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Did Linda help or hurt McCartney's career?
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mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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4 October 2012 - 3.33am

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 there's quite of a bit of truth to that, I think.

Oh, and also - I am the only person here who loved Cook of the House? I seriously love it.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

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meanmistermustard

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4 October 2012 - 8.52am

mr. Sun king coming together said
a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 there's quite of a bit of truth to that, I think.

Oh, and also - I am the only person here who loved Cook of the House? I seriously love it.

Not the only one. COTH has such a lively atmosphere to it. Throw in the effects and i can see how there could be a handful of people in the kitchen, especially when Paul and the others join in.

Im a massive fan of WATSOS.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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4 October 2012 - 4.51pm

meanmistermustard said
Zig. Do you include the knitting reference as a tap and a wink towards John having Yoko sitting knitting on a Top of the Pops broadcast of Instant Karma? If so kudos for the reference. If not well just ignore this.

I wish I could accept your kudos, but the knitting reference had nothing to do with J&Y. I could have said playing solitaire and the point would have been the same.

I do appreciate your giving me the benefit of the doubt though.mal-evans

It should be made clear that ITSWD is right that Paul's reputation took a hit back then (whether or not it was deserved). I believe his career survived that turmoil, however. 

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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The Walrus
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4 October 2012 - 5.48pm

Into the Sky with Diamonds said

 When people talk of the big stars of the '70s, how often does the name McCartney come up. Never in any paper or magazine (maybe in Great Britain?).

But equally, nor do the names of Lennon or Harrison. The public perception is that all three of them just fell apart when the Beatles broke up, except for Imagine, Maybe I'm Amazed and What Is Life (or similar "exceptions").

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time

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robert
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4 October 2012 - 7.50pm

Can we all agree that 99.99999% of musicians would have loved to have had the career Paul McCartney had in the 70's - regardless of how many hits or setbacks we think he may have had.

"She looks more like him than I do."

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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5 October 2012 - 1.03am

Kedame said, "My thinking, at this point, is who cares?"

I think you could say that about any historical period. Why care about anything in the past?

History is interesting because it explains the present. This discussion is relevant in the context of figuring out why people of a certain generation will say, "Paul was finished when the Beatles broke up" or "Paul obviously needed the other three to write any decent music." Since McCartney wrote a great deal of wonderful songs after the break-up, why would anyone say that?
Yes, people were initially angry at the Beatles breaking up, but that anger didn't carry through 20+ years!

Kedame also said, "I think the image of he and Linda on stage together now actually helps his career in the present."

I would agree with that. The public probably feels a little sorry for McCartney at this point and looks back at the Linda McCartney days with some nostalgia. ("Remember the days, honey, when he had the daft idea of putting his wife in the band and no one took him seriously for the next twenty years? Ah the good times....)

The Walrus said, "nor do the names of Lennon or Harrison. The public perception is that all three of them just fell apart when the Beatles broke up .."

True (at least for Lennon)....  A few years ago a musical appeared on Broadway called Lennon - a tribute to Lennon's post-Beatle days. It was excellent from every single point of view. Few people cared and it closed within a few weeks.

Beatlemania had played for years.

Robert said, "Can we all agree that 99.99999% of musicians would have loved to have had the career Paul McCartney had in the 70's – regardless of how many hits or setbacks we think he may have had."

Absolutely.

I think we can also agree that 99.99999% of musicians and performers would love to have the career or Britney Spears or Justin Bieber. However, that doesn't automatically translate to respect!

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

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...ontherun
Massachusetts
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5 October 2012 - 1.24pm

Considering Macca was living at the bottom of a bottle of booze after having to file a lawsuit against his mates (he had no choice as we all know) and that it was Linda who dragged him out of it, I'm going with an emphatic YES SHE HELPED on this one. Go knows what might have become of Sir Paul otherwise.

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...

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Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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6 October 2012 - 12.45am

Did Paul really have some sort of drinking problem around this time, I wonder?  I kinda get the impression that maybe he likes to overstate it - like he feels the need to overdramatize events.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

JenB60
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6 October 2012 - 1.04am

This is the first time I've visited this website and I feel the need to reply to this question.  I was an adolescent during this period and I remember hearing that her presence in the band weakened him; she was no musician, she had no talent, yet he insisted that she be there.  At the time, I couldn't believe her audacity, to stand there, with that band of very talented musicians, as if she belonged there.  It was absurd and he was mocked for it.  I'm sure she was a nice woman and that their love was genuine, but there is little doubt in my mind that she did not benefit him in any way on an artistic level.

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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6 October 2012 - 8.52pm

JenB60 said
This is the first time I've visited this website and I feel the need to reply to this question.  I was an adolescent during this period and I remember hearing that her presence in the band weakened him; she was no musician, she had no talent, yet he insisted that she be there.  At the time, I couldn't believe her audacity, to stand there, with that band of very talented musicians, as if she belonged there.  It was absurd and he was mocked for it.  I'm sure she was a nice woman and that their love was genuine, but there is little doubt in my mind that she did not benefit him in any way on an artistic level.

 

Hi JenB60 - welcome to our Forum. apple01

I recall many people feeling the same way you do. I did not share those feelings, but I assume the thoughts you expressed are exactly why Into The Sky With Diamonds asked this question to begin with. As I said upthread, those of us old enough to remember those times know what was being said about her inclusion in the band. Thank you for sharing your point of view.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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meanmistermustard

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6 October 2012 - 9.25pm

Does anyone know where to read articles from the time that were slating Pauls decision? Would be fascinating to see how it was back then without all the hindsight.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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PaulHalsey
A hole in the road, Penny Lane
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6 October 2012 - 9.42pm

I  think Linda was a MAJOR help in McCartney's career, she inspired "Maybe I'm Amazed" and countless other McCartney hits, not to mention her actual involvement in Wings.apple01

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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7 October 2012 - 1.28am

PaulHalsey said, "she inspired "Maybe I'm Amazed" and countless other McCartney hits"

For sure. This relates to the question of whether McCartney would have ever gone back to song writing if not for Linda.

And there, McCartney has already answered that question for us: following Linda's passing, he was understandably despondent. Nevertheless, he pulled out of his funk and returned to writing solid material. Following the Heather Mills fiasco, he was again in a funk, and he again snapped out of it to write some of his best solo material. Therefore, it stands to reason that with or without Linda, McCartney would have gone back to writing excellent songs. That's just his modus operandi.

There's an oft-debated theory that artists produce their best work in response to tragedy; I don't think that would apply here, but certainly being down in the dumps would not necessarily have been detrimental to McCartney's productivity (see Chaos and Creation).

 

meanmistermustard said, "Does anyone know where to read articles from the time that were slating Pauls decision?"

Music magazines of the day? I was going to say Rolling Stone, but that's been a very pro-Lennon/Ono magazine from the start.

However, in this day and age, there are still millions of people over 55 who would have been Beatle fans from the start and who can directly give you their recollections.

I do wonder if there are geographical differences. The fact that McCartney had Linda sing a solo song while on tour in Great Britain suggests that she was better received there. I can only speak for New York and the surrounding area. (Ironically, Linda grew up and was educated in New York, so you'd think .... By the way, anyone know Linda's family name before her father changed it to Eastman? There's a certain irony there. Lennon knew it and poked fun at John Eastman during their arguments.)

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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7 October 2012 - 2.04am

Into the Sky with Diamonds said

If you're listening to McCartney's '70s songs for the first time, and it's the 21st century, I suppose this falls into the "who cares?" category. You either like a given song or you don't; you don't really care who the woman singing is.

But if you're wondering why McCartney's reputation and popularity took a major nosedive from which it's never recovered, then it becomes a relevant issue.(Yes, fortunately for McCartney there are still millions of people who love him, buy his music, and go to his concerts, including yours truly.)

When McCartney chose to put Linda in his band, he was essentially saying, "I'm not even going to try to compete with my former band; and to prove it, I'm not bringing my A game to the table. My photographer wife is going to be the female voice on my records."

For many of his former fans, the reaction was, "well screw you too; see if we ever listen to any of your albums again." Then he writes "My Love," "Silly Love Songs" .... And a zillion Beatle fans have never given McCartney a chance since.

If you contrast that with Lennon, well yes, I'll take Linda over Yoko every day of the year, but as far as Lennon was concerned he WAS trying to bring his A game to the table in the form of Yoko..

And George was definitely bringing his A game - and was smart enough to leave his wife at home; which is why in the immediate aftermath of the break-up, George was the clear winner.

Granted, George basically blew his load with All Things Must Pass, as none of his subsequent albums even remotely approached its greatness.  a-hard-days-night-john-1  Despite the fact that it was John who first permanently wanted out of the group, I still think he benefitted the least from going solo.  I think his songwriting suffered a bit without having Paul's direct influence, and many of his solo songs are kind of on the simplistic side.  Surely this wasn't the same guy who wrote "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "Strawberry Fields Forever."  ahdn_paul_01  Even John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine aren't all that impressive to me.  Over the past 10-15 years it seems to me that people have become more forgiving of Paul's back catalogue.  Pretty much all his reissued albums have gotten rave reviews so far (even McCartney II, which is practically a novelty album).  I suppose it may have helped that he's been stepping up his game on his albums since then as well.

 

So to answer the question, no, Linda did NOT hurt Paul's career -- particularly since, musically, she basically just did what he told her to do anyway.  a-hard-days-night-george-10

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fabfouremily
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7 October 2012 - 12.52pm

Into the Sky with Diamonds said

Britain suggests that she was better received there. I can only speak for New York and the surrounding area. (Ironically, Linda grew up and was educated in New York, so you'd think .... By the way, anyone know Linda's family name before her father changed it to Eastman? There's a certain irony there. Lennon knew it and poked fun at John Eastman during their arguments.)

It´s Epstein, isn´t it?

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

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meanmistermustard

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7 October 2012 - 2.14pm

Into the Sky with Diamonds said
PaulHalsey said, "she inspired "Maybe I'm Amazed" and countless other McCartney hits"

For sure. This relates to the question of whether McCartney would have ever gone back to song writing if not for Linda.

And there, McCartney has already answered that question for us: following Linda's passing, he was understandably despondent. Nevertheless, he pulled out of his funk and returned to writing solid material. Following the Heather Mills fiasco, he was again in a funk, and he again snapped out of it to write some of his best solo material. Therefore, it stands to reason that with or without Linda, McCartney would have gone back to writing excellent songs. That's just his modus operandi.

There's an oft-debated theory that artists produce their best work in response to tragedy; I don't think that would apply here, but certainly being down in the dumps would not necessarily have been detrimental to McCartney's productivity (see Chaos and Creation).

There is a difference tho in 1970 and Linda jolting Paul to make music again and the other cases in '98 and 2006.

 

In 1970 The Beatles were everything to many and Paul thought he was going to get every piece of crap thrown at him when the news broke of him suing his 3 bandmates. Everything he knew and thought he was was tied up in being a Beatle and having the support of John, George and Ringo. In 1970 that was all gone, replaced with bitter arguements over so many things. There really was only Linda about to tell him to get his act together. Thankfully she didnt say lets become reclusive farmers with the kids and breed pigs but instead get your arse in the home studio and make music.

 

Transport ahead to '98. The Beatles are huge again and that has poured onto Paul who is adored by the public, the feeling of grief for his loss is massive and widespread. He has 4 very strong kids to help him thru and they support each other. Friends also pull close and put together a tribute concert for Linda amongst other things. Plus his music is popular and at a high for the first time since '82 and Tug Of War and has had a successful solo career for 28 years. A massive loss but music was the answer and provided a way thru the grief.

 

In 2006 Heather was hated by the press, most of the public and not very popular with some of his kids - to be honest their marriage was viewed as a mistake. Paul got all the support thru the seperation and Heather didnt do herself any favours by coming across as a deluded, lying, golddigger known disparagingly as Lady Mucca. His concerts were consistent sellouts and had a massive fanbase thru his beatle and solo works. Music was by that time inbuilt and an integral part of his life and he had gone thru the lose of a wife, the difference being Linda was the love of his life. Plus out of the marriage he had Beatrice. Keeping going was only natural.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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7 October 2012 - 3.08pm

"By the way, anyone know Linda's family name before her father changed it to Eastman? There's a certain irony there. Lennon knew it and poked fun at John Eastman during their arguments."

fabfouremily said," It´s Epstein, isn´t it?"

Bingo.

meanmistermustard said, "There is a difference tho in 1970 and Linda jolting Paul to make music again and the other cases in '98 and 2006."

Yes, I agree; different circumstances each time, and McCartney had much more support with Linda's passing and the Mills fiasco.

How things would have turned out without Linda is oh so speculative - part of the fun of debating!

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

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Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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7 October 2012 - 6.24pm

Multiple levels of irony in changing Epstein to Eastman, considering Linda pursued a career as a photographer!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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8 October 2012 - 4.17am

Yes - and I was one of those who bought into it.

I thought she was a photographer because of her family connection to Eastman Kodak!

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

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Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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15 October 2012 - 10.42pm

Yeah, a lot of us believed that

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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