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This summer, the Library of Congress announced that former record executive Joe Smith had donated the collection of interviews with 200 music industry giants for his 1988 book Off The Record. The Library uploaded the first group of interviews online this week, revealing fascinating looks into the minds of stars like Steven Tyler, Graham Nash, Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono.
Ono’s comments are particularly interesting, since she discusses the breakup of the Beatles and how it affected her late husband John Lennon. “For John it was like a divorce,” she said in the interview, reports Rolling Stone. “I think he was feeling very good about it, as if a big weight was off him. At the same time, he was very proud of the group. He had an extremely high opinion about each one, which might be surprising.”
Ono has always been blamed by many for breaking up the group, but she explained, “Each one of them [was] getting independent,” noting that Lennon was the first to leave. She said that McCartney was the only one trying to keep them together.
“Paul was the only one trying to hold the Beatles together. But the other three thought Paul would hold the Beatles together as his band,” she explained. “They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like.”
She added that the breakup did affect her, since Lennon “expected all that to be replaced by me.”
McCartney has publicly defended Ono, most recently during an interview with David Frost. “She certainly didn't break the group up, the group was breaking up,” he explained, praising Ono’s influence on Lennon’s solo work.