Published On: Wed, Jul 10th, 2024
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The surprising tale of The Beatles’ break-up at Disneyland | Music | Entertainment


The beginnings of The Beatles’ breakup go back much earlier. In 1966, the band stopped touring, which meant they saw each other less and started doing more solo activities.

The “Get Back” sessions in January 1969, first planned for a TV performance, ended up showing the growing divisions among the members. The new documentary “Get Back” by Peter Jackson gives a detailed look at these internal struggles.

In 1968, Ringo Starr was the first member to feel unhappy during the “White Album” sessions. Starr felt left out and not happy with his drumming, causing him to leave the group for a short time. Though his break was brief, it showed the growing issues in the band.

George Harrison also felt frustrated during the “Get Back” sessions, thinking he wasn’t as valued as Lennon and McCartney. After a big argument, Harrison left but came back when they decided to stop planning a live TV programme and focus on recording an album.

Even with these early signs, John Lennon decided to leave in September 1969 which marked the band’s breakup. After recording “Abbey Road,” Lennon told the other Beatles he was quitting during a meeting on September 20, 1969.

His departure was kept secret because of ongoing business deals. Paul McCartney noted in “Anthology” that Lennon’s announcement shocked them, especially since they were about to sign a new deal with EMI.

Lennon’s decision to leave was due to many reasons, including his changing musical interests and personal life. He had started making experimental music with Yoko Ono, moving away from The Beatles’ usual style. Their increasing activism and personal struggles, like Ono’s miscarriage and the public’s racist attitudes towards her, brought them closer and pushed Lennon further from his bandmates.

Many people think John Lennon’s relationship with Yoko Ono caused The Beatles to break up. Their love, full of personal struggles and media noise, did increase tensions in the band. But, Paul McCartney realised during the “Get Back” sessions that their bond, whilst special, wasn’t the only reason for the split.

It’s easy to blame Yoko Ono for the break-up, but it’s more complicated than that. Peter Jackson’s documentary shows us that. The band members understood the troubles Lennon’s relationship brought, like drug issues and media pressure. McCartney admitted their break-up was due to many reasons, not just Yoko’s presence, even if the public likes a simple story.

The Beatles faced a challenging period after their manager, Brian Epstein, passed away in 1967. In an attempt to gain more control, they established Apple Corps. However, financial mismanagement soon followed. To address these issues, the band brought in Allen Klein, which only added to the growing tensions.

Paul McCartney preferred his father-in-law’s management firm, creating a rift within the band. Initially, Klein secured better deals for The Beatles, but his relationship with them eventually deteriorated, leading to legal disputes.

The band’s business issues deepened their conflicts. Whilst McCartney wanted his father-in-law’s firm in charge, Lennon, Harrison, and Starr chose Klein. Although Klein temporarily improved their finances, disagreements over his management approach caused more friction.

By early 1970, McCartney felt increasingly left out. He began working on his solo album secretly. When ‘McCartney’ came out in April, it included a press statement ending his songwriting partnership with Lennon. This announcement made the band’s breakup official. Lennon was angry, as he had wanted to break the news himself months prior.

The breakup led to a legal battle. On December 31, 1970, McCartney sued the other Beatles and Apple Corps to dissolve their business ties.

The court agreed with McCartney, but the legal process took years. Finally, on December 29, 1974, Lennon signed the final breakup documents at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Hotel. His signature, captured by May Pang, officially ended The Beatles as a legal entity.



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