If that is not jealousy nothing else is. I also don’t think he would do that if Paul was not his lover. It was a strong declaration of possessioin. Paul was betraying him with a prostitute. I can’t find any other explanation for that incredible romantic reaction. Thank you again for talking your time to answer me.

  92. Water Falls wrote:

    Virginia, another thing about the song ‘Oh Johnny Johnny’ that I’ve noticed and I’m sure you have too. The song seems to suggest, that the “Paul and John” boy protagonists may have played around, had fun experimenting with each other, (like practice kissing and hugging a pillow) It truly is quite innocent. Then, there is this big realization for both, that they are in love. This “big realization” causes great anxiety for the boy lovers, and this is where the song begins for the listener.

    As part of the song, the boys are angsting about their “forbidden love”. They are already anticipating the shock and disapproval of the fellas, when they “tell them”, Paul’s father too, when they tell him, perhaps the whole town when “the truth” gets out. It’s like, they can’t conceive of keeping their love a secret from everybody and “hiding their love away”. And the song makes it clear that; “there is NO WAY that either of them will stop, OR, give up the other. So the only thing to do is go away, leave town…AND, just keep on loving one another. All of this angst set against the back drop of 1950s, 1960s England’s laws toward homosexuality (before the change in 1967).
    I’ve read in a book or an article on the internet somewhere, that suggested that this song ‘Oh Johnny Johnny’, as sung by John and Paul as teenagers, only showed that back when it was recorded, they were both just kids fascinated with the sound of their own voices, and there was nothing more to the song than that. Maybe…but I don’t think so. Anyway, I thought I’d finish sharing my thoughts with you about this song on this thread. What do you think?

    • Guess I already wrote about it, but I don’t remember. Forgive me if this is a repetition. The only reason people refuse to see the evidences , such strong evidences, is only because John and Paul are both males. If Paul was in fact a girl called Paula nobody would doubt they were lovers. Nobody would say that song only showed two kids fascinated with their voices. They were fascinated with each other, not their voices. If it was only about their voices they would not be declaring like that. It is obvious. The reason people refuse to see what is cristal clear is called homophobia. However, I have to say that of course I can’t guarantee they had sex. I could not do it as I never met them. What amazes me is why people don’t see the possibility. You see the possibility but most don’t. And you think maybe they shared some kisses and everything very innocent.:) My view is different. Paul said John wore him out. It means much more than kisses. Wow, they had wild sex. But for me sex is innocent. LOL Yes, I noticed they didn’t know what to do. They could not even tell their fellas. ” Will you tell my father?” Ask Pául. The only thing they could do is spending a time away in another place. And that is what they really did. They went to Scotland. So, although I can’t guarantee I have to see that is what that song indicates. There are over 80 clues showing they had an affair. Maybe they didn’t but it is impossible not to see the signals. Thank you for going deeper in this subject. It is nice to have a place where we can be open about it.

  93. Ruthie Rader wrote:

    Does Paul McCartney know about this discussion?
    It’s a wonder that he hasn’t filed a lawsuit for defamation of
    character or something. But then again, maybe not. Maybe
    he just figures that it isn’t worth the publicity. Just how large
    is your readership, Mike?

    • Ruthie, I’m always surprised by the number of people who read his blog.

      If I felt anybody was being defamed, I’d discourage (and even shut down) the discussion. But since the comments are respectful — if perhaps “out there” — I see no reason to restrict discourse.

    • “It’s a wonder that he hasn’t filed a lawsuit for defamation of
      character or something”. It would be a wonder if he had filed a lawsuit for defamation. Nobody is affirming anything. And since when thinking somebody may have had a gay affair is defamation? Nobody is wondering if he is a thief or corrupt or any other criminal. We woinder if he and John were in love. Love! Loving is beautiful. And, as I said, it is only a question. We have no means to be sure about anything. Guess everybody here, or most people here, respect and admire them a lot. I, for sure, love them both with all my heart.

      • Ruthie Rader wrote:

        It sure sounds like you’re trying to nail it down as fact. And I would be interested in finding out
        just exactly what Paul McCartney would think about a discussion like this. Would he think it was
        just ridiculous or would he be offended by it?
        And unless you actually knew John Lennon and know Paul McCartney, you really don’t have
        any idea what those two did…at any point in time…when they were both out of the public
        spotlight.
        Sure you say you “love them both with all (your) heart.” But there is a big difference between
        being a member of the public or being a personal friend.
        There is a great Beatles group on Facebook. I interact with people there all the time. No one in
        that group has ever brought up a subject like this and likely never will.
        Why?
        Because the group focuses on THE BEATLES. They don’t keep turning over rocks to see what’s
        crawling underneath.
        They discuss THE BEATLES accomplishments…and not the ones that they might have fulfilled
        between the sheets.
        I mean really!
        Paul McCartney is a happily married man now and John Lennon is dead. Why don’t you just cut
        them some slack!
        THE BEATLES are not revered because of who they screwed. They are respected for their
        artistic creativity.
        Who cares who they had sex with?
        Apparently only the collection of people who post here.
        It comes around as a trivialization of what THE BEATLES gave to the World. A trivialization.
        And a poor one at that.

        • @Ruthie, there are hundreds of posts on this site, about every aspect of the Beatles. Since some fans believe that there was a romantic relationship between Lennon and McCartney, I posted about this — mostly to note the existence of this subgroup in the fandom (as we have noted other subgroups, like for example the “Paul Is Dead” people).

          I personally do not believe that either theory has much merit. (I don’t think Paul died in 1966; I don’t think he and John slept together — but as you say, we can’t know.) But I also don’t see the harm in allowing readers to talk about it in the comments.

          The Beatles’ legacy is secure, whether or not I police the comments and throw out ones I don’t agree with. If Dullblog makes you angry, you’re using it wrong; it’s not meant to do that. I would encourage you to simply read and comment on any of the hundreds of other posts, and let @Virginia and the other people interested in that issue to speak about it among themselves. In fact, engaging on that post is what makes it listed at the top of our most popular posts. Keep engaging on posts you like, and they rise.

          • Ruthie Rader wrote:

            Thank you for your response, Mike. Isn’t it nice that we can interact because (hopefully) we are
            all out of the eye of the impending storm? I appreciate what you wrote, however I speak my peace
            just like everybody else here. I just happen to disagree with some of what is being written in this
            particular discussion.I don’t see the point of speculating on Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s sex
            life. It binds some people together but I would rather be a member of a kinder, gentler group. Those
            folks share rare photos, videos and stories that I never saw, heard or knew about before. It truly is
            all about THE BEATLES. It’s great fan stuff that I can share with everybody on Facebook if I want to.
            As for “freeing minds”, Virginia…I was born with one and no one else, THE BEATLES included…have
            had anything to do with influencing the way that I think. It’s too bad that you all don’t have anything
            pithier to bring to the table here. It would give much more credence to what you’re talking about. I
            suppose that I will just remove myself from this blog entirely. The Facebook group is interesting
            enough for me. It’s a class act. Peace Out.

          • @Ruthie, I’m glad you have found a gathering of kindred spirits that nourishes your fandom. Enjoy!

        • OMG. Again. So many people who doesn’t read our comments and even so they reply. You have not read what I wrote carefully. I suggest you to read again. To make it easier here is parts of my last comment about it. ” . “Nobody is affirming anything”. Let me repeat. Nobody is affirming anything. I also wrote that..
          . “We have no means to be sure about anything”. Repeating: We have no means to be sure about anything. It means I never said a romance between John and Paul is a fact. I have no idea how come you got to the wrong conclusion I stated it is a fact. I have made other comments here before and all the time I say I am not sure. As a matter of fact it is not important to me . What amazes me is their fans reaction. Homophobia abounds. And I am not saying you are homophobic. Let me reapeat because you may read it the way you want. I am not saying you are homophobic. Only that homophobia abounds in general. Because the only reason so many people refuse to think about, to see maybe, only maybe, they had a love affair, is because they are both males. That is only because they think it is shameful and sinful. And yet, it is not. It is normal. Maybe they were only good friends. That is totally possible. Maybe not. That is also totally possible. But I don’t know. I have never lived with them. I have never met them,unfortunately. The difference of my way of thinking is only that, if it is not true, I love them dearly. If it is true I love them dealy just the same. And of course, I am able to see the evidences. They exist, however, they don’t proove anything, I am conscious about it. But it is a fact they wrote a song declaring to each other. It is not a fact they were lovers. But it is a fact the song were recorded by them and composed by them. Maybe they were only having a laugh, and it didn’t mean anything. Maybe it is exaclty the way it is on the song. But I have no way to be sure about anything on their private lives. There is another thing you said in your comment I feel like commenting. It seems you think the Beatles became famous only for their music. Wrong.They were much more than inventive musicians. Those who regard them only as a band missed the best part. I remember when I saw a picture of them for the first time. I became a fan at the moment I saw them. I had not listened to any song yet. And I already loved them. The same happened to other people around the world. His fans would go to their concerts and would only scream. They didn’t care for the music. They could not listen to it. They screamed because they were near them. It was their presence. It was their charisma and what they represented to us. They represented a new way of living and see the world. A workl without intolerance. The Beatles chame to break rules. They were the first to refuse to sing to seggregated audience. They said NO to racism. I remember Paul shouting “Band the Bomb” all of sudden. They were our spoken people. They used to speak what we wanted to speak. Ringo still ask for Peace and Love till today. Paul defends the animals and a food without meat. He cares for the planet. In the sixties, their looks meant so much to us. They were the first band with an androgenous look. If you don’t remember, or maybe you were too young, maybe you were born much later, their mop top hair was really daring. Adults got shocked. They hair could be beautiful for boys and girls. they set men free from military hair cut. That was really important in the sixites. Hair. We even had a play called Hair because that was a symbol of freedom. So the Beatles were not only four guys who could sing and compose songs. They started a revolutioin in behaviour…singing about love! And not only romantic love, but universal love. They sung about caring like in Lady Madonna and Eleanor Rigby. Other did the same…after them. They opened up doors for the youth. And they also had a gay manager in a time gays were not respected and were considered criminals, They showed they had not prejudice. They were, and still are, a light in the darkness. They made as dream. Too bad the dream was over. Too bad, they had to suffer their own dark times. But they never really ended. That is why we are atill talking about them. With love. Don’t get it wrong please. When we talk about a possibility of John and Paul being more than friends, it is only about a possibility. We don’t guarantee anything. I for sure love them and respect them. But one of the reasons I respect them so much is exactly because they came to free our minds. That is why they are forever, like Strawberry Fields. Their music is amazing. They gave us master pieces. But they gave us muich more than that.

  94. Water Falls wrote:

    Very well said Virginia and Michael. I agree.

  95. Aimee wrote:

    Hi @Michael Gerber, I want to thank you (three years later!!!) for your willingness to explore this topic, and for all the posters in the comments for an amazing conversation. This provided me with great reading over my spring break last week! Literally since I was a 12-year-old budding Beatle fan in 1996 (catalyzed by my viewing of the Anthology documentary) I’ve wondered if John and Paul had a “thing.” Of course anything we postulate about can only be speculation on our parts, but my mind has always been open to that possibility, and it would explain a lot that the accepted rhetoric leaves out. I think most of the more intense backlash I’ve witnessed in similar discussions has been either from older folks or homophobic people. Either way, John and Paul’s relationship was far more intense, and far deeper, than ordinary friendships. It wasn’t a purely professional relationship, and it wasn’t just a mere “creative rivalry” or “friendly competition” as it’s most typically framed. I’m not saying there isn’t some element of competition in their dynamic, but it’s not the main, driving force. The main, driving force in their relationship was love, and I don’t think their love can be fit into a traditional, heteronormative paradigm. Anyway, great post and great discussion! Most of you all covered the important bases, but I wanted you to know that people are still reading this and nodding along. 🙂

    • @Aimee, any paradigm is going to be too restrictive when it comes to something like love (and/or love’s disreputable-but-fascinating sibling, sex). Insofar as paradigms explain and predict, they’re useful; but IMHO when they seem to confuse the issue — as they seem to in the case of what happened John and Paul — they should be put down for a second, in favor of looking at the situation afresh.

      I’m sure this was touched on in the thread — everything was! — but entertaining the possibility of a carnal relationship between Lennon and McCartney does something important: it makes you think of their friendship with the same intensity that they thought of it. That’s useful.

  96. “The lyrics you quote could just as easily apply to his marriage to Yoko”. No way.We know for sure John lived with Yoko, I imagine they even slept together as they were married. So why they’d be starting over? They were not apart, And why would he say ‘but when I see you darling…” When? They lived together! He used to see her every day all the time. Impossible to be about Yoko. And if was not for Yoko, and they, according to Double Fantasy Producer, were really starting over, who else could this song be about? Maybe you are right cause I have no means to know the truth. I have always said and repeat I don’t know the truth and don’t afirm anything. But the evidences are too big to be ignored. Why would John write about Yoko inspired in songs they never listen together in the fifties. And why he remembers the early days when they used to travel alone together…when he didn’t use to travel alone together with Yoko! I never heard of any trip they did alone together. But he travelled with Paul for Scotland and also to Paris in 61. So, there is not a single part of the song the fits to Yoko. And several that fits to Paul. He even mentions the Walrus ( and the Walrus was Paul) in the first lyrics he wrote for the song. ‘ But time has come the walrus said…” I don’t know by heart, but it meant it was time to be in bed together again. So it was about a person he had not been in bed with for a long time. As you see, it can’t be Yoko. They were married and in bed together every night.

  97. Water Falls wrote:

    Paul McCartney is the ONLY OTHER PERSON John Lennon publicly called “The Walrus”.
    “Well here’s another clue for you all, The Walrus was Paul”, from The Beatles ‘Glass Onion’.
    Recently, I’ve heard on YouTube, John playing and singing an early draft demo of (Just Like) Starting Over.
    The noted early lyrics were:
    “The time has come THE WALRUS, for you and I to stay together, it’ll be just like starting over”.
    He sings that line a couple of times in the song, changing it to:
    “The time has come The Walrus, for you and me to stay in bed again, it’ll be just like starting over”.
    It’s in the Take 1 demo, all the other clues and hints in the song’s early draft and finished product, read more like a roadmap to Paul’s door than anything having to do with Yoko at any time in their supposedly “soulmated” relationship.
    (Just Like) Starting Over
    (John Lennon) Starting Over.

  98. Gabriella wrote:

    This is fascinating. Double Fantasy was the first record that I ever bought for myself (I was 13 in 1980). I got into the Beatles only AFTER John died…

    I always loved the song “Starting Over.” It makes total sense. The reference to “wings” is the most revealing thing to me. And I had no idea up till now that “Oh! Darling” was likely a Paul song about John. Their voices always meshed for me and I didn’t really separate the songs into Paul songs and John songs until recently.

    Count me in on the “they were probably lovers” side. And I’ve come to appreciate Paul more and more over the years. Anyone think it was significant that he threw in “Hey, Jude” at the end of the Carpool Karaoke” episode, which was amazing? I think he did it to include John in on the fun… because he sensed his spirit there. It’s a break-up song disguised as a “good buddy” song, in my opinion. There’s a lot of sexual energy in that song, too.

    Thanks for the great discussion!

  99. Gabriella wrote:

    Also, the Philip Norman bio says that Paul was known as “John’s Princess” at Abbey Road… a suggestive detail that jumped out at me!

    I reviewed the Philip Norman book on my blog here: https://gabriellawest.net/2016/08/21/review-paul-mccartney-the-life-by-philip-norman/

  100. Tanja wrote:

    Dear all,

    in the last few days I enjoyed reading all the comments in this thread and I have to say Wow! So much food for thought. This is really an unusually high level of discussion and I enjoyed it very much. Keep it going!

    I have been a Beatles fan since the late 80ies, when I was 15,16 years old. From the very beginning I was fascinated by John‘s and Paul‘s relationship. At that time, as you all know, the discussion was dominated by: „Oh they had nothing in common.“ „John hated Paul“ etc. I didn‘t have access to any other information, but even then I thought that there must be more to it. There was so much love, grief and regret radiating from Paul, it just didn‘t fit. When the internet era began, step by step I got a broader view.

    But although my somewhat slashy heart likes the idea of them having been lovers, my intuition still tells me no. Mostly because I don‘t think that Paul swings that way. On the other hand I do believe that they had sexual contact with each other of some sort. Given the circumstances (Hamburg/the Beatles‘ touring years/„young lads on the loose“) it is probably naive to think nothing ever happened. I am sure that there were quite a few sexual encounters that included more than two people at a time, and probably also more than one Beatle at a time :-).
    I just don‘t see the full they-were-secret-lovers-all-the-time-picture.
    Nevertheless I do believe that Paul deeply and sincerely loved John and vice versa. They supported and held each other and relied on each other 100%.

    On this blog I read the script of the phone call between Paul and Hunter Davies in 1981. One sentence still rings in my mind: „We never got to the bottom of each other‘s soul.“ That is such a sad thing to say. Paul repeated it in other words when he reportedly said „There was a deeper love that neither of us could admit to.“ (Sorry I don‘t have the source).
    Having that in mind I would like to turn the spotlight to a Paul-song that is most probably about John and hasn‘t been discussed here: „This one“ from the 1989 Flowers in the Dirt album. Paul sings:
    „Did I ever take you in my arms,
    Look you in the eye, tell you that I do,
    Did I ever open up my heart,
    let you look inside.
    (…)
    Did I ever touch you on the cheek
    Say that you were mine, thank you for the smile,
    Did I ever knock upon your door,
    try to get inside?
    (…)
    What opportunities did we allow to flow by
    Feeling like like the timing wasn’t quite right?
    What kind of magic might have worked if we had stayed calm,
    Couldn’t I have given you a better life?
    Did you ever take me in your arms,
    Look me in the eye, tell me that you do?
    Did I ever open up my heart,
    Let you look inside?“
    About the song he said that it was about a „relationship“ and about regrets. He added, like for example George never getting round to straighten things out with John before he died. He transfers it to George here, but I am quite sure that this song is not about the issues George had with John…..
    The quote is from here (although without source):
    Paul McCartney – This One Lyrics | SongMeanings

    Last but not least I want to share with you a very sweet comment Sean has made about Paul. It really warmed my heart:
    „Of Paul McCartney he says, ‘I’m just so excited when I’m around him. It’s like when you see a white buffalo and you just hold your breath – you’re just hoping that it’s not going to end. Because,’ he adds quietly, ‘it’s the closest I can come to hanging out with my dad. Every second I’ve ever spent with Paul has been really meaningful to me. He was my dad’s best mate for a long time. And my dad didn’t have many friends, you know?’“
    (The Telegraph, Nov.5th 2010)

    I do hope Paul knows about it and takes some time to „hang out“ with Sean.

    Cheers!