It was tonight, at a nightclub called the Bag O’Nails, that Paul McCartney first laid eyes on photographer Linda Eastman. Spoiler alert: They would end up falling in love, getting married, having three kids, and being together until Linda died of breast cancer in 1998.

Linda was probably the second least popular Beatle wife, next to you-know-who. Fans blamed her for being one of the polarizing forces that split the band apart, and later resented her for being a member of Wings despite a singular lack of musical talent. (For decades now there’s been a recording circulating that purports to be Linda’s vocals isolated from the soundboard of a Wings show. I’ve never heard it but it’s said to be horrifying, though of dubious authenticity.)

I tend to be in the camp that believes that it was internal tension that broke up The Beatles, not women, and that it’s just as well they split up anyway; that way they kept the quality of their catalog nearly pristine, and avoided the indignity of the disco years. And I think Paul insisted that she be in his band, so that wasn’t her fault, either.

But that’s all way in the future. Today, said Linda,

We flirted a bit, and then it was time for me to go back with them [the Animals, who had brought her] and Paul said, “Well, we’re going to another club. You want to come?” … Then we went back to his house. We were in the Mini with I think Lulu and Dudley Edwards, who painted Paul’s piano; Paul was giving him a lift home. I was impressed to see his Magrittes.

Yes, indeed, nothing like a few Magrittes to impress the ladies.

Paul was taken with Linda immediately, though he already had a girlfriend, the young, rich, and perkily blond Jane Asher. Linda seems to have had some quality that Jane did not — she was more mature, perhaps — but they didn’t get together until June 1968, around the same time that John and Yoko finally consummated their long-simmering romance.

But there I go again, getting ahead of the story. Patience, patience; all in good time.

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