Ringo and George had gotten married during the Beatlemania years and while girls were a little upset, you didn't hear stories of mass weeping. What made Paul's marriage so different?
The first thing you have to understand is how little the fans really knew about Paul's relationship in March 1969. Paul had officially announced his engagement and relationship with Jane Asher was over on July 20, 1968. Fans knew that Paul had been involved with Francie Schwartz and Linda Eastman, and when Linda started coming around more and more, they didn't realize how serious the relationship was. But one thing they knew: they did NOT like Linda Eastman.
What was it about Linda that the fans disliked so much? Here is what I think. The first thing is that she wasn't Jane Asher. Jane was beautiful, British and friendly towards the fans. She fit the image of who you think Paul McCartney would marry. On the other hand, Linda was "plain," a loud New Yorker and not kind to the fans. She would call the police if they were gathered outside of Cavendish Avenue or yell at them to go away. The other thing was that the fans believed that Linda had changed Paul. The Paul they used to know would occasionally come outside and chat with the fans. He would joke with them and be a bit flirty. And while at times, he would yell at them, overall he was super kind and accessible. After Linda moved in, Paul did not come and talk to the fans and he was curt and even outright rude towards the same girl that he had been so nice to a few months earlier. And while we know now that there was stress and discord with the Beatles, which most likely attributed to Paul's attitude, Linda was the one that got all of the blame. Fans everywhere saw Linda as a woman that was controlling and pushy. And lastly was the story that quickly went around that Linda had told Pete Townsend, way before she ever met Paul that her goal was to marry a Beatle and that she had her sights on marrying Paul McCartney. Pete says to this day that it was said as a joke and it got taken the wrong way, however fans believed that Linda had done whatever it took to win Paul as a prize and that she had made a $5 bet that she could marry him. This totally rubbed them the wrong way.
These girls at the time truly did not think that Paul was not going to get married. Ever. They believed that he was always going to be the bachelor Beatle and therefore available to date them if the opportunity came about. So they were completely blindsided on March 11, 1969 when the newspapers said that Paul was going to wed the American. Both Carol Bedford and Carolyn Mitchell say in their books that they gathered outside of Cavendish on the 11th and they saw all four of the Beatles go into Paul's house. Carolyn also says that Linda called the police on them that day. Carol heard from a second hand source that later that night Paul came out because the girls were crying so much and talked to them. One of the things he told them was "you knew I had to get married sometime." Paul says in Many years from now that he and Linda had a big fight that night and the wedding was almost called off. You have to wonder if the fight had something to do with the girls crying outside the gates.
That leads us up to the day of the wedding. Most of the fans that were there congregated around Cavendish Avenue. In Carol Bedford's book she says that Jill was crying and the photographers were snapping photos and asking her to cry for them. But honestly---the only girls I ever see crying are the same two girls. Both of these girls look young (early teens maybe). One has short brown hair and the other had long blonde hair. I see these same girls in all of the video footage and photographs. If there were other girls weeping outside Paul's home that day, their photos must not have made it into the press, because all I see are the same 2 girls over and over again. And it makes me wonder if the whole story of fans bawling because Paul was getting married has been blown out of proportion. What do you think?
Other fans were there, but they looked more in shock than anything else. Margo is there with the little boy she was babysitting, Bam Bam along with other regulars at Cavendish.
I am glad that the fans first impressions of the marriage of Paul and Linda were wrong. The couple remained married for 29 years and the only time they spent apart from one another was when Paul was in jail in Japan in 1980. I think over time the fans warmed up to Linda and Linda warmed up to the fans. 1969 was a difficult year in Beatles history on so many levels. And that is nothing to cry about.