Yoko Ono has long been dogged by complaints that she was responsible for one of the greatest breakups in musical history, The Beatles. She’s denied this for years, of course, most recently in a column for Us Weekly’s “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me”.
“I had nothing to do with breaking up The Beatles,” she said, adding, “And I think Paul [McCartney] is a pretty cool dude.”
Fans have consistently held that John Lennon’s relationship with Ono was a major source of the band members’ falling out. Lennon would often bring his avante-garde, politically-outspoken girlfriend into the studio and ask for her creative input, which frequently alienated the band’s other members.
Following the dissolution of The Beatles in 1970, Ono and McCartney publicly feuded over who deserved songwriting credit on some of The Beatles’ work. In 2002, McCartney flipped the popular “Lennon-McCartney” crediting to “McCartney-Lennon” on his Back in the U.S. live album. Ono took issue with the switch, calling Macca the “Salieri to Lennon’s Mozart.”
However, in 2013, the hatchet seemed to be finally buried when McCartney alleviated Ono of blame for the Beatles’ demise during an interview with David Frost. “She certainly didn’t break the group up, the group was breaking up,” he said. He added, “When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave [one way or another].”
McCartney even credited Ono’s involvement with Lennon as being influential in writing songs like “Imagine”. Though he admitted her presence in the studio made things difficult, he placed more of the onus for the band’s tension on Allen Klein, the businessman who became the group’s manager after Brian Epstein’s 1967 death. “I was fighting against the other three guys who’d been my lifelong soul buddies,” sad McCartney. “I said I wanted to fight Klein.”
Elsewhere in the Us Weekly feature, Ono said, “I don’t know if people will hate me for saying this, but I always preferred The White Album to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pepper’s too, but…” Wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that she wasn’t around for the recording of Sgt. Pepper’s?
She also said she didn’t do drugs until John Lennon gave her her first cigarette at age 34, and that she and Lennon “wasted 15 years eating macrobiotic and drinking soy milk, when all I wanted was a little half-and-half.” The feature is filled with wonderfully weird tidbits, such as, “I prefer doing the Dougie to krumping,” and, “If I had to be reincarnated as an animal, I would choose a sparrow,” so read the whole thing below (via Spin).