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Et tu, John and George?

Jour­nal­ist Mikal Gilmore dis­cuss­es the research of his Rolling Stone cov­er arti­cle, "Why the Bea­t­les Broke Up."

What I found most trou­bling, most trag­ic, in all of this was two things: Both Lennon and Har­ri­son (Lennon, clear­ly, in par­tic­u­lar) did their best to sab­o­tage the Bea­t­les from mid-1968 onward, and when it all came irrev­o­ca­bly apart, I believe that both men regret­ted what they had wrought. I don't think that John Lennon and George Har­ri­son (but Lennon, again, in par­tic­u­lar) tru­ly meant the Bea­t­les to end, even though they might not have known it in the moment. I think they meant to shift the bal­ance of pow­er, I think they meant for the Bea­t­les to become, in a sense, a more casu­al form of col­lab­o­ra­tion, and I think they clear­ly intend­ed to rein in Paul McCart­ney. But they over­played their hand and — there's no way around it — they treat­ed McCart­ney shame­ful­ly dur­ing 1969, and unfor­giv­ably in the ear­ly months of 1970.