The Paul McCartney Project

Holidays in Jamaica

December 1971 • Posted in “A day in the life

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Linda wrote her first song, “Seaside Woman“, inspired by those holidays.

Because of all the business troubles at Apple we really didn’t have much money. Well, I had some but I couldn’t get at it because it was frozen. But Linda had some savings from her photography so we were able to live on that for a while. We always used to say that if all the money went, if we became broke, then we’d go to Jamaica and live in a little shack. After our first visit to Jamaica, Linda wrote her first song, Seaside Woman. We cut a demo and I played drums. I didn’t have a snare drum, though, so I used a couple of ropes. Again, that’s why we called it our ‘funky period’ – it was all improvised. The harmonies on tracks like Seaside Woman became central to Wings. That sound was slightly different to what anyone else was doing. Elton John said he really loved our harmonies, and when I later worked with Michael Jackson he asked for Linda to be on the harmonies. Our voices did blend very well together.

Paul McCartney, in Wingspan, 2002
From Twitter – Paul in Jamaica, 1971. Photo by Linda McCartney #FBF #FlashbackFriday

We were up in Scotland and I was painting the big corrugated – iron roof. During that time, Linda had bought some of the first reggae records that hit Britain, Tighten Up, and she’d play them downstairs while I was painting the roof. We both loved the music and going to Jamaica became our big ambition. When we did, we really fell in love with it: the country, the people, the music, the lifestyle, the weather. We spent weeks there, soaking up a lot of reggae – it was the start of rap but they used to call it toasting. There was a radio station called rjr that played reggae all day long, and a little shop in Montego Bay called Tony’s Record Store where we used to sift through all the 45s. It reminded us of the 1950s. We’d buy them by the titles – one record was called Poison Pressure by Lennon-McCartney. I thought, ‘Oh yeah? This is interesting.’ It was no song I’d ever had a part in, nor John. Maybe we weren’t the only Lennon-McCartney in the world, though – perhaps it was Moses Lennon and Winston McCartney.

Paul McCartney, in Wingspan, 2002

Last updated on June 12, 2020

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