Paul McCartney in conflict with Northern Songs over song credit given to Linda

Monday, March 15, 1971

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Linda McCartney, American wife of Beatle Paul, is the centre of a financial row between her husband and the song publishers, Northern Songs, over whether she helped Paul write his new hit single, ‘Another Day’. Paul McCartney insists she did and is claiming her entitlement to half the copyright earnings. But Northern Songs rejects the claim and means to take the McCartneys to court if necessary. Mr Jack Gill, chairman of Northern Songs, said, ‘We will require Mrs McCartney to prove that she is capable of composing such music if she persists in her claim. We find it extremely strange that a person who never wrote music before her marriage, should have helped write “Another Day”. Mrs McCartney’s claim to half the copyright earnings of “Another Day” would cut The Beatles’ share of the profits from the song.’ Lennon remarked, ‘It’s not very nice, is it?’

Stella Shamoon, London City Writer – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

Linda and I have been writing songs together and my publishers are suing because they don’t believe she wrote them with me. You know, suddenly she marries him and suddenly she’s writing songs. ‘Oh sure, wink, wink, oh sure, she’s writing songs.’ But actually, one day I said to her, ‘I’m going to teach you how to write, even if I have to just strap you to the piano bench. I’m going to teach you the way I write music.’ I never write music anyway. I just write by ear and I like to collaborate on songs. If I have to just go out in another room and write, it’s too much like work, like doing your homework. If I can have Linda working with me, then it becomes like a game. It’s fun, so we wrote about ten songs…

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

What Paul’s mistake here was that he tried to take it all for ‘Another Day’. Now, I wrote ‘God Save Us’ with Yoko, and ‘Do The Oz’ and there’s one track on the album she wrote. She had even written other things like ‘Julia’ back in The Beatles’ days, although I never put it on. What we did was we just called Lew Grade and they know she writes music and we said, ‘Look, we’ve done it. So what do you want to do about it?’ And he said, ‘Well, let’s split it,’ and so we just split it, Ono Music and Northern Songs. The thing with Paul is, he wants all the action. He wants it all. It’s not just the money, it’s the principle. For instance, Paul’s cost us probably over a million (pounds) since he started this (High Court) thing and his tax counsel’s just come up and given us exactly the tax advice we gave him two years ago, to tell him exactly not to do all what’s he done. So it’s cost us quite a bit trying to see it his way. It’s like Monopoly, only with real money, and it’s costing us a fortune. The sooner it’s over the better.

John Lennon – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

The first time I actually saw cheques was when I left Apple and it wasn’t even me who saw them, it was Linda, because we had co-written a few of our early things. She had written a few words, so I put her down as co-writer, which ATV and Sir Lew Grade didn’t like. In fact, they sued me for a million in England, a million in New York. ‘Very charming,’ I thought, after all I had done for them. Lee Eastman stepped in and settled. He’s a top man. The royalty cheques I saw came to Linda. I thought, ‘Wow, I bet I’ve got a few of them somewhere.’ But mine never came to me. They went to an ‘aforementioned party’. They always went into a big well, and we never saw any.”

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

We were getting sued by a publisher, saying that I was incapable of writing. So Paul said, ‘Get out and write a song.’ So I wrote ‘Seaside Woman’, which is a reggae number. So then I thought, ‘We need a B-side for it,’ so we went in and recorded a number called ‘Oriental Nightfish’, which turned out so good that we thought, ‘Now we’ve got two A-sides,’ so now we needed to do two B-sides…

Linda McCartney – 1973 interview – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

Last updated on March 11, 2022

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