Sir Paul McCartney has spoken out about his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon, saying he regrets the way the image of Lennon has been formed since his death in 1980.
In an interview with the Independent, McCartney said Lennon was a far more complex character than the public image of him suggests.
“There is this period of John which is all pre-Beatles, pre-huge fame, pre-drugs – and it is another John completely – that was always right there until the end,” McCartney said.
“He got much sweeter, too, once he settled in New York. Once he was reunited with Yoko, and they had Sean (Lennon, son), he became this sweet personality again then when he was more comfortable with himself.
“But the acerbic John is the one we know and love, you know, because he was clever with it, so it was very attractive,” he added.
Towards the end of the interview, McCartney alluded that he preferred to remember Lennon as the person he was like when they began writing songs together.
“I have more than a slight affection for the John I knew then, when we were first writing songs, when we would try and do things the old songwriters had done.”
“I slightly regret the way John’s image has formed, and because he died so tragically it has become set in concrete. The acerbic side was there but it was only part of him. He was also such a sweet, lovely man – a really sweet guy.”