Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney in 1976
|Birth name||Linda Louise Eastman|
September 24, 1941|
New York City, United States
|Died||April 17, 1998
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Occupations||Activist, photographer, musician, entrepreneur|
|Instruments||Keyboards, accordion, autoharp, vocals|
|Associated acts||The Beatles, Wings, Denny Laine, Suzy and the Red Stripes|
Linda Louise, Lady McCartney (née Eastman; formerly See; September 24, 1941 – April 17, 1998) was an American musician, photographer, animal rights activist, and was married to Paul McCartney, a founding member of The Beatles.
In 1969, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman, and their marriage was blessed at St. John's Wood Church. Later, they formed McCartney's band, Wings. In the same year Paul adopted Heather Louise, Linda's daughter from her first marriage to Joseph Melville See. The McCartneys had three children: Mary Anna, Stella Nina, and James Louis.
She wrote several vegetarian cookbooks, became a business entrepreneur (starting the Linda McCartney Foods company with her husband), and was a professional photographer, publishing Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era. McCartney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, and died at the age of 56 on April 17, 1998 in Tucson, Arizona, where the McCartneys had a ranch.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Photography
- 3 McCartney and children
- 4 Vegetarianism, activism and lifestyle
- 5 Death
- 6 Portrayals on screen
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Linda Louise McCartney, the second-eldest of four children, was born Linda Louise Eastman in New York City. She had one older brother, John (July 10, 1939), and two younger sisters, Laura (born 1947), and Louise Jr. (born 1950). She grew up in the Scarsdale area of Westchester County, New York, and she graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1959. Her father was born Leopold Vail Epstein, the son of Jewish Russian immigrants, who later changed his name to Lee Eastman. An often-repeated but untrue urban myth holds that Linda was related to the George Eastman family of Eastman Kodak fame. Her father was the attorney for songwriter Jack Lawrence, and at his request in 1942, Lawrence, while in the army, wrote a song called, "Linda", in honor of the one-year-old. It was published in 1946, and recorded by Buddy Clark in 1947. John Eastman later became Paul McCartney's attorney and manager.
McCartney's mother, Louise Sara (Lindner) Eastman, was from a German Jewish family. The daughter of Max J. Lindner—founder of the Lindner Company clothing store in Cleveland, Ohio—Louise died in the crash of American Airlines Flight 1 in Queens, New York, in 1962. McCartney later said that because of her mother's death, she hated travelling by air. McCartney studied for a Fine Art major at the University of Arizona. Her first marriage was to Joseph Melville See Jr., whom she had met in college. They married on June 18, 1962, and their daughter Heather Louise was born on December 31, 1962. They were divorced in June 1965. McCartney later commented that See was a "nice man, a geologist, an Ernest Hemingway type". See committed suicide by gunshot on March 19, 2000 at his home in Tucson, Arizona.
McCartney started work as a receptionist for Town & Country magazine, and was the only unofficial photographer on board the SS Sea Panther yacht on the Hudson River who was allowed to take photographs of The Rolling Stones during a record promotion party. Although she had previously only studied the photography of horses in Arizona at an arts centre with a teacher, Hazel Archer, she was later asked to be the house photographer at the Fillmore East concert hall, and supposedly became a popular groupie. McCartney photographed artists such as Aretha Franklin, Grace Slick, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Doors, The Animals, John Lennon and Neil Young. She photographed Young in 1967, and the picture was used for the front cover of Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968 in 2008.
She photographed Clapton for Rolling Stone magazine, becoming the first woman to have a photograph featured on the front cover (May 11, 1968). She and husband Paul also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone on January 31, 1974, making her the only person to have taken a photograph, and to have been photographed, for the front cover of the magazine. Her photographs were later exhibited in more than 50 galleries internationally, as well as at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A collection of photographs from that time, Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era, was published in 1993. She also took the photograph for the cover of Paul McCartney's and Michael Jackson's single, "The Girl Is Mine".
McCartney and children
On May 15, 1967, the then-Linda Eastman met McCartney at a Georgie Fame concert at the Bag O'Nails club in London. She was in the UK on an assignment to take photographs of "Swinging Sixties" musicians in London. The two later went to the Speakeasy Club on Margaret Street to see Procol Harum. They met again four days later at the launch party for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at Brian Epstein's house in Belgravia. When her assignment was completed, she flew back to New York City. In May 1968, they met again in New York, as John Lennon and Paul McCartney were there to announce the formation of Apple Corps. In September of the same year, Paul phoned her and asked her to fly over to London. They were married six months later in a small civil ceremony at Marylebone Registry Office on March 12, 1969.
After giving birth to Mary McCartney (born in London August 28, 1969), Stella McCartney (born September 13, 1971) and James McCartney (born September 12, 1977 in London), Linda said that four children was enough. She became Lady McCartney when her husband was knighted in 1997. Her brother, entertainment lawyer John Eastman, has represented McCartney since the breakup of The Beatles. McCartney has eight grandchildren, all of whom were born after her death: Mary's four sons Arthur Alistair Donald McCartney (born April 3, 1999), Elliot Donald (born August 1, 2002), Sam Aboud (born August 11, 2008) and Sid Aboud (September 3, 2011), and Stella's children, Miller Alasdhair James Willis McCartney (born February 25, 2005), daughter Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis (born December 8, 2006), Beckett Robert Lee Willis (born January 8, 2008), and Reiley Dilys Stella Willis (born November 23, 2010).
After the breakup of The Beatles in 1970, Paul taught Linda to play keyboards and recorded an album with her, Ram, as a duo. Afterwards, he included her in the lineup of his subsequent group, Wings. The group garnered several Grammy Awards, becoming one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, but had to endure jibes regarding Linda's singing. She later admitted that the early accusations about her singing out of tune in the early days with Wings were true.
In 1977, a reggae-inspired single entitled "Seaside Woman" was released by an obscure band called Suzy and the Red Stripes on Epic Records in the United States. In reality, Suzy and the Red Stripes were Wings, with Linda (who also wrote the song) on lead vocals. The song had been recorded by Wings in 1972, in response to a lawsuit by Northern Songs and Maclen Music alleging Paul violated an exclusive rights agreement by collaborating on the song "Another Day", which had the effect of transferring a 50% share of the publishing royalties to his own McCartney Music company. The lawsuit, which alleged that Linda's co-writing credits were inauthentic and that she was not a real songwriter, was "amicably settled," according to an ATV spokesman, in June 1972.
The McCartneys shared an Oscar nomination for the co-composition of the song "Live and Let Die". Linda's album Wide Prairie, which included "Seaside Woman," was released posthumously in 1998. Paul worked with the help of Beatles' engineer Geoff Emerick to finish the album. Along with eight other British composers, Paul contributed to the choral album A Garland for Linda, and dedicated his classical album, Ecce Cor Meum, to his late wife. In January 1999, "The Light Comes from Within" single from the Wide Prairie album was banned by TV and radio stations in the UK. Paul placed advertisements in English national newspapers asking parents to give "guidance" as to whether their children could be "morally corrupted" by the song lyrics, which included the lines, "You say I'm simple, you say I'm a hick, you're fucking no one, you stupid dick."
- Wide Prairie (1998)
|Year||Song||UK||U.S. Hot 100||Album|
|1999||"The Light Comes from Within"||
Paul and Linda McCartney
- Ram (1971)
- Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970)
- Denny Laine - Holly Days (1977)
- Denny Laine - Japanese Tears (1980)
- Paul McCartney - McCartney II
- Paul McCartney - Tug of War (1982)
- Paul McCartney - Pipes of Peace (1983)
- Paul McCartney - Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
- Paul McCartney - Press to Play (1986)
- Paul McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt (1989)
- Paul McCartney - Off the Ground (1993)
- Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie (1997)
Vegetarianism, activism and lifestyle
McCartney introduced her husband to vegetarianism in 1975, and promoted a vegetarian diet through her cookbooks: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking (with author Peter Cox, 1989), Linda’s Kitchen and Simple and Inspiring Recipes for Meatless Meals. She explained her change to vegetarianism by saying that she did not "eat anything with a face... If slaughterhouses had glass walls the whole world would be vegetarian".
The McCartneys became outspoken vegetarians and animal rights activists. In 1991, she introduced a line of frozen vegetarian meals under the Linda McCartney Foods name, which made her wealthy independently of her husband. The H. J. Heinz Company acquired the company in March 2000, and the Hain Celestial Group bought it in 2007.
As a strong advocate for animal rights, Linda lent her support to many organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), The Council for the Protection of Rural England and Friends of the Earth. She was also a patron of the League Against Cruel Sports. She narrated a TV advertisement for PETA, in which she said: "Have you ever seen a fish gasping for breath when you take it out of the water? They’re saying, ‘Thanks a lot for killing me. It feels great, you know.’ No! It hurts!" After her death, PETA created the Linda McCartney Memorial Award.
In 1984, she was arrested in Barbados for possession of marijuana; her husband had been arrested in Los Angeles for possession of marijuana in 1975. After flying to Heathrow Airport, London, she was arrested on charges of possession. She later commented that hard drugs were disgusting, but marijuana "is pretty lightweight".
McCartney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, and her condition soon grew worse as it spread to her liver. She died on April 17, 1998 (age 56) at the McCartney family ranch in Tucson, Arizona. She was cremated in Tucson, and her ashes were scattered at the McCartney farm in Sussex. Her husband later suggested that fans remember her by donating to breast cancer research charities that do not support animal testing, "or the best tribute — go veggie". A memorial service was held for her at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, which was attended by George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Peter Gabriel and other celebrities among a congregation of 700. A memorial service was also held at Riverside Church in Manhattan, two months after her death.
Talking later about the medication used to treat her breast cancer, Paul McCartney said: "If a drug has got to be used on humans then legally it has to be finally tested on an animal ... This was difficult for Linda when she was undergoing her treatment." He also claimed that she was unsure if the drugs she took had been tested on animals: "During the treatment, a nice answer is a nice answer and if they (the doctors), say, 'It's OK to have this because we didn't test it on animals', you are going to believe them." She left her entire fortune to her husband in a special trust, known as a Qualified Domestic Trust, which allows deferral of estate taxes due on her assets until after his death. He will have access to any royalties from books, records and any financial remuneration for the use of his wife's photographs. He has pledged to continue her line of vegetarian food, and to keep it free from genetically modified organisms.
Wide Prairie, a six-minute cartoon fantasy film by Linda McCartney and director Oscar Grillo, premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on August 19, 1998. It was shown before the British premiere of The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford. On April 10, 1999, Paul McCartney performed at the "Concert for Linda" tribute at the Royal Albert Hall, with numerous artists including George Michael, the Pretenders, Elvis Costello and Tom Jones. In January 2000, he announced donations in excess of $2,000,000 for cancer research at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, where Linda received treatment. The centers received $1 million (£625,000) each. The donations, through the Garland Appeal, were made on the condition that no animals would be used for testing purposes. In 2000, The Linda McCartney Centre, a cancer clinic, opened at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital. In November 2002, the Linda McCartney Kintyre Memorial Trust opened a memorial garden in Campbeltown — the main town in Kintyre — with the dedication of a bronze statue of her by sculptor Jane Robbins, McCartney's cousin, which was commissioned and donated by McCartney.
Portrayals on screen
Linda McCartney and husband Paul appeared as themselves on an episode of Bread in 1988, and an episode of The Simpsons, called "Lisa the Vegetarian", in 1995. After her death, The Simpsons' 200th episode "Trash of the Titans", which aired on April 26, 1998, and Paul McCartney's Tuesday" from 2000 (directed by Geoff Dunbar) was dedicated both to her memory. Simpsons executive producer Mike Scully said, "It just seemed like the right thing to do. Everyone here was surprised and saddened by her death."
Elizabeth Mitchell and Gary Bakewell played the McCartneys in the 2000 TV movie The Linda McCartney Story. She was portrayed as "Linda Eastman" in the 1985 TV movie John and Yoko: A Love Story.
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Media related to Linda McCartney at Wikimedia Commons
- The Path of the Vegetarian by Linda McCartney
- Linda McCartney quotes
- Biography of Linda McCartney at Wingspan
- Footage of Linda McCartney in 1984