The 73-year-old musician formed the Fab Four with Lennon and forged a prolific songwriting partnership with his bandmate and friend, but when the Imagine singer was gunned down outside his apartment building in New York, fans started to suggest that he was the Beatles, ignoring the efforts of MCCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

The rocker tells Britain's Esquire magazine, "When John got shot, aside from the pure horror of it, the lingering thing was, 'OK, well now John's a martyr. A JFK'. So what happened was, I started to get frustrated because people started to say, 'Well, he was the Beatles'.

"Me, George and Ringo would go, 'Er, hang on. It's only a year ago we were all equal-ish. Yeah, John was the witty one, sure. 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. 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'. That was basically the thing."