Behind The George Harrison Song That Expressed His Anger Towards Paul McCartney

It's probably fair to say that each of the Fab Four achieved a sort of musical immortality thanks to their time with the Beatles. At the 2022 Glastonbury festival, Yahoo! News reports, Paul McCartney was the star of the show, the oldest musician to headline the event in its history. The 80-year-old's set reached a viewership of 3.9 million people on the UK's BBC One, and the weekend as a whole shattered streaming records.

Still, it's not all about flexing a life-long license to rock out and being incredibly rich. the Beatles, of course, were and remain adored around the world, perhaps the most beloved band in history. According to Britannica, the term "Beatlemania" began to be used by the British press as early as 1963, and the scale of it all just increased from there.

At the same time, though, the megastardom ride that the quartet found themselves on could be very, very cruel. Many dark days awaited the band that they may never have foreseen, and the relationship between them was tested to breaking point at times. In one particular song, George Harrison would make the fury he felt towards Paul McCartney all too plain.

The Beatles' bitterness grew towards the end of the band's time together

The breakup of the Beatles was devastating for the global music industry, their legions of fans, and, of course, the members themselves. According to History, there was not just one cause of this calamity, but several contributing factors. The controversial Yoko Ono's influence, for one, surely contributed to tensions, while the song-writing partnership of Paul McCartney and John Lennon seemed to become less and less equal. The latter, reportedly, grew bitter about his writings being chosen as the B-sides to Paul McCartney's A-sides.

In the song "Too Many People," from his solo album "Ram," McCartney included what he called "a little dig at John and Yoko," (per Far Out) He reportedly stated, "[John Lennon] had been doing a lot of preaching, and it got up my nose a little bit. In one song, I wrote, 'Too many people preaching practices,' I think is the line.""

It certainly wasn't the only example of the quartet using songwriting to make their grievances with the others known. One of George Harrison's own solo albums, 1973's "Living In The Material World," features the powerful song "Sue Me, Sue You Blues." AllMusic's Lindsay Planer writes that this track was inspired by Harrison's discomfort with the "litany of litigation that remained in the wake of the Beatles' dissolution," and Paul McCartney was at the heart of all of that.

Paul McCartney's 1970 lawsuit seemed to open the floodgates

The label Apple was created by the Beatles themselves in 1968, and it was around Apple that a lot of the legal trouble revolved, as Britannica notes. Paul McCartney sued his three former bandmates in 1970, in London's High Court of Justice (per NBC News). His objective in doing so, reportedly, was to remove the band from their commitment to the company, after they had elected to give Allan Klein the driving seat.

In August of 2020, McCartney spoke frankly of the sorry affair with GQ. "the only way for me to save the Beatles and Apple," he said, "was to sue the band. If I hadn't done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein." The other three band members, per Smooth Radio, would also instigate lawsuits against Klein.

As McCartney would later confess to Rolling Stone (via Beyond The Truth), these were the vicious, bitter, and tragic circumstances into which Harrison released his song. "We had millions of [law]suits flying here, flying there," McCartney reportedly said. "George wrote the Sue Me, Sue You Blues about it." The lyrics "You serve me and I'll serve you ... bring your lawyer and I'll bring mine" are just a little on the nose, after all. But, in McCartney's view, his own lawsuit in 1970 "opened Pandora's box."