John Lennon: Beatles star on ‘PRESSURE’ on songs from Paul McCartney ‘It was a problem’
John Lennon and Paul McCartney didn’t always see eye-to-eye when it came to the creative process or the future of The Beatles but their songwriting partnership is almost unparalleled. The Fab Four remain among the greatest British bands in history and the impact of their musical legacy is so vast it’s almost impossible to gauge. There were, however, some bumps in the road along the way.
Lennon previously opened up about the challenge of their diverging lifestyles at the height of The Beatles’ success.
The band took off in the early 1960s and didn’t look back for almost a decade.
After they cracked America in 1964, heralding the start of the British Invasion, Beatlemania had gone global.
The group were churning out hit singles and albums year after year, with the speed of their process leading to 13 studio albums between 1963 and 1970.
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But, in the early years, Lennon was the only one with a wife and a young family.
He first met sweetheart Cynthia Powell when they were studying at Liverpool College of Art in 1957.
It was five years later that she became pregnant and they tied the knot.
In newly unearthed interviews, Lennon recalled how being father to young son Julian Lennon and leading a “suburban” life with his wife put him on a different path to that of his bandmates and caused him problems when it came to writing songs with McCartney.
“You can never be 24 again. You can never be that hungry twice,” he told David Sheff for Playboy in 1980, reflecting on how fast he could produce songs in the past.
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“There was a problem with that period,” The Beatles star admitted. “I was living a more suburban life at the time, with a wife and kid, while [McCartney] was still tripping around town.”
Opening up on the “pressure” which came with trying to assimilate his life as a father and as a rock ’n’ roll star, he Lennon continued: “[McCartney] would work something out for a song or an album and then suddenly call me and say, ‘It’s time to do into the studio, Write some songs.’
“He’d have his prepared while I would be starting from scratch.”
Despite struggling with the lifestyle clash with his Beatles bandmate, which was leading to tensions in studio sessions, Lennon still managed to pen several smash hits during that period.
While he may have been finding the time constraints tricky to navigate, Strawberry Fields Forever was recorded at the beginning of the Sgt. Pepper sessions.
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He also revealed how he had been able to write two more big Beatles numbers in just a week-and-a-half.
“I managed to come up with Lucy in the Sky and A Day in the Life under the pressure only 10 days,” he is quoted as telling Sheff in All We Are Saying.
The difficulties with time pressure in comparison to his pal McCartney might have reduced Lennon’s volume, but it still didn’t stop him coming up with the likes of All You Need Is Love and I Am the Walrus that year.
Lennon’s songwriting input was lower on 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely hearts Club Band and it’s successor Magical Mystery Tour but, after the band’s trip to India the following year, he dived back into the music.
His relationship with his wife and son, however, suffered.
Lennon was largely absent and, in 1968, they were divorced.
The Beatle had met Yoko Ono two years earlier and married the avant-garde artist the next year.
In 1969, Lennon also announced to his bandmates that he was quitting the group.
Though the decision to split was kept private until 1970, Let It Be was to be their last album.
After years of post-split feuding, he later healed his relationship with McCartney and the pair were friends again by the time of his untimely death in 1980.
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