Why do you think John publicly insulted Paul all the way into the late 70’s, even after their reconciliation/lost weekend? I usually interpret anger like that as a reaction to fear and rejection. It’s just sad John went back on his positive statements, like during the lost weekend, and started bashing Paul again.
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Well, in a nutshell: I think as much as John tried to forgive/understand Paul and move forward, I think he resented the way things fell apart between them and never completely got over it. I do think they tried to reconcile many times in the 70s, and tried to express their love for each other (through their music at least) but they probably never had the kind of heart-to-heart they truly needed.
I also believe what Yoko told Philip Norman in 1981- that John was more hurt by Paul than anyone else in his life. I can’t explain what happened between them in 68-69 (wish I could!) but my impression is that John believed Paul didn’t value their relationship and felt like Paul threw them under the bus. Basically I think that original hurt never fully healed and kept resurfacing from time to time due to any number of possible triggers (seeing Paul on TV, talking to him on the phone, tangentially-related abandonment issues, etc) and whenever that happened John would resent Paul and feel justified in saying shitty things to newspapers, etc. A random memory of a hurtful thing could likely make John nasty or snide that day and a fond memory could likely make him wistful and affectionate on another day. This isn’t necessarily inconsistent. I think John always loved Paul and always was hurt by him. It was just a matter of what mood you caught him in.
FWIW, I don’t think it would’ve been impossible for them to heal their relationship, but it would’ve required time and privacy, which I don’t think they ever really got (although obviously we don’t know for sure). I personally suspect it would’ve also required an unequivocal declaration of love (and/or apology) from Paul to heal the original wound. Unfortunately that never came. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest they were planning to reconnect in 1980, but it seems like time ran out.
Sorry this got kind of sad! As always, this is just my opinion.
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