You’ve got to put these things in context: everybody had very open relationships, and it wasn’t cool to be jealous.’
A few days after meeting Paul, Linda showed up at the Belgravia home of Beatles manager Brian Epstein for the press launch of their new album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. (By Howard Sounes )
It was noted that she made a beeline for Paul, crouching at his feet by the fireplace and looking up into his face.
That weekend, she tried calling him at home and got Stash on the line instead. He told her Paul was in Liverpool. Unfazed, Linda said she wanted to come over anyway.
So she did — and promptly fell into bed with Stash. It was a bizarre weekend. While
Stash and Linda were rolling around together, Paul phoned to tell his lodger to move out. So Stash took Linda to stay with the musician Graham Nash.
And soon their affair was common knowledge in London’s rock community. ‘I was teased extensively by Roger Daltrey and [Jimi] Hendrix and so on, because, you know, Linda had gone around,’ says Stash, ungallantly. She’d started chasing pop stars while still in her teen.
Five months later, in May 1968 Linda turned up at a press conference being given by Paul and John at a New York hotel.
‘I managed to slip him my phone number,’ she recalled later. ‘He rang me up and told me they were leaving that evening, but he’d like it if I was able to travel out to the airport with him and John. So I went out in their limousine, sandwiched between Paul and John.’
In fact, when he returned to the UK, Paul still seemed committed to Jane. ‘They could not have been more lovey-dovey,’ The Beatles PR, Tony Barrow, remembers.
‘And there was Linda, recalls Tony Bramwell, who worked for The Beatles at the time. ‘Sitting on the doorstep.’
Having received Paul’s message, she’d taken the first available flight from New York to LA. ‘So immediately, Paul got me to clear away all the birds, and just locked himself in the room with her,’ says Bramwell.
Paul and Linda spent the day together on a motor boat, drinking champagne, eating bacon sandwiches, getting stoned and canoodling.
Like the Beatle, she was a pothead — she’d even brought a bag of grass with her. When they checked out the next day, says Bramwell, they were ‘like Siamese twins, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes all the way to the airport’.
Back in London, Paul simply picked up where he’d left off with Francie Schwartz.
There was a wild element to their love-making, she claims. Sometimes, he’d grab her and pull her into the bath with him; they even made love in the open on Primrose Hill.
Once, Paul took her to a new club, then stopped on the way home to make love to another girlfriend. Francie had the humiliation of waiting for Mr Plump downstairs.
They were in bed together one morning when there was a knock at the bedroom door.
‘Who is it?’ he asked.
‘Jane,’ replied his fiancée, who’d just returned to London to appear in a play.
Paul leapt out of bed, threw on some clothes and led Jane out into the garden. When he spotted Francie at an open window, he yelled at her to get back inside.
But Jane had had enough. Within hours, her mother arrived to box up her belongings.
For his part, Paul seemed surprised when Jane announced during a TV chat show that their relationship was ‘finished’. But he gave Francie her marching orders, anyway.
At last, the way was clear for Linda.