Sir Paul has opened up on the mental health issues he believed his bandmates faced (Picture: PA)
Sir Paul McCartney believes The Beatles battled with their mental health amid Beatlemania and following fame, suggesting a song written by John Lennon in the 60s was a ‘cry for help’.
Opening up about the iconic group – which also included members Sir Ringo Starr and the late George Harrison – Sir Paul said the band was more likely to mock their issues than have a discussion, but he still thinks they came out of their global fame and its associated problems ‘reasonably well adjusted’.
Still, asked if he thinks, with hindsight, The Beatles had mental health issues, he told The Sunday Times: ‘Yes, I think so. But you talked about it through your songs.’
Mentioning the group’s 1965 hit Help!, he went on: ‘You know, John would. “Help! I need somebody,” he wrote. And I thought, “Well, it’s just a song,” but it turned out to be a cry for help.’
Sir Paul said: ‘Same kind of thing happened with me, mainly after the break-up of the band. All of us went through periods when we weren’t as happy as we ought to be.
‘Ringo had a major drinking problem. Now he’s Mr Sober of the Year! But you know there were a lot of things we had to work through, but you’re right — you didn’t talk about mental health.
The band split in 1970 (Picture: Getty Images)
Sir Paul thinks the group came out the other side of Beatlemania relatively unscathed (Picture: AP)
‘It was something really that, as four guys, you were more likely to make fun of than be serious about. And the making fun of it was to hide from it.
‘But having said all that, we were reasonably well adjusted, I think.’
The group split acrimoniously in 1970 and though Sir Paul – who recently released his latest album McCartney III – was pleased he repaired his friendship with John before he was murdered in 1980, he doesn’t think they’d ever have reunited even if the Imagine hitmaker was still alive.
He added: ‘We made a decision when the Beatles folded that we weren’t going to pick it up again. So we switched off from the Beatles.
‘You talk about something coming full circle that is very satisfying; let’s not spoil it by doing something that might not be as good.
‘It was a conscious decision to leave well enough alone, so I don’t really think we would have. But who knows? We could have.
‘We had certainly got our friendship back, which was a great blessing for me, and I now will often think, if I’m writing a song, ‘OK, John — I’ll toss it over to you. What line comes next?’ So I’ve got a virtual John that I can use.’
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