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John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr made one of the world’s biggest bands — the Beatles. They broke records with songs like “Twist and Shout” and added social commentary into “Get Back.” 

After several years of performing together, Lennon felt his work with the Beatles felt like a “tape loop.” Here’s what we learned from Skywriting by Word of Mouth.

Some Beatles members left the band before the Beatles officially disbanded

Portrait of British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and his wife, artist and musician Yoko Ono at an unspecified rally Rowland
Portrait of British musician John Lennon (1940 – 1980) and his wife, artist and musician Yoko Ono at an unspecified rally Rowland | Scherman/Getty Images

The Beatles earned international recognition for their music, recording music for years until the band started facing problems. Ringo Starr and Harrison both briefly exited the Beatles at different times. 

Harrison’s departure, as seen in the Disney+ documentary series, The Beatles: Get Back, took place right before their iconic rooftop performance at the Apple Corps headquarters. Both artists returned, with the Beatles officially disbanding in 1970, with McCartney’s “self-interview” used to share the news. 

When asked about the reason for the break, McCartney wrote, “personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

John Lennon felt like his life with the Beatles became a ‘tape loop’

In Skywriting by Word of Mouth, Lennon detailed more of his experience with The Beatles, as well as his decision to leave his first wife after meeting Yoko Ono. That includes his perspective on the band breaking up — and what led to that decision.

“My life with the Beatles had become a trap,” Lennon wrote. “A tape loop. I had made previous short excursions on my own, writing books, helping convert them into a play for the National Theatre. I’d even made a movie without the others (a lousy one at that, directed by that zany man in search of power, Dick Lester).” 

“But I had made the movie more in reaction to the fact that the Beatles had decided to stop touring than with real independence in mind,” he continued. “Although, even then [1965], my eye was already on freedom.”

In the meantime, Lennon got a divorce and married Ono. The Beatles released Let It Be in 1970. Then, the band officially broke up.

“Basically, was panicked by the idea of having ‘nothing to do,’ Lennon continued in his writing. “What is life, without touring? Life, that’s what.”


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John Lennon released solo music after the Beatles broke up

Following his run with the Beatles, Lennon created music with Yoko Ono and by himself. That includes the 1971 release “Imagine,” which currently holds over 470 million Spotify plays. Ono and Lennon collaborated on the holiday song “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” and participated in peaceful protests like their “bed-in.” 

Lennon also wrote the short story Skywriting by Word of Mouth, now available for purchase at most major book retailers and the John Lennon Official Website