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Beatles Producer George Martin Said the Band Broke Up Because They Wanted to Live Separate Lives




The Beatles announced their split in 1970. Their longtime producer George Martin shared why he thought they needed to break up.

Beatles fans have long debated the causes of the band’s breakup, but their longtime producer George Martin believed the split was relatively easy to explain. Martin worked with the band for years and watched as they drifted apart. While he recognized that many factors contributed to their breakup, he believed that they wanted an opportunity to live more normal, separate lives. 

George Martin said The Beatles wanted normalcy in their lives

The Beatles’ touring and recording schedules, particularly in the first half of the 1960s, allowed them little time to spend with anyone but themselves. They made public appearances as a group and vacationed together. Martin believed that by the end of the decade, they were ready for some time apart.

“The split arose from many contributory things, mainly that each of the boys wanted to live his own life and had never been able to,” Martin said in The Beatles Anthology. “They’d always been having to consider the group; so they were always a prisoner of that — and I think they eventually got fed up with it.”

A black and white picture of George Martin standing next to a poster of The Beatles with apples on their heads.

He also believed they wanted to rely on their wives as partners more than their bandmates. 

“They wanted to live life like other people, where your wife is more important than your working partner,” Martin said. “As Yoko came along, as eventually Linda came along, they were more important to John and Paul than John and Paul were to each other, and the same went for the other boys too.”

John Lennon agreed with George Martin’s view of The Beatles’ split

John Lennon, who initiated the split, agreed with Martin. He believed it was time for the band to grow apart.

“We’re all individuals. And in The Beatles we grew out of it,” Lennon said. “The bag was too small. I can’t impose far-out films or far-out music on George and Paul if they don’t want to do it. Vice versa, Paul can’t impose on me whatever he likes, especially when there’s no common goal anymore. We have to live our own lives separately. We’ve grown up now, we’ve left school. We never left school — we went straight into showbiz.”

He believed that in order to mature into his own person, he had to leave his bandmates behind. 

The band spent nearly all their time together in their early years

Part of the reason the band had grown tired of their time together was because they were rarely apart. The unique pressures they faced because of their level of fame drew them closer together. They were the only people who could understand what they were going through.

A black and white picture of The Beatles standing in the ocean. They all wear white shirts.

“I don’t know of any other band who got that close,” Ringo Starr told Club Sandwich in 1997 (via The Paul McCartney Project). “And we got that close because we loved each other and the pressure that only the Beatles had. No other band has had that much pressure. So all of those factors come into play when we meet each other. We know what went on. Nobody else knows. Everybody thinks they know, and they have ideas, and they write books about it, but actually only the Beatles know how heavy that was.”

Source: Cheat Sheet


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