I've found some important information about the 1960's French pop singer Francoise Hardy that strongly suggests she was connected with either the real Paul McCartney or our Paul.
Francoise Hardy was a major star in France and the rest of Europe throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's --- and was virtually unknown in America.
She started her career in France in 1961. In 1964 she decided to record in England--at Pye Records--ostensibly because French recording studios were primitive in comparison. That put her in the middle of the British Invasion--when they were home.
Hardy was considered a sex symbol to many a European young man, and--according to a 2005 quote from British singer David Bowie--some young women.
The only American singer who knew of and strongly touted Hardy was Bob Dylan. He apparently learned of her when he was in Paris in the early 1960's and made note of it:
1.) With a poem to her called, "Some Other Kinds of Songs" that was in the liner notes of Dylan's 1964 album, Another Side of Bob Dylan.
2.) And in a song called, "She Belongs To Me", recorded in January, 1965 and released in March, 1965.
So let's start with "She Belongs To Me". The lyrics say:
She's an artist, she don't look back.
She can take the dark out of the nighttime
And paint the daytime black.
Remember the 1966 Rolling Stones' song, "Paint It Black"? I found the backmasked message in that song: "He was from us . . . but he's out." (See my post of June 18, 2013.)
My speculation is that our Paul's real last name was Black. So stay with me on this . . . Dylan caught wind that our Paul was making overtures to Francoise Hardy and slipped a reference to our Paul's real last name in his 1965 song. Fast forward to Dylan's 1966 European tour where he used "She Belongs To Me" as his opening song throughout the tour. He had some other kind of emotion for her, so when he appeared in Paris on May 24, 1966, he stopped his show after a few songs, walked off stage and refused to go back on until Hardy talked with him in his dressing room. She did. (See photo right of the two backstage.)
Dylan had met with Paul on May 2nd. when he was in London and he met with Paul again on May 27, 28, and 29th. when Dylan returned to London. Also see my post of February 2, 2015 where I tracked down some of Dylan's ramblings that suggest a "Madeleine" was involved with real--or our--Paul. Francoise Hardy's middle name is Madeleine.
It gets confusing because if Hardy is the Madeleine of the 1966 French movie, Masculin Feminin. (see my post of October 18, 2012) then it suggests a relationship between her and the real Paul. If Masculin Feminin is biographical, the real Paul committed suicide in 1966.
The other line of reasoning is that real Paul wanted a "rendezvous" with Hardy but our Paul is the man who actually had one. Several things suggest this:
1.) The song, "Michelle" that was attributed to our Paul. My interpretation of "Michelle" is that it was a wistful longing of a boy for a girl and was not talking about--as they like to call it now-- an "ongoing relationship". So, think about what our John said to our Paul after Paul sang "Michelle" on the Ed Sullivan Show of August 14, 1965: "Ahh . . . thank you, Paul, that was just like him." (Listen to this on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com?watch?v=6XMi8uSQooc at 37:47-37:49.)
2.) Hardy knew George and our Paul. In a November 26, 2011 London Daily Mail interview of her, the interviewer says: "When invited to dinner by Paul McCartney and George Harrison . . .". Hardy attended at least one of The Beatles' concerts: on June 20, 1965 when they were in Paris. (See photo of her there at right.) Also, according to the website, Beatles Bible, Hardy met with The Beatles when they were there in Paris. BUT, I have not found any photos of her with any of The Beatles. So any meetings she had with Paul were of a personal nature and not for publicity, in contrast to, for example, of the Hardy+Mick Jagger and Hardy+Brian Jones photos I've found.
Then there's the London newspaper The Independent February 5, 2005 interview where Hardy says she had two brief love affairs in the mid-1960's with two young British actors--one was David Hemmings, but Hardy refuses to name the other one and talks about a song on her 2005 album called "Sur Quel Volcan?" ["On Which Volcano?"] that alludes to "a hidden love affair that would be destructive if people were to find out about it." It could be any British actor, and Paul was a musician, right? But Paul was an actor in A Hard Day's Night and Help!
But what really suggests Hardy had an affair with our Paul is her album Soleil released in 1970. Take a good look at the album cover (right). Hardy is in the foreground, shedding a bloody tear and on her right in the background is a man walking away with a guitar in his hand.
Then there are the two songs on the album that are suggestive of Paul.
First, remember the Beatles' songs that had backmasked pleas from someone for help to get him out from some sort of confinement:
BLUE JAY WAY: "He said, 'Get me out.'"
GET BACK: "I need some wheels. Help me! Help me! Help me!"
REVOLUTION #9: "Get me out!" said repeatedly.
Well, track 5 on Soleil is "Un Petit Sourire, Un Petit Mot" ["A Little Smile, A Little Word"]. Hardy is lecturing someone she says was cold and indifferent and wouldn't help others and now no one will help him.
AND the song most telling on the album is "Je Fais Des Puzzles" ["I Play Puzzles"]. The musical arrangement is upbeat but the song is a lament with these very interesting lyrics:
He had eyes in December,
A smile from July
He told me tender words.
------- ------- ------- -------
When I had dark thoughts . . . [literally, BLACK thoughts]
------- ------- ------- -------
He went cruising [on a cruise] [party cruise]
Without telling me where he was going.
In a few light years
He said he would.
From my research, I can't find any credible photos of Paul past the end of June or the beginning of July. Paul was flatly NOT on the 1966 American tour in August, 1966. Could the month of July, 1966 been the beginning of a brief affair between our Paul and Francoise Hardy?
The "eyes in December" line could be Paul's forward-looking idea of moving to Paris. If you've been reading my blog, I've talked about 1960's Los Angeles radio station KRLA that published a fanzine called KRLA Beat. In an article called "Paul Exposed", it talked about our Paul's fictional songwriter, Bernard Webb, who "wrote" the Peter and Gordon song, "Woman". I believe the autobiographical details Paul gave for Bernard Webb are about Paul's life. One detail was that Webb had a current address in Paris. Was Paul planning a romance with Francoise Hardy that was stopped abruptly with either a fatal accident or an English government-initiated roadway ambush and imprisonment?
By the way, "Je Fais Des Puzzles" has backmasking. I don't speak French, but I recognize the word "Marseille" repeated throughout the reversed song, beginning at 0:29-0:31.
And I found much more on this that I'll outline in future posts. As usual, it goes off in several directions, but there is truth in there that, combined with other information, will get us to what happened to Paul.