Let's Hear It for Linda McCartney

Look. I try to be fair. No, more than fair. Scrupulously fair. But you knew that. That's why you're here. At any rate, here's a case in point. We all know that Paul McCartney's post-Beatles body of work is, by comparison, pretty lame. But the question is, how lame? Not as lame as is often suggested is my short answer. They were showing a Wings concert from the mid-70s on the music channel recently and I got into it. I wasn't bored at all, and was actually impressed. Part of it is the ridiculous amount of musical talent displayed by Sir Paul. Part of it is that his melodies continued to charm and engage throughout the Wings years. ("Maybe I'm Amazed," "My Love," etc.) They hadn't yet become workmanlike. With that out of the way, I turned my attention to the burning question in the hearts of all Beatles fans: What was Linda doing up there and could she actually sing? Yes, she could sing. She wasn't going to take any leads, but her backing vocals were in tune and mixed nicely with the other voices.

That dispensed with, I thought that in all fairness* to Linda I really should spend some time looking at her photography. This, after all, was her true art form. I haven't seen enough of her work yet to form a full opinion. Most of the images view-able online are her pics of various rock stars. The fame of the subjects is distracting, so I don't want to judge on that basis. But there is one really great photo prominent online. It's a family scene with Paul in his bathrobe balancing on a fence and a couple of the kids playing beneath him. You can see why Paul might have found this preferable to being a Beatle. The photograph reads like a very successful homage to Cartier-Bresson, with spontaneity and composition fused in a manner most felicitous. A really great photo. Below is a delightful image of their daughter Stella.

* And here is another title option for my non-existent memoir: In All Fairness


  1. She got a bum rap, and I was as anti-Linda as the rest back in the day. Years later, I acquired a book of her photography, and I found that I like her work. I also like her vegetarian cookbooks—she has a delicious recipe for lentil loaf. She was no slouch.

  2. Let's start a pro-Linda movement!


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