From the GQ interview with Peter Jackson
Interviewer: It’s lovely to watch the rapport between them all.
Jackson: They’re all good friends and they remain good friends all the way throughout the series. This is before the Allen Klein period, when they start to argue. It’s fantastic to see them still be mates, still composing. I read books that say that in this period John and Paul no longer wrote songs with each other, but that’s not true, as we’ve got many scenes where John and Paul are sitting writing songs. I mean, it’s on film, it’s on camera. So it’s really amazing to see how wrong a lot of these accounts have been. And it’s not because I have special insight or I have secret understanding; it’s just that it’s there on camera. You get overwhelmed by it all.
NOTE: “it’s really amazing to see how wrong a lot of these accounts have been”
The traditional narrative claims that the minute Yoko entered the scene, she replaced Paul as John’s partner (see Jonathan Gould’s Can’t Buy Me Love for a recent example). Not true. And if you don’t believe us, “it’s there on camera.”
In the Breakup Series we continually make the case that John and Paul worked together until the end! Yoko didn’t replace Paul. She was an additional partner for John.
If you haven’t already check out the breakup series, we challenge a lot of the accounts because as Jackson says, “it’s amazing how wrong a lot of these accounts have been.”
I would contend that Yoko did indeed replace Paul as John’s partner, if only for the reason that John’s zero-sum game orientation to relationships and tendency toward enmeshment with significant others, coupled with Yoko’s inherent artistic competitiveness, made it necessary for him to do so.
Hmmm, I must have missed Yoko musically collaborating with John on Don’t Let Me Down, I’ve Got a Feeling, Gimme Some Truth, Come Together, Sun King, the Ballad of John and Yoko. 🙂
Because that was my point, authors tend to ascribe everything John did from 1968 onwards (including White Album songs that were written in India) to Yoko. And that’s problematic because it’s simply not true — there WAS an actual partner named Paul sitting there still writing with John (as Peter Jackson says is evident in the film) and also, denying it erases McCartney’s contributions to Lennon/McCartney and gives Yoko undue credit.
I was always so confused reading Beatles books, thinking that Yoko must have been secretly writing with John in ways that I just didn’t know about — since authors were adamant that John “replaced” Paul with Yoko in 68….but in reality, that’s not the case. John was ACTUALLY still working with Paul until the end of the Beatles, no matter where his emotional loyalties lay.
So don’t think it’s true that Yoko replaced Paul as John’s partner the minute she entered the scene, that’s just Ballad nonsense. George Martin said they were still Lennon/McCartney, even in 1969.
From my perspective, Yoko became A creative partner and his GF /wife in 1968/69 and a co-activist. But she didn’t REPLACE Paul as main musical partner until the Bealtes were done. Paul was still there, putting in the effort doing the work of creating music. John still counted on him and as we discuss in our series, John was not checked out, nor was he disinterested in Paul as a partner — they were still provoking and reacting to each other. In fact, I don’t think John or Paul ever fully disengaged from the Lennon/McCartney partnership and I would argue they never truly broke up—they simply collaborated in a different form for the rest of their lives. If you believe otherwise, then cool, we just have to agree to disagree.
This is different issue — and not the point I was making — but I GET that John wanted to have everything in one person by 1968, and I think that was a conundrum, but the whole situation isn’t simple because Paul wasn’t an option and there was still creative and other chemistry between Lennon & McCartney…always. John didn’t just jump to Yoko, it was a long drawn out process. Suggesting it was a zero sum game and John just chose Yoko gives John all the power and control in the situation and that simply wasn’t the case. He wasn’t Henry VIII trading wives, even though the fandom loves to view him that way. Further, by 1971 John is partners with Yoko but his most passionate songs are about Paul, and he’s writing on his own, so I’m not sure if John ever made that zero sum game choice (in his mind). Although for sure they were a married couple!
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