The Paul McCartney Project

Paul McCartney marries Linda Eastman

Wednesday, March 12, 1969 • Posted in “A day in the life
Timeline More from year 1969
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Location:
Marylebone Town Hall, London, UK

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On this day, Paul McCartney & Linda Eastman were married in a small civil ceremony at Marylebone Town Hall, London. From TheGuardian, March 13, 1969:

Beatle Mr John Paul McCartney, 26, and a millionaire, finally waved a wintry farewell to his bachelor freedom yesterday. He married Miss Linda Eastman, 27 […] Anyway it rained, and this was appropriate: the pavements outside Marylebone register office would have been wet in any case with the tears of fans thrown by the sudden reality of having failed to become Mrs McCartney.

What a sad day for these poor fans it was, not to mention the hundred or so reporters and photographers who stood outside Marylebone town hall for four hours in the rain. It began to get sad at seven in the morning. No announcement was ever made of the time or date of the wedding.

By the magic hour of ten, a sort of guard of honour had formed up on the steps of the town hall, consisting of rain-soaked journalists, old ladies trying to wield umbrellas and cameras at the same time, younger fans moaning and weeping and hanging on to each other’s arms and making catty comments about the bride, and a middle-aged man who kept shouting, “The Beatles are rubbish,” and then dodging hastily.

Paul, of course, wasn’t there to hear it. He had gone in by a back door, wearing a dark suit, a yellow kipper tie, and a floral shirt. Miss Eastman went in with him, wearing a yellow coat over a fawn dress. So did Heather – Miss Eastman’s daughter by a previous marriage, holding a posey of freesias.

This was at 9 50. An hour later the couple came to the window of a front room in the town hall to smile into camera lenses, but the most intense of the fans weren’t smiling. They had jammed themselves against the side of the big black Daimler in which the couple were to depart, and were rebelliously singing as many Beatle songs as they could remember, which mercifully wasn’t many. They also improvised one of their own, beginning, “Oh, Paul, we love you, yes, we do.” The police tried to move them on.

The atmosphere now had something of the air of a Grosvenor Square thump-up, the faintest trace of a prayer meeting, and a tangible suggestion of a communal suicide pact. Down the town hall steps came the happy couple, throwing the freesias to the crowd as police wrenched open the door of their car. […]

From Bribes.com

The three other Beatles didn’t participate to the celebration. Here are two different explanations Paul has given over the years.

I really don’t remember whether or not I invited any of the band to the wedding. Why not? I’m a total bastard, I suppose – I don’t know, really. Maybe it was because the group was breaking up. We were all pissed off with each other. We certainly weren’t a gang any more. That was the thing. Once a group’s broken up like that, that’s it.

Paul McCartney, in Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, by Barry Miles, 1998

John, George and Ringo weren’t at the wedding, which might have been because of the tensions of the time, or because we decided to do it quickly. It seems like an important point now but it wasn’t at the time – it was just the two of us wanting to get married quietly. My dad wasn’t there either – I’m not sure he was pleased with me about that, but my best excuse was that it was the spirit of the times. We didn’t want a big fuss.

Paul McCartney, Wingspan, 2002

As Paul also remembered, the wedding was nearly called of, the day before:

We were crazy. We had a big argument the night before we got married and it was nearly called off. We were very up and down, quite funky compared to the eventual image of ’25 years of married bliss! Aren’t they lucky for people in showbiz?’ But we are. You get this picture of us swanning along in a little rowboat managing to avoid the white water, but we were right in the middle of that white water, man, so it’s even more miraculous that we made it. But we did.

Paul McCartney, in Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, by Barry Miles, 1998

Paul and Linda McCartney were married for almost 30 years until Linda’s death in 1998.

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Last updated on July 11, 2020


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