“I find it very emotional when I listen to it now,” said Paul, who included two versions of the tune — a newly remastered studio rendition and an unreleased piano-and-vocals-only arrangement — in the reissue of his 1971 debut with Wings, Wild Life.
The musical tribute was Paul’s attempt at rekindling the complicated friendship that he had with his bandmate. “With ‘Dear Friend,’ that’s sort of me talking to John after we’d had all the sort of disputes about The Beatles break up,” Paul, 76, said in a statement. “I’m trying to say to John, ‘Look, it’s all cool. Have a glass to wine. Let’s be cool.’”
It’s been almost four decades since John was tragically assassinated in NYC, and Paul still feels unsettled when he thinks about it. “I have to sort of choke it back,” Paul admitted about the emotions he feels listening to “Dear Friend” again. However, he is thankful that his attempt at salvaging their relationship was successful.
“Luckily we did get it back together, which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he’d been killed as things were at that point and I’d never got to straighten it out with him,” Paul candidly stated. “This was me reaching out. So, I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt.”
Today, Paul remains grateful that he and John did become friends again before the star’s tragic 1980 death. “It would have been terrible if I’d never got to straighten it out with him,” Paul admitted. “This was me reaching out. So, I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt.”
For more on your favorite celebs, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!