Sir Paul McCartney is convinced rock legends THE Beatles lasted so long because they were "artists".

The FLAMING PIE singer refutes claims the band adopted 'personas' - insisting instead they evolved as a group organically.

He says, "We didn't think that was what we were about. We felt more like a little group of students. It was more an art thing we thought we were doing.

"I think one of the great things about the Beatles; apart from the fact we were damn good, was that we were very honest - that could be one of the things that has lasted.

"Also, we were artists. Our artistic development found a home in people's hearts and they were able to follow it. Yellow Submarine is a kid's thing; A DAY IN THE LIFE is more grown up, so it was an interesting body of work."