I enjoy the show. Just as it is dangerous to overestimate any individual Beatle, I do think that it is equally dangerous to over romanticize John & Paul’s relationship and justify behaviors on the basis of some supernatural closeness. Close as they were there is also evidence of significant dysfunction. Do you believe John or Paul or both were emotionally manipulative/unhealthy dependence (see Attachment theory)? Would you all be willing to explore the more unsavory aspects of their friendship?Our Tumblr asks
Hi! Thanks very much for the ask! Glad you are enjoying the show.
First of all I think there is probably some level of emotional manipulation and/or dependence in every long-term relationship, so John & Paul aren’t necessarily unique in this regard. And despite whatever their various inter-personal issues or problems were, it’s undeniable that Lennon & McCartney were also one of the most prolific and successful creative partnerships in the history of modern popular culture. So, there’s that.
It’s our contention that Paul and John both believed in their spiritual (“supernatural”) connection and we believe this is an under-explored area of analysis. Their closeness doesn’t mean that their behaviors were always positive, but what it does suggest to us is that their behaviors are often linked, and the traditional narrative does not necessarily take this into account. Our goal with AKOM is to inspire deeper reflection on under-reported issues like these.
But yes, to your point, it definitely appears they had their fair share of dysfunction, and we discussed a few of these issues in our most recent episode. The next episodes in our break-up series also push many of these issues to the forefront, and we’ll be discussing them as they arise.
Diana and I have planned a future episode in which we unpack more of the problem areas in the Lennon/McCartney partnership and try to get underneath some of their lasting resentments.
Lastly, while I agree that it’s not helpful to over-romanticize John & Paul’s relationship, it can be tricky because John and Paul were both so prone to romanticize it themselves (especially after the break-up). In that respect, it’s sometimes a difficult balancing act to empathize with them from their respective POVs while simultaneously trying to get to the truth of what was actually going on. They were/are both, at the end of the day, artists who primarily wrote and sang (often collaboratively) about love. How much of this romanticism and its accompanying behavior (i.e. unrealistic expectations, justification/forgiveness of various harmful behaviors) created problems in their personal relationship is a fascinating study in and of itself.
Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy the rest of our Break-Up Series!
– Phoebe and the AKOM Crew