Paul McCartney Says John Lennon ‘Worried’ About How He’d Be Remembered
Paul McCartney recalled a moment in which Beatles bandmate John Lennon admitted he was worried about how he’d be remembered – and admitted that, at the age of 76, he still carried his own concerns about his career.
The revelation took place during McCartney’s first-ever 60 Minutes profile, broadcast last night. CBS had already previewed the show with quotes about how Lennon complimented his colleague’s songwriting only once.
“I remember him once, particularly strangely, out of the blue, saying, ‘I worry about how people are going to remember me,’” McCartney said. “And I was like, ‘John, listen to me, look at me. You’re going to be remembered as one of the greatest people.’”
He also noted that "it doesn’t matter how elevated you get or your reputation gets, you still worry about things. … I've heard people say that about me. ‘Oh, you know, he wants to be liked.’ But I'm going, ‘Doesn't everyone?’”
McCartney recalled an example that took place just after the Beatles had completed their Revolver album in 1966. “I got the horrors one day,” he said. “I thought it was outta tune. I thought the whole album was outta tune. I listened to it and for some reason just, like, oh my God. And I went to the guys, I said, ‘It's outta tune. It's outta – I don't know what we're gonna do.” You know? … [T]hey got a bit worried and listened to it. They said, ‘No, it isn’t.’ I go, ‘Oh, okay.’”
He took some of his more recent worries as one of the inspirations for his latest album, Egypt Station, compressing his thoughts into the song “I Don’t Know.” “Sometimes one of the great things [that] motivates a song is anguish," he explained. "You’ve just been through something, like, either very annoying or disappointing, or worrying … ”
The new lyrics, he said, were true. “I was sincere about crows at my window and dogs at my door, and everything was getting a bit much,” he noted. “I was able to sort of tell it to the piano.”
The 50th anniversary version of the Beatles’ White Album will be released on Nov. 9.