Today, 24 September 2015 would have been Linda McCartney’s 74th birthday.
Linda Eastman McCartney was born in New York City, the second of four children for Lee and Louise Eastman, her dad was the son of Jewish Russian immigrants who had changed his name from Epstein to Eastman. Louise perished in the 1962 American Airlines crash over Queens, New York. Lee was an attorney for 1940s songwriter Jack Lawrence.
Photography brought Linda to rock and roll, having been the only unofficial photographer allowed to photograph the Rolling Stones at a promotion party in 1966 and was eventually asked to be the house photographer at the famed “Fillmore East” concert venue. She photographed many of rock’s legendary performers: Aretha, Dylan, Joplin, Jimi, and even a guy named Lennon. When Linda’s photo of Eric Clapton was featured on the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine in 1968, she became the first female photographer to have her photo make the cover.
She and Paul met in 1967 at a Georgie Fame concert in London where Linda was on assignment photographing the “Swinging Sixities” musicians. They married in 1969, with Linda’s daughter from her first marriage, Heather, being adopted by Paul. They had three more children. Paul has stated that he wrote the songs “My Love” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” about and for Linda.
When the Beatles split-up, Paul and Linda formed “Wings” and she became a part of the band, playing keyboards, singing backup and co-writing songs with Paul. She also recorded a solo album as well. While on tour, Paul and Linda would occasionally be detained or arrested for posession of marijuana. There was controversy as to Linda’s contribution and collaboration on the song “Another Day” which was embroiled in a violation of exclusive rights lawsuit that the McCartney’s eventually settled. Paul and Linda were nominated for an Academy Award for “Live and Let Die.”
In 1974, Linda became the only person to have a photograph she had taken AND a photo of herself on the cover of “Rolling Stone” when she and Paul were on the cover. She was an animal rights activist, an entrepreneur and publisher. Contrary to popular belief, Linda was not an heiress to the Eastman-Kodak fortune, that was an urban myth.