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Francie Schwartz: The About.com Interview

The "White Album girlfriend" tells all


Schwartz's book

Schwartz's book "Body Count."

Francie Schwartz is the Lost Paul Girlfriend. A struggling scriptwriter who, like thousands, became intrigued by the promises made by the newly-formed Apple Corps, she went to London in 1968 to see if her script was saleable to non-establishment movers and shakers. What she wound up with was Paul McCartney.

<FONT size=-1>The actual picture presented to Paul McCartney on April 9, 1968. Courtesy Francie Schwartz.

Francie was eager to talk to about.com because, in the past few years, she's made her (in)famous autobiography, <I>Body Count</I>, available once again to all Beatles fans. Not just another brush-with-greatness story, the book is invaluable because it captures the Fabs at the most critical point in their career -- the making of the White Album, the beginning of John and Yoko's relationship, and the launching of Apple.

Our extreme thanks to Francie for giving us this exclusive interview!

<I>(The following are culled from various e-mails between Francie and I in 1999. As such, they may not be reproduced without the express permission of Francie Schwartz, Robert Fontenot, and About.com.)</I>

<B>What attracted you to Apple in attempting to sell your original script? Did you think they'd be more open than other organizations?</B>

Around that time, I read about the Beatles' plan to start a revolutionary new company in Rolling Stone's "Random Notes"; there may have been something about it in the New York Times as well. Anyone our age, (mine and the Beatles') in his or her 20's would be excited about the Fab Four going into business, especially when that business was meant to help new talent in film, music and art. I was no exception, although I was not a rabid fan - I'd never seen them in concert, because I was equally into theater, jazz and classical music, and standup comedy.

<B>What was the film, and what was it to be about?</B>

The treatment I wrote (a ten page "story" of a feature film) was about Richard Goldstein, a street violinist/actor/quasi-hustler I met when he was setting up his act in front of Carnegie Hall. The story of "Poor Richard's Almanac" was loosely based on his adventures in music school, on the streets of New York City, and in his imagination. As soon as I finished writing it I thought "This would be perfect for Paul McCartney, because he's the one with the lyrical melodies. The romantic one." One and one make two. I decided to get the treatment to the new Apple company and the rest is herstory.

<B>How'd you meet Paul and what was the initial event that led you two to hook up?</B>

I sent him two telegrams before I flew over the Pond. One said "I've written a movie and I want you to write the music. Love & Peace, Francie Schwartz." The other said "Arriving London April 3..." A few days after I arrived, I walked into the reception room at 95 Wigmore Street and he was standing there talking to some suits.

<B>Was it love at first sight, or something that grew over time?</B>

It was an immediate head dance and a psychic connection more than love at first sight. I was more interested in getting a film produced at the start. He began to flirt with me right away, asking me larger questions, like "What do you want to do?" to which I replied, "Be free. Make it better." About five minutes into our first private meeting in the office I realized I had to make a choice: Push for a movie deal or become the girlfriend of the most eligible bachelor in the Western Hemisphere. At 23, that's an easy choice.

I grew to love him in many ways, and he only told me he loved me once, weeks after he'd invited me to move in with him in Cavendish Avenue.

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