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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 Now, previously unpublished letters written by Linda Eastman in the 1960s reveal her excitement about dating the Beatles star and being commissioned to photograph “groovy” bands of the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.



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The exhibition has been curated by her family, and will range from her iconic depictions of the 1960s music scene of the 1960s to her home life

A major retrospective of Linda McCartney’s photography will be shown at the Walker Art Gallery next year.
Curated by her family, the exhibition will include a selection of images taken in Liverpool and Wirral that have never been on public display. The show will feature more than 200 images that range from her iconic depictions of the music scene of the 1960s to family life with husband Paul McCartney.
They reveal what a prolific photographer Linda was, and how her love for the natural world, her surreal sense of humour, and an exceptional eye for capturing the spontaneous, gave her work an inimitable style. Linda McCartney Retrospective will run from April 25 to August 31 of next year as part of National Museums Liverpool’s 2020 programme, which will also include an exploration of humanity’s relationship with artificial intelligence and a new, permanent gallery in the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Laura Pye, NML’s director, said: “From the photography of Linda McCartney, both iconic and intimate, to a glimpse into the fascinating potential AI has to shape our future, 2020 promises to be an amazing year for National Museums Liverpool, which we hope will challenge, inspire and delight our visitors.

“And this year it’s not just about exhibitions. This spring we are also opening Life on board, a major new gallery at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, which explores more than three centuries of our city’s seafaring history.
“While at World Museum we’re looking forward to a series of interventions that brings fresh perspectives to the World Cultures gallery and addresses current debates.”


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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:


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)