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March 31, 2006


Krys O.

Quite certain that the Linda tape was a hoax and Stern ran it into the ground. If you see the old Macca TV special from the 70's, there is a sweet little scene with Paul singing "I'm A Bluebird" playing acoustic guitar whilst Linda circles him taking photos and singing along. Both live and her voice is nowhere's near the bogus tape.

just john

I wonder if my tape that alleges to be John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix doing "Day Tripper" is really that. It sounds like it, and I gotta love the guitar solo ...


The voice on the Linda tape does sound like her, I think (out-of-tune singing notwithstanding). But what would the origin of such a tape be, with a close perspective of the vocalist with what sounds like an audience recording of the concert in the background?

If this is supposed to be an isolated feed from Linda's mic, the engineers & roadies have done a pretty piss-poor job with mic placement and selection, because the bleed from the band is nearly as loud as her vocal (imagine trying to mix a bunch of mic feeds like this one - nightmarish!). If this is a real recording, I think the tech crew should've been more embarassed than Linda.

I say hoax.


what, no negativland?


From what Ive been led to believe the Linda tape was taken from the 1990 Knebworth multitrack. I like to believe it is genuine.

Lennon and Hendrix? Never happened. One of the classic rock myths. It was a BBC session track from 1967.


I first heard this on a pretty reputable Denver area radio station in the mid 1980s and, at the time, the DJ was indicating that it had come from a recent Wings concert (within the previous month, as I remember). It could have been a hoax, but I'm not sure why anyone would go to the trouble.


I am confused. I remember seeing a Paul McCartney concert in 1989 and a few months later, this tape surfaced. The claim was it was from that recent tour. Wings stopped touring as a band in the late 70s. Anyway, I am surprised that the last comment placed the tape in the mid 80s since that contradicts my recollection. I remember some sort of response from Paul that Linda couldn't hear the monitor and may have been off because of that.


I worked with an engineer in England, guy who'd been in the business for many many years - one day me & some of the other guys in my band were talking about the famous Tape of Only Linda and this engineer overheard us and asked us what we were talking about, and he said "yeah, I actually did that, I ran sound for that show and we used to trade tapes of her all the time." Dude was not a guy who told stories all day long or tried to seem cool at all - have worked with him several times and he's credible. Needless to say we thought he was the #1 most awesome guy of all time after hearing this.

M.C. Glammer

Having done live sound, when I heard the Linda tape I thought, "Big deal." The public should hear more desk tapes of what's really going on. Any Bozo can be made to sound bad just by adjusting their monitors, and some singers just sound bad, period. [Looking at you, Pete Doherty.]

Bob Vincent

This is real. It is written about in the new (2006) biography entitled "McCartney" by Christopher Sandford. Linda was reportedly very upset about it.

Rhonda Cozart

I don't believe that is Linda singing. She may not have been the best singer in the world,but she did carry a tune. So it doesn't make sense that she would sound that out of tune. I just can't see it. I think it is evident by listening to Wings albums and the solo project Linda, did on Wild Prairie, released after her passing, that she indeed could sing and was not capable of sounding like the voice put on that track.


The provenance of this recording - as told to me - and the technical details make for a pretty persuasive case. Story I heard was that Linda was frequently - shall we say - hard on the monitor mixer for this tour (ca. 1991 I believe), blaming him for her not being able to hear (and sing, and play tambourine in time). This tape was his revenge.

As to the technical aspects – it certainly could have been faked, but whoever did it got it very right. The leakage into the mic is exactly what you would expect to find on a loud stage at large concert in the days before in-ear monitoring. The singing is also what you would expect to hear – out of tune due to stage noise, turning of the head while singing/performing, proximity effect, etc.

Of course if you solo up anybody’s mic at a live performance – especially in the bad old days – what you’ll hear can be downright embarrassing. Linda McC probably isn’t the worst performer ever to grace the stage and if the monitor guy was trying to make her look bad on tape he could easily control that by screwing with her mix.

sharon a.

i heard the tape long ago, and from the instant i heard it i knew it was authentic. that it is NOW making the rounds as a "hoax" is rather extraordinary. so you say howard stern started this? typical.

let's face it, with all due respect to the lovely linda, she was NOT a singer. anyone can sing in a studio - just listen to some of the CDs coming out from the american idol rejects....or any one of these thin-voiced pop stars we have today.

but put them onstage in front of thousands yelling and cheering, as back up to one of the most famous singer/songwriters in the world, WHILE ALSO CHORDING ON AN ELECTRIC PIANO and well, if you can't sing, honey, this is where it shows.

without the controlled situation of a recording studio or even the controlled atmosphere of a TV appearance, where redos are possible if mistakes are made, if a person can't sing, it will definitely show up in a big arena show.

linda was clearly tone deaf on "hey jude" - it's painful to listen to it because you immediately recognize that it is linda mccartney's voice.

as someone who was 16 when the beatles hit america, i followed them through all of their successes, changes, marriages, etc etc etc. when paul married linda he needed a cowriter. he literally forced linda to be his john lennon, essentially against her wishes. she did it because, one assumes, she loved him. he taught her how to write with him, how to play piano, how to sing...well, as best she could.

he has mentioned this in interviews. it's nothing new.

he got away with linda's thin-often-tone deaf voice on recordings. he did NOT get away with it on stage but he didn't have to. she couldn't be heard - only if isolated. and one sound engineer did it for the reason we all suspected: to prove that linda couldn't sing - which is what the gossip always was about her.

bless her, she's gone now, but this still doesn't change the fact that the woman was not a singer OR a piano player. and i have my doubts about the songwriting, too.

NOT A HOAX. get over it.


I first heard this tape from the old "Steve & Garry Show" in Chicago around 1991 or 1992.

On that show, they both allude to the fact that it indeed came from a 1990 Knebworth McCartney concert.

Being friendly with one of the show's producers at the time, I called him and inquired about the tape:

"It was sent in from someone in the music industry in Tennessee who was the board operator at Knebworth" (unsubstantiated).

The video of this performance of "Hey Jude" was in heavy rotation at the time on VH1 so I made a comparison of the two performances.

During the audience participation moments of the song, you can clearly hear Linda scream "Whoooo" both on the tape and in the video at the exact same time.

This leads me to believe it's genuine.


Remember that Linda was a photographer!! This woman was not a musician/singer.She was injected into Macca's career by the man himself.She would not be near a microphone if McCartney didn't insist she be there.This voice is Linda! Those bum notes are Linda's! Those banshee wails are Linda's. One of the 1,427 reasons that Wings sucked!


This is just another confirmation that she only got to where she was because of who she was married to. I get sick and tired of hearing about "Saint Linda." She was a self-pronounced groupie who finally got one of the famous musicians she hung around photographing to marry her. She talks about sleeping with anyone she encountered who was in a band and famous like that was something to be proud of. It is a known fact she liked cannabis, and I am wondering why she is proclaimed to be "mother of the year" while raising her kids in a household filled with pot smoke. Any family member associated with the Paul McCartney name made it big in some fashion if he deemed it to be so. The woman was not attractive physically, was mediocre photographer, and was definitely not a talented musician. She happened to be in the right place at the right time to snag a Beatle. She must have been one heck of a manipulator!


I'm doubting that any of the people posting here had ever sung on stage or knows what it's like singing with a less than stellar monitor mix (except possibly JA). Not saying that she is the best singer in the world here, but I'm also not being a bitchy sniping armchair critic who thinks Paul died after he left the Beatles. Linda did okay in the studio (and without the modern benefits of tuning software) and as far as I can tell she made Paul happy. I think she "snagged" Paul because he fancied her and they got along. Ooh, it's a known fact that she liked cannabis. So do many actually fabulous singers. Including the fellow you have deified, Sir Paul. He could be a bit of a bastard about it, apparently, but you knew that, right? Sorry you don't think she was attractive, Mattie. Jealous much? She was a person like any other, flawed surely, but a human being. People who slam other people that they don't know except by seeing their images somewhere are not very grounded in reality.


Duh...I didn't know Paulie liked his pot! Like who doesn't know that!! Gee do you have to belong to a club or something to have to be a "fabulous singer" and like pot?? Merely stating I am tired of hearing all the hype of how she is portrayed as "saintly" when she slept with any musician she could only if they were famous and then bragged about it, raised her children in a home filled with pot smoke, and really had nada musical talent. Actually she was on the homely side as far as looks go. As a matter of fact, I am very grounded and secure in myself, and lastly, I am not "slamming" her. Just stating the well know facts, and think Paul could have done much better.


If you had that much bleed from the kick, you wouldn't be able to pull her into the mix anyway; you'd have a nasty loop gain. Thud! It IS possible that somebody on the board set her up by dropping her monitor (for most of us, when you can't hear yourself sing, you voice crazy things - try it!) and then taping her isolated feed. But it doesn't sound like her to me. The same guy could have circulated a fan singing along in the rear (which this sounds like) as Linda, as revenge - meaning that the truth is likely a blend of the above stories. As usual.

WTF Mattie, you can't enjoy weed and be a good mother? You slag a deceased person's looks, disparage her late 60s young sex life, claim she's a crap mother based on you imagined scenario of her household life etc., and then expect people not to call you out? The first thing that the reader will do is imagine the messenger after statements like those. Damn!

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