How can you tell a band is headed toward a breakup? For John Lennon, the warning signs came in 1966, when he and the other members of The Beatles told Paul McCartney they wanted to stop touring.
Considering how much of a disaster Beatles tours had become by then, it wasn’t difficult for Paul to see the point. However, another dark omen came in 1967, when Brian Epstein, the band’s manager, died of a drug overdose. Lennon believed the band was genuinely in trouble at that point.
Nonetheless, the show went on for a little while longer. By 1968, John and Yoko Ono were officially together, and that effectively meant the end to the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team as it had been. But the band still had a chance to survive.
It wasn’t until 1969 that things went past the breaking point once and for all. Within a few years, Paul and John would be trading shots at one other on solo albums.