The Beatles Girl Who Really ‘Came in Through the Bathroom Window’
If you’re a Beatles fan who’s curious about what the Fab Four had on their mind for any particular song, that information is often available. For example, George Harrison spoke of writing “Savoy Truffle” for his friend Eric Clapton (who had quite the sweet tooth).
John Lennon also wasn’t shy about revealing where he’d gotten ideas for his songs. Take the landmark “In My Life” from Rubber Soul. On that track, John was responding to a journalist who asked why John didn’t include memories from his life in his lyrics.
Paul McCartney has also been willing to talk about the inspiration for his tunes. On “Helter Skelter,” for example, Paul wanted to make a hard-rocking song and simply added lyrics referencing an English fairground ride.
When it came to “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” John thought Paul had written the track about his first wife, Linda. However, it seems Paul wrote the song about a fan who broke into his home.
A Beatles fanatic went into Paul’s London home and took a few things.
When The Beatles were together and recording albums, they couldn’t do anything without drawing a crowd. Every time they arrived at their Apple studios on Abbey Road, they’d have dozens (sometimes hundreds) of fans waiting for them, hoping for a picture or an autograph.
These fans became such a familiar sight at Apple headquarters and outside band members’ homes that the Beatles gave them a name: “Apple Scruffs.” While most had innocent intentions, some went so far as to enter Beatles’ homes when they weren’t around.
The misdeeds of one such Apple Scruff inspired Abbey Road’s “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.” Steve Turner told the tale in the book A Hard Day’s Write. A Scruff named Diane Ashley told Turner how she made it inside Paul’s London home.
“We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up at the bathroom window, which he’d left slightly open,” Ashley said. “I was the one who climbed up and got in.” She then went to the front door and let her cohorts inside. That day, one took some possessions that held sentimental value for Paul.
A ‘Scruff’ later hired by The Beatles helped Paul get his stuff back.
After learning of the burglary (which by then wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for a Beatle), Paul was understandably upset. Apparently, one of the female Beatles fanatics had stolen a framed picture that was dear to him. (It may have been a photo of Paul’s father.)
However, it doesn’t sound like he got the police involved. Instead, he went to Margo Bird, a Scruff who’d been hired to work for The Beatles at Apple Corp. According to Bird, Paul asked her for help getting the picture back, and she managed to get the job done for him.
As for the other lyrics of the song, Paul may very well have been imagining the backstory of a Scruff. (Paul worked in this manner on “Lovely Rita” and other songs.)
Regarding the unusual line about quitting the police department (and getting himself “a steady job”), Paul said he got that line that from a New York taxi ride. As he sat strumming a guitar in the back of the cab, he read the identification card of the driver: Eugene Quits, New York Police Dept.