Bernard Webb

Pseudonym used by Paul McCartney

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You wrote ‘Woman’ for Peter and Gordon as BERNARD WEBB.

Well that was the first pseudonym I used for secrecy reasons. I was a bit annoyed that anything by Lennon-McCartney was being a hit, particularly by Peter and Gordon, and…I don’t know, I just got an attack of morals or something, but I felt it was a bit much that automatically having our name on something made it do well, and I wanted to see if I could get around it. So I asked our music publisher, Dick James, if I could use a pseudonym. He was a bit jittery – “It sells better if your name’s on it!” – so I said “Yes but Dick, look, you’ve got all that money, you’ve got ‘Yesterday’, we’re doing great, I really am keen on seeing this happen”, so he gave in. Bernard Webb was the name I chose, and the nice thing was that shortly after that we went on tour to America and someone was holding up a big sign saying “Long live Bernard Webb”! I didn’t really mind when people found out. The release suggested to me that my name didn’t need to be on things – but then, it wasn’t as big a hit as some of their other singles so it sort of proved a point. I quite like the song, actually. People say to me now, “Is that song really yours?” because it doesn’t sound like one of mine.

In America, the credit was B Webb-A Smith.

I don’t know why that is – it may have been a contractual thing, or John might have caught onto the joke and taken a pseudonym too.

Paul McCartney – Interview with Club Sandwich N°62, Spring 1992


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