In an interview for this July's issue of British Esquire magazine, McCartney said at first the duo intended to alternate the brands "Lennon and McCartney" and "McCartney and Lennon" on their songs -- depending on who primarily penned them -- but it never happened.
"And I didn't mind. It's a good logo, like Rogers and Hammerstein," he said. "Hammerstein and Rogers doesn't work. So I thought, 'OK'." But tensions rose again when the Anthology released in 1996; songs were credited to "John Lennon and Paul McCartney," which the "Yesterday" singer-songwriter felt broke the brand.
Furthermore, on many platforms -- including the Internet -- the credit would cut off McCartney's name: "You know how on your iPad there's never enough room? So it's kind of important who comes first," remembering a recent instance when he saw "Hey Jude" listed as written by "John Lennon and..." in a music book.
"But I've given up on it. Suffice to say," he told the magazine. "In case it seems like I'm trying to do something to John."
The late Beatles band member was murdered in December 1980 in New York, and was immediately immortalized to what McCartney called James Dean-levels. He said, although he "agreed with it," fans lost sight of the band's surviving members' contributions.
"So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, 'Well, he was The Beatles.' And me, George and Ringo would go, 'Er, hang on. It's only a year ago we were all equal-ish,'" he said.
"John did a lot of great work, yeah. And post-Beatles he did more great work, but he also did a lot of not-great work," McCartney continued. "Now the fact that he's now martyred has elevated him to a James Dean, and beyond. So whilst I didn't mind that -- I agreed with it -- I understood that now there was going to be revisionism. It was going to be: John was the one."
McCartney, 73, has been touring continuously as a solo-act for about two years, playing concerts all over the world for his Out There tour. He said he's not even thinking about slowing down, mostly because he hasn't grown sick of life as an entertainer and rock legend.
"I still enjoy writing, I still enjoy singing. What am I gonna do? You see so many people who retire and then immediately expire," he said.