Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s feuding is something well documented and part of the Beatles story. However, songwriting together was not the only time in which they fought – as even their solo albums featured clear feuding songs. On Sir Paul’s second album, Ram, there was one which started a monumental feud.
By the time the Beatles broke up, all the band members had already released solo albums.
In 1971, Sir Paul released his second album, Ram, in the follow up to his debut solo album, and included his wife Linda Sir Paul in the songs.
In the song Too Many People, Sir Paul took some very clear digs at Lennon, especially with the lines “too many people preaching practises,” and “you took your lucky break and broke it in two.”
Speaking to Mojo in 2001, Macca said: “It’s nothing, it’s so harmless really, just little digs. But the first line is about ‘too many people preaching practices.’
The song which sparked Lennon-McCartney feud
“I felt John and Yoko [Ono, Lennon’s wife] were telling everyone what to do. And I felt we didn’t need to be told what to do.
“The whole tenor of the Beatles thing had been, like, to each his own. Freedom. Suddenly it was ‘You should do this.’
“It was just a bit the wagging finger, and I was pissed off with it. So that one got to be a thing about them.”
Extra to this, Sir Paul also was claimed to have mocked Lennon and Ono in a full-page advertisement in musical press, where they were shown wearing clown costumes and wrapped in a bag.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Lennon noticed this and wrote a response song, How Do You Sleep? on his 1971 album Imagine.
The song is clearly angry and scathing about Sir Paul, and included some not-so-kind lyrics.
Lennon spoke about the urban legend that Macca died and was replaced with a lookalike, singing: “So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise, you better see right through that mother’s eyes.
“Those freaks was right when they said you was dead, the one mistake you made was in your head.”
The singer also mocked Sir Paul’s songwriting, singing: “The only thing you done was yesterday, and since you’ve gone you’re just another day.”
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
He continued to mock Sir Paul by calling his work “muzak,” saying his fame will not last.
Lennon added: “A pretty face may last a year or two, but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do.
“The sound you make is muzak to my ears, you must have learned something in all those years.”
However, despite this bad blood which bubbled up, even leading to Lennon writing an angry letter to Macca and his wife Linda, it is believed the pair eventually patched things up in a surprise jam session in 1974.
It has been reported that while Lennon was separated from Ono, and living with his girlfriend May Pang, Sir Paul and his wife Linda surprised them at a recording studio in LA.
Paul McCartney with his wife Linda
The pair started jamming, reportedly also with Steve Wonder present, and though it was only a step forward, by 1980, Lennon said of Sir Paul: “He’s like a brother. I love him.
“I would do anything for him. I think he would do anything for me.”
After Lennon’s death, despite attempts to reverse songwriting credits on Beatles songs to McCartney-Lennon, Sir Paul declared in 2003: “I’m happy with the way it is and always has been.
“Lennon and McCartney is still the rock ‘n’ roll trademark I’m proud to be a part of – in the order it has always been.”