Spiraling Towards Divorce: Cold Turkey, the 4/4/4/2 Meeting, and the L/M “Myth” – 8 L/M Breakup Series
In part 8 of the L/M Breakup Series, Diana and Phoebe explore the events, meetings, maneuvers and negotiations that took place during the first half of September 1969. They trace how things start to escalate and go off the tracks following the relative harmony of the Abbey Road sessions. Covered in this episode are: John and Yoko’s cold turkey experience, Mary McCartney’s birth, The Isle of Wight festival, the 4/4/4/2 meeting and the “myth” of Lennon/McCartney.
“But it was impossible in the end, because it became three to one and I was like the idiot in the corner – trying, I thought, to save the situation. And to Klein it looked like I was trying to screw the situation. He used to call me the Reluctant Virgin. I said, ‘Fuck off, I don’t want to fucking marry you, that’s all.’ he’s going, ‘Oh, you know, he may, maybe he will, will he, won’t he, that’s a definite maybe.’ It was really difficult.”
We think this statement was simply an uncouth and bullying way to goad Paul into action when he appeared to be waffling on the management issue. It is a way of dismissing Paul’s real concerns, suggesting the reason Paul didn’t want to metaphorically “go all the way” with Klein was due to Paul’s prudishness, rather than based on reason.
It also suggests that Paul was being coy on the subject rather than the reality, which seems to have been that Paul was decisive and determined in his dislike of Klein based on reason, research and his honed ability to smell a bullshitter in a way the others couldn’t.
In fact, Paul turned out to be the most street smart and cunning in terms of sussing Klein out, and this was Klein’s way of delegitimizing his concerns.
Hi! I’m listening to your episode about Klein for the second time and I must ask you… Do you think John knew about his bullying and what he said about Paul (“the reluctant virgin” and all that stuff)? I think he knew.
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We don’t know. There is no evidence to suggest he did or didn’t know.
However, based on what John said later, we suspect he would have been aware — however — he might not have seen it as bullying but rather Klein maneuvering to get his way (which was John’s way) and he might have rationalized that the end justifies the means.
Importantly, however, we think that John saw Paul as powerful and strong during the period, so he probably wasn’t worried about Paul being hurt or bullied.
50 years ago today, the Let It Be album was released!
Listen to “If I Ran Away From You,” our series on the Beatles’ breakup, to hear our analysis of the songs, as well as the interpersonal dynamics of Lennon/McCartney during the recording of the “Get Back” project!
First things first, I abso-fucking-lutly love your podcast. Found it only 2 days ago, I’ve been listening as much as I can. Having women’s voices in the sea of sausage that is the Beatles fandom, and not only that but challenging the narrative that’s been established since the beginning is such a fresh breath of air that I’m high on the oxygen. 1/2
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Well first of all, thank you so much for your kind words! We LOVE receiving messages like this from listeners.
We agree that the break-up, particularly the Get Back sessions, can be almost overwhelming. At the end of the day, even if there was no neat solution to John and Paul’s interpersonal problems, we truly believe that both of them were driven by fear of being hurt by the other. It’s hard not to get bummed out by that.
However, we encourage you to keep listening! We believe it’s necessary to wade through the emotions of the period rather than avoid them (like every author ever), so we can at least ATTEMPT to figure out what was really going on. Since fans are still trying to figure out the breakup, and both Paul and Ringo are still being asked to explain what REALLY happened, it’s clear that the traditional explanation just isn’t satisfactory and doesn’t ring true. And we believe the story doesn’t ring true because it ignores the deeply emotional (sensitive, taboo, unspoken) issues between John and Paul. That’s why we consider this work so important to do.
We’re very pleased and thankful that you’ve followed us in this journey. ❤️
Episode 6 is the best episode yet!! I love how you pointed out Paul’s reasons for endorsing the JohnandYoko union, even though he knew it wasn’t ideal. You made a lot of really fantastic, articulate points. Your take on this whole breakup is literally the only one that I’ve seen that makes sense.
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Thank you so much, listener! We worked incredibly hard on it, so we appreciate your acknowledgement, and are so happy you enjoyed it! 🙂
In this episode, Diana and Phoebe dissect the different ways John and Paul both grappled with being replaced by each others’ wives. They explore the push and pull of Holding On versus Letting Go, skewering the myths of the breakup, and shining a light on Linda, an often overlooked but vital piece of the puzzle.
Just want to say thanks for the great podcast. Has completely changed my view on Paul and the Beatles. Like, once you realize that Paul was disengaging possibly more than any of them, so many things start to click and make sense that didn’t before. It’s amazing how pervasive the narrative that he was desperately clinging to the band seems to be.
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We’re always thrilled when people have this kind of reaction to our show, so thank you for writing to us!
This narrative is so persistent and pervasive, isn’t it? When we really examine the actual behavior of John and Paul at that time, and put it under a microscope, this narrative simply makes no sense.
Stay with us – we have a lot of interesting topics coming up!
From episode 3.A of If I Ran Away from You, our series on #thebeatles breakup. Beatles authors often place John at the center of the Beatles story, and we think this is the story of all of them, and most especially John and Paul!