In the spirit of the archival nature of this fine site, my good friend and confidante, the noted Brooklyn psychiatrist Dr Willy Mandelbaum has requested that I publish his thoughts from a couple of years ago on the McCartney divorce…
“What can I tell ya? To say there’s been some friction between Paul and Heather ain’t givin’ anybody a scoop. This is news of no surprise, much in the same way that everybody already knows that east is east, that west is west, and that the Kennedys have funeral caterers on speed-dial.
“But in my line of work, I gotta look at the bigger picture, the emotional fallout of a love-gone-wrong – not just the tittle-tattle in those supermarket sin sheets millions of us pretend not to read. ‘What does he know?’, I hear some of you ask. Yeah? Well, let me tell ya somethin’ about Willy The Shrink; I been nosin’ around inside noggins for 48 years now, and I’m pretty damn good at it. I ain’t lyin’, and neither are those 27 certificates on a wall behind my head, or a house in the Hamptons the size of the Hoover Dam. A whole lotta green don’t tell no tall tales.
“But, I digress…
“Let’s consider Paul first, a guy who happily tucked into 30 years’ worth of meat-free cookin’ from the ever-lovin’ Linda, only to have a whole different kind of nut cutlet leave a bad taste in his mouth. Some say he shoulda stopped on his own after he was widowed, like there’s only one true love for any of us – and to believe it’s gonna happen again is like believin’ in the Easter Bunny, or that Ashlee Simpson’s gonna hit a right note someday soon.
“But, hey, cut the guy some slack! He gave us ‘Yesterday’, he gave us ‘The Long And Winding Road’. He’s an incurable romantic. Not all the time, I grant you – I don’t recall any newyleds choosing ‘Helter Skelter’ for their first dance. But by and large he’s had faith in the power of love since the get-go, and this has been his problem. At the risk of confusing you with psycho-analytical jargon, I gotta say that the dude’s a schmuck when it comes to the ladies. You get yourself one good one like he did, then that’s when ya stop. There’s no headin’ back to the table for a second hand at the Casino Of The Heart. The house always wins.
“(For the record, Dr Willy’s been with the lovely Bernice since ‘57 and there’s never been a cross word between us, as long as ya don’t count the mah jong incident of ‘82)
“And as for Heather, well she’s been gettin’ a bum rap since Day One. I saw it comin’, but then I’m a professional. The moment I set eyes on that gal it immediately reminded of a learned passage written by the eminent Dr Carl Jung, about the inevitable clash between the introvert and the extrovert. I can’t find the book right now, but what he said was somethin’ along the lines of ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’.
“Heather’s lust for attention manifested itself in many ways even before she hooked up with Paul. She did the modelling thing, she did the charity mouthpiece thing – hell, she even waved her leg at Larry King, ferchrissake! That’s not Paul; he’s happy at home in a pair of Circle K slacks, milking the odd goat.
“The big hoo-hah that the press honed in on was Paul changin’ the locks of the London house – significant on so many subconscious levels, you don’t need a big brain kahuna like Dr Willy to point that out to ya. Equally significant is the press suggestion that Heather stole three bottles of cleaning products from the house. Well, Heather, honey, take it from a guy who can see beneath your skull, whatever happens in the short term you’re gonna clean up in the long term – whether or not you’re already hoarding Toilet Duck bought from the royalties of ‘Let It Be’.
“Yeah, that’s right, Dr Willy’s goin’ straight to the question of the dough. It’s hard for normal folk to even grasp the concept of the cash involved in this divorce settlement. I read somewhere that Paul made somethin’ like 350 million last year alone – huh, Dr Willy’s lucky if he makes that in FIVE years!
“But how much of that should Heather be entitled to? Who can say? Not me. But the vulgarity of wealth has a tendency to brush off on both those who already have it and those who crave it, to the point where Heather is now despised among Beatle fans more than any other previous Fab Four spouse. It’s true. Suddenly, Yoko’s got a kind of Mother Teresa glow about her.
“My professional advice to both of ‘em is this: Whaddaya doin’, you crazy Limeys? Take a step back, think about how to proceed with dignity and grace. Heather, tread carefully before you sully the name of a living legend. Paul, meet the gal halfway and settle this whole mess so that you can both walk away with your self-respect intact – and, if you got any time left over, how about making a solo record that doesn’t suck?
“I’ve never been the kinda doc who liberally doles out unnecessary prescriptions like they were American Idol record deals, but you could both do with some kinda calming capsule or two. Nothing specific springs to mind, but any of those with a ‘q’, ‘x’ or ‘z’ in their name – rule of thumb: never pop a pill unless it’s worth at least 43 points in Scrabble.
“That’s the way Willy sees it. Our time is up for today.”