The Beatles officially split up for good in 1970 after years of feuds and arguments. Their final year together was particularly stressful for the members, who bickered and argued on camera during the recording of their final album, Let It Be. George Harrison even walked out of the band, at one point, while announcing he was quitting. After he returned, John Lennon did the same, bringing the band to an end for good. But, looking back on their arguments, Harrison pointed out their bickering was never as bad as the press made it out to be.
Harrison spoke with radio DJ Howard Smith in 1970 after the band had split up. During the chat, he confirmed the band was “no more gloomy than it has been for the last ten years”.
He explained: “It really isn’t any worse. It’s just that over the last year, what with John and stuff and lately with Paul, everything that they’ve thought or said has come out to the public; it’s being printed; it’s been for everyone to read and to comment about or to join in on.”
The Quiet Beatle confirmed the band had “slight” problems with Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, and McCartney’s wife, Linda McCartney, attending the recording sessions. “But it’s not as bad as it seems,” he assured the DJ.
Specifically, Harrison spoke about the reported arguments had between McCartney and Lennon over the years.
Harrison said: “I think there may be what you’d term a little b***hiness, but that’s all it is. Just being b****y to each other. Childish. But I get on well with Ringo and John and I try my best to get on well with Paul. It’s just a matter of time, for everybody to work out their own problems, and once they’ve done that, I’m sure we’ll get back round the cycle again.”
Despite the relationships between The Beatles, the I, Me, Mine singer pointed out just how “great” the band’s companies were doing.
Together, the Fab Four started Apple Films and Apple Records to allow their finances and their creativities to flourish after they stopped touring. However, he also noted that these companies were a source of discontent for McCartney and the rest of the band, as well.
“It’s more of a personal thing that’s down to the management situation with Apple,” he revealed. “Because Paul, really it was his idea to do Apple… Then it got really chaotic and we had to do something about it.”
Harrison’s ex-wife Pattie Boyd revealed that Harrison confided in her about how upset he was during the final years of the band’s work together.
Boyd said Harrison saw McCartney, in particular, as “difficult”. She continued: “They would tolerate each other, but I think George basically didn’t like Paul’s personality. I just think they really didn’t love each other.”
On top of the constant arguments he had with McCartney, Boyd said Harrison’s joy in The Beatles was lost.
“The Beatles made him unhappy,” she recalled. “With the constant arguments. They were vicious to each other. That was really upsetting.”
Boyd went on to say that Harrison was “pushed to the background” while he was working with the band. “Like a little brother … He would come home from recording and be full of anger. It was a very bad state that he was in.”
Harrison himself corroborated these claims, adding: “It was the way the Beatles took off with Paul and John’s songs, and it made it very difficult for me get in. And also, I suppose at that time I didn’t have as much confidence when it came down to pushing my own material as I have now. So it took a while.It was whoever would be the heaviest would get the most songs done. So consequently, I couldn’t be bothered pushing, like, that much. You know, even on ‘Abbey Road’ for instance, we’d record about eight tracks before I got around to doing one of mine.”