During a new profile of Paul McCartney in The New York Times Magazine, the former-Beatle looked back on his late-bandmates, John Lennon and George Harrison, and his reaction to their early deaths. Lennon was just 40 in 1980 when he was murdered outside his Manhattan apartment by a deranged fan, and Harrison died at age 58 in 2001 after several years of battling cancer — which was further complicated by a viscous knife attack by a crazed home intruder.
With his new album McCartney III marking his first one-man-band project in 40 years — McCartney was asked if he dwells of Lennon's death, which also happened 1980. McCartney admitted, “It’s difficult for me to think about. I rerun the scenario in my head. Very emotional. So much so that I can’t really think about it. It kind of implodes. What can you think about that besides anger, sorrow? Like any bereavement, the only way out is to remember how good it was with John. Because I can’t get over the senseless act. I can’t think about it. I’m sure it’s some form of denial. But denial is the only way that I can deal with it.”
He went on to say, “Having said that, of course I do think about it, and it’s horrible. You do things to help yourself out of it. I did an interview (recently) with Sean, his son. That was nice — to talk about how cool John was and fill in little gaps in his knowledge. So it’s little things that I am able to do, but I know that none of them can get over the hill and make it okay. But y'know, after he was killed, he was taken to Frank Campbell’s funeral parlor in New York. I’m often passing that. I never pass it without saying: 'All right, John. Hi, John.'”