And he loved him — but Sir Paul McCartney never revealed his feelings to boyhood chum and celebrated songwriting partner John Lennon.
The global celebrity revealed intimate details of his relationship with his late Beatles bandmate at the Southbank Centre in London Friday, where he was promoting a new book, The Sunday Times reported.
“As 16-year-old, 17-year-old Liverpool kids, you could never say that. It just wasn’t done,” McCartney said. “So I never did just say, ‘John, I love you, man.’ I never got ’round to it. Now it’s great just to realize how much I love this man.”
The revelation comes with plenty of irony, considering the duo is widely considered the greatest song writing tandem in music history and penned a long list of hit songs about love: “Love Me Do,” “She Loves You” and “All You Need is Love” notable among them.
His new book, “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present,” released this week, focuses on many of the words in those songs, still known by hundreds of millions of music fans around the world today, more than 50 years after the Beatles parted ways.
“Now the Beatles’ record career is finished, I’m like a fan. I remember how great it was to work with him and how great he was,” said McCartney, “Because you are not messing around here; you are not just singing with Joe Bloggs. You are singing with John Lennon.”
McCartney plays guitar left-handed, while Lennon was right-handed. So when the two sat across from each other writing songs, “it was like looking in a mirror,” Sir Paul said, according to the report.
He also disputed reports he was responsible for the break up of the Beatles in 1970 and said that Lennon “instigated” the split.
Lennon and McCartney met in the summer of 1957 at a church in Liverpool. Lennon was shot dead in Manhattan on Dec. 8, 1980, at age 40. The songwriters had reconciled before Lennon’s assassination, the report states.