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Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul - The Interviews

 

Sir Paul - My Love for Linda

 

Page 1

 

She was his best friend, his wife, his lover, in 30 years of marriage, Paul McCartney barely spent a night away from Linda. Now in a heart-searching interview with Rebecca Hardy of The Daily Mail, Sir Paul tells the full story of their inspirational romance and Linda’s courageous battle against breast cancer.

Permission for re-publication very kindly granted to Beatles Ireland by The Daily Mail - requested by Richard Hall.

 

Introduction

Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he knew his wife Linda had just days to live a week before her death - but did not tell her.

 

The former Beatle says he kept the terrible knowledge from the woman he refers to as “my girlfriend, lover and wife”, believing she would prefer not to know.

‘I knew a week or so before she died,’ he says. ‘I was the only one who knew. One of the doctors said she ought to be told but I didn’t want to tell her because I didn’t think she’d want to know.’

 

Sir Paul, 56, has told of the poignant last days of Linda’s life in a deeply moving interview about their love. It is the first time he has spoken about his wife’s courageous battle against breast cancer since her death in April 1998.

 

He has sought professional counselling in an attempt to come to terms with his devastating loss. ‘I got a counsellor because I knew that I would need some help,’ he says. ‘He was great, particularly in helping me get rid of my guilt. Whenever anyone you care about dies, you wish you’d been perfect all the time you were with them. I wasn't; That made me feel very guilty after Linda died.

 

The Story

The other day Sir Paul McCartney absent-mindedly picked up the telephone to talk to his wife. He used to phone her all the time throughout their 30-year marriage; and then she died in April 1998.

 

“It’s the little things that really get you. I think I’ll phone her, and then say oh Christ.”

Paul is rarely far from tears these days. crying helps, he says - at least for a while.

 

Linda McCartney, or Lin as Paul preferred, died in her husband’s arms following a courageous two-and-a-half year battle against breast cancer.

 

“You’re up on your beautiful Appaloosa stallion,” he’d said to her in the early hours of that awful Friday morning. “It’s a fine spring day, we’re riding through the woods. The bluebells are all out and the sky is clear blue.”

 

He had barely finished the sentence when she died.

 

These were the words he had used on previous occasions during Linda’s lifetime to soothe her when she’d needed surgery.

 

“ We’re walking along the beach hand in hand, ”he’d say or “you’re up on your beautiful horse.”

 

He wanted to help her drift into a peaceful oblivion but in those days, she always woke up.

 

“I don’t know how I did it,” he says now. “I thought afterwards, why wasn’t I fainting on the floor? I’ve thought that every day since. How am I still here? How am I talking, eating? I just am.”

 

Linda died shortly after 5 am on 17 April at the family ranch in Arizona.

Paul did not sleep for the next three nights; a dreadful grief swamped each day. It still does.

 

Paul and Linda had spent barely a night apart during this, one of pop’s most enduring partnerships. Paul saw little point. He truly adored Linda; she was his best friend, wife, lover and mother to four children, Heather, Mary, Stella and James.

 

If I had the option to stay away the night or travel back, I’d travel back home.

It wasn’t out of a sense of duty,” he says. “I just thought, what’s the point of spending the night in this hotel, in this cold bed, when she’s back there? “We just fancied each other. That was the whole root, the whole essence of our love. It wasn’t always idyllic. It was a marriage and we had rows. It was nearly always my insecurities that caused the rows between us which has left me with quite a bit of guilt. The guilt’s a real bugger.

 

“Whenever anyone dies you do think, oh I wish I’d been an angel for the whole of my life. But I wasn’t, so I was getting into heavy guilt when she died.

“Then I thought, hang on a minute. We were just human. That was the beautiful thing about our marriage. We weren't king or queen someone or other. we were just a boyfriend and girlfriend having babies.”

 

Linda learned she had breast cancer in 1995 when she discovered a lump. Their lives together changed in a second. Paul’s mother, Mary, had died from the same cancer when he was 14 years old.

 

“That was one of the scary things about it”, he says. “As we went through the whole thing I could see moments that reminded me of Mum.”

 

Linda tried to remain strong and optimistic throughout her illness. She described each day she defied the disease as blissful and loathed the phrase “killing time”. She preferred “filling time”. Paul has being doing just that since his wife’s death.

During her final years, Linda had been working with her husband on her new solo album, Wide Prairie. They wrote the words to some of the tracks on the many two-hour trips from their Sussexfarmhouse up to London for treatment.

 

“We’d have a good laugh and forget what she was going up for”, says Paul. “That was good.”

 

Two of the songs were completed just a month before Linda’s death. Paul finished the last of the 16 tracks, I Got Up, three months afterwards.

 

“When she died I though, what do I do now?n I decided that I’d carry on with her work when I could pick up the pieces. Art first I couldn’t do it. But then I thought, when I feel I can, I will. If I work, I want to work on stuff that’s connected with Lin. It just seems more meaningful. Anything to do with Lin has been good this year because it reminds me of her and for a second it brings her into the room. People say time heals, but what it’s doing is not healing - it is making you forget. In some ways that’s a bad thing, I don’t want to forget her. For instance, now, when I think about my |Mum’s face, it’s quite hard to visualise it. I dread the thought of something like that happening with Lin.

 

A few months after Linda’s death, Paul contacted friend Geoff Emerick, The Beatles’ recording engineer, who had also lost his wife to cancer. He asked Geoff to work with him on Linda’s album. They christened those shared days in the studio ‘the tears and laughter sessions.’

 

“We shed a lot of tears,” says Paul. “We’d be sitting there listening to a poignant ballad and crying, then the next song would be an outrageous tongue-in-cheek track and so we’d be laughing. The best thing for getting it all out of your system is tears. Even though I’m from a generation that used to hold them in - and in Liverpool when my mum died we did a lot of holding the tears in - I am no longer remotely like that. I just let it out. People I speak to say it’s supposed to be the best thing. I can’t help myself anyway, because Lin and I were just so tight.”

 

Linda was at the family farm, near Rye, when she first learned she had breast cancer. The farms was one of her favourite places, that and the ranch in Arizona where she was to die.

 

Paul and Linda stumbled across the Sussexproperty when they lost themselves one day as they drove through woods in the South of England.

 

“Lin loved to take off in the car, just the two of us, and then she’d say: “Turn off here, let’s get lost. Do it now.” Allowing yourself to get lost was a wonderful kind of freedom.”

 

Paul The Interviews

All His Lovin'

Page one

Jasper Gerard meets Sir Paul

Page one

Page two

My Love for Linda

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Page two

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Page five

The Interviews Index

 

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Paul The Interviews

All His Lovin'

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Jasper Gerard meets Sir Paul

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My Love for Linda

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