'When you look back now to the beginnings of it all, Linda was made for Paul.'
Nat Weiss, attorney and partner of Brian Epstein
At the start of 1968, Linda Eastman was wondering if she would see Paul McCartney again . . . well, she was trying to figure out how she could see Paul again.
Since 1966 Paul had been living with his fiancee, Jane Asher, in his London town house, which was by now a residence that had become precisely what the master of the house seems to have wanted. It is easy to surmise that Jane had some problems, therefore, with messiness, curious guests and drugs, especially LSD, which can make a houseful of even moderate London lunatics seem more like a goat meadow than a home. But she endured, though she must have felt that when she had said 'Yes', it was an unrealistic deal she had entered into. Jane had been in the public eye since 1963, at the age of seventeen, when she was a regular on the television show Juke Box Jury. By 1968 she was deter-mined to be a serious actress, had joined a theatrical touring company and was away from London much of the time. Occasionally, Paul would hook into Jane's schedule, as he had done the previous summer, renting half the floor of an elegant San Francisco hotel for the two of them, and then a house in Denver, Colorado. In February 1968, the Beatles went to India to sit at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a twinkling guru they had discovered the year before, and Paul brought Jane; they fled after five weeks, unimpressed.
Jane really wanted her career, and since her work would keep her on the road for long stretches of time, domesticity could not be her priority. As for Paul, the less cosy with home-cooking his life became, the more he wanted someone to come home to, reliably, all the time. Knowing that, it's hard to find logical thinking behind the Christmas engagement announcement. There had been speculation that Paul suggested marriage to 'make an honest woman' of Jane, and when that was no longer required the ties were severed. I've always thought that theory farfetched. More likely, it was probably easier to arrange a way of remaining together rather than dealing with a split up, which would be big news, generating huge amounts of annoying and unwanted publicity for the two of them. And so they kept the pretence going. That included the pretence of Paul's being faithful to Jane. He could be one half of London's most glamorous couple when the occasion was suitably glamorous, and bedding wenches elsewhere when the urge was upon him - Jane didn't have to know about it. Why give that up to have a pot of stew always on the stove, and besides, who was going to make it?
In New York, Linda's career was on fire. She never entered the Fillmore East except via the stage door. A many-times converted theatre 'in the Second Avenue', as Henry James put it (please, don't laugh; James had lived in ancient Rye, the nearest town to what would one day be Linda and Paul's vast Sussex farm, and she was proud of living near the Master's old residence, pointing it out to visitors - whether she ever read anything of his is another question), the Fillmore East was New York's palace of rock and roll from 1968 to 1971. It was a golden age of rock history and Bill Graham was booking the acts most creatively, lining up the music like a great DJ would line up his show. Linda had a permanent 'all access' pass signed by Mr Graham, having taken the photographs for the opening night poster; the bill on that auspicious occasion was Big Brother, Tim Buckley and B.B. King. Linda also enjoyed sitting in the audience like any other rock and roll fan. I remember the night we went to see Blue Cheer, whose album was great fun but who were dismissed by the critical establishment as too simplistic, or something like that. Well, they were terrific, and it was like any wonderful discovery: a thrill and a joy. I shouted to Linda (their volume level was famous), 'I love this band. This is a great band! Everyone's taste sucks but ours.'
She responded, 'Me too! Me too! I love them, they're great.' Linda had impeccable taste, especially when it was the same as mine.
Ah, 1968 - measured by body blows, I'd rank it as the most amazing year of the second half of the century just ended. Three fabulous guys got shot, Andy Warhol, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy (and with that assassination went the future of the American presidency); the cutest students at Harvard, Columbia and the Sorbonne rioted; the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive; Lyndon Johnson abdicated; Prague had its 'Spring'; the Chicago Democratic convention brought joy to the world along with Richard Nixon; the Beatles gave you their White Album; the Rolling Stones had Beggars Banquet; Yoko Ono made a comeback - and Linda Eastman and Paul McCartney became de facto man and wife, although the legalities would have to wait a few months into the following year.
At the beginning of 1968, Linda was a successful and popular photographer: young, rich and handsome, with little to vex or distress her -except that she was scorned by her father because of the life she chose to live, had a five-year-old daughter she was raising rather uncertainly by herself and, in spite of her ability to attract the most impressive young men known to the world, had fallen perhaps hopelessly in love with Beatle Paul. Linda was wistful about her situation, but not one to complain.
Three women knew her best, and were her closest friends and confidantes - Lillian Roxon, Blair Sabol and Robin Richmond. All were formidable media dominatrices and easily among what Pete Townshend calls the 'thirty or so possible people' in New York at that time. Sabol, volatile and fiery in print, wrote a fashion column for the Village Voice in which she took no prisoners - years later she would skewer Linda in an article that rattled the foundations and standards of celebrity journalism.
Volatile and fiery in person, Roxon was the New York correspondent for Australia's most important daily, the Sydney Morning Herald, a regular columnist for the New York Daily News, the author of the ground-breaking Rock Encyclopedia, about ten years older than the rest of us, beloved, hilarious and occasionally exasperating. She would become, publicly and privately, Linda's most outspoken detractor by the time of her death in 1973. In 1968, Linda and Lillian were so close that people suspected Something; Roxon boasted of her bisexu-ality and probably had a bit of a crush on Linda, but she was in fact Mother Confessor and there was absolutely nothing physical between the two women. Lillian knew more about Linda's romantic escapades than any other single person, and probably more than all of Linda's friends put together; Linda told her everything, and Lillian repeated some of it, only some, to others in our little crowd when it suited her to do so. Lillian and Linda broke each other's hearts - but we're not yet there.
Robin Richmond was a junior editor at Life magazine - cultivated, well-bred, smart, eager and attractive. A few years younger than Linda, she was the girl friend with whom Linda spent the most time, in those heady days when Linda's career and reputation were booming. At Life, Richmond had become the local expert on the exotic new worlds of rock and roll, hippiedom and other alternative lifestyles - it was a photogenic, revolutionary, exploitable new world and the establishment media couldn't get enough of it. If Robin plugged Life magazine into this youthful universe, then it was Linda who was Robin's tour guide.
Linda popped into Robin's office almost every day, and they'd go to lunch, preferably at the Palm Court of the then (pre-Ivana Trump) aristocratic Plaza Hotel. 'We had to wear skirts, and for Linda that was a big deal,' Richmond, now living in New Mexico, recalls. 'The first time we went there, we were turned away, because she was wearing some synthetic V-necks in hot pink or hot lime, and blue jeans, with a Gucci bag full of cameras.' Chefs salad (presumably more elaborate than Linda's famous home-made 'There's-a-chef s-salad-for-you-in-the-fridge' of iceberg lettuce, diced ham and American cheese) was the girls' standard lunch, and the talk was about magazines, photographs, records, concerts and bands.
'We'd go to the Scene after it closed and there were those sixties "jams", usually Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Mike Bloomfield, or we'd go to the Cafe Au Go Go after it closed, or to a Country Joe recording session, and Linda knew everybody, she was a VIP in that world.' In that world, perhaps, but not in the world of Lee Eastman and his wife, Monique, whose homes on Park Avenue and in East Hampton Linda and Heather, with Robin in tow, would visit often.
'She adored her father so much; she was in awe of his intelligence, his success, his confidence,' says Richmond.
But it was very hard for Linda, because he was cold to her and disapproved of what she was doing, very obviously. He'd make snide remarks', and it was all about innuendo: 'What a great job Robin has! Life magazine!' If there was an opportunity for him to come in sideways, to make a comment of implied disapproval in front of me, he'd never miss the chance. I don't think Linda spent a lot of time, except in my company, with her father and stepmother. It was very uncomfortable for her. It's ironic, because a large part of Linda's attractiveness was her air of complete independence and confidence. She might have been dying on the inside because of her father's loathing of the way she lived, but she never showed it.
We were really close for only about a year and a half, but it was a wonderful friendship. It was an adventure being with her, she had an uplifting quality. I never saw her slugging around depressed because some guy she'd gone out with was in town and didn't call her. She was never 'Poor me!', never. It was always, 'Let's take a walk, or let's go to a recording session or whatever,' she was just ready to seize the moment. You can see it all in her pictures - that's why all those people have those extra-great smiles on their faces. She had such an incredible, engaging quality about her. For Linda there was no agenda, no artifice, no contrivance, no manipulation, it was just having fun, it was a game, it was fun. And all the time she was reinventing herself, from the inside out, to be the person she really was. Without even putting on lipstick, because she didn't need it.
Well, to me she was Miss Rock and Roll, impeccable hi everything she did, if you can excuse iceberg lettuce as the vegetable course, always. She was not devastated by Paul's betrothal to Jane, but appeared to be riding it out, as though it were not in any way a major impediment to her hopes and dreams. In fact, she was so unrattled, it was as if she knew something that no one else knew, but of course she didn't. When Lillian Roxon gingerly mentioned the subject, Linda commented that, well, it was something to do with Paul and Jane and was not of much concern to her. 'I love him, and I'm pretty sure he's not serious about being engaged. Anyhow, they're not right for each other.' Pretty good intuitive analysis of the news coming from London, especially since Linda had never met Jane, and hadn't seen or talked to Paul since the previous May. Lillian worried that Linda might be headed for a fall - on the other hand, she was so impressed with her friend's determination that she told me if she had to bet on the outcome, she'd put her money on Linda's ultimate victory: 'I'll even lay odds, darling.'
The advent of Paul and John's Utopian concept called Apple gave Linda Eastman, in a most roundabout way, the chance she wanted and needed to get Paul's attention, and to present herself - without ever saying just that - as the only suitable answer to his long-range needs.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon were so enthusiastic about Apple, and its potential to advance art, science, music and retail fashion merchandising, that they planned to announce its inception as guests of Johnny Carson on his indisputably number one late-night talk show. Their appearance was booked for 15 May, and they flew to New York on the 12th. They tried to sneak into the United States as quietly as possible, but some DJ got hold of their schedule and there was the usual airport nightmare. No hotel wanted to put up with the security and crowd-control problems that the presence of the two big Beatles would involve, and Paul and John were not wild about the idea of being imprisoned in one. The solution was to stash them away in Nat Weiss' luxurious two-bedroom apartment on East 73rd Street and hope that their presence could be kept a secret. Weiss himself arranged to stay at the St Regis, planning to be at his apartment during the day. Before leaving his home in the hands of the Beatles, Weiss replaced his elderly housekeeper because a) he felt that it would all be too much for her, and b) John Lennon had expressed the wish that whoever was cleaning the place be young and attractive. She was; John was happy, and took her frequently to bed. As it happened, the boys were also tidy. 'Lennon really surprised me - he was very neat, he would fold all his towels. I've never forgotten that,' Nat told me. 'Paul too, but that was sort of thing you would expect from him.'
One person who knew the Big Secret of the Beatles' New York hideaway was Nat's friend Linda Eastman. Recalling their flight together from London to New York a year earlier, after Linda had met Paul for the first time and couldn't stop talking about him, Nat told Linda that Paul was coming to town and, lo and behold, was going to stay at his own apartment. Not surprisingly, she begged Nat to be allowed to visit and he ran the request past Paul, who approved. And so, during the week Paul and John were in New York, the only two women ever in Nat's apartment were the saucy maid, and Linda. In fact, no other outsiders were permitted in at all, except veteran journalist Al Aronowitz, whom John was impressed by. The routine was that Linda arrived early in the afternoon and stayed until the evening, chatting away with Paul. When she left to go home and be a good mum, Weiss would take Paul and John out to dinner, or to a club to hear music. It was just the three of them; Linda and Paul did not see each other in the evenings, and they did not make love on 73rd Street. In retrospect, that week in 1968 was the defining moment - albeit a week-long moment - of their relationship.
The attempt to keep quiet the fact that the Beatles were in town failed within two days of their ensconcement at Nat's apartment. So many, dedicated and relentless were the fans that the news about the two's whereabouts was soon known; after all, it needed only one spotting of Paul and John to set in motion a tracing routine that led to the high-rise where they were staying on the fifteenth floor. Soon the secrecy aspect of their visit was a joke.
Thousands of screaming and fainting girls lined the area around the building where Weiss lived, creating a major nuisance in what was ordinarily a quiet, expensive residential neighbourhood. Famous people lived in the area quite anonymously, but no one was as famous as the Beatles, and their followers were not known for mature, discreet behaviour.
'The doormen were getting blow-jobs from teenage girls who wanted to get upstairs,' Weiss recalls. 'The people in the building across the street were hanging out their windows to see what was happening down there; there were so many people in wheelchairs it looked like the shrine at Lourdes. Of course not all of the kids in wheelchairs needed to be in them, but they hoped the Beatles would take pity on them and invite them up. I didn't think it would escalate to that.'
Most unhappy about the hysteria raging all about were the other residents in Nat's building, and the building manager, who wrote him a letter that he has framed and hanging on the wall of his study. It says, 'Dear Mr Weiss, Two clients of yours, the Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney, stayed at your apartment. These are not run-of-the-mill guests. Crowds of unruly girls have disrupted life in the neighborhood, and certainly in this building. If any such future visits are contemplated by the Beatles or any other clients of yours, we need to be notified one week in advance so that we can review the situation. Yours truly, etc. etc'
It was deemed wise to let slip Paul and John's departure date so that the fans would know when it was time to go home, but this was a two-edged sword: on the one hand, the crowd was indeed gone by the next day, yet on the other, the day they left the frenzied crowd was the biggest it had been, since this was the last chance to See The Beatles until who knew when. Decoy limousines were hired, and Paul and John managed to get out in time to catch their plane back to London. Riding to the airport with them was only one person who was not a part of their organization, Linda Eastman.
Paul and John had come to New York mainly to tout the advent of Apple on the Johnny Carson Show, and although the magnificently witty Derek Taylor, Apple's press officer, had come with them to oversee a bunch of telephone interviews on the subject, the Carson appearance was far and away the most important event on their official agenda. Ironically, the night they were scheduled to appear, the king of late-night, Johnny Carson, was not hosting his own show and the Beatles were doomed to face one of the great mediocrities in the history of broadcasting, someone named Joe Garagiola, remembered by few and missed by fewer. He was once a baseball player, as if that qualified him to sit in for the coolest guy on the air. Paul and John (privately) let it be known that they thought themselves incredibly insulted by Carson's absence, and had to work extra hard at summoning forth their reserves of charm in order to hide their true feelings. Making things even more difficult was the presence of Tallulah Bankhead, the heavy-drinking, flamboyant baritone American actress, who kept telling John and Paul how beautiful they were. It was obvious watching the show that the host had little knowledge of who his British guests were, or what they really did; he behaved as if some neighbour's daughter had fainted upon hearing of the night's line-up and that he would be chatting with people who were Very Big, as Big as anyone he'd ever interviewed. In his clumsy, embarrassing way, Joe was actually rather decent.
Paul and John (who had sent his wife, Cynthia, a telegram from Nat's saying he wanted a divorce; Yoko Ono was looming large in his life at the time) arrived back in London on 20 May, and with George and Ringo, who were just back from the Cannes Film Festival, they began work on what was to be the Beatles' White Album. John and Yoko did some recordings of their own as well, which would later be on their Two Virgins LP. On the 21st, Paul and Jane lunched with Andy Williams (no kidding) and went to his concert at the Royal Albert Hall - it was the kind of thing they did so well together, and also the kind of thing they would not be doing very much more of as the summer wore on.
The glamorous couple also went up north on 8 June, where Paul was the best man at the wedding of his brother Mike McGear, who'd changed his last name earlier in the decade so as not to appear to be riding on his brother's reputation. When I told Linda in 1991 that I'd recently interviewed her brother-in-law, I concluded from her reaction that Paul and Mike had fallen out, and they remain, at the time of writing, estranged.
On the day Paul and John flew out of JFK, Linda rode back from the airport with Nat Weiss, her first time alone with him since they'd flown from London to New York in adjacent seats after the Sergeant Pepper press conference at Brian Epstein's almost exactly a year earlier. Once again, and even more so than before, Weiss was impressed with the intensity of Linda's feelings for Paul. 'She kept going on about how much she loved him, and wanted to know if Paul had said anything about her. Actually, Paul took me aside at the airport and asked me if Linda really owned a horse in Arizona. I told him I didn't know,' says Weiss, who wonders to this day why he wanted to know that, of all things. 'So I told her he obviously thought she was good company, or she wouldn't have been in my apartment in the first place, and she seemed sort of satisfied with that but insisted on knowing if there was anything else. There was nothing else, but of course his asking her to accompany him to the airport was very significant, very significant. When you look back now to the beginnings of it all, Linda was made for Paul.'
Linda told her friends that she felt 'something was happening' between her and Paul, but she didn't know where it would go, could only hope that it went in her direction, and meanwhile would continue being a mother, taking pictures, going to the Fillmore, dealing with the unspoken scorn of her father and lunching at the Plaza with Robin Richmond. Whatever would happen would happen.
Paul's very public appearances with Jane Asher after he'd returned to London in May had been interpreted by some as a sign that their 'engagement' was still in place, but his actions in late June 1968 seem to indicate that he had given up on the affair. On the 20th he flew to Los Angeles, ostensibly to make a presentation of a short film about the Apple project to the Capitol Records' executives gathered there for a mini-convention. Two days into his stay, he phoned Linda in New York and asked her to join him there at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Beverly Hills Hotel, built in 1912 and massively done over in the early 90s, is a giant pink lodge sort of a building, just west of Los Angeles proper, tucked into twelve florally abundant acres in what was a desert not so long ago, before they brought the water in. (The look is "non-manicured,"' gushes the press packet for the hostelry, 'but don't be fooled: It takes as much upkeep as the fabulous faces and buff bodies of the Hotel's famous guests.') It is the 'Hotel California', and much more, a perennial player in the entertainment industry and a love-nest in a league of its own. Warren Beatty and Leslie Caron, Jennifer Jones and Norton Simon, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the John Ono Lennons famously diddled here.
Many of the lustier moments, about which so much has been written, took place in one of the bungalows tucked away in an eastern corner of the grounds. They're as close to being 'bungalows' as the marble palaces of Newport are 'cottages', but allow the very rich their attempts at understatement. About twenty discreet little houses, each with four or five opulent rooms, the bungalows have their own driveway from the street that borders the hotel grounds on the east, a driveway usually lined with the limousines of those with access to a great deal of money to spend on accommodation. Of course your little house has full hotel services - the help comes in through a back door, bringing food and flowers, or whatever else can't be delivered by wire. Celebrities have every reason to adore the bungalows of the Beverly Hills Hotel, because one can reach one's private nest without going through the main lobby; for a Beatle in 1968, this combination of luxury, efficiency and complete privacy was certainly ideal. Bungalow five, the most legendary of all the cottages (the preferred love-nest of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand, etc.), with four bedrooms -these days it is available for $4,000 a night - was Paul McCartney's home-away-from-home that June.
'The only time I ever, ever saw Linda display any anxiety was the night before she left for Los Angeles,' Robin Richmond says. 'She was remarkably, girlishly, coy and shy and nervous.' Paul had left a message with her answering service (this was before machines; some people use human answering devices to this day, but not many), something like, 'Tell Miss Eastman that Paul called and said, "Why don't you come and join me at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a few days?"' Linda found someone to stay with Heather, bought a ticket and was off to LA the morning after she picked up the rather cryptic message. Was she supposed just to go to the hotel? Get a room for herself somewhere? Tell him she was coming? She decided it was best just to go, and appear. The details would fill themselves in.
Linda was headed for some kind of romantic showdown. She'd never been summoned anywhere by a man to join him, except perhaps at a recording studio or hotel in New York, certainly never across the continent: this was not for a photo shoot either, and besides, this time Linda was in love with the man who invited her.
Tony Bramwell, a member of Paul's staff at the time, wrote a story about the Beverly Hills meeting in a story published in the Daily Mail, a year after Linda's death. The headline promised a revelation about the 'extraordinary moment when rock's greatest love affair really began'. I have no argument with either premise - that it 'really' began there, and that it was rock's greatest love affair, because it was. Paul and Linda would tell people throughout the years that It first happened there, and if one were ever with them in the vicinity of the great pink palace on Sunset Boulevard, they would point to it and get all giggly and cuddly.
It didn't take long at all for Linda to phone Lillian Roxon when she returned to New York to tell her that she and Paul had entered into (hopefully, she said) a true sexual relationship. Lillian quickly made sure the whole town knew about it as well, but Linda didn't mind. When I called her to say, 'I hear you finally scored, congratulations,' she replied simply, 'I really am in love with him, you know; it's not like anyone else, it's kind of like the first time.'
Bramwell tells the story with everything but a thousand stringed instruments rising in the background, and when he says, 'I could sense that this [meeting at the BHH] meant far more than Paul's other encounters. They just gazed at each other looking astonished,' I could not be happier, because although not an eyewitness to this particular history, I believe it 100 per cent.
'What are you going to do now?' I asked Linda when she confirmed Lillian's hot news.
'I suppose it's up to him, isn't it?' she said.
I told her that I thought she was being unusually modest about her own powers, but she was deferential as I'd never heard her before: 'I said it was up to him. I will not call him . . . but we talked about music a lot. Maybe I'll send him some records, he told me he'd like to hear what I liked. Can you get me some advance pressings?'
'Hey,' I said, all eager to please, 'can you send him some things that I like?'
'Only if I like them too.'
'Linda! What's up?' I remember imploring her. This was big, need I say. This was deep-sea fishing, even for Linda Eastman, and I was convinced she was in love, after all the flirtations we'd lived through together. Linda always preferred being the conquered rather than the conqueror, but I'd seen her moving towards a target by any means necessary, when the prize was juicy enough. Not this time. Paul was no passive southern California crypto-epicene songwriter - he was Beatle Paul, a northern Englishman very conscious of who should do what and with whom. Women were by his side at his pleasure - and, perhaps not so incidentally in the light of future events, the women hanging out with him during that trip to California, before Linda arrived, were said by some friends to be rather more trashy than aristocratic. Why begrudge anything to the man who had everything? But as anyone can tell you who's possessed concubines by the thousands, of either sex or both, even that gets boring and leaves you wanting something . .. more.
One month after Paul and Linda parted in Los Angeles after their idyll in Beverly Hills, he on his way to London, she to New York, Jane Asher, on a BBC talk show, announced that her engagement to Paul had ended. 'She was just totally devoted to her career, and Paul wanted a proper home life,' Nat Weiss relates. 'He'd been on top of the world for five years and done enough swinging for a lifetime.'
There would be one more live-in girlfriend in Paul's life, the dazzling American adventuress Francie Schwartz, who was in residence in Cavendish Avenue (along with John and Yoko) for most of the summer of '68, before Linda took her place at Paul's side once and for all.
Francie, twenty-three at the time and an American would-be screenwriter, was one of many hopeful non-mainstream artists who heard Paul's and John's description of Apple as a refuge for creativity that was not fully appreciated by the general public. As might have been expected - as should have been expected - Apple's London office became a repository of unsolicited and un-listened-to cassettes, which John would shovel into cartons for disposal, and its front doorstep became populated not only by the slightly cuckoo Beatles fans who had always gathered there (the 'Apple Scruffs'), but by dozens of people with 'projects' they felt only the Beatles would appreciate. It became Derek Taylor's unhappy job to shoo them all away periodically, so that the people who worked there could come and go without having to battle an encampment of weirdos.
But Francie was more savvy. She arrived in London from New York, where she'd been writing advertising copy, in early April. She carried with her a 'treatment' for a movie about a street musician she'd met in front of Carnegie Hall who wanted to be a concert violinist, sure that the story would appeal to the Beatles.
She frequented the London rock clubs and managed to make a bunch of new friends, including a receptionist at Apple, who got her through the front door one day early in May. Lo and behold, Paul was in the reception area. Francie gave him her picture and told him she could be reached via a trendy hair salon where another of her new friends was employed. While having her hair done there the next day, a note from Paul arrived with his phone number. Etc. etc. - a month or so of cat and mouse, and Francie found herself a de facto resident at Paul's house. Jane's clothes were still there, Francie recalls, but Jane was then on tour with the Old Vic company. John and Yoko were living there as well. It is not true that Jane walked in on Francie and Paul making love: this we know. Of other details we cannot be sure - Paul does not even mention Francie in his semi-official biography by Barry Miles, and Francie's account of the affair in her own delightful book, Body Count, and the conversations I had with her leave some uncertainty as to the exact dates of events concerning the Loves of Paul. What makes sense is that Paul and Jane have effectively called it quits by mid-June; Paul goes to California, where he sends for Linda and they become lovers; Paul returns to his house, which Jane has vacated and where the lovely young couple John and Yoko are living; he is lonely; Francie is attractive and available; she and Paul sleep together a few times; and pretty soon he doesn't seem to object if she sticks around the day after and the day after and so on. Francie is not in a great hurry to leave either, although it is no bed of roses from the point of view of a woman who has been jilted by the man she refers to as the great love of her life. 'Oh, he gave me great jobs to do, like cutting the matted fur on the back of Martha, the sheepdog, that had shit balls in it. "Well, would you take care of Martha please?" He never bothered to send her out to a groomer. When Paul was out, which was often, John and Yoko and I would just sit around and talk and watch TV; one night we made opium cookies which made us sleepy, so we went to bed. You know, this was the extent of the "heroin-related drug activity" of John Lennon in 1968, no matter what anyone says. The heaviest thing he was into was LSD; John told me he would drop acid tabs like M&Ms.'
Francie went to recording sessions (although she did not participate, as did Yoko), worked at Apple part-time, sat in Paul's Aston Martin waiting for Paul to finish his visit with another woman, scored drugs for the household and prepared her American version of Liverpool junk food, beans on toast.
'More often than not,' she writes in her book, 'I would just be falling asleep around two in the morning when John and Yoko and Paul would crash in, show films, or play tapes from the session. If he wasn't in a good mood, he'd drink hideous Scotch-Coke combinations, throw food at the dogs and cats, drop his clothes in a path from the door to the bed, and ignore me completely ... Sometimes we'd go to a club, have a good time, then zip home for the ephemeral thing we substituted for love-making.'
This fairy-tale romance lasted until late in August.
One morning I woke up and everything had changed. I went downstairs, the carpets had just been shampooed and I remember them being damp, very damp. Paul had this horrible look on his face. Totally out of the blue, he asked me when I was leaving. I stuck around for a little bit, and I went into the kitchen in tears and called my mother. He came up behind me and put his arms around me and told me not to cry. And then he said, 'I'm going out for a while, make dinner will you.'
The next morning, I called the accountant and asked him for just enough money for a coach seat to New York. I packed my shit and Paul was pretending to be asleep. He was really awake and he didn't say anything. He just looked at me as if he was embarrassed, and I got the hell out of there.
Francie never saw Paul again. By the time he asked her to leave, he had already called Linda and invited her to come to London.
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