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Yoko Ono Discusses Beatles' Breakup in Newly Released Audio Interview

Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesWhile a contingent of Beatles fans has long blamed Yoko Ono for the 1970 breakup of the group, in a recent TV interview Paul McCartney came to the defense of John Lennon's widow, insisting that she wasn't to blame.  Now, Ono can be heard offering her take on what led to the Fab Four's demise.

Ono's comments come in an archival audio conversation from 1987 that recently was made available at the Library of Congress' website.  The taped discussion was one of a series of interviews with various rock luminaries that veteran record executive Joe Smith captured during the 1980s for his book For the Record.

"For John it was like a divorce.  I think he was feeling very good about it, as if a big weight was off him," Ono says, then muses, "I don't really think he voiced anything he missed about The Beatles, maybe because I was the other party, that he got the divorce for."

Yoko, apparently worried about what that comment implies, then declares, "Oh, that's a very bad thing I said, that he got a divorce for marrying me…'Does that mean you broke up The Beatles?'  I didn't break up The Beatles."

She goes on to explain that all of the members of the group besides McCartney had wanted to leave the group near the end.

"The other three thought Paul would hold The Beatles together as his band," she notes.  "They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like."

Earlier this year, Smith donated raw audio from interviews he conducted with more than 225 people to the Library of Congress, which is presenting digitized versions of the conversations as streaming audio on its website in installments.

Currently, visitors to the site can check out 25 of the tapes, including interviews with Ono, McCartney, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Graham Nash, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Peter Frampton, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Dick Clark.  Visit LOC.gov to listen to the conversations.

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