Paul McCartney was John Wilson’s guest in the latest episode of This Cultural Life; a series of in-depth conversations with artists and creatives. In the discussion, McCartney reveals that he sometimes imagines what John Lennon would think of his solo songs:

PM: Occasionally I will refer to him and just sort of think wait a minute, is this any good? Everyone who’s writing always stops and goes ‘oh god this is terrible’. It’s just part of the creative process. So if I’m at that moment I’ll go ‘what would John think of this?’ And I’ll just imagine I’m playing it to him.

While talking about his roots in Liverpool, McCartney reveals his wife Nancy is a big fan of his Liverpool accent:

PM: “My wife Nancy loves the Liverpool accent. She’s always saying ‘go on, go on, say that’ so [puts on a thick Liverpudlian accent] ‘alright love, get yer kit off, come ‘ed, ere’. I love that!

He reads out the lyrics to a recently discovered unrecorded Lennon and McCartney song titled Tell Me Who He Is, which dates back to when they first became friends:

JW: “What do you remember of it, if anything?”

PM: “Not a lot. It was amazing for me to find this. I always just though ‘I’ve lost it all, too bad, goodbye’… I don’t know how it goes, but it’s quite funny:

Tell me who he is
You’re mine not his [“OK”]
He says he loves you more than I do
Tell me who he is
Tell him where to go [“I like that, tell ‘im where to go”]
Tell him that I love you so
He couldn’t love you more than I do
Tell me who he is

[laughs] I’ve not seen that probably for sixty years”

He also recently discovered in his study a play he and Lennon had written together:

PM: “For years I’ve been telling people that me and John wrote a play, we were just knocking round at my house and having a cup of tea of whatever and we decided ‘we’ll write a play!’ We only got four pages in.

JW: “And this was while you were in The Beatles?”

PM: “This was before The Beatles, when we were just hanging out writing our early songs. [while clearing out the study] We started this play and I said ‘Oh, stop’ and I read it and I said ‘that’s that play that I’ve been talking about forever’, and I really thought that was lost. And it’s quite a funny little thing.”

JW: “What’s it called, what’s it about?”

PM: “It’s called Pilchard, and it is about the Messiah. It was the era of kitchen sink, and the idea was the mother and the daughter are in the kitchen area, and they’re just talking and she says ‘where’s Pilchard?’ and the daughter says ‘oh he’s upstairs again, he’s always up there he never comes down’. And the idea was that the whole story would go on and on and on. And it was the Messiah, that’s why he never came down. He was doing stuff and thinking of stuff. That was going to be the payoff. I still think it’s not a bad idea actually.”

And he sets the record straight on who really broke up The Beatles:

JW: “You are of course the person who instigated the split of that band and people were heartbroken”

PM: “Stop right there. I’m not the person who instigated the split”

JW: “You brought the lawyers in though didn’t you?”

PM: “John walked into the room one day and said I’m leaving the Beatles. Is that instigating the split or not?”

JW: “But hadn’t you all left at different points?”

PM: “No, John walked into a room and said ‘I’m leaving The Beatles’ and he said ‘it’s quite thrilling, it’s rather like a divorce’. And it was like ‘Oh, OK’. And then we were left to pick up the pieces. In the end there was this guy called Allen Klein who was going to take it all, everything we’d ever worked for.”

JW: “He was going to be the new manager?”

PM: “Yeah. So anyway I had to fight and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles ‘cause they were going with Klein. And they thanked me for it years later. But I didn’t instigate the split, that was our Johnny!”

Full audio is available on BBC Previews **Reviews of the programme are embargoed for 20:00 on Saturday 23 October**

Alongside use of any quotes please credit: This Cultural Life, 19:15 Saturday 23 October on Radio 4 and BBC Sounds