September 9, 2008

McCartney reacts to Lennon's death

Paul McCartney took a lot of flak after John Lennon's death for saying (when asked for an opinion about it from a reporter) it was "a drag."

From McCartney's Wikipedia entry:

On the evening of 9 December, as McCartney was leaving an Oxford Street recording studio, he was surrounded by reporters and asked for his reaction to Lennon's death. He replied, "I was very shocked, you know—this is terrible news," and said that he had spent the day in the studio listening to some material because he "just didn't want to sit at home." When asked why, he replied, "I didn't feel like it." He was then asked when he first heard the news, McCartney replied "This morning sometime," and one of the reporters asked "Very early?" McCartney said "yeah" and then asked the reporters if they all knew, they added "yeah." McCartney then said, "drag, isn't it?" When published, his "drag" remark was criticized, and McCartney later regretted it. He furthermore stated that he had intended no disrespect but had just been at a loss for words, after the shock and sadness he felt over his friend's murder.

Here is footage of that evening of 9 December:
Can you imagine the profound paranoia McCartney had to have been feeling, just generally, but specifically at the exact moment? He wasn't in America, but still. Only McCartney haters (of which there were probably many at the time) would even have remotely entertained the idea of Lennon's death being only a "drag" to him.

Here is McCartney on the BBC's Desert Island Discs program in 1982. He and the program's host first listen to what sounds like an early Liverpool home recording of him, George Harrison and John Lennon doing the Coasters' song "Searchin'." Then it cuts to McCartney playing his "Desert Island Disc," Lennon's "Beautiful Boy," from the Double Fantasy album. If anyone ever had any doubts as to McCartney's feelings for John, just watch as Lennon starts to sing:


Gary said...


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Charles said...

People have no idea, really, about Paul McCartney's feelings about John Lennon. How could you not love and respect someone that had such an IMMENSE impact on your life? When Paul wrote Hey Jude, the lyric, "...the movement you need is on your shoulder's", Paul was unsure about the lyric. John told him, "That's the best line in the song." So, at times, over the years, whenever Paul would play Hey Jude and get to that line, he'd get choked up. He had immense respect and love for John, and especially for John's songwriting abilities. Perhaps Paul wanted to keep his feelings private and not wear them out on his sleeve, upon being asked about John's death/murder. Why should he care what the world says or thinks about his personal feelings about ANYTHING?