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Sir Paul McCartney's late wife Linda thought he'd died in Africa studio collapse

Sir Paul McCartney's wife thought he'd died in a studio collapse credit:Bang Showbiz
Sir Paul McCartney's wife thought he'd died in a studio collapse credit:Bang Showbiz

Sir Paul McCartney's late wife Linda thought he’d died when he collapsed at an African studio.

The Beatles legend was working on Wings' iconic 1973 album 'Band On The Run' - which is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special reissue this year - at an EMI recording studio in Lagos, Nigeria when he went outside for fresh air as he was struggling to breath.

Recalling how he immediately fell to the ground, he told Mojo magazine: "I collapsed from too much smoking, but it could have been stress. Who knows? Linda thought I had died.

"They rushed me to a doctor and I remember this nightmare of going through a Lagos market, noise everywhere, thinking: Bloody hell, what is going on?

"The heat, the smoking the stress... it compounded. What could we do?"

While the 81-year-old musician admitted "anyone sensible" would decide to "go home" to London, the band "went back into the studio the next day".

He quipped: "Smoked a bit less, probably."

It was a difficult time working on the album, and one night Macca and Linda - who died from cancer aged 56 in 1998 - were walking back to their villa when they got robbed at knifepoint by six men who pulled up beside them in a car.

Linda pleaded with them not to hurt her husband because "he's a musician", but they took wallets, cameras and demo tapes for 'Band On The Run'.

Macca - who was able to re-record the songs by memory - said: "We were told not to walk on the streets alone, but you get told that in every dangerous country.

"Being madcap rock 'n' rollers, Linda and I decided, 'What do they know? Since it's such a lovely night, we'll walk home'. So we got robbed.

"We ran back to the place we were staying at and got under the blankets until morning, thinking: 'Have they followed us?'"