The Beatles broke up in 1970 after releasing their 13th and final album, Let It Be. The band had been having a lot of problems in the years that preceded, with incessant arguing and even lawsuits filed against one another. But John Lennon knew the heartbreaking split was coming years before it actually happened.
Lennon felt the band’s days were numbered from August 27, 1967, when Brian Epstein died.
Epstein was the band’s manager, and the man who discovered The Beatles down a dusty alleyway in Liverpool, UK. He pushed them to change their look, replaced their drummer with Ringo Starr, and got them their first number-one singles. He was extremely close with every member of the band – particularly Lennon – so when he died in 1967 the Fab Four were devastated.
Epstein was found dead at his home aged 32. He suffered a combined alcohol and barbiturate overdose. The death was ruled accidental.
Lennon spoke candidly about learning of Epstein’s death, and what he felt it meant for the band.
In fact, after The Beatles released The White Album in November 1968, Lennon felt as if the band was completely over. He gloomily announced: “We broke up then.” Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come for The Beatles.
Lennon looked back on the vacuum of power left by Epstein and remembered how Paul McCartney stepped up to take his place.
“Paul took over and supposedly led us,” Lennon said. “But what is leading us, when we went round in circles?”
Lennon later went on to describe these circumstances as “the disintegration” of The Beatles.
A matter of months later, on April 10, 1970, The Beatles announced their split. McCartney announced in a press release that he was no longer working with the band. Legal disputes continued throughout the end of the year before the band members began working on their solo music.
While rumours of a reunion continued to plague the band throughout the 1970s, they never got back together.