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The mammoth impact Yoko Ono had on The Beatles

The mammoth impact Yoko Ono had on The Beatles

The mammoth impact Yoko Ono had on The Beatles
February 18
09:07 2021

It’s become somewhat of an age-old question: did Yoko Ono really cause The Beatles to break up? While it would be somewhat naive to point to one person as the sole cause for a band’s split, throughout the years, there was some concern expressed most notably by George Harrison and Paul McCartney, that her presence in the studio during their sessions created too much tension. Out of all the impressions Ono made upon The Beatles, her influence on Lennon was truly unequalled; she simultaneously saved him from himself, pushed him to be a better artist and dared him to be himself, unapologetically.

Despite frequent comments by all members of The Beatles, popular opinion seems to be that Yoko Ono was a big reason for why The Beatles broke up. While Lennon does acknowledge that Paul McCartney may have had, at one point, strong feelings of disdain towards her, McCartney is overall a fair guy. “You can quote Paul, it’s probably in the papers, he said it many times at first he hated Yoko, and then he got to like her. But it’s too late for me. I’m for Yoko,” Lennon would comment about McCartney’s attitude towards her in a Rolling Stone interview. Lennon felt at the time that he was put in a difficult situation of either choosing Yoko or The Beatles, “I had to either be married to them or Yoko, and I chose Yoko, and I was right.”

To pinpoint exactly what this negative influence Yoko had on the band that may have, hypothetically speaking, broken up The Beatles, one just needs to watch footage of some of their sessions. The environment of a Beatles session was very much a closed off affair, not allowing too many people in while they worked. Lennon had infamously shamed their manager in front of everyone for bringing a friend in. Some could consider this somewhat hypocritical, as now Lennon was the one breaking the rule.

Yoko followed him around everywhere he went and would sit in the middle of the studio and constantly whisper comments into his ear. McCartney would snidely remark, after hearing her make a comment about a vocal take: “Did somebody speak? Who was that? Did you say something George? Your lips didn’t move!”

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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