Paul McCartney says The Beatles felt 'threatened' by Yoko Ono

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Paul McCartney: Yoko Ono Not to Blame For Beatles Break Up

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney opens up about his final years with The Beatles and discusses how the band felt "threatened" in the presence of Yoko Ono, John Lennon's wife.

"We were kind of threatened [then]," McCartney said. "She was sitting on the amps while we were recording. Most bands couldn't handle that. We handled it, but not amazingly well, because we were so tight."

Ono has long faced the ire of Beatles fans, many of whom allege that she broke up the group.

"We weren't sexist," McCartney continued, "but girls didn't come to the studio — they tended to leave us to it."

RELATED: John Lennon and Yoko Ono through the years

31 PHOTOS
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
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John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Carly Simon (pregnant) Yoko Ono James Taylor and John Lennon; circa 1960; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono lies in a bathtub with British singer and musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980), late 1960s. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
View of the back cover of the record album 'Two Virgins,' by British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Japanese-born musician and artist Yoko Ono, 1968. The two are both completely naked, save for Lennon's glasses and necklace. (Photo by Blank Archives/Getty Images)
View of a censored version of the front cover of the record album 'Two Virgins,' by British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Japanese-born musician and artist Yoko Ono, 1968. A plain brown sleeve covers the original art which features the two musicians both completely naked, save for Lennon's glasses and necklace; a pair of cut-outs reveal the album title and the musician's heads. (Photo by Blank Archives/Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon poses with his son Julian, sitting on his lap, and his companion Yoko Ono at an unknown location in 1968. (AP Photo)
Beatle John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and his girlfriend Yoko Ono outside the Robert Fraser Gallery, where Lennon's work is on show at the gallery in an exhibition entitled 'You Are Here', London, July 1968. Lennon is about to release 365 helium-filled balloons to mark the occasion. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Close-up portrait of Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
Yoko Ono and John Lennon at a press conference in 1968 in Montreux, Switzerland. (Photo by Gunter Zint/K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)
Beatle John Lennon walks with his Japanese girlfriend, Yoko Ono, in London, Nov. 28, 1968, after pleading guilty to possessing $24 worth of marijuana, found by a police dog in his London apartment. He was fined $360, and a drug charge against Ms. Ono was dismissed. (AP Photo)
John Lennon, right, is seen with his wife Yoko Ono at a press conference in 1969. (AP Photo)
Beatle John Lennon waves his marriage certificate as his bride, Japanese artist Yoko Ono, stands at his side after their wedding at the Rock of Gibraltar on March 20, 1969. They are about to board a chartered jet to Paris where they will honeymoon. (AP Photo)
UNSPECIFIED - APRIL 01: John Lennon And Yoko Ono In A Bagism Way On April 1969 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, hold a bed-in for peace in room 902, the presidential suite at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam on March 25, 1969. The newlyweds, holding solitary tulips, begin a seven-day Love-In to protest the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)
John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Yoko Ono pose on the steps of the Apple building in London, holding one of the posters that they distributed to the world's major cities as part of a peace campaign protesting against the Vietnam War, December 1969. The poster reads 'War Is Over, If You Want It'. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left, are shown in June 1969 at an airport at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono display a letter from Lennon to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson at the Beatles' Apple Records headquarters, Nov. 25, 1969. The letter explains his reasons for returning his Order of the British Empire medal, including British support for the U.S.A.'s war in Vietnam and British involvement in Biafra and Nigeria. (AP Photo)
Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, show off the handiwork of Danish hairdresser Miss Aase Haukrogh, 27, who sheared off their hair at their farmhouse retreat in North Jutland, Denmark on Jan. 23, 1970. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono share an Eskimo kiss (rubbing noses) during an interview in London, Feb. 9, 1970. Both had their hair shorn in Denmark to be auctioned off in London. The proceeds will go to the Black Power organization in Britain. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
John Lennon and his Japanese born wife, Yoko Ono, both now visiting Japan, had a sightseeing tour in the Japanese ancient capital of Kyoto, western Japan on January 23, 1971. Lennon and Yoko pose in front of Enryakuji temple in Kyoto. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono are seen at the Cannes Film Festival, May 18, 1971. Lennon carries Ono's art book "Grapefruit" in his jacket. (AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz)
John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Yoko Ono at home in Ascot, England, circa 1971. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest, Feb. 5, 1972, by about 500 persons in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
Former Beatle John Lennon, left, and his wife Yoko Ono, leave the Immigration and Naturalization Service, at 20 West Broadway, March 16, 1972, New York. His case was postponed and comes up in April (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)
Former Beatle John Lennon, giving the peace sign, and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive for a hearing on their deportation case at U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service office in lower Manhattan, May 12, 1972. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono speak at a press conference, March 2, 1973, in New York. (AP Photo)
Former Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive at New York's Americana Hotel to attend a dinner preceding the 17th annual Grammy Awards in New York City, March 1, 1975. Lennon is scheduled to perform during the telecast awards ceremony. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono are shown in 1977. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left, are shown with heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, center, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 1977. They are at the gala honoring President-elect Jimmy Carter on the eve of his inauguration. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive at The Hit Factory, a recording studio in New York City on Aug. 22, 1980. (AP Photo/Steve Sands)
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Today, McCartney's relationship with Ono is on solid ground — "It's like we're mates," he said — but back in the late '60s, he had to learn to accept her.

"My big awakening was, if John loves this woman, that's gotta be right," McCartney said. "I realized any resistance was something I had to overcome. It was a little hard at first. Gradually, we did."

Previously, in an interview with Al Jazeera, McCartney explained that Ono "certainly didn't break up the group."

"I think she attracted John so much to another way of life that he then went on to, very successfully, add a sort of second part to his career, writing things like 'Imagine' and 'Give Peace a Chance,'" McCartney told the outlet in 2012. "I don't think he would have done that without Yoko."

The Beatles' most iconic moments:

17 PHOTOS
The Beatles Most Iconic Moments
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The Beatles Most Iconic Moments
The Beatles perform in Liverpool's Cavern Club, with Pete Best on drums, 1962. Best was fired from the group that same year, and replaced with Ringo Starr. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images)
1963: Rock and roll band 'The Beatles' pose for a portrait in 1963. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Paul McCartney, left, and John Lennon, two members of the Beatles pop group during a concert in London, on Nov. 11, 1963. (AP Photo/N)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 7: The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport, February 7, 1964. At top is Ringo Starr, middle row is John Lennon and Paul McCartney, lower level is George Harrison and unidentified flight attendant. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 9: The Beatles prepare for their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York, February 9, 1964. From left to right, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr (in background, on drums), George Harrison, John Lennon. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
The Beatles, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon, have their hair combed by stylists on the set of their first movie production, "A Hard Day's Night," at Twickenham Film Studios in Middlesex, outside London, England, on March 12, 1964. The hair stylists, who have parts in the film, are, from left, Patti Boyd, 19, Tina Williams, 17, Pru Bury, 22, and Susan Whitman, 17. (AP Photo)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 16: The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Our Mets have displayed their antic behavior before some good crowds at Shea Stadium but last night's turnaway mob of shrieking teeners tested the solidity of the ballpark as they flocked to see Britain's moptop quartet in concert. Scores were injured in the crush or overcome by the humid heat but luckily no one required hospitalization. (Photo by Dan Farrell/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
The Beatles, from left, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are shown in the water in Nassau, Bahamas, during filming of "Help!" in Feb. 1965. (AP Photo)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 12: PLYMOUTH HOE Photo of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR and BEATLES, L-R: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr - posed, group shot - during Magical Mystery Tour. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
24th June 1967: British pop group The Beatles holding banners proclaiming 'All You Need Is Love' in four languages, in preparation for a global television performance of their song of the same name. (Photo by Doug McKenzie/Getty Images)
The Beatles are pictured as they attend a lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the international Meditation society on Transcendental Meditation at the university College in Bangor, Wales, Great Britain to participate in the weekend of meditation, August 27, 1967. The Beatles decided to attend the lecture in Bangor after hearing the Yogi at the Hilton Hotel in London last weekend. From left: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. (AP Photo)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Paul MAC CARTNEY, George HARRISON, Ringo STARR and in front John LENNON interpreting the song I'M THE WALRUS disguised as animals, in a scene from the film MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980) holds Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono in his arms, December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
The four members of the British group the BEATLES posing together on August 2, 1967. At that time they stopped their concerts, wore the moustache and announced their separation despite their last album to come, ABBEY ROAD in 1970. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Photo of BEATLES; George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John lennon & Paul McCartney with actress Jane Asher, Maureen Starkey and Pattie Boyd at a party to celebrate the musician's 25th birthday at Rishikesh, India, 25th February 1968. (Photo by Cummings Archives/Redferns)
Staff Photo by Jill Brady, Wednesday, August 9, 2006: Beatles Abbey Road record album. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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