Throwing my hat into the “Why did Paul and Jane break up?” ring. There have been fantastic posts on this already, but looking at the McCartney bios by Sounes and Salewicz back-to-back has given me a slightly different perspective (this could all need to be tossed out if anything else about them comes to light/there’s other material I’m not aware of, which is more than possible, but here’s what I’ve got for now!)
The short version: I think they split up because of a lack of long-term compatibility that they both recognized as they got older. They also grew to prefer different lifestyles and possibly also had different ideas about whether/when to start trying to have children. By the time they split up, Paul had already realized, according to the joint interview with Jane described in Hunter Davies’ 1968 bio, that it was “silly” of him to have expected Jane to do what the other Beatles’ partners had done and give up her career after marriage (Paul describing his expectation as having been “silly” is in Davies 308-309. The observation that all the other women who had “married in to the band” had given up their careers because that was “expected by men of [the Beatles’ background]” is in Sounes 189). Jane having a career she wanted to continue after marriage seems to have been resolved as a possible impediment before the split. The Salewicz bio suggests that what *may* have been a factor was the question of children, with Jane not wanting them to interfere with her career. However, it’s not clear from that bio when this question came up for them–whether it was closer to the time of the split or whether it had been discussed and resolved prior to their engagement. I think these are the main reasons they split. I don’t think his many, many, many affairs helped at all, but I think the above reasons are the main ones.
Jane and Paul got together when they were quite young (Jane was 17 and Paul was 20) and their interests diverged in a few ways that really mattered as they got older. As the bios have suggested, Jane wasn’t really into rock ‘n’roll and really wasn’t into the drug scene. Paul was into both (understatement!). This likely contributed to the tension that people like Marianne Faithful witnessed between them. In addition to that, they both seemed to realize that they didn’t ultimately “click.” For bio excerpts and more, please see below!
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