Paul McCartney: ' I politicised The Beatles'

Singer claims he was the anti-war member

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Paul McCartney has said that he was responsible for politicising The Beatles.

The star claims he had a meeting with philosopher Bertrand Russell in the '60s and that triggered the band's interest in current affairs.

"We sort of stumbled into things," he told the journal Prospect. "For instance, Vietnam. Just when we were getting to be well known, someone said to me: 'Bertrand Russell is living not far from here in Chelsea, why don't you go and see him?' and so I just took a taxi down there and knocked on the door.

"He was fabulous. He told me about the Vietnam war – most of us didn't know about it, it wasn't yet in the papers – and also that it was a very bad war.

"I remember going back to the studio either that evening or the next day and telling the guys, particularly John [Lennon, about this meeting and saying what a bad war this was."

It had previously been accepted that Lennon was the political driving force behind the band and Tariq Ali, a former leader of Britain's anti-war movement, has disputed McCartney's claims.

He told The Sunday Times: "This is news to me. We never heard of Paul's views at the time. It was John Lennon who was concerned about the war. He never mentioned McCartney, and I never thought of asking him to join us."

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