Francie Schwartz

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Francie Schwartz, born 1944, is an American scriptwriter[1] and the former girlfriend, during the late 1960s, of Paul McCartney, who referred to her as "Franny". At the time McCartney was engaged to the actress Jane Asher, who broke off the engagement after she found them in bed together.[2][3] In 1972 Schwartz wrote an account of these events in her "early autobiography", Body Count.

Affair with McCartney[edit]

Intrigued by the Beatles' formation of the Apple Corps, which she had read about in the American magazine Rolling Stone, she went to London at the age of 23 to see if one of her scripts was of interest to what she regarded as the "non-establishment".[1] She met the Beatles at a critical point in their development, when they were making the White Album.

Her script was for a film about a street violinist and actor she had met when he was doing his act in front of Carnegie Hall, New York. She thought the story would be perfect for Paul McCartney with the addition of his lyrical and romantic musical melodies. She came to London on 3 April 1968 and, a few days later, walked into the reception room of their first office at 95 Wigmore Street. This was prior to Apple Corps' move to Savile Row later in 1968. At the time McCartney was just standing there in conversation with some business contacts. A relationship developed and he later invited her to move in with him at 7 Cavendish Avenue[2] in St John's Wood, where he was living at the time. McCartney gave her a job working for Derek Taylor, Apple Corps' Public Relations manager, writing press releases for various Apple Corps artists including James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, Badfinger and Jackie Lomax.[4]

While Jane Asher was away on holiday, Schwartz lived with McCartney. Schwartz says they had nicknames for one another: he was "Mr. Plump" and she was "Clancy".[5] According to most accounts, Asher returned to find them in bed together. One of the fans who used to hang around McCartney's house at 7 Cavendish Avenue in St Johns Wood, London, says that "...Paul brought this American girl home...[and a little while later]...another car turned into Cavendish Avenue — it was Jane. She'd come back...earlier than she was supposed to. Jane went into the house. A bit later on she came storming out again and drove away." Later on, Jane's mother arrived to retrieve Jane's things.[6] Schwartz later stated in her book Body Count that McCartney and Asher had broken up before the affair, but she did not deny that Asher saw them in bed together. She insists that Asher "knocked" on the bedroom door first.[7]

The relationship quickly degenerated. McCartney apparently made her leave several times before the final split between the two. Beatles associate Tony Barrow believed that Paul "used her" to break up with Jane.[8]

Memories of The White Album[edit]

She was present, as was John Lennon's girlfriend Yoko Ono, when the White Album was being recorded. She said, at this time, she "was almost always stoned" and "the four began to diverge as artists during these sessions".[1] Lennon and Ono came to live at Cavendish Avenue temporarily as guests when Schwartz was living there. Schwartz says that Lennon was upset one morning after McCartney admitted sending a note to Lennon, which referred to Ono as a "Jap tart". McCartney insisted that it was intended as a joke.[8][9][10]

On Sunday, 28 July 1968, in the midst of recording the White Album, the Beatles decided to spend what became known as "A Mad Day Out",[11] being photographed at seemingly random locations in London. Schwartz had the task of picking suitable photographic sites. War photographer Don McCullin was the primary cameraman, with additional photographers Ronald Fitzgibbon, Stephen Goldblatt, Tom Murray,[12] and Tony Bramwell coming along as well. Beatles' assistant Mal Evans also took pictures. Ono and Schwartz were also present.[13] In February 2010, Tom Murray[12] unearthed some of the "Mad Day Out" photographs and put them on display at the Three White Walls Gallery[12] in Birmingham, England.

Later events[edit]

In the late 1970s, Lennon received a letter purporting to be from Schwartz in which the author stated that she had become pregnant by McCartney and had borne his child. Lennon appears to have believed this to be true. Schwartz has denied having written any such letter and stated she had no children.[14]

In September 1999, Schwartz reconnected with Yoko in SoHo for a mini-reunion.[15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The "White Album girlfriend" tells all, including picture of Francie". Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "The Beatles topic on ebaY". Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopaedia (2000 paperback edition; first published 1992). London: Virgin Publishing, London W6 9HA. p. 403. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2. 
  4. ^ Fontenot, Robert; Schwartz, Francie. "Francie Schwartz: The "White Album girlfriend" tells all". About.com. p. 1. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Sounes, Howard, "She'd had 20 lovers in two years. Now Linda was out to snare Paul McCartney - no matter who stood in her way", Daily Mail, 16 August, 2010.
  6. ^ Norman, Philip (1981). "The True Story of The Beatles" (first published 1981). London: Hamish Hamilton, Long Acre, London WC2E 9JZ. p. 400. ISBN 0-241-10300-2. 
  7. ^ Schwartz, Francie (1972). Body Count, an early autobiography. pp. pages 88. ISBN 978-0-87932-029-4. 
  8. ^ a b Sounes,, Howard, Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney, Da Capo Press, 2010, p.220.
  9. ^ The full message was "you and your Jap tart think you're hot shit". Some sources refer to this as a "postcard", others as a "typewritten" message left in an envelope; Peter Doggett, You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup, Random House, 2010, p.49.
  10. ^ "John Lennon's homes – Cavendish Avenue (temporary)". Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  11. ^ ""Mad Day Out" pictures on Time magazine site". 8 December 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Tom Murray Website with "Mad Day Out" print". Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  13. ^ "DM Beatles site – day by day history for 1968, includes locations and Schwartz attendance at Abbey Road Studios". Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  14. ^ Giuliano, Geoffery, Lennon in America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries, Cooper Square Press, 2001, p.204-5.
  15. ^ Kopp, D.M., 1999, October, 20. Reflecting with Yoko on leadership, Orlando Business Journal, p. 35
  16. ^ Daily Mail, Accessed 17 September 2012