John Lennon Saw ‘No Point’ in Writing Beatles Songs, Even When Paul McCartney Left Album Space for Him

John Lennon complained to Paul McCartney about writing songs for The Beatles. He didn’t see a point and wanted things to be easier for himself.

The Beatles tried to be democratic about the songs they put on their albums, but John Lennon once went to Paul McCartney and tried to bypass that system. Lennon had grown tired of The Beatles and didn’t see much of a point in competing with his bandmates for album space. As he no longer wanted to write that much, he asked McCartney for more freedom to add what he wanted to the albums.

John Lennon grew frustrated with The Beatles even when Paul McCartney tried to engage him
While Lennon and McCartney were The Beatles’ primary songwriters in the band’s early days, George Harrison began contributing more songs. Suddenly, getting album space was more competitive, and Lennon wasn’t interested in going head-to-head with his bandmates.

“You’d come up with a ‘Magical Mystery Tour.’ I didn’t write any of that except ‘Walrus’; I’d accept it and you’d already have five or six songs, so I’d think, ‘F*** it, I can’t keep up with that,’” Lennon told McCartney, per the book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles. “So I didn’t bother, you know? And I thought I don’t really care whether I was on or not, I convinced myself it didn’t matter ….”

By the late 1960s, Lennon’s productivity had also slowed. McCartney, on the other hand, was churning out music. As a result, Lennon said he stopped fighting to get his music on the albums. He didn’t even see a point in writing. McCartney told him that he’d tried to allow for space for Lennon. Lennon didn’t seem to care, though.

“There was no point in turning ’em out,” he said. “I couldn’t, didn’t have the energy to turn ’em out and get ’em on as well.”

The other Beatles worried about giving him the freedom to include whatever he wanted on albums
Lennon suggested to McCartney to upend their process for including songs on their albums. He wanted a guarantee that he could put four songs on the album, regardless of what they sounded like.

“When we get in the studio I don’t care how we do it but I don’t want to think about equal time,” he said. “I just want it known I’m allowed to put four songs on the album, whatever happens.”

According to Miles, the rest of The Beatles didn’t want this. Lennon’s writing had grown increasingly experimental, and they wanted songs that were closer to the band’s sound. They had previously vetoed some of Lennon’s songs — they deemed “What’s The New Mary Jane” too out-there for the White Album — which frustrated him.

Lennon’s relationship and collaboration with Yoko Ono also resulted in increasingly experimental music. Lennon’s bandmates wanted to avoid the controversy and derision that albums like Two Virgins had garnered.

John Lennon said he didn’t care how Paul McCartney and George Harrison’s songs performed
Lennon’s request, coupled with his lack of interest in his bandmates’ music signaled that he was ready to leave The Beatles. He claimed he didn’t care if their music was successful if it wasn’t a song he wrote.

“Nowadays, there’s three of us writing prolifically and trying to fit it all into one album,” he said. “We’ve always said we had fights, it’s no news that we argue … For instance, I don’t give a damn about how ‘Something’ is doing in the charts — I watch ‘Come Together’ (the flip side) because that’s my song. That is why I’ve started with the Plastic Ono and working with Yoko, to have more outlet.” In 1969, Lennon told his bandmates that he was leaving The Beatles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mick Jagger John & Yoko’s Elvis Presley & Priscilla Presley