It's always interesting to read other people's opinions, particularly on the cause of the Beatles' breakup. Most people bring Yoko and Linda into it; I agree they played a part, but it was only a bit part. There were other Beatle wives, Beatle girlfriends all along. The boys were perfectly able to get work done regardless of the domestic situations.
For me...the reason always came down to business and hurt feelings. Once John and Yoko fell in with Allen Klein, and then George and Ringo went along with it...the writing was on the wall. Klein is *not* a Paul kind of guy. As a smarmy, fast talking New York "hustler", he put Paul off from the beginning. In John's defense, he read this as earthiness, as Klein being "real" and "working class". Paul simply didn't like or trust him. People forget that Paul pushing the Eastmans as an option came *after* Klein was foisted on him. Looking back, it's obvious he wasn't going to sway the others with a potential relative. The Eastmans wouldn't have been my choice for that reason, regardless of business acumen. But, from Paul's point of view, he just knew he could never work under Klein and this was the easiest alternative. Sad.
That's when things went from awkward and passive-agressive, to outright heated amongst the Beatles. Keep in mind there was open hostility here between Klein and Paul, his "client". It's crazy to realize that once John told Klein he was leaving, that Klein actually wanted him NOT to tell Paul. It's more sad to me (and telling) that John basically AGREED, until he famously let it out of the bag during a Paul pitch session. Paul, who was his partner for almost 15 years, was now out of the loop; replaced with a guy who John barely knew! This was when the Beatles really ended, IMO.
Paul has been described as "the one who wanted to keep it going the most", to which I agree. However, it's neither a point in his favor nor against. For every person that finds that quality admirable, there is another who would read that as a weakness of Paul's. It's relevant only in the sense that once Paul retreated and created his first solo work, there came a point in which he finally was ready--mentally and emotionally--to go solo. And for Paul, coming to that painful conclusion was met with the realization that business-wise, Klein and the other 3 had zero intentions of letting him out of the contract. On this point I agree with Paul: once you decide amongst yourselves that the "Beatles" as an entity no longer exists, then why not TRULY split and each go his own way, allowed to succeed or fail on your own? Hence, Paul's lawsuit.
He ate a lot of crap over that lawsuit, but it was the right call, imo. I liken it to getting a divorce, but then your ex-wife and her new lover get the 2nd floor of your house, and you keep the 1st floor. How could that ever be workable? The Beatles were too close to ever JUST be business partners, coming together for a new "Beatle product" every 4 or 5 years. And you know what? Thank God they didn't.
It then came to be all-out war once Klein had the others feeling like they had one over on Paul (the contract binding them together for 20 years) and started to flex that a bit. I vaguely remember an anecdote (correct me if I'm wrong) where in reference to the solo album, Paul had been told by George "It will f***ing come out under Apple. Hare Krishna." Now, I love George, but I can totally see him saying that. George could be every bit a jerk as Paul and John in his own way, and maybe this was his way of getting back at Paul for being increasingly told how to play his parts in Paul songs. Paul threw Ringo out of his house after he tried to get him to switch the release date of "McCartney". My point is, all of these strange and aggressive behaviors revolved around business matters, NOT Yoko & Linda or the other wives.
I think history has proven Paul right, as far as his business acumen is concerned. Klein *was* a dirty leech, and John and George in particular had nasty legal battles with him, not to mention choice words. And wasn't Lee Eastman the one who advised Paul to get into music publishing? Buy the songs you love? I wish Paul had gone about things differently, but on the key business points, Paul made all the right moves and the others made all the wrong moves towards the end. Paul always had the financial upper hand from this point forward. And that contributed to hurt feelings and petty blow-ups long after the emotional scarring of the breakup had healed. The Beatles were never going to be "equal" again. Paul being Paul, probably wasn't going to let any of them forget that, either. John, George and Paul always struck me as guys who held grudges waaay too long. It's a pity they didn't have Ringo's personality in this regard.