Monday, June 16, 2014

18 Days of McCartney Day 15- Home in the Heart of the Country

I Look High, I Look Low,
I'm Lookin' Everywhere I Go,
Lookin' For A Home
In The Heart Of The Country.
I'm Gonna move, I'm Gonna Go,
I'm Gonna Tell Everyone I Know
Lookin ' For A Home
In The Heart Of The Country.

 Unfortunately, I do not have enough days to write about all of McCartney's estates but I'll write about my favorite, High Park Farm, Kintyre, Scotland. 

During 1966 The Beatles had become fully aware of the taxman and the money situation, George Harrison even wrote "Taxman" from The Beatles Revolver
"I discovered I was paying a huge amount of money to the taxman. You are so happy that you've finally started earning money - and then you find out about tax."- George Harrison, Anthology
It got to the point that the Beatles had thought about giving their money to a worker and have him go to the Bahamas where the money would be tax-free; the plan didn't work out it the end.  To protect his money Paul invested his money, after being advised by his financial advisers, in a Farm in Campbeltown, Kintyre, Scotland. The house has one hundred eighty-three acres, three bedrooms, and near the Mull of Kintyre,
"It's 200 acres and a farmhouse as well. It was well worth the money as far as I'm concerned. But don't think I'm a big property tycoon. I only buy places I like."- Paul McCartney, 1966
The McCartney's at High Park
Prior to McCartney buying the £35,000 home, it was owned and survived by Mr. and Mrs. Brown for nineteen years. After the Brown's moved out and  McCartney now owner, Paul and girlfriend, Jane Asher, would take weekends and vacations at High Park to escape the wild frenzy of Beatlemania.

On 12 March, 1969 Paul McCartney married photographer, Linda Eastman , and the two would resigned to High Park. The two would soon go on to grow a family with Linda's daughter from a previous marriage, Heather, and the couples three children, Mary, Stella, and James would grow up up visiting and living at the home where they would raise lambs, sheep, chickens, while taking care of their dogs like Martha, Jet, Poppy, and Lucky.
"Linda said, 'We could do this place up!' And I'd never thought of that, I thought it just stayed how you bought it. I just wasn't enterprising enough to actually think. We could clean this place up! Linda really turned me on to it. I quite liked it before, I like its isolation and I liked the privacy and the end-of-the-world remoteness compared to a city."- Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now by Barry Miles
Paul McCartney sheering
The McCartney's had then bought about six hundred acres and provided the land to his neighbors, his own recording studio and built his own Low Park Farm for his animal caretaker. With all the animals that where held at the farm The McCartney's didn't allow any to be killed, which was a reason why the town was proud to have the family as their neighbors. Another reason to backup how humble the family is, with all the money Paul had made as a Beatle and now into his new band Wings (read about Wings History here and Wings Tours here) , Paul had done the home projects, from painting the house to sheering the sheep, without making the home a giant mansion or attention seeking home most celebrities had.

Paul working on the home
 Horses, a love amongst Linda and then a love of Paul's were great for the large estate as the family would ride around their property and sometimes into town. Town citizen and vet, Alastair Cousin, took care of the animals and had very good memories of the McCartney's saying recalling a memory of a local girl who was digging at the beach and a man leaning over saying, 'You've a long way to dig to get to Australia.' When the young girl looked up she saw that it was Paul.  William Ross, another citizen who worked on the estate would say,
"They were the worst-dressed people here. They'd walk to town through the farm so they'd have torn their clothes and be covered in muck. They never bothered with airs and graces." -From The Telegraph

Music was wide at High Park. Paul sitting around with his acoustic guitar while Linda would photograph Paul and the kids. In fact, Kintyre was the estate Paul would head to after The Beatles break up where Linda and Paul would release and create the duo album, Ram. In 1977, while working with Wings, Paul McCartney and Denny Laine created the best-selling UK single beating out The Beatles "She Loves You", the single still remains as the best-selling single in the UK, called "Mull of Kintyre"
"Paul and I sat with a bottle of whisky on afternoon outside a cottage in the hills of Kintyre and wrote the song Mull of Kintyre. Paul had written the chorus and we wrote the rest of it together."- Denny Laine
"It was a love song, about how I enjoyed being there - imagining I was traveling away and wanting to get back there."- Paul McCartney
The song even features bagpipers, conducted by Tony Wilson, from Kintyre who were very eager and excited to release a single. The following video is "Mull Of Kintyre";

When Linda passed away after a short battle against breast cancer a memorial for her was held at Trafalgar Square in London where a bagpiper, on Paul's request, would play "Mull of Kintyre" in the memories of their time together. A memorial in Kintyre is held for Linda with a beautiful bronze statue of Linda. Mary and Stella had come out to say the following on the memorial to their mother;
"Scotland was one of mum's favourite places and it is wonderful to have a permanent statue to remind us of the great time we spent with her there."
Members of the town of Campeltown, including Alastair Cousin say;
"Much more importantly it will be recognized as an appreciation of Linda's generosity, always anonymous, to so many causes, her enthusiasm for Kintyre expressed in her photography and her determination to ensure that her family were exposed to the values whenever possible."
Unfortunately, after Linda's passing the estate remained with very little visits from McCartney and in 2010 was put up for sale with an estimate value of £2.93 million.

"Maybe he has got too many good memories of Linda here and now it is too painful for him to come. But he did a lot of good for the town. It is still a big draw for tourist to come here. He has got to be thanked for that."-William Ross
 Mull of Kintyre
Oh mist rolling in from the sea,
My desire is always to be here
Oh Mull of Kintyre

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