Michael Jackson and George Harrison discuss music in 1979
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After The Beatles split up in 1970 there was a lot of disagreement and bad blood between them. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were suing one another and the other members of the band, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, over the rights of the band’s songs. Harrison, who was dubbed the Quiet Beatle for his unassuming demeanour, decided he was not going to take these lawsuits quietly.
Harrison wrote a new song for his fourth studio album, Living in the Material World, in 1973 which was blatantly aimed at his former bandmates.
The track, Sue Me Sue You Blues, was a folky telling-off that hounded his pals.
Harrison included lyrics such as: “Bring your lawyer / And I’ll bring mine / Get together, and we could have a bad time.”
He also wrote: “Sign it on the dotted line / Hold your Bible in your hand / Now all that’s left is to / Find yourself a new band.”
Harrison was not happy with how his former friends were acting, and they all noticed his reaction.
McCartney later spoke about the situation between the band.
He said: “Around that time, we had millions of [law]suits flying here, flying there.
“George wrote the Sue Me, Sue You Blues about it. I’d kicked it all off originally, having to sue the other three Beatles in the High Court, and that opened Pandora’s box.”
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McCartney admitted: “After that, everybody just seemed to be suing everybody.” (Via Rolling Stone)
The singer started off trading lawsuits to stop the band’s songs from being given to music industry executive Allen Klein.
He explained years later: “The only way for me to save The Beatles and [record label] Apple … was to sue the band.
“If I hadn’t done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein. The only way I was given to get us out of that was to do what I did.”
McCartney added: “I said: ‘Well, I’ll sue Allen Klein.’ And I was told I couldn’t because he wasn’t party to it. ‘You’ve got to sue The Beatles.’” (Via GQ)
So that is exactly what he did.
It seems like all of the band took this entire lawsuit ordeal quite personally, prompting Harrison to lash out with Sue Me Sue You Blues.
The ongoing lawsuits affected McCartney as well, however.
McCartney continued: “As you can imagine, that was horrendous and it gave me some terrible times. I drank way too much and did too much of everything.
“And it was crazy, but I knew that was the only thing to do, because there was no way I was going to save it for me, because there was no way I was going to work that hard for all my life and see it all vanish in a puff of smoke.”
He added: “I also knew that, if I managed to save it, I would be saving it for them too. Because they were about to give it away. They loved this guy Klein. And I was saying: ‘He’s a f*****g idiot.’”
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