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LINDA MCCARTNEY´S 1960s LETTERS ABOUT PAUL REVEALED

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In three handwritten notes, the late photographer writes about her budding romance with Paul.

Her marriage to Paul McCartney was one of pop’s great love stories for almost 30 years. Now, previously unpublished letters written by Linda Eastman in the 1960s reveal her excitement about dating the Beatles star and being commissioned to photograph “groovy” bands of the day.

In June 1967, weeks after she had begun dating McCartney, Linda photocopied an American gossip column that had a sentence about her. She sent it to a friend with the passage underlined. It reads: “They say Beatle Paul McCartney’s latest favourite femme is Linda Eastman, a Yankee Doodle fan-mag [photographer].”

Writing on the back, she told her friend: “Thought you’d get a big laugh over the enclosed clipping. Have no idea where they picked up that lie, but it just shows how truthful newspapers are.”

The friend was Miki Antony, who realised that gossip columnist Walter Winchell had got his facts absolutely right. “My reaction was a chuckle as I did know it was true,” Antony told the Observer. “She stayed with me when she first came to London … [She said] ‘Guess who I dated last night? … It was Paul McCartney, and we had this lovely evening.’ She said Paul really liked white rabbits, and the next day she … bought a white rabbit and sent it to him. That night, she told me, he rang her up and said, ‘Thank you so much for the white rabbit, would you like to come out for dinner again?’ That’s how I knew they’d started dating. The rest is history.”

McCartney has spoken in the past of an “instant attraction” when he first met Linda at the Bag O’ Nails nightclub in London’s Soho in May 1967. They married in 1969 and he “cried for a year” after her death from cancer in 1998, aged just 56.

Antony, who went on to make several hit records as a singer, writer, and record producer, discovered her three letters while moving house. He is now selling them through Chiswick Auctions in London, which will include them in its Autographs sale on 29 January.

Professor Kenneth Womack, told the Observer: “These letters shed intriguing light on her progress in 1967 from independent rock photographer to the arm of the Beatles’s most eligible bachelor. Especially of interest is her refutation of Walter Winchell’s scoop about her budding romance with Paul McCartney, which turned out to be spot on.”

Antony had befriended Linda while she was studying at the University of Arizona and when, in 1965, he visited as a Rada student. He said: “She was a good friend for a year and a half. But then, of course, she went off into the Beatles world and that was it … She was lovely.”

In one letter, she wrote: “I quit my job at Town & Country magazine to become a freelance photographer – I’m doing very well – sell mainly to teen magazines ’cause most of my subjects are rock’n’roll groups – it’s so groovy – have photographed many English groups … The Stones were my favourite, went out with Mick Jagger, he’s really a terrific person, much to my surprise.”

In another passage, she was excited about the prospect of photographing various shows: “Listen to the lineup: Wilson Pickett, the Miracles, Mitch Ryder, the Who, Ike & Tina Turner … ”

A major exhibition of Linda’s photographs, co-curated by McCartney, is currently at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow.

theguardian



LINDA MCCARTNEY: THE POLAROID DIARIES IS PUBLISHED ON 18 SEPTEMBER

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GET YOUR COPY HERE:



THE REISSUE OF LINDA MCCARTNEY’s “WIDE PRAIRIE” IS OUT

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Wide Prairie, a posthumous 1998 compilation of Linda McCartney recordings spanning the early 1970s through the late 1990s is out!.

The only album to be released solely under Linda’s name, Wide Prairie features Linda on vocals and various instruments on songs she wrote or co-composed and recorded with Wings between 1972 and 1980, the single-only ‘Seaside Woman’ / ‘B-Side to Seaside’ released under the pseudonym of Suzy and the Red Stripes, cover versions of classics by the McGuire Sisters, The Coasters and more, and solo work from the ‘80s and ‘90s including her final recording, ‘The Light Comes from Within’ (co-authored by and featuring Paul McCartney, as well as their son James on electric and acoustic guitar).

The album was recorded in various locations including Jamaica, Paris, Nashville and Sussex with contributors including husband Paul; son James; Wings members Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell, Henry McCullough, Jimmy McCulloch, Joe English and Laurence Juber; writer Carla Lane who also co-wrote ’The White Coated Man’ and ‘Cow’; Lee “Scratch” Perry and members of the Black Ark studio band Boris Gardiner, Winston Writer and Mikey Boo.

Two tracks from the release highlight Linda’s interest in other art forms outside photography and music. ‘Seaside Woman’ featured in the Palme d’Or winning short film by Oscar Grillo at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980. ‘Oriental Night Fish’ also appeared in a short film of the same title created by Linda and Ian Emes.

Wide Prairie on limited edition white / blue coloured vinyl and classic black vinyl, digitally and on streaming services. The reissue will mark the first time the album has been available on vinyl since its original 1998 release.

 

All songs written by Linda McCartney, except where otherwise indicated:

Tracklist:

1. Wide Prairie

2. New Orleans

3. The White Coated Man (Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Carla Lane)

4. Love’s Full Glory

5. I Got Up (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)

6. The Light Comes from Within (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)

7. Mister Sandman (Pat Ballard)

8. Seaside Woman

9. Oriental Nightfish

10. Endless Days (L. McCartney, Mick Bolton)

11. Poison Ivy (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)

12. Cow (L. McCartney, P. McCartney, Lane)

13. B-side to Seaside (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)

14. Sugartime (Charlie Phillips, Odis Echols)

15. Cook of the House (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)

16. Appaloosa (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)



PAUL MCCARTNEY ON LINDA´s BEST PHOTOS: ‘SEEING THE JOY BETWEEN ME AND JOHN REALLY HELPED ME’

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Linda Eastman captured a generation of rock stars before marrying a Beatle. He talks about how her work changed his life. The Linda McCartney Retrospective is at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, from Friday, July 5th, until Sunday, January 12th, 2020

“I always used to joke that I ruined Linda’s career,” Paul McCartney says, sitting on a sofa in his office in Soho, in central London, with a selection of his late wife’s photographs spread on the table before him. “She became known as ‘Paul’s wife’ instead of the focus being on her photography. But, as time went on, people started to realise that she was the real thing. So, yeah, she eventually did get the correct reputation, but at first it was just blown out of the water by the headline-grabbing marriage.”

He has a point. Before she met and married him, in March 1969, Linda Eastman was an award-winning photographer. Born in 1941 and raised in a suburb of New York, she had studied under Hazel Archer – who taught the artist Robert Rauschenberg, among others – and was the first woman to shoot a Rolling Stone cover, featuring Eric Clapton. Her speciality was capturing pop stars in unguarded moments: a tearful Aretha Franklin; Jimi Hendrix mid-yawn; Janis Joplin backstage, her bottle of Southern Comfort already drained. But marriage to a Beatle tended to overshadow your own work and reputation, as Yoko Ono discovered.

It wasn’t until years later that her talent was reappraised: 1976’s unassumingly titled book Linda’s Pictures was the first in a series of collections of her work. If anything, her reputation has grown since her death in 1998; the Linda McCartney Retrospective, which opens at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow next week, is just the latest global exhibition of her work. It was curated by McCartney, along with their daughters, Mary and Stella; here, he picks six of his favourite photographs. “As you can probably tell,” he says, after an exhaustive account of one of the McCartneys’ family holidays in Orkney in the early 1970s, “I like talking about this stuff.”

“This was taken before I got to know her. Linda was the resident photographer at the Fillmore East [music venue], in New York. She would go to the Fillmore, or other events, and there would be other photographers there, who would say to her, ‘Who’s this? Who’s this guy playing?’ and she would know. She loved the music so much, she listened to it all the time, so she just knew: this is the Grateful Dead, this is BB King, this is Buddy Guy, this is Janis Joplin, you know? That always comes to mind when I see this picture; I imagine her crouched down, by the stage, taking photos of BB King.

“She was a great believer in the happy accident. Where other people might have said, ‘Well, this is blurred; we can’t use this one. We’ll go and look for the sharper photographs,’ she went with it. I love this picture – his guitar looks like an instrument from the future, a space-age thing. It just looks to me like his music sounds: exciting blues. A friend of ours, Brian Clarke, made a stained-glass window of this image, which is fabulous: I’ve got it in my studio.”

“This is the press launch for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, at Brian Epstein’s house in Belgravia – 24 Chapel Street [in London]. We were lining up for various photographers, and Linda was one of them. I think it was the second time I’d met her. She’d come to England to do the photos for a book, Rock and Other Four-Letter Words, by a writer called J Marks. She photographed The Animals, The Yardbirds, a lot of British acts for the book, and she was invited along to this.

“One of the great things about Linda was she knew when to click. The photographers she admired were people who got those off-the-cuff moments – Walker Evans, [Henri] Cartier-Bresson, [Jacques Henri] Lartigue – where what they’re doing is a form of reportage that actually moved into art. If you think about the famous Cartier-Bresson photo of the guy jumping over a puddle [Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, 1932] – it’s all about capturing that split second. Linda could instinctively feel a moment happening. That’s what’s happened here. John and I have gone [posh voice]: ‘Hello, old chap, how are you?’ ‘Nice to meet you, jolly good!’ You’ve got John being funny, me in stitches at him and George and Ringo both loving it. It shows the relationship between us all.

“Linda put you at your ease. Some photographers, you’re very aware that you’re having a picture taken. But she had such a relaxed attitude that she’d get a picture of Jimi Hendrix, but he’d be yawning in it. He felt comfortable enough to yawn, she felt confident enough to take a picture of him yawning, knowing he wouldn’t mind.”

“This is me and John, in Abbey Road. It wasn’t too long before the break-up of The Beatles; this would be the end of our relationship, and, at the end, when the breakup happened, it was kind of sour – very difficult to deal with. The rumour started going around that John and I didn’t get on well, we were arch-rivals, that it was very heavy and ugly. The strange thing is you sometimes get to believe something, if it’s said enough times. So I used to think, Yeah, it’s a pity, you know, we didn’t get on that well.

“So this picture is a blessing for me. It’s, like, this is how we were: this is why we related, or else we couldn’t have collaborated for all that time. It sums up what our relationship was like the minute we were actually working on a song, and most of the time we were together, really. I’m just writing something out – possibly it’s a medley or something; it might be for Abbey Road – and it’s lovely, because John is very happily in on the process, and agreeing with me, and we’re laughing about something. Just seeing the joy between us here really helped me, because it reminds me that the idea we weren’t friends is rubbish. We were lifelong friends. Our relationship was superspecial.

“That applied to all the Beatles, even when we were pissed off with each other from time to time. People used to remind me: that’s families, that happens. Mates disagree. As soon as we started working on music, we gelled, we just enjoyed the noise we made together, we enjoyed playing with each other. We’d worked together for over 10,000 hours over the years, and that old spirit automatically kicked in. Any disputes were got over very quickly.”

“This was taken in London in 1978. I love it because it’s a historic piece, because the cars and everything date it, but it’s also a really good portrait of me.

“Technically, I still don’t get this one, because there’s me in the rear-view mirror and I’m in focus, but the houses are in focus and the bus is in focus as well. So I don’t get how that worked. It’s not a montage, it’s a straight photo. And the other thing is that I’m driving, and I think Linda is taking the picture with one of our babies on her lap – if you look, there’s a very faint reflection in the windscreen. Talk about multitasking.

“One of the things about Linda, when you talk about how people seem at ease in her photos, is that it was her lifestyle. We’d say, ‘Let’s go out of London,’ so I’d just drive, we’d get out of London and I’d say, ‘Where do you want to go?’ She’d say, ‘Just anywhere.’ After a while you’d end up in areas you didn’t know, going, ‘Ooh, I’m getting a bit lost here,’ and she’d say, ‘Great.’ You were in places you’d never been, you were seeing things you hadn’t intended to see, all of which was rich stuff for her photography. I remember I wrote the song Two of Us about that – ‘Two of us riding nowhere / Spending someone’s hard-earned pay.’ That was one of those excursions, when we were first going out together, this great idea of getting lost. Until I met Linda, I panicked when I got lost, you know?”

“Linda took a lot of pictures of ordinary people that to her seemed extraordinary. This was when we were in Greece on holiday. We wouldn’t go to the big places; we’d just go to a little beach. That was very much my relationship with Linda. She’d had a reasonably strict upbringing, what with her father being a lawyer, but then she’d started to smell freedom when she went to university in Arizona. She loved riding; she had a horse out there that her friend’s parents let her ride… It was the dangerous seeds of freedom. And when she met me I’d been like a robot, having to go on tour, make a record, go on tour, do this – and I’d had it up to here. So we started to have a life where we didn’t have any plans. We’d go to Greece, book a hotel and just bum around. That feeling, that sniffing freedom, it went all the way through her photography and my music [on 1970’s McCartney and 1971’s Ram].

“One day, we were just on the beach, having a swim, but she’s seen this mother and child, and it’s an interesting moment, so she’s just grabbed her camera and snapped it. She wouldn’t have used a whole reel on it; it could even be the only shot. Because she’d had to do things quickly, she’d just worked on the hoof, without an assistant. She didn’t use light meters often – she guessed – so she just went out with a pocket stuffed with film, camera around her neck, and that would be it. There’s something fascinating about this moment she’s caught, the way the kid is looking into the camera eerily, the mum with this incredible bathing hat on. I could look at it for hours.”

“This was at the airport in Los Angeles. I had to do something record-related – I think it was a convention that Capitol, our American record label, were having – and she happened to be in LA, so she could hang out with me. She’d turn up at the hotel and we’d say, ‘Oh, what are we going to do today? Shall we do something? Well, let’s just stay in,’ and we’d just do nothing, basically. We loved that freedom. It was an important thing in a relationship, that neither of us minded doing nothing much.

“So this is us parting after our little trip. I was going back to England and she was catching another flight, going back to New York. I think I was there with a guy called Magic Alex [Mardas, the Beatles’ notorious “electronics wizard”, whose various schemes reputedly cost the band about €6 million in today’s money without yielding any results]. While we were waiting, she would just have her camera there, lift it up, click, get the shot, put it down again. So I’m goofing; I’ve pulled my jacket up and sort of masked my face. I’m going back to England, back to The Beatles, and I’m hiding: ‘No photos please!’ It was just a joyous little moment before we went our separate ways. But, you know, luckily, we hooked up again and, er… made a go of it!”.

Guardian


LINDA MCCARTNEY ‘WIDE PRAIRIE’ TO BE RE-RELEASED

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1998 COMPILATION TO BE RE-RELEASED AUGUST 2 via MPL/CAPITOL/UMe

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW!

ONE-TIME PRESSING LIMITED-EDITION COLOUR VINYL LP AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT THE LINDA MCCARTNEY RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION IN GLASGOW A MONTH AHEAD OF RELEASE

Wide Prairie, a posthumous 1998 compilation of Linda McCartney recordings spanning the early 1970s through the late 1990s, will be re-released August 2 via MPL / Capitol / UMe having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios under Paul’s supervision.

The only album to be released solely under Linda’s name, Wide Prairie features Linda on vocals and various instruments on songs she wrote or co-composed and recorded with Wings between 1972 and 1980, the single-only ‘Seaside Woman’/‘B-Side to Seaside’ released under the pseudonym of Suzy and the Red Stripes, cover versions of classics by the McGuire Sisters, The Coasters and more, and solo work from the ‘80s and ‘90s including her final recording, ‘The Light Comes from Within’ (co-authored by and featuring Paul McCartney, as well as their son James on electric and acoustic guitar).

The album was recorded in various locations including Jamaica, Paris, Nashville and Sussex with contributors including husband Paul; son James; Wings members Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell, Henry McCullough, Jimmy McCulloch, Joe English and Laurence Juber; writer Carla Lane who also co-wrote ’The White Coated Man’ and ‘Cow’; Lee “Scratch” Perry and members of the Black Ark studio band Boris Gardiner, Winston Writer and Mikey Boo.

Two tracks from the release also highlight Linda’s interest in other art forms outside photography and music. ‘Seaside Woman’ featured in the Palme d’Or winning short film by Oscar Grillo at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980. ‘Oriental Night Fish’ also appeared in a short film of the same title created by Linda and Ian Emes.

Wide Prairie will be released August 2ndon limited edition white / blue coloured vinyl and classic black vinyl, digitally and on streaming services. The reissue will mark the first time the album has been available on vinyl since its original 1998 release. The album is available for pre-order now.

The full track listing for Wide Prairie are as follows. All songs written by Linda McCartney, except where otherwise indicated:

1. Wide Prairie
2. New Orleans
3. The White Coated Man (Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Carla Lane)
4. Love’s Full Glory
5. I Got Up (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)
6. The Light Comes from Within (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)
7. Mister Sandman (Pat Ballard)
8. Seaside Woman
9. Oriental Nightfish
10. Endless Days (L. McCartney, Mick Bolton)
11. Poison Ivy (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
12. Cow (L. McCartney, P. McCartney, Lane)
13. B-side to Seaside (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)
14. Sugartime (Charlie Phillips, Odis Echols)
15. Cook of the House (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)
16. Appaloosa (L. McCartney, P. McCartney)

Wide Prairie will be released 2nd August on limited edition white / blue coloured vinyl and black vinyl. The reissue will mark the first time the album has been available on vinyl since its original 1998 release. Pre-order HERE!

GLASGOW SECURES LINDA MCCARTNEY PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION

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Intimate family portraits captured at the Argyll home of former Beatle Paul McCartney during the 1960s and 1970s are to go on display in the UK for the first time. Kelvingrove art gallery in Glasgow has secured a major exhibition drawn from the extensive archives amassed by the late Linda McCartney, the American photographer and musician who married the chart-topping star in 1969.
Due to open next July, the six-month exhibition will also feature images of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton which were taken by McCartney, who passed away in 1998 after a battle with breast cancer, The exhibition, put together by Paul, and the couple’s children Stella and Mary, will include a number of images taken at the family home at High Park Farm in Campbeltown, which McCartney bought try to protect his earnings from the taxman. The McCartneys famously retreated there after the break-up of The Beatles in 1970. Born in New York in 1941, Linda McCartney began her career in photography in the 1960s and would continue working until she passed away.
Paul said: “Linda would have been so proud of this exhibition being held in Scotland, a country she loved so much and spent so many happy days in.” Stella McCartney, added: “Through these images you meet the real mother I knew. You see her raw and deep talent and passion for her art, photography.
“Ahead of her time on every level this mother of four still held her camera close like a companion, she captures the world around her through her eyes and this can be seen on the walls around the exhibition. Her humour, her love of family and nature and her moments framed with a slight surreal edge. “Scotland was one of her favourite places on earth and so many images were taken there.” David McDonald, chair of Glasgow Life, which runs Kelvingrove on behalf of the city council, said: “This fascinating exhibition explores the full spectrum of photographic work by Linda McCartney, from her early career as a woman photographer working in a sector dominated at the time by men to her documentation of her family life and the natural world.

“Curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney this retrospective provides us with a fascinating and rare insight into a brilliant artist during the different periods of her photographic practice.”

scotsman

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