Today marks the 50th anniversary of the day U.K. newspaper The Daily Mirror announced that Paul McCartney had split with The Beatles, based on comments in a press release he’d issued promoting his forthcoming self-titled debut solo album.
The press release took the form of a Q&A that included answers to several questions about his future plans with the band.
Asked if he was “planning a new album or single with the Beatles,” McCartney answered, “No.”
A follow-up question asked, “Is this album a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career?” His response: “Time will tell. Being a solo album means it’s ‘the start of a solo career…’ and not being done with the Beatles means it’s just a rest. So it’s both.”
Paul also addressed the reasons for his break from the band, and whether it was permanent. “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family,” he wrote. “Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”
Asked if he thought his songwriting partnership with John Lennon would become active again, McCartney said, “No.”
In response to Paul’s statement, Apple Records press officer Derek Taylor issued what would be The Beatles’ last official press release, which stated, in part, “Ringo and John and George and Paul are alive and well and full of hope…The world is still spinning and so are we and so are you…When the spinning stops — that’ll be the time to worry. Not before…Until then, The Beatles are alive and well and the Beat goes on.”
McCartney noted in 1995’s The Beatles Anthology documentary that he hadn’t intended his press release to announce the band’s breakup, which he said the members had “known…for months.”
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