The John Lennon Song He Said ‘For Sure Isn’t About Paul’

After The Beatles disbanded, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were entangled in a public feud for a brief time. The feud manifested in a few of their solo songs, with the two former bandmates exchanging blows in lyrics the best way they knew how. Many theorized that one John Lennon song was about Paul McCartney, but Lennon clarified that it was “for sure,” not about Sir Macca.

John Lennon said the song ‘Steel and Glass’ was not about Paul McCartney
“Steel and Glass” is a song from Lennon’s fifth solo album 1974’s Walls and Bridges. It’s one of Lennon’s more vicious songs, like “You leave your smell like an alley cat.” This led many to speculate about who the song might be about, and one person who was a possible target was Paul McCartney.

John had previously targeted the “Band on the Run” singer in 1971’s “How Do You Sleep” from his Imagine album. Paul also wrote about John in 1971’s “Dear Friend” and “Too Many People”. However, tensions between Lennon and McCartney died down by 1974 when “Steel and Glass” came out. In an interview shared by, Lennon said the song was an amalgamation of “various people and objects,” but it wasn’t about Paul.

It actually isn’t about one person in particular, but it has been about a few people and, like a novel writer, if I’m writing about something other than myself, I use other people I know or have known as examples. If I want to write a ‘down’ song, I would have to remember being down, and when I wrote ‘Steel And Glass’ I used various people and objects. If I had listed who they were, it would be a few people, and you would be surprised. But it really isn’t about anybody. I’m loathe to tell you this, because it spoils the fun. I would sooner everybody think, ‘Who’s it about?’ and try and piece it together. For sure, it isn’t about Paul.”

‘Steel and Glass’ could have been about The Beatles’ Allen Klein

John Lennon never confirmed who the song is about, even though he confirmed it’s not about Paul McCartney. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon’s son, Sean Lennon, claimed part of “Steel and Glass” is about The Beatles’ former manager Allen Klein. “I think ‘Steel and Glass’ is sort of about generally those kind of people, that business types that he was very cynical about,” Sean said. “The suit guys, the record-company execs. The managers and the businessmen.”

Klein was brought in after the death of Brian Epstein, even though McCartney was firmly against him. Klein represented the other three Beatles, but those relationships eventually soured. In a 1973 interview with Weekend World, Lennon said he eventually fired Klein and said McCartney’s instincts might have been right.

“My position has always been a ‘Devil and the deep-blue sea,’ and at that time, I do whatever I feel is right,” Lennon shared. “Although I haven’t been particularly happy personally for quite a long time with the situation, I didn’t want to make any quick moves, and I wanted to see if maybe something would work out.”

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