On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside of the Dakota in New York City. News of his death shocked the entire world, including Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney, whom he had reconciled with in the years prior.

​​“It was super, super painful … In the end, there was something I was very glad of when he got murdered, was that I had had some really good times with him before that happened,” Paul, 81, said during an episode of iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries’ “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics” podcast on December 6.

He continued, “It would have been the worst thing in the world … Had he just been killed and we still had a bad relationship,” adding, “I would have just thought, ‘Oh, I should have, I should have, I should have.’ That would have been a big guilt trip for me.”

The confession came just two years after Paul released Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, reflecting on how the Beatles’ breakup changed his relationship with Lennon.

“When we broke up and everyone was now flailing around, John turned nasty,” he wrote in the 2021 memoir, per People. “I don’t really understand why. Maybe because we grew up in Liverpool, where it was always good to get in the first punch of a fight.”

Lennon revealed he was leaving the group in 1969. Paul explained that he wrote “Too Many People” as a result of Lennon’s behavior toward him.

“It was at a time when John was firing missiles at me. I don’t know what he hoped to gain other than punching me in the face. And this annoyed me, obviously,” the dad of five shared. “I suddenly decided to turn my missiles on him … I was keeping largely quiet about John and the Beatles split up. I didn’t really have many accusations to fling, but he was flinging quite a few, being John. There were quite hurtful barbs to be flinging around, and I was the body they were being flung at. So, I was having to accept this, but it hurt.”

Paul McCartney and John Lennon perform together with guitars
Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images

Even after all of their tiffs, Paul was thankful that he and Lennon were able to make incredible music together during their time with the band.

“​​We’d have an argument about something, and he’d say something particularly caustic; then I’d be a bit wounded, and he’d pull down his glasses and peer at me and say, ‘It’s only me, Paul,’” he wrote. “That was John. ‘It’s only me.’ Oh, alright, you’ve just gone and blustered and that was somebody else, was it? It was his shield talking.”

During the podcast episode, Paul also spoke on his rocky history with Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.

“John would do it in some of the songs he was writing; some of the comments were about how the Beatles did nothing, it was rubbish, the Beatles were crap,” the Grammy winner recalled. “Yoko would say ‘Paul never did anything. All he did was book the studio’ … I’m having to read all this stuff, and on the one hand, I go ‘Oh, f–k off, [John] you f–king idiot.’ That’s my main sentiment. But on the other hand, it’s like, ‘Why would you say that? What is it about me? You’re annoyed at me, or you’re jealous?’”