Interview for Record Mirror • Saturday, September 27, 1975

Linda McCartney - The lady looks hard

Press interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
Record Mirror
Interview by:
Peter Harvey
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Part two in our weekly look at Paul McCartney’s new Wings


AGAINST THE prepossessing figures around her, she looks doubly hard. She looks cold and domineering (the stories about this lady could be true after all).

From her position on stage, surrounded by banks of electronic keyboards, Linda McCartney yells at the mixing desk, away at the back of the auditorium.

“What about the ARP,” she demands, an immediate response implicit in her tone.

The mixing desk stirs; she fingers her controls. Paul and the rest of Wings hover in the background, busily going through the business of sound checking. Linda is a flurry of energy.

She looks like the sort of lady who would chew any unwanted intruder alive. From her position on that pre  gig stage she looks Indomitable. And so it goes.

Without a doubt Linda McCartney has had to withstand a terrific burden of spite and venom since her marriage to the pretty Beatle, the heartthrob Paul.

She’s been slagged unmercifully. Every bitcher in the music biz, and they are legion, has had something nasty to say about Linda. Every step she’s taken towards credibility has been a hard one.

And on this afternoon in a theatre in Cardiff, she looks like a very hard lady. Just how much of that is front becomes more apparent later.

Linda wanders into the group’s dressing room quietly discussing with Tony Brainsby his plans for her free time. More interviews…

“Oh and that’s Peter,” she looks across and smiles warmly, “OK let’s talk now…


Next door the McCartneys’ dressing room looks different. The lighting is softer, the walls are covered with dresses hanging side by side. There’s a comfortable settee and while she’s still talking to a dressmaker, she motions to the settee with an invitation to “come in and sit down.”

The signs of show biz paranoia are nowhere to be seen. This is a completely relaxed enclave, a homely sort of room, where Linda sits easily in an armchair, and begins to talk.

It’s been said, in kindly circles, that Linda keeps the whole entourage together on the road.

“Oh well,” she grins, “I’m the old lady aren’t I? Mother? Right, definitely. I keep them full of Beecham Powders… I suppose I am a bit of that for them.”

The lady looks hard

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LINDA MCCARTNEY: ‘in-CRED-ible jams”

Because of the kids, the McCartneys’ three daughters plus another three or four – and families on this tour, Linda agrees she’s trying to preserve a family atmosphere.

“In fact after the gig we all see a movie back at the hotel. The trumpeter was saying today it’s very family this, you can all sit down and just relax.’ You can put your feet up, and that’s nice.”

And it’s true. Linda is so relaxed she might be on holiday instead of on tour. It was evident here in the dressing room, together with Paul, and back at the hotel watching the film.

The group? 

“It’s great. I think it’s great. The audiences think it’s great so far.

“It’s definitely the first group we’ve had. If you know what I mean. Before there was always something in the group which was niggling through the show. wouldn’t say who or what, but now everybody really likes each other. That helps. You know everybody is really enjoying it.”


Her musical status has always caused comment and obviously some dissent, but the fact is, she sticks with it. First of all it was to learn the parts note for note, now.

“I like the jams,” she says. “Everybody with us is a good imaginative musician. We have had some great jams when we’ve been rehearsing, some in-CRED-ible jams,” she drops to a whisper, like it’s a secret.

“They would make great sides of albums, you know. I’d love to make albums like that.”

The question of making albums brings us to her own project.

“I’ve done a few tracks actually but we might put them on the Hot Hits, Cold Cuts album, Instead of doing Suzy and The Red Stripes. I don’t know yet, I’ll see.

“Really! I did a reggae track before any of the white reggae tracks came out but I never dared release It  Seaside Woman. I used to play it when we toured Europe and stuff and we recorded it. That’s how the Suzy and The Red Stripes Idea came about ‘cos in Jamaica the beer they all drink is called Red Stripe. I thought maybe I should put it out, maybe I shouldn’t and it got to be such a debate, then everybody else started puttin’ ’em out,” she grimaces. “”Too bad.”

She doesn’t worry if people don’t take her seriously as a musician.

“First of all nobody’s heard me, except on stage,” she rejoins without going on the defensive. “And I don’t take myself seriously as a musician. I really love it…”

So it’s like a hobby?

“No. I take it seriously enough – from the day Paul said do you want to do a band to have learned, because I didn’t know anything when he said that. “

Nothing at all?

“Nothing. Well I knew the chord of C maybe, but I didn’t know anything. I’ve learned it all just by continuing playing. It’s like photography. My father said,

if you want to be a photographer you better go work for a photographer, learn all about it, go to school’, but I just… i took pictures.”

It’s all down to the eye, she agrees.

“If you get the light right – and I don’t use a light meter, I guess it – I have it here,” she points to her eye. “To see it and then snap. It’s down to two things. I wouldn’t know how to use a filter if I had to.”

She once lived off photography as a true professional. She was official photographer at the famous Fillmore East auditorium. She did stuff for Life magazine, the New York Times. “I don’t mind,” she says, acknowledging the lack of publicity about this side of her life. “Most people don’t know that I did all that.

“I still worry about it though,” she says. always worried that they would never come out. i always knew I had great pictures but what if I got a blank piece of film which hasn’t happened yet!”

At the moment arrangements are being made to publish her best photos in a book.

“It starts with the first pictures I took. It starts with the Stones; don’t know if you ever saw a picture of Brian Jones with his legs apart. It’s a famous Brian Jones picture. There’s one of him and Mick, a lot of Jimi Hendrix, I loved him, he was a great friend, really really great. Anybody whose music I liked, I always got great pictures of them. “


Paul enters and, ever the ebullient Joker, makes the introduction: “Hello Peter hello Paul, Fly away Peter, Fly away Paul”

He soon makes his presence felt too. Linda again talking about feeling part of the band.

“I never really felt part of it until this band,” she says.

I think Linda’s trouble was she didn’t know all the parts,” he says, adding: “Can I interrupt? She’s learnt them all up now. She knows what she’s doing, so it’s easier.

“And I like the other people in the band. It fits in. But that’s a lot to do with it. If you know what you’re doing you can have a bit of confidence, if you don’t you worry. Ug haugha,” she does a Jimmy Savile.

Are you quite content to be on the road for a long time? 


“To tell you the truth, adds Paul grinning.


“The only thing I like about the road is playing,” she goes on. “You spend your whole day in the coach with no sun on your head… “

“It’s very un- Linda all that,” says Paul. “She’s a country girl.”

“I believe that on a sunny day you should be out in the fields,” she adds. 

Last updated on September 3, 2023


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