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Paul McCartney reminisces about John Lennon, The Beatles on ‘Late Show’

WATCH: Paul McCartney speaks with Stephen Colbert about John Lennon and fame

On Monday evening, Paul McCartney paid a visit to the Ed Sullivan Theater — the landmark New York City venue where The Beatles made their legendary live U.S. debut 55 years ago on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The 77-year-old rocker was in town for an appearance on The Late Show to talk with host Stephen Colbert about his first-ever children’s book, Hey Grandude!

Since 1993, The Late Show has been filmed at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. McCartney has made a small number of stops there, including multiple interviews and very select performances, in the years after The Beatles’ iconic 1964 television performance.

Though the pair also discussed McCartney’s brand-new book, Colbert, 55, was candid about his eagerness to discuss The Beatles and the Eight Days a Week singer’s legacy.

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Paul McCartney (left) and John Lennon at the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards held at the Dorchester in London, England. Sept. 13, 1964.
Paul McCartney (left) and John Lennon at the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards held at the Dorchester in London, England. Sept. 13, 1964. William Vanderson / Fox Photos / Getty Images

During the four-part interview, McCartney revealed that he still has dreams about his former bandmate John Lennon and that he sometimes felt like the “villain” in the wake of the band’s 1970 breakup.

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“Aside from interviews … when you’re asked about John Lennon, how often do you think about [him]?” Colbert asked.

“Quite often,” McCartney said. “I dream about him. I love it when people revisit you in your dreams.”

He continued: “I’m often with John, just talking about doing something and I’ll go to get my Hofner bass, ready to play, and it’ll be covered in sticky tape… Y’know? Dreams.”

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“When you’ve had such a deep relationship like that for so long… I have a lot of dreams about John, and they’re always good,” he said.

Colbert followed up by asking McCartney if he had ever written songs in his dreams. He then told Colbert that Yesterday (1965) came to him in a dream.

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Colbert later pulled out a photo of Lennon and McCartney smiling together during a writing session. He asked: “Do you remember this moment?”

“I do, yeah,” replied McCartney. “That’s a very special moment for me, actually.

“When The Beatles broke up, a lot of the talk was that I was the villain and that John and I didn’t really get along. There was a lot of down talk about it all because everyone was sad that The Beatles broke up. I kind of bought into it.”

A photograph of (L-R) John Lennon and Paul McCartney during a writing session. Stephen Colbert showed McCartney the photo during an interview on ‘The Late Show’ on Sept. 23, 2019.
A photograph of (L-R) John Lennon and Paul McCartney during a writing session. Stephen Colbert showed McCartney the photo during an interview on ‘The Late Show’ on Sept. 23, 2019. The Late Show / YouTube

“That you were the villain?” Colbert asked.

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“A little bit,” the Let It Be singer said. “Because when you’re called it enough, you start thinking: ‘Well, maybe I was?’

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“I had to do a lot of wrangling between ‘was I? Wasn’t I? Did I know John? Were we friends?’ Knowing that really we were [friends], but there were so many rumours about it,” he said.

“And that photo, when I saw that, I was like, ‘Yes, we were friends.’ And it’s a beautiful photo, for me, because it just reminds me of us working together and how cool it was.”

WATCH: BTS’s Beatles-inspired performance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’

BTS’s Beatles-inspired performance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’
BTS’s Beatles-inspired performance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’

“Do you remember what song this was that you were working on?” asked Colbert.

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“No,” said McCartney. The audience erupted into laughter. He quipped to the host: “Do you?”

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McCartney was later asked if he had a chance to see the recent Beatles-inspired film Yesterday. He said he had seen it and had been invited to a number of screenings, however McCartney opted to “creep” into a cinema with his wife, Nancy Shevell, to see it “with people” rather than at a “corporate” event.

“It was a pretty good plug for me,” McCartney joked.

Paul McCartney performs at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on July 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Audette, FILE)
Paul McCartney performs at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on July 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Audette, FILE).

McCartney’s full four-part interview from The Late Show can be seen above.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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