A Sorry Excuse for a Song

A 1960s sports car, reputedly once owned by Sir Paul McCartney, was recently sold in Sussex. It now transpires that this particular vehicle may indeed have a considerably more significant history than was at first realised…

The then twenty-five year old Paul McCartney met Linda Eastman in 1967 and married her in 1969. After the break-up of The Beatles in 1970, Paul taught Linda to play keyboards and subsequently encouraged her to take an active part in the line-up of his new band Wings.

Linda hated to fly (her mother had tragically died in an American Airlines crash in Queens, New York in 1972), and so the couple always chose to drive to their holiday retreat in High Park Farm, on the peninsula of Kintyre. One day, in July of 1977, they were heading back to London with Paul at the wheel of his Lamborghini 400 GT when there was an almighty bang and the car veered towards the side of the road. Macca managed to bring the vehicle to a safe stand and staggered out, anticipating that his splendid new Italian toy might be badly damaged. Luckily it was only the front nearside tyre that had suffered a blow-out, but it was clearly irreparable. No spare was available and they were miles from anywhere.

“Muth’ fuckin’ tyre!” exclaimed Paul in exasperation and dismay.

Linda gently enquired from the front passenger seat whether Paul had just cursed.

Now, not only was Linda a strict vegetarian, believing passionately in not harming animals, but, as a Jewish-American, she was also fiercely opposed to swearing from any quarter. Paul, suddenly cognisant of this fact and eager not to be out-of-favour with Linda, as they would undoubtedly be walking some miles in search of the nearest telephone box, thought on his feet and said, “What? No, I’m toying with an idea for a new song for the band – I’m going to call it, um, Mull of, uh, Kintyre. It’ll be about how beautiful it is up here and how it’s the best place in the world to be if your car breaks down; what do you think about that for a new one?”

Stuck with the lie, once they’d finally managed to return to London, Paul and Linda soon began work on what was to be Wings’ greatest hit, selling over two million copies and becoming the UK’s best-selling single ever – an accolade it held until Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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