Was Linda McCartney Friends with Yoko Ono?

In the late 1960s, everyone knew about the rivalry between Linda McCartney and Yoko Ono. But did that animosity last? What was their relationship like in the days leading up to Linda’s death? Was Linda McCartney friends with Yoko Ono?

Linda McCartney became friends with Yoko Ono later in life. After Linda’s death, Yoko said kind words for Linda, calling her a passionate woman and dedicated a song to her during a concert. Additionally, Yoko dismissed the rumors that she was enemies with Linda.

According to her, the media misrepresented their relationship when in reality, they both had an understanding and a connection as artists.

Still, there are long-standing questions about Linda and Yoko’s friendship dynamics. Many fans are not privy to it because after Linda passed away in 1980, Yoko never talked about her much.

Let’s gather some more details.

Did Linda McCartney and John Lennon get along?

Linda McCartney and John Lennon tolerated one another, but they were not friends. Unlike Paul, who attempted to be respectful to John’s wife Yoko, John made no such attempts towards Linda.

And let’s face it, by the last couple of years of The Beatles’ existence, the 4 band members were far from friends with one another.

John went out of his way to insult Linda and even claimed that she wasn’t pretty enough for Paul. But then, John also disapproved of Paul’s previous girlfriend Jane Asher.

Ultimately on both sides (John and Paul), it’s likely that as their fame grew and they started serious relationships, it drove a wedge between the 2 who had been the architects of the Beatles’ sound to a large degree.

I don’t think that Linda was ever bothered whether John liked her or not. That’s because the Beatles were pretty much on life support and were counting their final breaths.

John was no longer there; George fled the scene. So, whether or not John liked Linda didn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. Plus, let’s face it. Most people who knew John thought he was an a$$hole.

Digging deeper, I also uncovered a host of shocking revelations that an American author Geoffrey Guiliano made in his explosive book. 

According to the details revealed by the author, John and Linda had a one-night stand. The alleged fling took place after a heated argument between Paul and Linda.

Lennon stopped by the couple’s house to talk to his fellow band member about the recording schedule, but Paul had left. Linda and John eventually ended up in bed.

The book also revealed that Linda regretted this indiscretion, dedicated her life to supporting her husband, and never told a soul.

What did Paul McCartney think of Yoko?

Paul McCartney initially did not like Yoko as her constant presence and influence over John Lennon was disruptive to the band’s chemistry. Ono saw Paul as a rival for Lennon’s attention and went to great lengths to keep them apart, even after the band split.

But in later life, Lennon admitted that McCartney misunderstood Yoko.

For decades, many Beatles fans blamed Yoko for persuading Lennon to quit the band and create a rift between McCartney and Lennon.

Paul McCartney felt the heat and said in an interview that initially, he was not very keen on John’s girlfriend Yoko, who ultimately became his wife.

McCartney got along well with Yoko-especially after Lennon’s death. He explained in an interview that he called Yoko after Lennon’s death, and Ono asked him not to do such favors.

At first, McCartney thought it was disrespectful, but he understood that she was right. Looking back to the days, Paul told the BBC:

“I don’t hold Ono responsible. The two made a great couple, and there was huge strength there. Lennon wanted to go in a bag and lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam for peace–you couldn’t argue with that.” 

Paul also told Gross magazine that The Beatles’ breakup was a mutual decision, and while Paul wasn’t always a fan of Yoko, he believed that Ono ultimately shouldered the blame for it.

That being said, Paul and John had rekindled their friendship in the 70s and Yoko was very jealous of it. When Wings were going to be in New Orleans recording Venus and Mars in 1975.

Paul invited John to the sessions.

John, at the time, was separated from Yoko and was with his girlfriend May Pang who was on good terms with the McCartneys. Once Yoko got wind of the reunion, she swooped it, kicked May Pang to the curb, and prevented John from going.

Paul later commented that it was almost like John was brainwashed.

But there was also a brief reunion prior to that in 1974. John was separated from Yoko at the time and was producing Harry Nilsson’s album Pussy Cats in Burbank, CA.

Paul and Linda dropped by and were later joined by Stevie Wonder among others.

The resulting recordings that took place, commonly referred to as “A Toot and a Snore in ’74” are admittedly not great. And as the name implies, there was a lot of cocaine used during the sessions (you can actually hear Lennon offering Wonder a line).

You can find the bootleg recordings on YouTube these days here – https://youtu.be/AhTY-k5epD0

Do Paul McCartney and Yoko get along?

Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono get along well enough in recent years and have collaborated on multiple tributes dedicated to commemorating Lennon. However, they are not friends, and he did not invite Yoko to Linda’s funeral.

Remembering back the days, Paul said:

“At the time, it was tough because we knew John was fascinated with Yoko. And having known John so long personally, I knew what he liked in a woman, he liked strong women. His Aunt Mimi, who raised him, was a strong woman, and I think he liked that. Some of his aunts were strong and very opinionated.” 

While the pair didn’t hit off instantly, Paul even mentioned that he was “annoyed by Ono’s presence in the studios,” but they have come past that bitter resentment.

Paul and Yoko have repeatedly stated that their relationship has grown over the years. In 2013, Paul told Rolling Stone that things looked good between him and Yoko “If John loved her, there’s got to be something. He’s not stupid.”

Ono responded to the comment kindly telling Associated Press that she:

“had so much fun around her husband and his friends. He was my husband’s partner, and they did a great job. They seemed to have a lot of fun, and I respected that.”

Paul also noted that aside from the previous differences, “It was a little hard at first. Gradually, we did. Now it’s like we’re mates. I like Yoko.” 

I hope the above statements clear the mist around Yoko and Paul’s friendship to quite some extent.

Why did Paul invite May Pang to Linda’s funeral (and not Yoko)?

Paul invited May Pang, John Lennon’s one-time mistress, to Linda’s funeral and not Yoko because McCartney always felt Yoko conspired to keep him away from John, whereas May Pang encouraged their ongoing friendship in the 1970s.

But officially, McCartney simply stated that he wanted to keep the funeral guest list limited to only Linda’s close friends and family. And thus, Yoko was excluded.

But May Pang wasn’t exactly a close friend of Linda’s either, so who knows?

The star-studded gathering of 300 mourners became more than a private affair when Yoko Ono was left out of the guestlist for Linda’s memorial service.

Onlookers were surprised at Paul snubbing Yoko. Nancy Savastano of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said, 

“I can’t believe she wasn’t invited. When John died, Paul showed his love and support for Yoko.” 

The bad blood between Paul and Yoko had ended. Paul even helped save Lennon and Ono’s marriage, a less known story- because the people privy to this information didn’t talk about it then or now.

But then why did Paul not invite Yoko to Linda’s funeral? Many fans on the internet say Linda was never fond of Yoko anyway.

One member from the fan community says:

“Bravo to Paul for not being diplomatic and keeping her away. Comparing Paul and John to Saleri and Mozart, she shouldn’t be allowed to speak about the Beatles. Her view is one-sided and warped.” 

I don’t know how many of you would agree with this fan’s opinion. I will leave it up to you to decide.

An even more interesting question to ask is if any other member from the Beatles didn’t attend Linda McCartney’s funeral? 

Luckily, I covered that in a recent article. Just click the link to read about it. I have also discussed how the band’s reunion made the biggest headlines in the world.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Was Yoko mad about not being invited to Linda’s funeral?

Yoko’s assistant, Michael Phillips, told the New York Post that Yoko was saddened by not being invited to Linda’s memorial service. However, she and her son, Sean, did send Paul McCartney’s family flowers.  

Shortly after Linda’s death, Yoko wrote a tribute to Linda as a letter to Rolling Stone magazine mentioning that “after John’s passing, I started receiving Linda’s beautiful calendar every year.”

Yoko also added to her statement:

“We felt her warmth in deeds more than words. When she was strong, I felt strong. She took a sad song and made it better.” 

The above statement clears that Yoko was genuinely hurt. Still, the rumor that she was mad over not being invited to Linda’s memorial is nothing more than a story blown out of proportion by the media.

The newspaper headlines “Paul Snubs Yoko” on the front page practically became a gossip column to speculate and had nothing to do with remembering Linda.

Close friends and family members attended Linda’s service. And even if Yoko was invited, I think she would have chosen to avoid causing a scene or becoming the focus of the coverage.

"They Blame Me For Breaking Up The Beatles!" Yoko Ono On "Jonathan Ross"

Conclusion

If you are a fan of the Beatles, you would know about the alleged rivalry between the wives of the most famous band members, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

However, according to Yoko Ono (John Lennon’s wife), the pair were never enemies. It was all a media-fueled story.

After Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer, Yoko and Linda became good friends.

They had an understanding of each other. However, in the absence of Linda (she died), so many questions have been left unanswered. For now, all we know is that Linda and Yoko were friends.


Photo which requires attribution:
여유로운 휴일… 따뜻한 감성의 사진을 만나다 #Seoul #Daelim #Gallery #Linda #McCartney #Photo #Exhibition by Jude Lee is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Hi, I'm Jeff Campbell, a former DJ, music journalist, musician, and music lover. I'm old enough to have seen all the cool bands and young enough to still remember them.

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