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Chapter 14

'John said to me, "Oh my God! Paul and Linda are downstairs. Can you handle that?" and I said, "Yeah, so? What's the problem? There's nothing to handle. They're your friends, send them up."'
May Pang

            What of the relationship between Linda and Yoko?, many have wondered, as if there were some fascinating matter waiting to be revealed. I rather think there was none - sorry. It was more a question of whatever Yoko/John on the one hand, and Paul on the other, determined their relations to be at any given moment. Not that Linda couldn't or didn't think for herself (which need hardly be said about Yoko), or hold her own opinions, but the women's relationship, however manifested, followed the party line. There was always too much at stake, too intense an emotional field, too much that had gone by and was still being dealt with for it to have been otherwise.
            Linda had become the second, and lifetime-it-was-hoped partner of Paul McCartney, whose first partnership, with John Lennon, had been one of the most important in modern history. Nothing involving the two men separately could ever equal, in its significance to the world, what had existed between them; but they had chosen their life-mates, and two other very public partnerships now existed for everyone's delectation. Neither carried the weight of the Beatles, of course, but that immense legacy was not about to vanish simply because the legal, financial, creative and marital status of the old team had changed most radically. What Paul and John were going to do without each other was, after (roughly) 1970, and by default, as interesting to the public as what they had done together.
            Although both men appeared to dismiss their erstwhile partnership as belonging to some past era about which they retained only a distant and dispassionate interest, they fooled no one, and certainly not themselves or their wives. And each admitted, eventually, to having had profound doubts about his ability to ever do anything worthwhile again, as they hovered around the scary age of thirty. A powerful 60s mantra, inspired in large part by the Beatles and the universe that came into being after the big bang that they made, ran: 'Don't trust anyone over thirty.' How must it have felt to have fathered that sentiment, and to see it come true, but with you now on the wrong side of that arbitrary great divide? It was not easy.
            Came the women to the rescue. Yoko seems to have believed, from early in 1968 onwards, that John without the Beatles (and with her firmly at his side) was better than John the Beatle, and she is a very persuasive person, as time has proven; Linda found herself with a Beatle who was one no longer, and whose sense of his own worth, in the aftermath of that very high ride, was going down the tubes. She had to convince him, and did, that, with her help, he could do it alone, and this new team, Linda saw at once, required a very solid front. There were many aspects of Paul's life after the Beatles that Linda was allowed to define, but when it came to John, and by extension Yoko, it was all up to Paul. She knew this both logically and intuitively; if she ever had any doubts, her father and brother were there to reinforce Paul's primacy in that area.
            The two women had a few things in common, none of which made them in any way especially compatible: both came from rich families, both were raised in Scarsdale, both were vaguely members of New York City's creative community, both left New York and found true love in London, and both married Beatles. So much for the similarities; they did nothing, to put it mildly, to make Linda and Yoko soulmates. The differences, too many and too obvious to list, weighed much more heavily; in any case, if identical twins had married Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1969, the way in which their lives would have had to change would have estranged them forever, putting them on opposite and opposing sides of the fence. It was not up to them, but was a function of the choice each woman had made. They stood by their men until the end.
            If John said something snide about Paul's solo albums (which he did with unprofessional frequency), then John/Yoko went on the Paul/Linda shit-list. If John's lawyers caved in to Paul's on any of the many disputed items they were always at war about, then John came off the list. If Paul sold more records and tickets than John, he went on the John/Yoko shit-list (or at least he went on to John's, and off; it's hard to believe that the McCartneys were not generally viewed by Yoko with suspicion and distaste, and vice versa).
            This is confusing, I know. It's confused me plenty over the years. If it can be summed up, let me try it this way: Paul and John loved each other always - they could be envious, hostile, bitter and disappointed, but they always loved each other.
            Paul never loved Yoko, and Yoko never loved Paul. She tolerated Linda and in fact could be most cordial and gracious. She wrote an appreciation of Linda in Rolling Stone after her death that was - not surprisingly -kind and generous and said all the right things. However, I do not know what John thought of Linda as an entity separate from Paul, or if he did indeed think all that much about her in that context. He knew Paul loved and needed her, and that she was an exemplary wife and mother, but I suspect he didn't expend much emotional energy on the subject.
            Linda went with the flow according to Paul. I know she participated to some extent in ascertaining what the McCartney Mood of the Moment was vis-a-vis the Ono-Lennons but, once it had been settled on, it was identical to her husband's. In public interviews and private conversations, they spoke as one.
            John and Yoko had moved to New York from London (which John would never see again), to an apartment on Bank Street in Greenwich Village. They began to cultivate the art community, and the art community, which had not been terribly distressed when Yoko left, now welcomed her back as an important artist, a major celebrity, someone to know . . . whatever she wanted. Prominent anti-war activists were also high on their list of collectables.
            In 1973, the Ono-Lennons left the Village and headed uptown, to the Dakota apartment house on Central Park West, one of the oldest, finest and most fabulous residential buildings in New York. A fortress of a structure, it was built in 1882 around a central courtyard and houses many rich and famous tenants in its ninety-four apartments. (Yoko now owns two joined-together flats and maintains offices on the first floor; she does not own a dozen Dakota apartments, as rumour and legend say she does.) There are several levels of security a non-resident must penetrate to gain entry. A visitor must check in first at an outer desk, which is under a massive archway leading from West 72nd Street into the courtyard, and then again at an inside desk. Ex-husbands, ex-wives and ex-partners of all sorts have at least as difficult a time getting in as ordinary strangers.
            Picture then the unpleasant thoughts that must have passed through the minds of John and Yoko as they sat in their bedroom on the night of 17 December 1975, chatting with their close friend, photographer Bob Gruen, when the doorbell rang. John had recently learned that he would be able to stay in America, permission granted reluctantly by the authorities after a surprise drugs bust in England (on the day of Paul and Linda's wedding), a night-time raid on their Bank Street apartment (where a clever attorney got them out of trouble) and the couple's general undesirability in a country whose government had suffered a disastrous defeat in Vietnam, because, it was claimed, peace-nuts just like John and Yoko had (somehow) made it impossible for the military to wage the all-out war they had in mind. Gruen recalls,

            There was a big flash of paranoia when the doorbell rang. It was like, 'Oh my God, who can that be?' In the Dakota, every visitor gets announced from the desk downstairs, so when the bell on your apartment door rings suddenly, it's a real fright. It wasn't just a little paranoia - they were very scared, very nervous.
            They said to me, 'Go see who it is, don't open the door until you know what's going on,' and I went to the hallway and I heard what sounded like kids singing Christmas carols. So I called back to John and Yoko, 'Don't worry, it's some kids from the building singing carols,' and when I looked through, it was Paul and Linda. They were singing 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas', very cute, kind of adorable, just standing there singing.
            I said, 'I don't think you're looking for me; come on, I'll take you into the bedroom where John and Yoko are,' and they kept singing all the way in. You know, you read about all the animosity between them, about how the Beatles' wives don't get along, but they all seemed like giddy old school chums. Hugging, patting each other on the back, the guys were like high-school buddies who hadn't seen each other in a long time and really liked each other. The girls were very chatty and pleasant. If you didn't read the magazines, you wouldn't know Yoko and Linda were supposed to hate each other, they were getting along just fine. They all went into the next room to look at Sean, who was just two months old. [Yoko had had two miscarriages since she'd been with John; this was the first of their babies to survive.]
            Paul told them about the pot bust in LA and how they'd been denied a Japanese visa, and how much he and Linda wanted to go to Japan. John and Yoko really loved Japan and went there a lot, so they talked about that. It was all pretty general, nothing about any business between them, and then when they got up to leave there was lots of hugging and kissing, general holiday good cheers. It was so fascinating seeing the two of them together like that with their wives, and everything totally pleasant.
            After they were gone, John and Yoko were saying, 'Wow! Do you believe that?' And they seemed to be so happy about the visit. Whatever fights were going on between their lawyers, they knew each other too long and too well not to be glad about seeing each other.

            In fact, Paul and Linda had seen John a few times in 1974, when he was separated from Yoko and living with May Pang, a vivacious easygoing woman who had met John Lennon when she was working for Yoko as her secretary. (May has written about their stormy affair in Me and John, co-authored by Henry Edwards.) The McCartneys had first met May in California, but the two couples became more relaxed with each other later that year. 'John and Paul were always one-upping each other, like brothers,' remembers May, now married to record producer Tony Visconti.

            John and I had our own apartment on East 52nd Street, and we went to see Linda and Paul at the Stanhope Hotel. The first time they ever visited us in New York, the doorman called up and spoke to John, and John said to me, 'Oh my God! Paul and Linda are downstairs. Can you handle that?' and I said, 'Yeah, so? What's the problem? There's nothing to handle. They're your friends, send them up.'
            In January of 1975 John said, 'I have something to ask you. What would you think if I started writing with Paul again?’ My mouth fell open, and I said, 'Are you kidding? I think it would be terrific' That was the last time John and I were ever together before we split up. Yoko called him that night and told him she had a method to help him stop smoking, and that he should come over to the Dakota. I told him I didn't like him going over there, and he said, 'Stop it!' He was yelling at me. 'What's your problem? I'll be home by dinner, we'll go have a late dinner, and then we'll make plans to go to New Orleans and see Paul and Linda.'
            But when he walked out that door, I knew something bad was going to happen. When he came back, he was a different person about Paul. It wasn't the same. He was saying, 'Oh, you know how when Paul and Linda used to come and visit us? Well, I couldn't stand it.' Obviously, something happened on the other side of Central Park. Right after that, he was back with Yoko. We split up for good in February, 1975.
            I didn't see Linda and Paul again for a long time. It wasn't until 1989, at Paul's 'Buddy Holly Party' in London, and Tony had been invited because he had worked with the two of them. I went over to Linda, and she didn't recognize me. I said hello to her, and she said, 'Oh, hi.' I said, 'It's May, remember John and May?' And she just went 'Huh?!' She threw her arms around me and hugged me, she said, 'I've always wondered what happened to you! I always liked you so much!' She'd read my book, and she said, 'I know it's true what you wrote, I know what you've been going through, I support you, and I'm so glad you've married Tony. We love Tony!' She was so nice. I told her that John had wanted to write again with Paul, and she forced me to be the one to tell Paul that. I said, 'Can't you tell him?' She said, 'No, I want it to be you,' and she brought Paul over and said, 'Look, it's May! And she wants to tell you something that John said to her.' And so I told him, and he looked very pleased to hear that.
            When we were talking about my book, Yoko's name came up, of course, but [Linda] never said anything negative about her. She sort of indicated that Yoko was not one of those people that she welcomed with open arms at all times, but she didn't say it outright.

            Something of a mystery hovers over the rekindling of the friendship between the McCartneys and Ono-Lennons in the mid-1970s. It is definite that the last meeting of the two couples took place at the Dakota in May 1976, when Paul and Linda were in New York during the 'Wings over America' tour. As John told Playboy, Paul and Linda came to visit, and they watched an episode of Saturday Night Live on which producer Lome Michaels announced that the NBC network had told him that he could offer the Beatles the standard fee of $3,200 for an appearance. They thought it would be funny if they hopped in a taxi at that moment and just showed up at the studio while the show was being broadcast, but decided they were too tired. That's a famous anecdote, which Paul also told his biographer, Barry Miles.
            But then, Lennon tells Playboy, 'That was a period when Paul just kept turning up at our door with a guitar. I would let him in but finally I said to him, "Please call before you come over. It's not 1956, and turning up at the door isn't the same any more. You know, just give me a ring." He was upset by that, but I didn't mean it badly. I just meant that I was taking care of a baby all day, and some guy turns up at the door.'
            One wonders what period John is talking about. After the merry holiday visit, during which Linda described the Los Angeles pot bust that had occurred in March 1975 (indicating they hadn't all seen each other for nine months, at least), the McCartneys returned to England and went into the recording studio to do Wings at the Speed of Sound. A European tour began on 20 March 1976 in Copenhagen, and the stateside leg started in May, so there could hardly have been any meeting between 17 December 1975 and May 1976, which, in any case, is acknowledged to be the last time the two ever saw each other. It is possible that Paul came bopping up to John and Yoko's apartment (without Linda and with a guitar) a few times during the 1975 Christmas season, because he was so excited about the surprise visit described by Bob Gruen. John could not have been making it up, but it just seems so very odd ...
            Paul finally got a visa to perform with Wings in Japan, where eleven big concerts were booked for January 1980. For a musician who was so very eager to play in that country at last, as he had told the Lennons back in 1975 (Bob Gruen remembers Paul saying to John and Yoko that it was his dream to go back there, ever since he'd gone as a Beatle), he sure wasn't too cool about taking advantage of the chance when he was finally cleared.
            'It took hundreds of lawyers thousands of hours to negotiate with a very slow-moving, unsympathetic Japanese government to let this convicted drug felon into the country,' says Gruen, who discussed the Wings 1980 Japanese fiasco in detail with John and Yoko when the headlines announced that Paul had been put in prison in Tokyo for attempting to bring marijuana into Japan. 'And when they finally let him in, he walks ui with eight bags of pot right on top of the clothes in the suitcase he's carrying. What was he thinking? John said Paul probably just never imagined that anybody would open his bag. He was a Beatle. Nobody every opened their bags or searched their personal belongings. Beatles don't get that kind of treatment'
            They don't? After arrests in Sweden, Scotland and California, the McCartneys must have gathered they were not quite immune from government curiosity about their drug of choice. What is most amazing, as Gruen points out, is that it had taken five years to turn the Japanese authorities around; how brazen it was for someone, even Paul McCartney, to enter a country committing the same 'crime' that had kept him out for so long.
            Linda, as noted earlier, had been terrified what might happen after Paul was taken into custody. She told me in the summer of that year,

            If I'd known what Paul was really facing, I'd have fallen apart -they told me he might be detained for a few days or weeks, and people caught with less pot were in Japanese prisons for years. Well, they made sure I didn't hear the word 'years'. At first I thought he'd be out the next day, that it would all be taken care of with a fine or something. Then the days went by, with the kids and me in a Japanese hotel, and we didn't know what was going to happen. What was happening! I was thinking they might be torturing him. I didn't know what to tell the kids; James was two years old and he knew something was wrong. Paul and I hadn't spent a night apart in ten years, and now he was in jail. I almost couldn't deal with it. But of course I had to.

            The Japanese tour was cancelled; the band members went home with rather bitter feelings towards their boss. Wings 'just kind of wound down' during the year after Paul's nine days as a guest of the government, according to guitarist Laurence Juber.

            George Martin was brought in to produce Tug of War, but he didn't want to do a Wings record, he wanted to do a McCartney record. There was certainly no more touring planned; I got the impression that Paul and Linda didn't want to put that kind of pressure on the family any more.
            The feeling was: it's another decade, let's change gears. You know, Wings really had been a band. Paul and Linda were the bosses, but there was always a feeling that this was a collaborative effort. There was an openness to group communication, and I think that was reflected in the way the music came out. Each Wings album tends to have its own identity because of the changing personnel. But at that point, it didn't make sense to do another one. It certainly didn't make sense to George Martin. Nor to any of us, really.

            That spring Paul and Linda made the album McCartney II at home. It became number one in the UK charts, and encouraged Paul to start putting his own name on the package once again. But he and Linda did not do a concert tour until 1989.
            'We'd been pretty much on the road for almost ten years,' Linda said to me in August 1989 at the Lyceum Theater in New York, where rehearsals (and one concert for special fans and friends) were held for a world tour that was to start in Norway in late September. We sat in a box in the empty theatre one afternoon, while Paul did interviews backstage and Linda handled a string of reporters, one at a time, on her own.
            'Once I didn't have to play in public,' she remarked, 'I rather got to enjoy fooling around on the keyboard. I taught myself some things, and Paul would always have some things to teach me as well. I'll do this tour, you know, but I'd rather be on the farm feeding horses and taking pictures.' She told the same thing to every writer who asked her, as if she wanted to make it clear, if people still hadn't got the message, that she had never, and was not about to, beat Paul over the head to get herself on stage.
            'Paul needs that dose he gets from an audience, and he's getting kind °f restless,' Linda went on. 'We talked about this a whole lot; Paul knew I needed to be convinced that this was the thing to do. The kids are kind °f grown up, and that makes a difference. After the John-thing, we wanted to lie low more for their sake than for ours. There were death threats. Some nuts, but we had to take them seriously. We have so much more security around us now, our lives have really changed. We have security that you don't see, you know what I mean? I hate it, I hate all that, I don't like to talk about it.
            'Anyhow, he's ready to go out there, and I'll go with him, we all will. I expect it will be fun. You'll see, we're going to do a great show.'
            The John-thing: 8 December 1980. The McCartneys were at home in Sussex when Paul had a phone call from his office telling him that John Lennon had been murdered, on the pavement at the entrance to the apartment building where he lived.
            'God, it was horrible that day. I remember everything,' Linda said, as we talked on the back terrace of her house in Long Island in 1992. 'I'd just taken one of the kids to school, and Paul was home. I drove into the driveway and he walked out the front door; I could tell by looking at him that there was something absolutely wrong. I'd never seen him like that before. Desperate, you know, tears. I can see it so clearly, but I can't remember the words. I just sort of see the image. It's like a picture. Like it's a snapshot. Soul's camera.
            'And then he told me what happened, and we were both crying. Later, we sat there with the kids watching it all on the telly. God, it's a weird old world, isn't it?' Linda paused and looked around. 'Oh! Look at that female cardinal - see her, under the tree? Sort of a green and a red with an orangey beak?'
            'She's not as gorgeous as her boyfriend,' I said.
            'But when you look at them through glasses, they are beautiful. Even those blackbirds, if you look when the sun's on them, they're metallic blues and browns with yellow eyes. They live here, the chipmunks, and the squirrels and the birds. This is their house, really.'
            I tried to bring the conversation back to Linda's memories of the day John Lennon was killed. 'I was reluctant to call you in London,' I remembered. 'So I called your brother and asked, "Are they all right?", something stupid like that. He said, "Of course!" I wondered how it could be "Of course!", but what could he have told me? You must have been freaked out, I didn't know what to say to you.'
            'But it was lovely of you to call my brother. Freaked out? Slightly. It was awful. Can't you imagine? Paul was in so much pain. Then he started wondering if he was going to be next, or if it would be me, or the kids, and I didn't know what to think. At least Paul and John had been on really friendly terms at that time - they had talked on the phone about John's son, and they were laughing, and Paul felt good about their friendship.
            'Boy, people sure fuck up this world, don't they?'
            Linda and Paul had gone to New York to see Yoko soon after John's death. 'We all cried so hard, you know, we had to laugh,' Paul told the Sunday Express. 'Yoko wanted to get us something to eat, and she mentioned caviare. We all said, "Let's do it!" Her houseman brought it in, mumbling, and he backed out and there was the caviare tin with just a little bit in the bottom. Her servants had eaten it all! So I said, "Ask for some wine." Sure enough, when it arrives there's like a quarter left in the bottle. They've had all the wine too! We were all just hysterical, and the relief was indescribable.'
            It was not to be all giggles between the widow and the McCartneys from that moment on. In the spring of 1981, Yoko told an interviewer that Paul had hurt John more than any other person. Paul did not take too kindly to that statement. In 1985, when the Beatles' song copyrights went on the market, Paul claims he was relying on Yoko to retrieve the catalogue for both of them, but that she let the deal slip through her hands: Michael Jackson ended up with the Beatles' songs, for $47.5 million - Paul was furious.
            In 1988, the year the Beatles were to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Paul was aligned on one side against Yoko, Ringo and George on the other, in a dispute about recording royalties. He signalled that he didn't want to appear with the three of them on a stage accepting this great honour - then he said he might come after all. It was very big news that Paul might not show up, and I phoned Linda every day in the week preceding the event to find out how the land lay. I don't know,' she said one time. 'Paul doesn't feel like pretending everything is just fine, when they're all getting up a legal case against him.' The next time, it was, 'We might come, we haven't really decided.' ft was left at 'might' until the day of the ceremonies, when Paul's office faxed a statement to the Hall of Fame board saying he regretfully could not go through the hypocrisy of smiling for the cameras with three people who were, at that moment, his enemies. His absence was extremely noticeable, as one might imagine. (Neither did Diana Ross join the other Supremes, reportedly because of some fit of temper, so two of the biggest stars being inducted that night weren't there.) I was kind of stunned; I had really thought Paul and Linda would come to New York after all.
            The next morning, I had a 'casual' phone call from Linda at my office at the radio syndication company, MJI. 'Hi,' she drawled. 'So what's happening?'
            I answered, 'You were sorely missed last night. I wish you had been there - by the way, I taped the whole show; would you like to hear it?' 'Hmm, maybe. Paul? I have Danny on the phone, he taped the Hall of Fame thing last night. Do we want to hear it? Oh, Paul says yes.'
            Not entirely unprepared for this call, I had a cassette deck close by, with the tape cued to Mick Jagger's terrific speech inducting the Beatles. 'OK,' I said, 'here's Mick. I'm going to hold the mouthpiece of the phone next to the tape machine.' I played Mick Jagger's thing, which was followed by enormous applause. 'Could you hear that OK?' I asked. 'Yes, he's great,' Paul said.
            'OK, now everyone is standing up and George, Ringo, Yoko, Julian and Sean are coming on stage. I'm putting the phone back near the deck.'
            'Uh-oh,' Linda said.
            Ringo and George bantered a bit - George drawing a big laugh from the audience with, 'I don't have much to say because I'm the quiet Beatle. It is unfortunate that Paul's not here because he was the one with the speech in his pocket.' The phone receiver I was holding over the cassette deck seem to grow a bit chillier in my hand. Then Yoko stepped up to the microphone.
            'I wish John was here. He would have been here, you know. He would have come. He was that kind of person . . . etc. etc'
            Now the phone receiver seemed to turn distinctly icy. 'Umm, could you hear all that, guys?' I asked, trans-Atlantically.
            Paul answered with some rather unkind words about Yoko, and left Linda and me to pick up the pieces.
            'I guess we missed a big night,' she said, clearly with no regrets. She'd been thrust for a moment into the Beatle-hell that had engulfed her new life as the consort of Prince Charming nearly twenty years ago, and the memories were not pleasant.
            'That much bigger since you weren't there, my dear. You and Diana Ross.' I had to bite my lip to stop myself adding something about 'prima donnas'.
            'Diana Ross didn't come? How can they have the Supremes without Diana Ross? Well, maybe we better not get into that. Goodbye my love.'
            The whole Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing would have become a non-issue with the passing of time, but for the induction of John Lennon for his solo recording career in 1994. His first records, post-Beatles, were the three albums he made in 1969, all with Yoko, thus making him an eligible nominee; artists become eligible for the Hall of Fame twenty-five years after the release of an album with their name on it. Lennon would be the first person to have been inducted twice into the Hall of Fame, once as a Beatle, once as himself; as a member of the nominating committee, I was wary of that precedent as a real can-of-worms opener. I also truly felt that his inclusion was in large part a sentimental one; he was, after all, a martyr and the first entertainer in history to be assassinated. I do not mean to question his stature - he was certainly one of the most brilliant and important men in the second half of the twentieth century, a wonderful songwriter, a true celebrity. I just happened to wonder if these past years defined a real 'rock and roll' career, and I saw some handwriting on the wall that contained the names of a married couple very dear to me, who would certainly feel that this honour should come their way as well, and as soon as possible.
            Of course, there was no one who could make John's induction speech but Paul himself, and he was persuaded to do it with vague reassurances of his own imminent induction. And so, on that January night in 1994, there was a re-lighting of the flame, as Paul, Linda and Yoko sat together and chatted away amiably, with Paul at one point putting his arm over the back of Yoko's chair and laughing genially at whatever it was she was saying. His speech inducting John was as full of love as it indeed ought to have been, and when Yoko came out to accept the statuette, and they embraced, there was not a dry eye in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria. After the ceremonies, she had a small get together at her apartment in honour of the McCartneys.
            I wondered when 'it' was going to start, and sure enough, 'it' began but a few weeks after that night, with a phone call from Linda. 'So,' she asked, 'is Paul going to get into the Hall of Fame now that John is in?'
            'Paul is already in,' I said (and would say to her many, many times again).
            'Yes, but John is in as a soloist. What about Paul's solo career?'
            'Linda, permit me to be blunt. John is in because he's dead. Do you want Paul to qualify by being dead?'
            'No, I just want to see him inducted, as he deserves.'
            Linda was working her half of the partnership. I was on the nominating committee, where I was assumed to have some 'pull', which I didn't, only opinions.
            Some variation of this little interchange between Linda and me on the subject of the Hall of Fame occurred with dismaying frequency. I had no answers, except to reiterate my belief that John Lennon was already in because he had been murdered. When Neil Young became the second person to own two statuettes, one for his solo career and one as a member of Buffalo Springfield, Linda turned up the heat. Neil was very close to the McCartneys (he spoke at Linda's memorial service in New York in June 1998); being a friend made the Hall of Fame Business worse, not better.
            One time I found a little phrase to use in my argument that has come to haunt me. It's one of the most terrible things, in retrospect, that I have ever said to anybody. 'When Paul gets into the Hall of Fame, Linda, you will be the Widow McCartney.'
            Paul got in six months after Linda died; she never knew that this dream was coming true, and Paul, on the night of the ceremonies, was feeling - as I interpreted it, knowing Paul a little and having worked the induction ceremonies backstage for several years - somewhat bitter towards the whole institution of the Hall of Fame for depriving Linda of this moment. As if it were in anyone's control. Daughter Stella McCartney, aged twenty-seven, the rising star of the international world of fashion as chief designer at the House of Chloe in Paris, was Paul's 'date' that night, and he called her up to the stage to share the moment with him. She wore a white tank-top shirt that said 'It's About Fucking Time', which I'm sure would have been Linda's exact words. Stella's 'statement' had to be blacked out for TV transmission.

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