Paul McCartney has admitted that he feared for his own life after John Lennon was killed.
The former Beatle said he was on “high alert” when Mark Chapman gunned down Lennon outside his New York home in 1980, but said his own house in rural south England was still largely unprotected and in a remote woodland location.
McCartney said he was left terrified days after the killing when he spotted several armed men advancing on the property.
McCartney told Uncut: “It was weird because in the days that followed it, I was sitting in the house. We had a little perimeter fence, mainly to keep foxes out, because we had some chickens. I’m aware of security threats, so I’m on high alert and I look out and I see someone with a fucking gun, like a machine gun, an assault rifle – ‘Wha?!’ He’s in full military gear, and then I see there’s a whole patrol of them. I’m going, ‘Holy shit, what’s going on?’.”
He added: “I don’t know what I did. I think I rang the police. It turned out to be army manoeuvres. [They said] ‘Oh, sorry. Are these your woods?’ I’d put two and two together and made a thousand. God, I don’t know how I lived through it. You think you’d just faint dead on the ground. But they were all there, coming through these woods.”
McCartney recently admitted that he felt “frustrated” by the change in public perception of Lennon following his death.
He added: “Post-Beatles George did his record, John did his, I did mine, Ringo did his. We were equal. When John got shot, aside from the pure horror of it, the lingering thing was, OK, well now John’s a martyr. A JFK.”
“So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, ‘Well, he was The Beatles’. And me, George and Ringo would go, ‘Er, hang on. It’s only a year ago we were all equal-ish'”.