New Beatles Book Sheds Light On Paul McCartney’s Post Beatles Depression

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Linda McCartney

Authored by Beatles historian Kenneth Womack, Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles is a new book that charts the making of the Fab Four’s 11th album.

With the band on the verge of breaking apart, the sessions were not without tension.

And, despite the Beatles bonding at several moments, shortly after the end of the sessions in 1969 the group decided to go their separate ways.

Unfortunately, the public was kept in the dark as to this as the group’s new manager Allen Klein who cautioned the band that the news would be bad for album sales.

The silence couldn’t last forever though and eventually, it was Paul McCartney who broke the news to the world at large on April 10, 1970, in a press release accompanying solo album McCartney.

Two interviews Womack has unearthed reveal that rather than feeling relieved McCartney, who had retreated to his newly acquired Scottish farm, immediately fell into a deep depression.

McCartney, who usually keeps his cards close to his chest when it comes to his deeper emotional state, is surprisingly frank.

Womack quotes Paul thusly:

“I was going through a hard period, I exhibited all the classic symptoms of the unemployed, the redundant man. First, you don’t shave, and it’s not to grow a groovy beard, it’s because you cannot be f*cking bothered. Anger, deep deep anger sets in, with everything, with yourself number one, and with everything in the world number two. And justifiably so because I was being screwed by my mates. So I didn’t shave for quite a while. I didn’t get up. Mornings weren’t for getting up. I might get up and stay on the bed a bit and not know where to go, and get back into bed. Then if I did get up, I’d have a drink. Straight out of bed. I’ve never been like that. There are lots of people who’ve been through worse things than that, but for me this was bad news because I’d always been the kind of guy who could really pull himself together and think, “Oh, f*ck it,” but at that time I felt I’d outlived my usefulness.”

The famous McCartney beard the product of emotional pain?

You read right.

At a later point the Beatle elaborated further:

It was good while I was in the Beatles, I was useful, and I could play bass for their songs, I could write songs for them to sing and for me to sing, and we could make records of them. But the minute I wasn’t with the Beatles anymore, it became really very difficult.”

Of course, McCarney didn’t linger in this down-on-himself state forever.

Quickly picking himself up from this down moment and continued to make music for what is now closing in on half a century.

You can order of copy of Womack’s Solid State here.

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