"The basic thing in my mind was that for all our success
The Beatles were always a great little band. Nothing more,
"I think that, particularly in the old days, the spirit
of The Beatles seemed to suggest something very hopeful and
“We didn't all get into music for a job! We got into
music to avoid a job, in truth - and get lots of girls.”
"Hamburg totally wrecked us. I remember getting home
to England and my dad thought I was half-dead. I looked like
a skeleton, I hadn't noticed the change, I'd been having
such a ball!"
"There is one thing I used to regret and feel guilty
about. When Ringo joined us I used to act all big time with
him because I'd been in the business a bit longer and felt
superior. I was a know-all. I'd been in the sixth form and
thought I'd read a bit, you know. I began putting him off
me, and me off me."
"I'm really glad that most of our songs were about
love, peace and understanding."
"What I do is I look for the positive side. I'm the only
guy who sat down with John and wrote all those songs. It's
me. (I've) got to pinch myself, I can't believe it. I just
feel blessed to have known him and to have experienced his
presence so intimately."
“You know, I'm not one of these people that just because
I've done all that I now become Superman. You can't touch
me. You know, you can touch me. I'm very, unfortunately,
"All of these rumors that The Beatles are splitting
up are pure rubbish... because we're all great friends, and
we don't want to split up. There's never been any talk of
it, except by other people."
Paul in 1966 (dispelling a rumor)
"At the end of the Beatles, I really was done in for
the first time in my life. Until then, I really was a kind
of cocky sod."
"There's a lot of random in our songs...writing, thinking,
letting others think of bits-then bam, you've the jigsaw
"I am alive and well and unconcerned about the rumors
of my death. But if I were dead, I would be the last to know."
"George wrote Taxman, and I played guitar on it. He
wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He
had never known before then what could happen to your money."
"I can't deal with the press; I hate all those Beatles
"It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music.
When I heard "Heartbreak Hotel" I thought, this
"I never really got on that well with Yoko anyway.
Strangely enough, I only started to get to know her after
"None of us wanted to be the bass player. In our minds
he was the fat guy who always played at the back."
"There are only four people who knew what the Beatles
were about anyway."
"The things is, we're all really the same person. We're
just four parts of the one."
"Nothing pleases me more than to go into a room and
come out with a piece of music."
Reporter: "Do you see your father often?"
Paul: "No actually, we're just good friends."
"When we were starting off as kids, just the idea of
maybe going to do this as a living instead of getting what
we thought was going to be a boring job, was exciting."
"When I write, there are times -- not always -- when
I hear John (Lennon) in my head, ... I'll think, OK, what
would we have done here?, and I can hear him gripe or approve.”
"By the time we made "Abbey Road", John and
I were openly critical of each other's music, and I felt
John wasn't much interested in performing anything he hadn't
"I had this song called Helter Skelter, which is just
a ridiculous song. So we did it like that, 'cuz I like noise."
"I knew the words to 25 rock songs, so I got in the
group. Long Tall Sally and Tutti-Frutti, that got me in.
That was my audition."
"I think people who create and write, it actually does
flow-just flows from into their head, into their hand, and
they write it down. It's simple."
"I used to think that all my Wings stuff was second-rate
stuff, but I began to meet younger kids, not kids from my
Beatle generation, who would say, We really love this song."
“We did it (the side two medley-"Abbey Road")
this way because both John and I had a number of songs which
were great as they were but which we'd never finished”
"Someone like John would want to end the Beatle period
and start the Yoko period. He wouldn't like either to interfere
with the other."
'John's in love with Yoko and he's no longer in love with
the other three of us.'
Paul McCartney to the Evening Standard, April 1970
"Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.'
That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down
and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.' "
"At the beginning I was annoyed with John, jealous
because of Yoko, and afraid about the breakup of a great
musical partnership. It took me a year to realize they were
"To keep the record straight, it wasn't always John
and Yoko. We've all accused one another of various business
things; we tend to be pretty paranoid by now, as you can
imagine. There's a lot of money involved."
"We were pretty good mates until the Beatles started
to split up and Yoko came into it. It was more like old army
buddies splitting up on account of wedding bells."
"When you first get money, you buy all these things
so no one thinks you're mean, and you spread it around. You
get a chauffeur and you find yourself thrown around the back
of this car and you think, I was happier when I had my own
little car! I could drive myself!"
"Where I come from, you don't really talk about how
much you're earning. Those things are private. My dad never
told my mum how much he was earning. I'm certainly not going
to tell the world. I'm doing well."
"When two great saints meet, it's a humbling experience."
"If anyone was
the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian [Epstein]."
"Us, communists? Why, we can't be communists. We're
the world's number one capitalists. Imagine us communists!"
“What used to happen before we came on the scene,
people used to have writers, so someone like Elvis would
have people writing his stuff for him, Leiber and Stoller,
people like that. We kind of upset the boat a bit. We came
along and we were writing our own stuff, so we came along
and put some of those people out of work, which you know
was OK for us, not so good for them.”
"[Hello Goodbye] was a very easy song to write. It's
just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive."
"I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird.
Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that
"I think the French girls are fabulous."
“I don't take me seriously. If we get some giggles,
I don't mind.”
"We tried many times to meet Elvis, Colonel
Tom Parker, his manager would just show up with a few souvenirs,
and that would have to do us for a while. We didn't feel
brushed off we felt we deserved to be brushed off. After
all, he was Elvis, and who were we to dare to want to meet
him? But we finally received an invitation to go round and
see him when he was making a film in Hollywood."
"George came up and asked if I wanted to play Bangla
Desh and I thought, blimey, what's the point? We're just
broken up and we're joining up again? It just seemed a bit
"A body of work was produced that I don’t believe
he alone could have produced, or I alone could have produced.
It was only me that sat in those hotel rooms, in his house
in the attic; it wasn’t Yoko, it wasn’t Sean,
it wasn’t Julian, it wasn’t George, it wasn’t
Mimi, it wasn’t Ringo, it wasn’t Miles. It was
me that sat in those rooms, seeing him in all his moods and
all his little things, seeing him not being able to write
a song, and having me help, seeing me not able to write a
song and him help me."
"I have no problem with bootlegs, although every time I
say that, my lawyer says, "Oh yes you do.""
"It was a strictly professional decision. If he wasn't
up to the mark... then there was no other choice."
Paul on the 1962 firing of Beatles drummer Pete Best
"We had been told we'd be seen recording it by the whole
world at the same time. So we had one message for the world--
Love. We need more love in the world."
Paul about 'All You Need Is Love'
"You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats
his fellow animals."
"One of my great memories of John is from when we were
having some argument. I was disagreeing and we were calling
each other names. We let it settle for a second and then
he lowered his glasses and he said: "It's only me." And
then he put his glasses back on again. To me, that was John.
Those were the moments when I actually saw him without the
facade, the armor, which I loved as well, like anyone else.
It was a beautiful suit of armor. But it was wonderful when
he let the visor down and you'd just see the John Lennon
that he was frightened to reveal to the world."
"The world was a problem, but we weren't. You know,
that was the best thing about the Beatles, until we started
to break up, like during the White Album and stuff. Even
the studio got a bit tense then."
“We knew it was coming, but we tried to pretend we
didn't know it was coming.”
differences, musical differences, business differences, but
most of all because I have a better time with my family."
Paul explaining the motives behind the breakup of the Beatles
"Dear Mailbag, In order to put out of its misery the
limping dog of a news story which has been dragging itself
across your pages for the past year, my answer to the question "will
the Beatles get together again... is no."
Paul McCartney, Letter to New Musical Express magazine
"It's hard to follow my own act. But the only answer
to that would be to give up after the Beatles. I only had
two alternatives. Give up or carry on."
"I'm always trying to do better music. I don't know
if I've written my best song yet. That's the big question.
It doesn't stop you trying."
"The further away you get from the heyday of The Beatles,
the more amazing it becomes. It's grown in stature. At the
time, we thought we'd be lucky to last for five years."
"I definitely did look up to John. We all looked up
to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he
was the quickest wit and the smartest and all that kind of
"I can't tell you how much it hurts to lose him. His
death is a bitter cruel blow. I really loved the guy."
(About John Lennon, Dec. 1980)
“Certainly, for me, if we were ever on stage, the
three of us, there'd be someone missing, ... I'd look over
there and there'd be someone missing and that'd be John.”
“I am devastated and very, very sad, ... We knew he'd
been ill for a long time. He was a lovely guy and a very
brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really
just my baby brother.”
Paul McCartney, after the death of George
“Something like George passing, it makes you think,
`God, things are so impermanent: suddenly there's this little
friend of mine, he used to get on the bus, and now he's passed
away.' There's that whole lifetime of a friendship that physically
has ended, not emotionally.”