Fans of the Beatles may know the story of the iconic band’s breakup. In 1969, John Lennon told Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison in private that he wanted out of the band. Months later, McCartney announced his own decision to leave the group, and the news of the breakup went public.
According to Lennon’s former girlfriend, May Pang, the final nail in the Beatles’ coffin didn’t come until 1974. As Pang noted, Lennon signed the final documents to dissolve the band in the unlikeliest of places during their Christmas holiday. Here’s the story of Lennon’s final moments with the Beatles in Disney World.
What caused the Beatles to call it quits?
According to McCartney, quite a few reasons factored into the Beatles’ decision to disband. On April 10, 1970, McCartney cited “personal differences, business differences, musical differences” and his desire for more family time as the reasons for his departure from the band.
The bassist did not provide specifics, but many fans and Beatles experts have pointed to the potential roots of the band’s demise. As Showbiz Cheat Sheet previously reported, the band’s manager, Brian Epstein, died of a drug overdose in 1967, which caused a snowball effect of problems for the Beatles. The group began arguing more frequently, they had trouble working together on their final album, and they each wanted to work on their own solo projects.
Although the breakup announcement happened in 1970, many fans could see changes in the group years earlier. The band stopped touring in 1966 due to uncomfortable conditions on the road. Additionally, many fans believed that Yoko Ono’s position in Lennon’s life caused a rift between him and his bandmates.
John Lennon’s ex-girlfriend, May Pang, says the breakup happened in Disney World
In Pang’s 2008 book, Instamatic Karma: Photographs Of John Lennon, Lennon’s former girlfriend revealed the moment she saw Lennon end the Beatles for good. The excerpt, as republished in Daily Mail, noted that Pang and Lennon skipped a meeting to finally dissolve the band in 1974.
According to Pang, Lennon wanted to skip the meeting because “the stars [weren’t] right.” The decision caused an argument between Lennon and Harrison, but the band still attended one last party at Harrison’s house and hugged for the final time. The next day, Lennon and Pang left “to spend Christmas in Florida” at Disney World.
“On December 29, 1974, the voluminous documents were brought down to John in Florida by one of Apple’s lawyers,” Pang wrote.
Pang added that after a quick phone call with Lennon’s lawyer to go over some final thoughts, Lennon signed the paperwork to dissolve the Beatles for good.
“He finally picked up his pen and, in the unlikely backdrop of the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World, ended the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history by simply scrawling John Lennon at the bottom of the page,” Pang concluded.
‘The Beatles: Get Back’ documentary will show their last performance together
Fans will soon have the chance to celebrate the Beatles’ final days with Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back documentary. As IndieWire noted, the documentary will show footage of the Beatles’ final show, from planning it to performing atop the roof at Apple Corps. headquarters. For the first time, fans will be able to watch the concert in full. The three-part film will air on Disney+ in November 2021.