Linda Eastman Bought Paul McCartney a White Rabbit After They First Started Dating
Paul McCartney knew he had to marry Linda Eastman after she bought him a white rabbit after one of their first dates. He loved the furry animal, and he found he was slowly falling in love with Eastman too.
Paul McCartney met Linda Eastman in a London club in 1967
In 1967, Paul and The Beatles were on top of the world. Meanwhile, Linda had just become a freelance photographer, steadily making friends in the British rock scene. It was only a matter of time before they officially met.
After celebrating the completion of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at a party hosted by The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, Paul, and some friends headed down to the famous Soho club, Bag O’Nails.
On that May evening, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were playing, and Paul sat at his own table. Coincidentally, Bag O’Nails was also Linda’s destination that night. She arrived at the club with her friends, The Animals. She was in London to shoot photos for a book called Rock and Other Four-Letter Words (per Ultimate Classic Rock).
During the night, Paul caught Linda’s eye and loved her smile.
“The band had finished and [Linda and the Animals] got up to either leave or go for a drink or a pee or something, and she passed our table,” Paul told Barry Miles in Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. “I was near the edge and stood up just as she was passing, blocking her exit.
“And so I said, ‘Oh, sorry. Hi. How are you? How’re you doing?’ I introduced myself, and said, ‘We’re going on to another club after this, would you like to join us?’ That was my big pulling line! Well, I’d never used it before, of course, but it worked this time! It was a fairly slim chance but it worked.”
The soon-to-be-couple proceeded to the Speakeasy, where they both heard “A Whiter Shade of Pale” for the first time. Later, Paul invited Linda back to his place. A couple of days later, Epstein invited Linda to a press party for Sgt. Pepper, where she took a couple of famous photos of The Beatles.
However, she only had eyes for one of the Fab Four in particular.
Linda bought Paul a white rabbit after one of their first dates
After those first two meetings, Paul and Linda went their separate ways, at least for a bit. Paul was still dating actor Jane Asher, and Linda had to get back to the U.S. for her daughter Heather after all.
In late 1967, Paul got engaged to Asher in the last effort to save their relationship, but it didn’t work out. However, a month before Paul and Asher announced their engagement, a British newspaper published a photo of Paul and Linda together. It wrote, “They say Beatle Paul McCartney’s latest favourite femme is Linda Eastman, a Yankee Doodle fan-mag [photographer].”
Linda posted the clipping in a letter to her friend, Miki Antony. According to the Guardian, she wrote, “Thought you’d get a big laugh over the enclosed clipping. Have no idea where they picked up that lie, but it just shows how truthful newspapers are.”
Antony told the Guardian that he knew his friend was seriously dating the Beatle when she wrote to tell him she’d bought Paul a white rabbit after that first time they met at the Bag O’Nails.
“My reaction was a chuckle as I did know it was true,” Antony said. “She stayed with me when she first came to London … [She said] ‘Guess who I dated last night? … It was Paul McCartney, and we had this lovely evening.’
“She said Paul really liked white rabbits, and the next day she … bought a white rabbit and sent it to him. That night, she told me, he rang her up and said, ‘Thank you so much for the white rabbit, would you like to come out for dinner again?’ That’s how I knew they’d started dating. The rest is history.”
Paul invited Linda to London in 1968
Later, when his relationship with Asher had dissolved once and for all, Paul and Linda met up in New York in 1968. The Beatle invited her and Heather to visit him in London shortly after.
“When she came to Britain and we got together the greatest thing about it was we both wanted to be free. We did what we wanted and she took pictures of it all,” Paul later told the BBC.
The couple’s romance blossomed, and they married in 1969. Paul and Linda were married for 30 years until Linda died in 1998.