Mary McCartney Recalls How John Lennon’s Passing ‘Devastated’ Her Father Paul (Exclusive)

Mary McCartney recalled how her father Paul McCartney felt after the sudden death of John Lennon in 1980.

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It’s been 42 years since the tragic passing of John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Although it’s been decades since he was ruthlessly murdered on his own doorstep, Mary McCartney spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife and recalled how her father Sir Paul McCartney reacted to the passing of his former Beatles bandmate.

Paul McCartney John Lennon
Mary McCartney’s first feature-length documentary ‘If These Walls Could Sing’ premieres on Disney+ on December 16 (Mercury Studios/Tim Cragg)

“I think it devastated him and it was a shock because John Lennon was somebody that advocated so strongly for peace,” the photographer and chef said while promoting her upcoming first feature-length documentary, If These Walls Could Sing.

“What happened to him, it upset so many people all around the world, even to this day. I choose to try not to dwell on a day like today, I more choose to celebrate people’s birthdays,” the Mary McCartney Serves It Up star explained. “So when it’s somebody’s birthday, I’ll sort of take more of a moment then like with my mother passing. I don’t really kind of do much on the day but to celebrate more the day that would be her birthday. That’s kind of how I’d have to approach something like today, as well.”

Paul McCartney John Lennon
Mary recalled how her father Sir Paul McCartney reacted to the passing of his former Beatles bandmate, John Lennon, in Dec. 1980. (Mary McCartney)

Mary also opened up about the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, as her father was knighted by her Majesty in March 1997. “I think it affected the whole of Britain. We were all in mourning,” she said. “Queen Elizabeth is somebody that has always been there for us and she’s sort of, you know, she was so devoted to the country and she was unwavering and her approach and just so loved and cared for. I think when she passed even though she lived a good life I think it was like losing you know, it reminded everyone of loss and death and loved ones so a lot of people were very sad about it.”

“But it also made me really reflect and remember the moments when I had met her because I photographed her for the palace to release the images to mark her as longest reigning monarch. I fondly thought of those times meeting her and she was so incredible. She was such a force to be reckoned with.”

Mary also dished on her first feature-length documentary If These Walls Could Sing, which premieres on Disney+ on December 16. “It feels really exciting because it’s such an amazing team; the production team and Mercury Studios, and then for it to be shown on Disney+, it’s been an amazing experience. I’ve definitely got the bug to do more. I really enjoyed the process.”

In the candid documentary, Mary use her skills of portraiture to gather personal stories on film and her creative eye to visually weave them together with archive imagery and recordings into an intimate, emotional and accessible history of Abbey Road Studios. For more than 90 years, Abbey Road Studios has been at the heart of the music industry. Fans journey every year to have their photo taken at the world-famous zebra crossing, and artists strive to follow in the footsteps of their heroes.

I have to admit, I didn’t know [Abbey Road Studios] was 90 years old. I’ve been visiting Abbey Road since I was a kid, and I live nearby so I feel comfortable in the space. I didn’t know that Dark Side of the Moon had been recorded there. I didn’t know it did all of the soundtracks like Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter, Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars franchise, the names go on. I learned a lot. You know, as a kid, you kind of go into places and you don’t necessarily take the time to understand the bigger meaning of it, but now I really understand it.”

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