Sir Paul McCartney forgot how well he and John Lennon got along.

The 77-year-old rocker admitted he started to ''believe'' rumours he and his late Beatles bandmate were ''arch-rivals'' after reading so many stories about how their relationship was ''very heavy and ugly'', so he likes to look back at old photos and see their bond.

Speaking about a 1968 photo of himself and John taken by his late wife Linda, he told The Guardian newspaper: ''This is me and John, in Abbey Road. It wasn't too long before the break-up of the Beatles; this would be the end of our relationship and, at the end, when the break-up happened, it was kind of sour - very difficult to deal with.

''The rumour started going around that John and I didn't get on well, we were arch-rivals, that it was very heavy and ugly.

''The strange thing is you sometimes get to believe something, if it's said enough times. So I used to think: 'Yeah, it's a pity, you know, we didn't get on that well.'

''So this picture is a blessing for me. It's like, this is how we were: this is why we related, or else we couldn't have collaborated for all that time....

''Just seeing the joy between us here really helped me, because it reminds me that the idea we weren't friends is rubbish. We were lifelong friends, our relationship was super-special.''

Though the 'Hey Jude' hitmaker had disagreements with his other bandmates, Ringo Starr and the late George Harrison, he insisted that was normal as it often happens within close relationships and their disputes would be over as soon as they sat down to work.

He added: ''That applied to all the Beatles, even when we were p***ed off with each other from time to time. People used to remind me: that's families, that happens. Mates disagree.

''As soon as we started working on music, we gelled, we just enjoyed the noise we made together, we enjoyed playing with each other.

''We'd worked together for over 10,000 hours over the years, and that old spirit automatically kicked in. Any disputes were got over very quickly.''