Paul McCartney talks about masturbating with John Lennon and how The Beatles’ ‘raunchy’ behaviour made the band closer

The Beatles bassist has discussed the group's sexual activities in a new interview

Paul McCartney has discussed masturbating with John Lennon and how The Beatles‘ “raunchy” behaviour brought the band closer together.

The band’s bassist released his new solo album ‘Egypt Station‘ last week (September 7). In a four-star review, NME described the record as “an album of upbeat and winsome notes, and it’s simple and honest – as if one of the most famous people in the world has left his diary open for us to read.”

Speaking to GQ, McCartney spoke about an activity he previously revealed in his 1997 biography, Many Years From Now. “What it was, was over at John’s house, and it was just a group of us,” he explained. “And instead of just getting roaring drunk and partying – I don’t even know if we were staying over or anything – we were all just in these chairs, and the lights were out, and somebody started masturbating, so we all did.”

In the group were McCartney, Lennon, and three of Lennon’s friends, all of whom would shout out names as they were engaged in the masturbation session. “We were just, ‘Brigitte Bardot!’ ‘Whoo!’ and then everyone would thrash a bit more,” McCartney said.

He added that Lennon would shout names like Winston Churchill’s to put his friends off and that the activity was “a one-off or maybe it was like a two-off.” “It wasn’t a big thing,” he said. “But, you know, it was just the kind of thing you didn’t think much of. It was just a group. Yeah, it’s quite raunchy when you think about it.

“There’s so many things like that from when you’re a kid that you look back on and you’re, ‘Did we do that?’ But it was good harmless fun. It didn’t hurt anyone. Not even Brigitte Bardot.”

The icon also discussed stories that the Beatles watched guitarist George Harrison lose his virginity aged 17 and that they had applauded him when he was done. “I think that’s true,” he said. “The thing is, these stories, particularly Beatles stories, they get to be legendary, and I do have to check: Wait a minute. I know we had one bed and two sets of bunks, and if one of the guys brought a girl back, they could just be in the bed with a blanket over them, and you wouldn’t really notice much except a little bit of movement. I don’t know whether that was George losing his virginity – it might have been.”

McCartney added the band didn’t really have orgies “to [his] knowledge, but there were “sexual encounters of the celestial kind, and there were groupies.” He discussed a time where he had a threesome in Las Vegas but said group sex didn’t “appeal to [him].”

“I think John was a little more that way, because thinking back, I remember there was someone in a club that he’d met, and they’d gone back to the house because the wife fancied John, wanted to have sex with him, so that happened, and John discovered the husband was watching,” he recalled. “That was called ‘kinky’ in those days.

“So I think maybe John experienced a bit more of that than I did. Tell you the truth, I just didn’t fancy it, that kind of thing. Someone else’s wife? I definitely wouldn’t want the husband to know. You know, that seems sensible to me. Am I too sensible? I don’t know. Mine wasn’t particularly crazy but it was a lot of fun. And there was a lot of it. So that was good enough for me.”

The star explained that he thought The Beatles having these shared experiences was good for the band. “I think in the end this was one of the strengths of the Beatles, this enforced closeness which I always liken to army buddies,” he said. “Because you’re all in the same barracks. We were always very close and on top of each other, which meant you could totally read each other.

“In music, it made us a very tight band, but as friends, it made us able to read each other.”

Elsewhere in the interview, McCartney also discussed Damon Albarn’s feelings on his collaboration with Kanye West, saying he doesn’t “listen to people”.