Let’s get one thing straight: It wasn’t Yoko. The most famous — and arguably the best — band in rock ‘n’ roll history suffered from creative rivalries, bad business decisions and egos that were easily bruised.
After the Beatles stopped touring in 1966, the tight-knit, insular group — they even dressed alike, for crying out loud — became increasingly divisive as each Beatle explored his own interests. John and Yoko dabbled with bed-ins and avant-garde art, Paul pushed his pop melodies, George tried to explore more of his songwriting talent, and Ringo — well, he was stuck being Ringo.
Although each Beatle privately “quit” the band at different times, Paul McCartney was the first one to go public about it. McCartney announced “the divorce,” as Lennon called it, via press release on April 10, 1970, although at the time he said the split was only temporary. But years of lawsuits, snide remarks in interviews and even insults disguised as songs made a reunion less and less likely. Lennon’s murder in 1980 made it impossible. But perhaps the Beatles are best remembered by this statement, released by the other three band members, confirming McCartney’s announcement:
“The world is still spinning and so are we and so are you. When the spinning stops, that will be the time to worry. Not now. Until then, the Beatles are alive and well and the beat goes on.”
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