(CNN) — When the biggest band in British music history, The Beatles, disbanded in 1970, fans pointed the finger at lead co-vocalist Paul McCartney.

Now, more than half a century later, McCartney has revealed that it was, in fact, John Lennon who instigated the split.

In an upcoming interview on BBC Radio 4, he told reporter John Wilson: “John walked into the room one day and said, ‘I’m leaving The Beatles.’ And he said, ‘It’s quite exciting. It’s like a divorce. “And he left us to pick up the pieces,” McCartney said in a preview that aired on the station’s Today show Monday.

While Wilson noted that McCartney was the one who sued his bandmates to end the commercial partnership, he also said that being blamed for the band’s breakup had “frustrated McCartney for half a century.”

McCartney said Lennon’s decision to leave the band was prompted by his quest for social justice, including movements like “bagism,” where he and his wife, Yoko Ono, bagged themselves to urge people not to judge others for their appearance.

Lennon and Ono also organized bed-ins in Amsterdam and Montreal in 1969. At those events, they lay in hotel rooms for a week in protest against the conflict, particularly the Vietnam War.

“The point was, John was making a new life with Yoko and he wanted to get into a bag, and he wanted to be in bed for a week in Amsterdam, for peace,” McCartney said. “You couldn’t argue with that.”

“The most difficult period”: the breakup of The Beatles

This is how John Lennon and the Beatles have inspired science 1:22

McCartney described the breakup as “the most difficult period of my life” and said he could have imagined that The Beatles would continue longer if Lennon hadn’t instigated the breakup.

“The Beatles were breaking up and this was my band, this was my job, this was my life,” he said. “I wanted it to continue, I thought we were doing pretty good things, you know, ‘Abbey Road’, ‘Let It Be’, not bad.”

McCartney will release a comment book on his song lyrics next month, edited by Irish poet Paul Muldoon, and includes songs written for The Beatles.

He also told Wilson that he and Lennon had written a four-page play in the “kitchen sink” genre before The Beatles began.

The full interview will air on October 23.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.