That is what Paul McCartney is implying about a woman who claimed that he sent her a document (from the year 1911) indicating his possible inspiration for the song Eleanor Rigby. The document in question is an accounts register from Liverpool's City Hospital that features the signature of one E. Rigby - Scullery Maid.
The woman in possession of the document, Annie Mawson, claimed that she sent McCartney a request for a donation of 5000 pounds in support of her program to teach music to children with special needs. According to Mawson, who responded directly to an inquiry from the Abbeyrd Beatles News Site, "I have well documented proof that I did write to Paul McCartney in 1989, including a photocopy of my handwritten letter on the 9th August, prior to even establishing the charity in 1992. I hand delivered the letter to his office in Soho. In July 1990 I received a reply from the MPL offices containing his own personal World Tour stamp and with my own signature and address having being cut off from my letter (hand written on pink paper)! and stuck on the envelope as my address."
The press immediately jumped on the story and drew the conclusion that the document must have been the inspiration for Paul's song "Eleanor Rigby." Although the conclusion was reasonable based on her story, Annie Mawson made it clear that, although she claims the envelope came from MPL offices, she never stated that the document was Paul's inspiration for the song.
If the document was the inspiration, it contradicts the story that Paul has been telling about the genesis of the song since about the time some people think that he was replaced by a lookalike.
In fact, of all the songs in the Beatles catalog, "Eleanor Rigby" seems to be the one with the most conflicting details about authorship. John Lennon claimed in both a Hit Parader Interview and in a Playboy interview that he wrote most of the lyrics (Hit Parader "70%"; Playboy "The first verse is his and the rest are basically mine"). John also claimed that Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans were invited to work on the lyrics.
Paul disagrees strongly with John's recollection. So does Lennon friend Pete Shotten, who wrote in the book "John Lennon In My Life" that John's contribution was "virtually nil." Pete goes on to suggest that Ringo, George, and Pete himself were throwing out lines and phrases. Pete specifically remembers thumbing through a phone book and pulling out the name "McKenzie."
Other witnesses to earlier drafts of the song were Donovan, who remembered an early version with the words "Ola Na Tungee" and may have claimed some minor input in an interview or two over the years, and William S. Burroughs who said, "I saw him there several times. The three of us talked about the possibilities of the tape recorder. He'd just come in and work on his 'Eleanor Rigby'. Ian recorded his rehearsals so I saw the song taking shape. Once again, not knowing much about music, I could see he knew what he was doing. He was very pleasant and prepossessing. Nice-looking young man, fairly hardworking."
Another story reported in Steve Turner's book "A Hard Days Write" came from songwriter Lionel Bart, who clearly remembered walking through a cemetery with Paul and spotting a gravestone for an "Eleanor Bygraves."
Then in the 1980s someone discovered an old gravestone of a woman who died in 1939 named Eleanor Rigby. The location of the stone was St. Peter's Woolton, the place where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first laid eyes on each other.
Paul claims the song began as an ode to a "Miss Daisy Hawkins" and is comfortable accepting credit for the entire composition. He also suggests that the name Eleanor came from "Help" Co-Star Eleanor Bron and Rigby came from a shop front in Bristol.
Despite the song's checkered history, Paul is clearly taking issue with the claims of Annie Mawson. He says, "Eleanor Rigby is a totally fictitious character that I made up. If someone wants to spend money buying a document to prove a fictitious character exists, that's fine with me."
In other hard to believe news, the U.K. Mono version of the Beatles White Album #0000005 is up on Ebay. I have always assumed that John, Paul, George and Ringo got the first four and George Martin got number 5, but according to this story, this copy belonged to a musician who was told by John to take any copy except number #0000001.
Although I can see Eric Clapton getting an early number for his work on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" or Nicky Hopkins, who probably played piano on several songs, including "Sexy Sadie," but I can't see anybody but the fabs and George Martin getting the first five copies of the mono pressing. But who knows? The bid is up to £2,050.00 as I write this.
Special recognition goes to Iameye of NIR for identifying this character from the Rotten Apple 71.
Okay, now admit it. How many of you saw the title of today's post and thought it referred to Iamaphoney? Iamaphoney---a liar and a fraud---GET REAL!