Paul McCartney - Personal Relationships - Wives - Linda Eastman

Linda Eastman

Linda Eastman was a music fan who once commented, "all my teen years were spent with an ear to the radio." At times, she skipped school to see artists such as Fabian, Bobby Darin and Chuck Berry. She became a popular photographer with several rock groups, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Grateful Dead, the Doors and the Beatles, whom she first met at Shea Stadium in 1966. She commented, "It was John who interested me at the start. He was my Beatle hero. But when I met him the fascination faded fast, and I found it was Paul I liked." The pair first properly met in 1967 at a Georgie Fame concert at The Bag O'Nails club, during her UK assignment to photograph rock musicians in London. As Paul remembers, "The night Linda and I met, I spotted her across a crowded club, and although I would normally have been nervous chatting her up, I realised I had to ... Pushiness worked for me that night!" Linda said this about their meeting: "I was quite shameless really. I was with somebody else ... and I saw Paul at the other side of the room. He looked so beautiful that I made up my mind I would have to pick him up." The pair married in 1969. About their relationship, Paul said, "We had a lot of fun together ... just the nature of how we are, our favourite thing really is to just hang, to have fun. And Linda's very big on just following the moment." He added, "We were crazy. We had a big argument the night before we got married, and it was nearly called off ... miraculous that we made it. But we did."

The two collaborated musically after the Beatles' break-up, forming Wings in 1971. They faced derision from some fans and critics, who questioned her inclusion. She was nervous about performing with Paul, who explained, "she conquered those nerves, got on with it and was really gutsy." Paul defended her musical ability: "I taught Linda the basics of the keyboard ... She took a couple lessons and learned some bluesy things ... she did very well and made it look easier than it was ... The critics would say, 'She's not really playing' or 'Look at her—she's playing with one finger.' But what they didn't know is that sometimes she was playing a thing called a Minimoog, which could only be played with one finger. It was monophonic." He went on to say, "We thought we were in it for the fun ... it was just something we wanted to do, so if we got it wrong – big deal. We didn't have to justify ourselves." Former Wings guitarist McCullough said of collaborating with Linda, "trying to get things together with a learner in the group didn't work as far as I was concerned."

They had four children—Linda's daughter Heather (legally adopted by Paul), Mary, Stella and James—and remained married until Linda's death from breast cancer in 1998. After her death, Paul stated in The Daily Mail, "I got a counsellor because I knew that I would need some help. He was great, particularly in helping me get rid of my guilt perfect all the time ... a real bugger. But then I thought, hang on a minute. We're just human. That was the beautiful thing about our marriage. We were just a boyfriend and girlfriend having babies."

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