The Beatles song that Paul McCartney walked out on

Dealing with The Beatles’ dissolution would never be simple for anyone. Not only did the Fab Four’s breakup leave a huge gap in pop music, but each member had to piece together their own solo careers after parting ways with their musical brothers, each with their own unique songwriting style. Paul McCartney had had enough of working on one iconic track, even though Abbey Road was the final time the band members would collaborate harmoniously in the studio.

Not that the tensions weren’t already at an all-time high. The band grew irritated with the material appearing on their albums as early as the Sgt Pepper sessions, and McCartney took the lead in producing the opulent concept album. Even though The White Album showed each member receiving their work on four sides of vinyl, the decision of what to leave off the record proved contentious. It resulted in heated disputes as well as the renting of separate studios so that each member could record independently.

The band didn’t believe in the material, so when they got into Twickenham Studios to finish the album that would eventually be called Let It Be, much of it was put on hold for a few years until it was released after the band broke up. To avoid disappointing their fans, McCartney persuaded his friends to record one last album under George Martin’s direction.

George Harrison would leave Abbey Road with the greatest songs, including the folk-pop gem “Here Comes the Sun” and the ideal love ballad “Something,” after years of being rebuffed. Considering that John Lennon and Yoko Ono had been producing avant-garde music at this period, it was only natural that his contributions were far more creative than those of the others.

Lennon’s song “Come Together,” which is based on Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me,” starts the album and is a masterful demonstration of the band’s skill. The song’s iconic bassline may have been created by McCartney, but he was unable to collaborate with his bandmates during the mixing stages.

Studio engineer Geoff Emerick remembered that McCartney chose to leave his bandmates to complete the track because he didn’t like where it was going. When McCartney played the electric piano part in the middle of the song, after recording the bassline, he broke.

Emerick clarified in his book Here, There, and Everywhere, “[Paul] would normally be manning the keyboards even if they were recording a Lennon song. Finally, in some frustration, he blurted out, ‘What do you want me to play on this track John?’. John’s response was, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll do the overdubs on this’. For a moment, I thought there was going to be an explosion. Instead, he contained himself, shrugged his shoulders, and simply walked out of the studio–one of the few times he left a session early.”

Though The Beatles’ output at Abbey Road would go on to become some of the best ever, there finally looked to be a breaking point in the animosity between McCartney and Lennon. Even while they could still create wonderful music together, their creative paths were gradually diverging.

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