Tensions were high between the two Beatles after Lennon left the band in 1969 and they became embroiled in legal disputes over the group’s back catalogue.
Throughout the ‘70s, they maintained a strained relationship. However, McCartney has revealed they were able to become closer again before Lennon was shot dead in 1980 by Mark David Chapman outside his home in New York City, aged 40.
Speaking on his new 12-part podcast series McCartney: A Life in Lyrics, he said, “In the end, it was something I was very glad of, when he got murdered, that I’d had some really good times with him before that happened.”
“It would have been the worst thing in the world had he just been killed and we still had a bad relationship. That would have been a big guilt trip for me. Luckily, we were friendly, we talked about how to bake bread.”
“You’ve got to remember, I sued him in court, I sued his friends from Liverpool, life-long friends, in court. There’s a lot of getting over that has to be done.”
McCartney has in the past spoken about a phone conversation he had with Lennon, just weeks before his death. He told Playboy in 1984, “[It is] a consoling factor for me, because I do feel it was sad that we never actually sat down and straightened our differences out. But fortunately for me, the last phone conversation I ever had with him was really great, and we didn’t have any kind of blow-up.”
On a previous episode of the new podcast, McCartney also revealed that Lennon continues to be an influence on his songwriting to this day. “Often, I’ll sort of refer…’What would John think of this?’” he said. “He’d have thought it was too soppy. So I’ll change it.”
Macca later talked about the difficulties he faced in processing the singer-songwriter’s tragic death, saying that he was partially able to do so through writing his 1982 solo track ‘Here Today’.
In other Beatles news, McCartney and Ringo Starr are set to release the “final” Beatles track to feature all four members. The title of the song remains unannounced for now, however, Macca did confirm that he enlisted help from AI technology to work on the track, which allowed him to “extricate” demo recordings from late members.
This week (October 18), McCartney kicked off the Australian leg of his 2023 tour. Playing at the Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, the set included his first performance of the Beatles song ‘She’s a Woman’ for nearly two decades.