Paul McCartney Recalls His First Reaction To John Lennon’s Passing

Paul McCartney wasn’t the only one to lose a loved one when Mark David Chapman pointed his gun at John Lennon and pulled the trigger more than forty years ago. The Beatles lost a former bandmate, the world lost a talented musician, and Paul lost his best friend. So during a recent chat with Sirius XM’s the Beatles channel, the rocker discussed what it was like hearing about Lennon’s death and how it led to him composing, ‘Here Today.’

“When John died, it was so difficult,” the singer emphasized as he honored his late friend’s memory. “It was difficult for everyone in the world because he was such a loved character and such a crazy guy. He was so special.”

He continued by recalling the day Lennon was shot. Paul said, “I remember getting home from the studio on the day that we’d heard the news he died and turning the TV on and seeing people say, ‘Well, John Lennon was this and what he was was this. It was like; I don’t know, I can’t be one of those people. I can’t just go on TV and say what John meant to me. It was just too deep. It’s just too much. I couldn’t put it into words.”

The Beatles icon mentioned that once he came out of the initial shock, he went to his recording studio and started to compose what would be, ‘Here Today.’ Paul McCartney recalled, “I found a room and just sat on the wooden floor in a corner with my guitar and just started to play the opening chords to ‘Here Today.’”

McCartney then started to discuss the lyrics of the song and what they meant by recalling a particular old memory with Lennon. Paul disclosed, “‘The night we cried,’ that was to do with a time when we were in Key West down in Florida, and for some reason, I think it was like a hurricane, something had been delayed, and we couldn’t play for a couple of days, so we holed up in a little Motel.”

The rocker continued, “So what would we do? Well, we’d have a drink, and we would get drunk. We got drunk and started to get kind of emotional. On the way to that, there was a lot of soul-searching. We told each other a few truths, you know, ‘Well, I love you,’ ‘I love you, man,’ ‘I love that you said that,’ and we opened up. So that was kind of special to me. I think that was really one of the only times that ever happened.”

So it was pretty challenging for Paul to lose his bandmate and friend, and he struggled to discuss Lennon’s death right after the incident. After hearing the news, McCartney stepped away from the spotlight and dealt with his sorrow as an artist by getting into the studio to compose a song inspired by a lovely night with Lennon.