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Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul - The Interviews

 

Sir Paul - My Love for Linda

 

Page 4

 

Paul turned increasingly to his wife as the Beatles started to break up. John Lennon, Paul’s onetime closest friend, had fallen in love with Yoko Ono and, fuelled by drugs seemed bent on destroying what Paul saw as his life’s work.

 

‘There’s a song called Wedding Bells, “Wedding bells are breaking up an old gang of mine,“‘ says Paul. ‘It’s like you’re in the Army together, you come out, you get married and your Army buddies disperse. If you’re lucky your new missus is your new Army buddy. We each found new partners and I was particularly happy with mine.

 

But Paul was soon isolated from the entire band as George Harrison and Bingo Starr increasingly sided with John. Then slick New Yorker Allen Klein was installed as the Beatles manager against Paul’s wishes.

 

I was very anti the new guy. I didn’t like the smell of him,’ says Paul. ‘But John was particularly infatuated with him and the other guys went with John, I was left kind of isolated.

 

‘I had a choice, to go with Allen Klein or, as I saw it, to fight to save all I’d ever achieved with the Beatles. I fought. It was a very difficult period. They were with the new guy and I wasn’t. I was boycotting my friends. I’ve said afterwards to friends that I got to understand people going through redundancies and all those honors when the group split up.'

 

‘I got the smell of people sacking people, of terrible knives in the back and people ganging up on people — of feeling redundant and useless. And I took all my problems home. That’s what most of my rows with Lin were about. I’d come back from a meeting and say, “Oh the band’s breaking up”... .“John said he’s leaving the band” “They’re stopping this record coming out.” That’s why l felt guilty after her death for starting those rows. The legal actions over the Beatles lasted for 20 years. We’d row and it would always be because of my insecurities,’

 

He adds: ‘the business meetings were so terrible. You’ve never known such heaviness. It drained the hell out of us for years. I felt completely useless when the Beatles broke up; I was probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

‘I felt as if I had lost control of everything. I lost all my say. Everything had been taken out of my grasp. They’d get annoyed if I tried to produce a track one day and the next they’d say, “Go on, produce it.”’

 

Linda was his salvation. Their life together moved from the ill-tempered disputes in London to the calm isolation of their farm near Campbeltown, Scotland.

 

‘She gave me confidence. She said, “You’re great, you’re OK.” We liked doing very simple and down-to-earth things. During the time we spent up there I did a lot of sheep shearing. It’s the only time in my life I had shoulders. I helped with the shearing and mowing the fields — and horse riding. That was the biggest thing. Linda taught me to horse-ride. I really remember at that time being on a horse and thinking I’ve got control of something. It was a feeling of some sort of power that was very strong.

 

‘Through the nature in Scotland, through riding and through her support I did manage to get it back together.’

 

Riding was to become one of Linda and Paul’s greatest shared pleasures.

Around this time Linda wrote the words to one of the beautiful love songs which is included in her new solo Wide Prairie album, Love’s full Glory. The lyrics tell of how ‘far away a distant love affair grew into something that was gentle and sentimental and now I know that love has found full glory.’

 

‘It was gentle and sentimental,’ says Paul. ‘The Christmases, the birthdays, there was always some kind of loving aspect to what we did. It came out not of wanting to be sentimental but just from the fact that we loved each other. The worst that could have possibly happened has as far as Linda’s concerned. Now I have to remember her spirit and carry on — I still have a family. I have my kids.’

Mary McCartney finally married her partner, film director Alistair Donald in September of 1998. She wore an exquisite rose-coloured dress trimmed in antique lace and designed by her sister Stella.

 

Sir Paul McCartney walked beside his daughter along a path scattered with petals and into the small 12th -century church close to the family home near Rye, Sussex. They passed through a doorway hung with daisy chains.

 

Five months earlier, Linda McCartney’s ashes had been scattered over the same wild flowers that grow in the pastures and woodlands on the farm she so loved.

Linda had desperately wanted to be at her daughter’s wedding. Initially, it had been planned for the summer, but as the cancer spread through Linda’s body, the date was brought forward to the spring.

 

‘Even that was too late and Linda couldn’t make it,’ says Paul. ‘Mary postponed the wedding until September 26. It was a sad day because Lin really wanted to be there so badly. But we said, well, she was there. She’s in Heaven, she’s smiling. And I think you’ve got to think like that.’

 

Such thoughts sustain Paul these days. ‘You’ve got to find a way to get through something like this. You’ve got to be able to get on with things,’ he says.

 

‘You see a robin and you go, there she is. You tend to read something into everything. I was going to the studio the other day and a white peacock from the farm next door wandered in. I understand that is actually a sign of a departed soul. It’s a mythological thing. You immediately think, there she is. You do a lot of that.'

‘Neil Young was one of her favourite singers. He said to me: “Boy she really loved her music and now she is music.” It’s that kind of thing that helps.’

 

Paul and Linda’s four children, Heather, 36; Mary, 29; Stella, 27; and James, 21; also help. They were with their father at Linda’s death in the early hours of that April morning.

 

They stood beside him at the crematorium in Arizona later that day; they helped him carry Linda’s ashes from America to their Sussexfarmhouse, walked with him along their mother’s favourite pathways to scatter them and remained with him as he grieved.

 

‘I was having dinner with the kids and the boyfriends one evening after Linda’s death and one of their boyfriends said he’d seen this poem that someone had sent us.'

 

‘I said go on then, read it out.’

The poem was Death is Nothing At All, by a former Cannon at St Paul’s Cathedral, Henry Scott Holland.

 

Death is nothing at all,/I have only slipped away into the next room,! I am I and you are you,! Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

 

‘As he read it out at dinner, all of us sat there, choking, and it was so lovely. Joanna Lumley read it at the memorial service,’ says Paul. The kids are great, but they are hating it, too. We all think it’s very weird. That’s a word we all use often. Linda did say when she was ill: “If I die it will be a family without a mother.” She didn’t like that.

 

Linda McCartney absolutely adored her three daughters and her son. Her family remained at the very centre of her world throughout her life.

 

She fiercely protected her children’s privacy; she was determined that they would lead normal lives.

 

‘I think we both developed our maternal and paternal feelings together, says Paul. ‘We never planned a baby. We always used to say having babies is the greatest ad lib in life. There are no rules. You’ve got to make it up as you go along and it’s your baby, nobody else’s — not Dr Benjamin Spock’s — so you might all well work it out yourself.'

 

‘Because neither of us were big into education and didn’t get degrees we weren’t desperate for our kids to do that. All we wanted was for them to have big hearts. So we made up our own rules and luckily I think, touchwood, they turned out right. And as I said at the memorial service, we enjoyed making those babies. Mary’s birth was the true definition of magic.'

 

‘When we were growing up, magic was a conjuror pulling things out of a hat. I was there at the birth and this was real magic — a real person emerging from another person — and I couldn’t get over it. She was a fully formed baby, a little blue and a little funny looking, but it was pure magic. I was thrilled.'

 

‘We had Mary at the Marie Louise clinic in London because my Mum was called Mary and her Mum was called Louise. We knew it was the place for that reason and it was lovely. I remember we loved the chips. Lin had a hard time with Stella and then we had to have a caesarean with James, but they’re all beautiful people with very big hearts. Our guiding line was always that we didn’t want brats.'

 

‘It wasn’t always plain sailing. This was a real family I’m not going to blow it for the kids but of course they did things that were wrong — millions of times — and we had to try to tell them what we thought was right.'

 

Paul The Interviews

All His Lovin'

Page one

Jasper Gerard meets Sir Paul

Page one

Page two

My Love for Linda

Page one

Page two

Page three

Page four

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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The Interviews Index

Paul on Tour

 

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