Yoko Ono has described the break up of the Beatles as a 'divorce' between her late husband John Lennon and Paul McCartney, saying the split happened because they "were getting to be like Paul's band."
In a decades-old interview with Rolling Stone's Joe Smith, Yoko Ono said John was not the first to want to leave the Beatles and that factions were already forming within the band.
"The Beatles were getting very independent," she said in the 1987 interview.
"Each one of them [was] getting independent. John, in fact, was not the first who wanted to leave the Beatles. [We saw] Ringo [Starr] one night with Maureen [Starkey Tigrett], and he came to John and me and said he wanted to leave. George [Harrison] was next, and then John. Paul [McCartney] was the only one trying to hold the Beatles together. But the other three thought Paul would hold the Beatles together as his band. They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like."
However she said despite John's desire to leave the band, it had a negative effect on their relationship. She told Smith that the iconic musician missed his bandmates and "expected all that to be replaced by me."
The recently released interview sheds fresh light on why the Beatles split, which for many years was blamed on John's relationship with Yoko. So much so that the name Yoko has become synonymous with a woman who threatens to break up a music partnership. Hence MTV's latest headline Taylor Swift The 'Yoko Ono' Of One Direction?
Different type of music perhaps, but the moniker stands
Paul McCartney attempted to put the record straight in October, telling David Frost Yoko "certainly didn't break the group up, the group was breaking up already."
Indeed McCartney praised Ono, saying that without her, songs such as Imagine would never have been written. Instead he blames the late Allen Klein, the businessman who tried to manage the band after Brian Epstein died in 1967. He told David Frost: "I was fighting against the other three guys who'd been my lifelong soul buddies. I said I wanted to fight Klein."
Photos courtesy of Robert Whitaker on behalf of LIFE Books