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Paul McCartney Admits the Beatles Felt ‘Threatened’ by Yoko Ono

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It’s no secret that Yoko Ono‘s relationship with the Beatles was strained after John Lennon brought her into the band’s orbit. Looking back now, Paul McCartney admits her arrival left them feeling threatened.

“Most bands couldn’t handle that,” he told Rolling Stone. “We handled it, but not amazingly well, because we were so tight. We weren’t sexist, but girls didn’t come to the studio – they tended to leave us to it. When John got with Yoko, she wasn’t in the control room or to the side. It was in the middle of the four of us.”

Ono “sitting on the amps” while the Beatles worked on new material got them off on the wrong foot, but now McCartney says the two of them are “like mates” — although it took some work on his part. “I realized,” he admits, “any resistance was something I had to overcome.”

McCartney, who’s already starting to think about recording the follow-up to his 2013 New LP, spoke with Rolling Stone as part of a recent media blitz that also included a discussion with the New York Times. Looking back on his career while discussing the challenges of building a satisfactory setlist after so many years — and hits — he also offered his personal perspective on Guns N’ Roses‘ cover of his “Live and Let Die,” laughing off the way younger listeners can assume the latest act to record a song is the original artist.

“It’s funny, because when their version came out, my kids were in school, and they had a lot of defending to do, because all the kids said, ‘Great song, ‘Live and Let Die!’'” recalled McCartney. “They said, ‘My dad did that!’ ‘No way, it’s Guns N’ Roses!’ I was happy they did it. I thought it was a nice little nod. I’m glad to hear our pyro is bigger and better.”

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