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Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul - The Interviews

 

Sir Paul - My Love for Linda

 

Page 5

 

The children grew up on the family’s farm near Rye, Sussex. It was an unpretentious, blissful existence among the growing menagerie of cows, ducks, geese, deer, chicken wild boar, and, most of all, horses.

 

They were already vegetarians. It was at first an emotional decision by Linda and Paul, taken while they’d been living up on their Scottish farm.

 

They had watched a lamb gambolling outside the window as they ate Sunday toast. Paul says they didn’t finish the lunch and never ate meat again.

 

As the farm grew, Linda’s passion for animals was to become one of the driving forces of her life. She started to campaign for animal rights and vegetarianism; she compiled vegetarian cookbooks and marketed frozen vegetarian foods.

 

The rights of animals remained close to Linda’s heart right up until her death. Two of the songs on her new Wild Prairie album were recorded with close friend and fellow animal activist, writer Carla Lane. They explore the issues of vivisection and vegetarianism.

 

‘They are the most significant songs for me, ‘says Paul. ‘From an early age, Linda loved nature. She used to go alone to a little stream near her home. She would just sit there watching. Lin had a deep connection with animals. She could relate to a mother sheep giving birth to a lamb. For her, it was a beautiful birth; the thought that it could be going off to a slaughterhouse was terrible.'

 

‘Most of my conversations with Lin over the years ended up being about how we wanted to convert the world to vegetarianism and stop cruelty to animals. Linda would be put down by people because she was forthright and outspoken. But she hated the word compromise. She hated any inhibition of freedom,’ says Paul.'

Linda wrote her last song for the album; The Light Comes From Within, on those terrible journeys to London for treatment. She recorded the track the month before her death. Her son James, himself a gifted musician, accompanied his mother on the guitar. It is a defiant attack upon all those who dared to put her down.

 

She had been attacked for her forthright views on vegetarianism and animal rights. In the song, she hit back at those people who put down idealists and dreamers; ‘I say you’re greedy because you scheme, you say I’m crazy because I dream. I need a sense of calm, want to smell the flowers. You need complete control; you want to build more towers. Oppression won’t win, the light comes from within.’

‘When she told me the sort of in-your-face lyrics she was going to sing, I said, you can’t do that. She said “Yes I can.” And she did. We had a laugh. I said, can you imagine all those people thinking you’re Lady McCartney, sitting at home embroidering or something, and there you are singing songs effing and blinding.'

‘But Linda didn’t like people to put her down and she literally had the last word. She was also very proud that James played the guitar on that one.’

 

It was probably inevitable that at least one of the McCartney children would make a career in the music industry.

 

Wherever Paul went, be it a recording studio in New York or on tour with his wife in the band Wings, the children went too.

 

‘People thought we were mad,’ says Paul. ‘But we wanted our children near us so if they ever got ill we wouldn’t be thousands of miles away. We would be there to tuck them in bed and look after them. We wanted to care for them ourselves. They were our kids.'

 

‘We once saw one of our friend’s kids running up to the nanny and saying “Mummy.” Linda and I looked at each other and we never had a nanny because of that one single occasion. We just bathed them ourselves. Every morning we got them up and every night we put them to bed.'

 

‘Linda and I wanted them to be ordinary kids. We sent them to the local school. Possibly they might have got higher degrees is we’d educated them privately, but they all got A-levels. I’m really very proud of all of them. It’s a double-edged sword when you do something with a big name. You’ve got to deliver.'

 

‘Stella’s got her success in the fashion world, but she’s hard-working. That’s the thing about her. She has to produce 80 designs per collection and she has three collections a year. That’s 240 new designs a year. If Stella had been no good, then you’d better believe that name wouldn’t be a help to her. It would be used to beat her with.'

 

‘I think she has a lot of her mum’s guts and feistiness to take on that job. It’s a hard one and she got it through putting in the time. She went to college, studied with a Saville Row tailor and had her own business.'

 

‘Now she’ll turn up the cuff on my jacket to examine the stitching. She always said she was going to make clothes for real women with hips and breasts and she was going to make sure the buttons don’t come off. Stella admits her whole fashion influence is Linda. Linda really too flask for being awkward in fashion.'

‘She once went on Terry Wogan in a non-matching pair of argyle socks. I’ve thought about it since; does anyone think she really didn’t know? You look at the fashion now and you’ll see lots of people wearing non-matching argyle socks. Stella is unashamed about giving credit to her mum. She loved her and dedicated her last three collections to her.’

 

Without doubt, each of Linda’s children desperately loved their mother. This affection was demonstrated in numerous ways throughout her illness; James with his music; Stella through her clothes; Mary who, like Linda, is a gifted photographer, with the camera; and Heather, the artist, with her continued campaigns for ecology and vegetarianism.

 

It is a love that their mother returned within the gentle rhythm of sentimental family life, the birthdays, the shared meals and the kisses before bedtime.

 

For their last Christmas, Paul gave his wife two Shetland ponies called Shoo and Tinsel. They were led by helpers to the front of St Martin-In-The-Fields church at her memorial service.

 

Paul says; ‘It’s the only bit of the service she’d have enjoyed. She didn’t like fuss. The only thing she asked was to be cremated.’

 

For Christmas 1998 Paul gave his children presents from Linda. She bought and wrapped them before her death.

 

‘Somehow Lin’s spirit is helping me see my way through the days,’ says Paul. ‘It hurts, but that’s the way of life. I’ve said to a lot of my friends, remember you’ve got a finite amount of seconds left on the planet and the next time you’re going to argue with your missus, think of Linda. I’ve had my finite amount of seconds with her and it’s really, really difficult to be without my best friend.’

 

End of interview

 

Paul The Interviews

All His Lovin'

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Jasper Gerard meets Sir Paul

Page one

Page two

My Love for Linda

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Page two

Page three

Page four

Page five

The Interviews Index

 

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