Paul McCartney: Beatles musician details bandmate John Lennon’s ‘vulnerability’ during his ‘tragic life’

Paul has opened up about the life of his late banmate John Lennon who was shot dead in 1980.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1963 (Picture: Keystone/Getty Images) Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1963 (Picture: Keystone/Getty Images)
Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1963 (Picture: Keystone/Getty Images)

Paul McCartney has spoken about John Lennon’s life in a candid interview at the 2023 Tribeca Festival. The Beatles musician, 81, from Liverpool, sat down with Conan O’Brien, 60, for a live recording of his podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.

The pair took a trip down memory lane as they delved into a collection of unseen Beatles snaps photographed by Paul using his own camera between December 1963 and February 1964 as Beatlemania swept the world. During the height of Beatlemania, the Fab Four were propelled from being the most popular band in Britain to an international cultural phenomenon.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The photos are set to go on display at the National Portrait Gallery later this month. Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm will run from 28 June to 1 October and is one of two major exhibitions to relaunch the gallery after three years of refurbishments.

During the podcast, images of John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were displayed in the room. In one particular image, John is seen sitting in the backseat of a car, and Conan noted that the Beatle, murdered in 1980, looked anxious and vulnerable. "I don’t know about the anxiety, but vulnerability is very true," Paul  told Conan.

“(John) had a really tragic life. As a kid, his mother was decreed to not be good enough to bring him up… His father had left the home when John was three. So that’s not too wonderful," he recalled. "It made me realise why he had that vulnerability. I always admired the way he dealt with it because I’m not sure I would deal with the stuff he went through that well."

Paul recently revealed he has employed artificial intelligence to create "the final Beatles record". He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the technology had been used to "extricate" John Lennon’s voice from an old demo so he could complete the song.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.