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Has Paul ever told the real story of hearing about John's death...?
18 March 2016
12.20am
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Ron Nasty
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I was listening to Paul tell the story of how he's heard of John's death. Linda's taken the kids off to school, his manager rings and tells him to sit down. Linda gets back from the school run, soon as she sees Paul she knows something bad has happened.

Is this the truth?

I just get to wondering because...

...the school run would be between 8 and 9

...the BBC World Service had beeb broadcasting about John's death from about 5 a.m.

...George, in the same time zone as Paul, says he was woken by a call in the middle of the night, and John was still dead when he got up

...Yoko says her first calls were to Mimi and Paul

So, why does Paul tell a story about not learning the news until he was about to munch on his cereal after seeing Linda rush the kids out for the school run?

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18 March 2016
1.23am
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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I think the reason might be the same reason he's spun a tale about the day he got that scar: he doesn't feel like letting the whole world know the truth because it's too personal/embarrassing/painful/whatnot. There are some things he just wants to keep to himself.

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18 March 2016
6.02am
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Zig
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Right - only Macca knows.

Contradictions like this one make their story all the more fascinating. Sifting through all of them in an effort to piece together a timeline must be maddeningly time consuming. Understanding this without doubt makes me appreciate what Mark Lewisohn is going through and why it takes so long to complete/confirm research.

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18 March 2016
6.12am
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O Boogie
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Another thing that comes to my mind is his callous remark after he got to know that his Mom died. I think his reaction was something like that, and maybe he doesn't want us to know whatever it was. Nonetheless, it's quite obvious that despite the callous remark, his mom's death affected him very badly, and I'm sure John's death was something that hit him like a lightning bolt as well. If that's not something he wants to disclose, then I think I can understand. The public will chew him up and throw him out.

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18 March 2016
9.47am
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meanmistermustard
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JPM-Fangirl said
I think the reason might be the same reason he's spun a tale about the day he got that scar: he doesn't feel like letting the whole world know the truth because it's too personal/embarrassing/painful/whatnot. There are some things he just wants to keep to himself.

I'd agree with this. Its something that Paul wants to keep private and therefore doesn't wants to divulge to the world only to be scrutinised over. I also doubt he wants to go back into a world of pain, sadness and shock that John's death caused just to please historians and fans. I'm sure he will think of John often and no doubt wants to think of the good times and not one of the worst moments of his life.

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11 October 2016
4.57pm
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Leppo
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Perhaps someone can clear this up for me. I seem to remember finding two instances of Paul making his "It's a drag" comment the day after Lennon died. There is one which is made presumably outside Air studios in Oxford Street but I have a recollection of seeing another clip where he is talking from a car window. Now I might have that wrong but I do remember coming across a separate quote which made my jaw drop because it meant it wasn't just an off the cuff comment. I admit I'm having trouble finding the other source as it was some time ago but perhaps someone else knows of it.

 

Also regarding the sequence of events there is also this comment from Richard Skinner who claims to have passed on the info: 

"When John Lennon was shot, I happened to have Paul McCartney 's home telephone number.

I phoned and he didn't know. I spoke to his butler or somebody like that and he passed on the news.

About three hours later, about eight o'clock in the morning, Paul McCartney phoned me in the Newsbeat office.

He said, 'Thank you for telling me - I can't talk about this.' So we never got an interview, but being the person to pass on that news was a bit of a weird one."

 

Isn't there also a quote from Linda where she says they always took the phone off the hook? This would have been before mobile phones.

Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

11 October 2016
6.23pm
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Remember, this was 36 yrs ago. Before iPhones, Reality TV, E! network, Facebook, Twitter etc etc wherein everyone is obliged to bear their innermost thoughts and feelings to the world on a minute by minute basis 24/7.

McCartney lost a brother in John. He will never have the urge to spill what was in his heart at that time. When he said "It's a drag..." he was basically telling the newsman to sod off and leave him alone. This is not a Kardashian Crisis to be discussed like it matters.

I don't belong to the Paul is an evil a55hole school of thought. Enjoy the music.

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11 October 2016
8.16pm
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I remember when I first heard about John's death, I was listening to the radio and they said he died. It's really sad that he only got to live for 40 years, it makes you wonder if he would've been against soldiers going into Afghanistan and Iraq if he lived long enough, as my older brother follows the word of John Lennon (although he takes most of his morals from the Bible) and he actually convinced my son not to join the military while all of that stuff was happening.

12 October 2016
1.46am
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Ahhh Girl
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Right at the end of the press thing where he says "It's a drag" about John's death he is getting into a car @Leppo.

There is a Paul interview in front of a car about George's death,. He doesn't say "It's a drag". Just that he is sad.

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12 October 2016
4.23am
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Leppo
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Thanks Ahhh Girl. I've seen the clip you mentioned although not the part with him getting in the car. No it's definitely another source I've come across but I can't remember where. Maybe it will come to me. I'm not suggesting Paul is evil SaxonMothersson but it does seem odd given Paul's expert media savviness that he would make that comment (especially if it was twice). 

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Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

12 October 2016
6.27am
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Starr Shine?
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I think it hit him fast, George he had weeks to prepare.

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12 October 2016
2.14pm
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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I don't think it's right to be judging Paul off his response. What did you want him to do? Break down and cry? There is no doubt that he was upset by John's death, but he doesn't have to put on a show for the world to know it's true. 

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12 October 2016
5.27pm
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SayaOtonashi
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Well clearly some people have taken it's a drag comment out of context clearly Paul didn't want to speak to the news comments. It's a shame people think your not genuine. I mean there have been a few times here has shown his reaction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....ka27OtF-H8

Paul just doesn't want to deal with the question at hand

13 October 2016
8.24am
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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So many people have suggested that Paul wasn't that upset, and that "it's a drag" was the evidence which clearly showed him to be a bastard.

Honestly though, can anyone say that this is not a deeply upset man? Just the look in his eyes makes me feel like crying; imagine how he must have felt...

2A3D1AEF00000578-3149771-Sir_Paul_in_his_first_interview_after_Lennon_s_death-m-10_1436065166546-1.jpgImage Enlarger

515557684-1.jpgImage Enlarger

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13 October 2016
9.03am
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Starr Shine?
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I think the fact that he didn't have some well crafted message to feed to the press hours after finding out is an example that shows he did/does care.

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13 October 2016
12.48pm
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Leppo
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I don't doubt that Paul did care for and love John and that the news hit him hard but I also think there is a possibility that he was manipulating the media with his comment which was such an odd thing to say.

Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

13 October 2016
1.18pm
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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What? I'm sorry, but are you barmy? The mere suggestion that Paul would be in any frame of mind to even think about manipulating the media - whatever that means - is preposterous! Sorry, but that was an asinine thing to suggest, @Leppo. 

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23 April 2018
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Timothy
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Starr Shine? said
I think the fact that he didn't have some well crafted message to feed to the press hours after finding out is an example that shows he did/does care.  

I think the 'drag' comment is something that John would say. I'm sure I've heard the phrase used by the Beatles in other interviews. It's flippant in nature and in my opinion it's actually paying tribute to John's personality in a way. Paul didn't address how he really felt. Those emotions were for Paul, and for Paul alone. If anyone in the media or fan base didn't think Paul was hurting they're crazy. 

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23 April 2018
5.39am
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If I'd just heard that my best friend had died (been assassinated at that) and some journo came to me looking for a quote,I would have done the same as Paul.

 

Yes,he's Paul McCartney ,a member of the greatest band ever,but at the end of the day,he's just a guy who was dealing with the shock of losing his best mate,and should have been left to grieve in peace. We all know how he would have reacted behind closed doors,with his family. He'd have been devastated,and the way he was made out to be a cold hearted so and so by the press because of one (in their opinion) flippant comment was out of order in my opinion. 

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23 April 2018
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People have very complicated reactions when someone dies, especially when it happens unexpectedly.  You all may recall in the LITMW documentary on HBO Tom Petty mentioned that he received a call when Roy Orbison passed away and George said something like "Aren't you relieved it wasn't you?" and Petty admitted that was true. As much as I am ashamed to admit it I too have sometimes felt a little sense of 'glad it wasn't me' when these things happen.  One may also, perhaps momentarily, feel relieved that a complicated or challenging relationship is no more.  I have read that these things are common but unfortunately no one feels like they can discuss them openly with someone who can help and instead may carry around tremendous guilt for this.

I am in no way saying Paul had that particular reaction but I believe his emotions are probably in the range that:

- immediately after hearing it, he was in shock and had no good words and didn't feel like parsing out his emotions for the world.  Paul often brings up that he's a Liverpool guy - it's in his very DNA. I could imagine that detailed discussions of mourning are just not done, from his style of upbringing.

- later on, as time has passed, he may feel like that is a singular moment in his life, perhaps even one in which he has some regrets about his initial response or feelings, and again, does not want to detail them for a world which will not understand them anyway. Or will just find more ammunition for the 'Callous Paul' prejudice they may have.

I believe we all understand Paul doesn't owe us anything he's not willing to give.

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