Sir Paul McCartney has dismissed reports he quit his longterm record label EMI because his childhood friend Neil Aspinall left Apple, the label the singer set up in the late '60s with THE Beatles. MCCartney ditched EMI after 43 years in March (07) - his latest album Memory Almost Full is being released on coffee chain Starbucks' new record label Hear Music tomorrow (05Jun07). When Aspinall quit his position as Apple boss in April (07), many assumed the two events were connected, something MCCartney denies. He says, "(Neil) wanted to retire. Simple as that. "I've known Neil longer than I've known anyone in the music business, including all the Beatles. Neil was at my school when we were 11, he was in my class. "But he just wanted to retire. He's 65."