Lennon was killed on this day in 1980, ten years after the Beatles had broken up. His feud with Paul had rumbled on bitterly through the decade. The pair had started to mend their friendship in the final years and Paul was devastated when Mark Chapman shot Lennon outside his New York home. Paul said: “It was just so horrific that you couldn’t take it in – I couldn’t take it in.” But back in 1969, their relationship was painfully broken, with Lennon furiously attacking Paul and Linda and bitterly pointing out it was him who had started the Beatles. SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE WHOLE LETTER.
Written in the late 1960s and auctioned in 2016, the incredible rant is a reply to a letter sent by Linda to Lennon.
It is an extraordinary record of the fury Lennon felt over the way his relationship with Yoko Ono was treated by Paul and Linda and even returns the insult by saying that he doubts their own marriage will last more than a few years.
He wrote: “After all the petty sh** that came from your insane family/in laws – and GOD HELP YOU OUT, PAUL – see you in two years – I reckon you’ll be out then.”
Lennon also calls Paul and Beatles manager Allen Klein “c***s”, blaming them for the way they handled the end of the band, correcting Linda who appears to have blamed Lennon: “Get that into your petty little perversion of a mind, Mrs McCartney.”
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Lennon says he “feels sorry” for Paul for arrogantly attaching too much importance to The Beatles, adding: “I don’t believe you’re that insane.”
He also dismisses the achievements and impact of the band, saying he and Yoko had had “more intelligent interest in our new activities in one year than we had throughout the Beatle era.”
Lennon defends his rejection of his MBE, implying that he hasn’t lost his everyman ideals, even if Paul has, and it all ends with an angry dig at Paul and Linda for not addressing their letter to Yoko.
READ THE LETTER IN FULL NEXT:
THE LETTER: Dear Linda and Paul,
I was reading your letter and wondering what middle-aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out – I kept thinking who is it – Queenie? Stuart’s mother? – Clive Epstein’s wife? – Alan Williams? – What the hell – it’s Linda!
You really think the press are beneath me/you? Do you think that? Who do you think we/you are? The “self-indulgent doesn’t realize who he is hurting” bit – I hope you realize what sh** you and the rest of my ‘kind and unselfish’ friends laid on Yoko and me, since we’ve been together. It might have sometimes been a bit more subtle or should I say “middle class” – but not often. We both “rose above it” quite a few times – & forgave you two – so it’s the least you can do for us – you noble people. Linda – if you don’t care what I say – shut up! – let Paul write – or whatever.
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When asked about what I thought originally concerning MBE, etc – I told them as best as I can remember – and I do remember squirming a little – don’t you, Paul? – or do you – as I suspect – still believe it all? I’ll forgive Paul for encouraging the Beatles – if he forgives me for the same – for being – “honest with me and caring too much”! F**king hell, Linda, you’re not writing for Beatle book!!!
I’m not ashamed of the Beatles – (I did start it all) – but of some of the sh*t we took to make them so big – I thought we all felt that way in varying degrees – obviously not.
Do you really think most of today’s art came about because of the Beatles? – I don’t believe you’re that insane – Paul – do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up! Didn’t we always say we were part of the movement – not all of it? – Of course, we changed the world – but try and follow it through – GET OFF YOUR GOLD DISC AND FLY!
Don’t give me that Aunty Gin sh*t about “in five years I’ll look back as a different person” – don’t you see that’s what’s happening NOW! – If I only knew THEN what I know NOW – you seemed to have missed that point….
Excuse me if I use “Beatle Space” to talk about whatever I want – obviously if they keep asking Beatle questions – I’ll answer them – and get as much John and Yoko Space as I can – they ask me about Paul and I answer – I know some of it gets personal – but whether you believe it or not I try and answer straight – and the bits they use are obviously the juicy bits.
I don’t resent your husband – I’m sorry for him. I know the Beatles are “quite nice people” – I’m one of them – they’re also just as big b**tards as anyone else.
So get off your high horse! – by the way – we’ve had more intelligent interest in our new activities in one year than we had throughout the Beatle era.
Finally, about not telling anyone that I left the Beatles – PAUL and Klein both spent the day persuading me it was better not to say anything – asking me not to say anything because it would ‘hurt the Beatles’– and ‘let’s just let it petre out’ – remember? So get that into your petty little perversion of a mind, Mrs McCartney – the c**ts asked me to keep quiet about it. Of course, the money angle is important – to all of us – especially after all the petty sh*t that came from your insane family/in laws – and GOD HELP YOU OUT, PAUL – see you in two years – I reckon you’ll be out then.
In spite of it all, love to you both from us two.
P.S. about addressing your letter just to me – STILL….!!!”
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