The Photography of Linda McCartney: Looking Through the Eyes of the 5th Beatle

June 21, 2011 § 3 Comments

“I became like a band member whose instrument was the camera”.

 Linda McCartney wasn’t just lucky, she was every bit as talented as Paul.

A simple glimpse of these photographs proves without a shadow of a doubt the discriminate and loving eye Linda possessed. Yes, Paul’s membership to arguably the world’s greatest band did give Linda access to these Giants of the 60’s music scene. But its what she did with this powerful connection that really matters. She wasn’t a treacherous Queen to a feared King, for the most part she was a friend to these stars. By letting their guards down, they allowed her to take some iconic pictures that have been forever etched into our collective memory. Linda knew what she was doing with her ‘instrument’ and gave the world a peak into the private lives of these beloved artists.

From Nico sitting in a wicker chair, to the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha in mid-sentence, Linda captured real moments. Few are posed, and the ones that are either in portraiture or in jest. I just love the one of the Yardbirds, who were probably getting their game faces ready for a classic ‘band photo’ only to have a little old lady with a plastic bonnet stride through the scene. I know I’ll get killed for this but, I’m not a fan of Macca’s – I won’t delve into it, but the word bastard comes to mind. Only Linda, fair Linda, could get me to see Paul’s charmingly silly side as he pretends to be a vampire. And how good is that photo of Joni and Graham!? To have that sort of proximity with the utmost respect was Linda’s gift. I can’t help but believe that she was lovely to be around. The portrait of Brian Wilson reveals so much about this tortured man. The same can be said for Janis Joplin, who when it came to suitors, was sadly always thought of as just one of the guys. Using film and natural light, what she caught in a split second, has been archived, leaving us forever wondering what was going on in our heroes minds.

Mesmerized with her ability to capture those intimate moments, my admiration for Linda has never dwindled. That is why I decided to challenge myself. I have a camera, I love music, so why not take this inspiration and make it tangible? Sounds far more exciting than what I’m doing in the interim, which is blogging my admiration into the ether. Now, I’m not comparing myself to the Beatles, or to by association to Jesus, I just reckon it will be helluva lot of fun trying!

The perfect opportunity fell into my lap last weekend. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it…


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