Paul McCartney: 'I regret the way John Lennon's image has been formed'

Singer opens up about the public perception of his former bandmate

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Paul McCartney has said that he regrets the way that the image of his old Beatles bandmate John Lennon has been formed since his death.

Speaking to the Independent, the singer said that Lennon – who was recently voted NME's Ultimate Musical Icon of the last 60 years – was a much more complicated character than the public image of him suggests.

"There is this period of John which is all pre-Beatles, pre-huge fame, pre-drugs – and it is another John completely – that was always right there until the end," he said. "He got much sweeter, too, once he settled in New York. Since he was reunited with Yoko, and they had Sean [Lennon, son], he became this sweet personality again then when he was more comfortable with himself.

"But the acerbic John is the one we know and love, you know, because he was clever with it, so it was very attractive," he added. "But, for me, I have more than a slight affection for the John I knew then, when we were first writing songs, when we would try and do things the old songwriters had done."

McCartney concluded:

I slightly regret the way John's image has formed, and because he died so tragically it has become set in concrete. The acerbic side was there but it was only part of him. He was also such a sweet, lovely man – a really sweet guy.


Yesterday, it was reported that McCartney had told the publication that he always felt there was something "a little bit suspect" about the late, disgraced Radio 1 DJ and former Top Of The Pops host Jimmy Savile. He also unveiled a special festive recording of 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)' – click below to watch the clip exclusively on NME.com.

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Video: Paul McCartney - 'The Christmas Song'

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