Paul McCartney Named an Album After a Bizarre Insult From John Lennon

After The Beatles broke up, John Lennon and Paul McCartney couldn’t even get through a phone call without fighting. McCartney explained that Lennon’s vitriol was palpable. Even though he’d known his former bandmate for years, he felt frightened. On one phone call, though, McCartney walked away with some creative inspiration.

John Lennon insulted Paul McCartney in a creative way
Even though his bandmates were furious with him after The Beatles’ breakup, McCartney tried to maintain a relationship with them. He said he frequently called Lennon, but the calls didn’t often go well.

“I would ring him when I went to New York and he would say, ‘Yeah, what d’you want?’ ‘I just thought we might meet?’ ‘Yeah, what the f*** d’you want, man?’ I used actually to have some very frightening phone calls,” he said, per the book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles. “Thank God they’re not in my life anymore. I went through a period when I would be so nervous to ring him and so insecure in myself that I actually felt like I was in the wrong. It was all very acrimonious and bitter.”

While he was tired of arguing, McCartney didn’t walk away from every phone call feeling defeated. During one conversation, Lennon insulted him in a unique way. McCartney thought the insult could make a good album title.

“I remember one time John said, ‘You’re all pizza and fairy tales.’ I thought, What a great album title!” McCartney explained. “I said, ‘Well, if that’s what I am, I’m not wholly against that description of me. I can think of worse things to say.’” McCartney released the album Pizza and Fairy Tales in 1988.

The former Beatles grew closer after Lennon fired Allen Klein
Eventually, time softened the animosity between the former bandmates. By the early 1970s, Lennon had realized Allen Klein wasn’t the right person to manage him. The Beatles’ appointment of Klein was a major factor in the dissolution of McCartney and Lennon’s relationship.

Lennon eventually admitted that McCartney had been right to distrust Klein. Once the former bandmates realized that many of their disagreements stemmed from business affairs, they were able to get their relationship back on track. In conversation, McCartney avoided talking about anything business-related.

Paul McCartney wrote a number of songs about John Lennon
McCartney named an album after an insult from Lennon. He also wrote many songs about his former bandmate. Some, like 1971’s “Too Many People,” were clearly meant to be jabs at Lennon. Others reflected more fondly on their relationship.

In 1971, while their relationship was still fraught, McCartney wrote the song “Dear Friend” as a peace offering to Lennon. “It was a really difficult time,” McCartney told The Times. “I just felt sad about the breakdown in our friendship, and this song kind of came flowing out. ‘Dear friend, what’s the time?/ Is this really the borderline? Are we splitting up? Is this ‘you go your way; I’ll go mine’?”

After Lennon’s death, McCartney released the song “Here Today” as a tribute to his friend. He explained that even years later, he got emotional singing it. “At least once a tour, that song just gets me,” he told The Guardian. “I’m singing it, and I think I’m OK, and I suddenly realise it’s very emotional, and John was a great mate and a very important man in my life, and I miss him, you know?”

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