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John Lennon by Paul McCartney – Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

When John Lennon killed in December 1980 Tributes poured in from around the world in memory of the beloved Beatle. “It was hard for everybody in the world because he was such a beloved character and such a crazy guy, you know, he was so special,” Paul McCartney recalled in a recent interview with SiriusXM. The Beatles Channel. “And so it hit me so hard that I couldn’t really talk about it.”

More than four decades later, she recalls feeling like she couldn’t participate in the way other people expressed grief because it didn’t feel right.

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“I remember coming home from the studio the day we heard the news of his death, turning on the TV and seeing people saying, “Well, John Lennon was this” and “What was he, this was,” “I remember meeting him,” the musician shared. “And it was like, I don’t know, I can’t be one of those people. I can’t just go on TV and say what John means to me. It was just too deep. It’s just too much. I couldn’t express it in words.”

Instead, McCartney let his emotions settle before sitting down to process Lennon’s death through songwriting. “I was in a building that would become my recording studio, and there were just a few empty rooms upstairs,” he explained. “So I found a room and sat down on the wooden floor in the corner with my guitar and started playing the opening chords of ‘Here Today’.”

The song, which appeared on his third solo studio album, Tow truckIn 1982, McCartney found himself asking Lennon questions and imagining what his answer would be. “And if I say I know you really well/What would you say/If you were here today?” He asks in the opening verse, continuing:

Later in the song, she asks about the time she and Lennon met and another time they cried together. “The night we cried, it was about a time when we were in Key West, Florida,” McCartney explained. “And for some reason, I think there was something like a storm, something was delayed and we couldn’t play for a few days. So we stopped at a little motel. So what would we do? Well, we would drink and get drunk. We didn’t have to play. So we did that night.”

He continued. “We got drunk and started getting kind of emotional, you know, ‘Oh, you were great when you, I love it.’ You know, we started, everything worked out, you know, but there was a lot of soul searching along the way. You know, we told each other some truths, you know, “Well, I love you. i love you man I love that you said that. I love you. And we opened. So it was kind of special for me. I think it was really one of the only cases that ever happened.”

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