Meet The Beatles for real: Jane Asher 10 Years Later
Beatle fans are a loyal group. By 1978, Paul had been broken up with Jane Asher for 10 years and he had married Linda and had children. Jane was in his past, but she was still someone near and dear to Beatle fans everywhere. Jane is so much more than just Paul's ex-girlfriend because they were together all during the Beatle years and she is the muse of several of his songs. She was always well-loved by the fans during the time and always remained part of the "Beatle circle" as far as fans were concerned, even if she was no longer in touch with them. In 1978, Jane was in a play that was in London called "Whose Life is it Anyway?" And fans, Mary Ann Hockman and Marie Lacey had the opportunity to meet with her on a few occasions during the run of the show. Marie wrote about her encounters with Jane for the Aug/Sept 1979 issue of "The Write Thing." While Mary Ann's photographs appeared in the Oct/Nov 1978 issue of the same fanzine.Our next visit with Jane was in August 1978. She was starring with Tom Conti in "Whose Life is it Anyway?"about a young man's right to die after being paralyzed from the neck down in an auto accident. Jane was one of his doctors.
Doylene, Susie, Ann and I went to see Jane at the stage door. Susie had brought over a beautiful doll from America for Katie (Jane daughter who was 4 years old) and gave it to Jane from all of us. Jane was thrilled. We explained that we had already seen the play and enjoyed it and we were stopped by to see her before the show and say hello. She told us we should have come after the play so we could have time to talk and have a drink together. Since we hadn't done that, she said, "You must come over ot the house for tea" So we made arrangements to visit at 10 o'clock the next day.
The next morning we arrived at Jane & Gerald's home in Chelsea just as Gerald was leaving. He greeted us and said Jane was waiting for us upstairs. Gerald is a cartoonist and can be remembered for his caricature of the Beatles that appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in 1967.
They own the whole house, but up until recently only dwelled on the second floor. A sectretary took us upstairs, asking if we were there to see Mr. Scarfe or Mrs. Scarfe, so I told her "Mrs. Scarfe," although in a recent interview Jane said she was not married and acting was still her first love. We were welcomed by 4 year old Katie, holding our doll which she had also named "Kate." Jane appeared from the kitchen and we all sat down and had tea. Jane told us she was leaving the play in September (she was tired of it), but that she hoped TomConti would be chosen for the lead in the NY production. I asked her if the lines came as second nature and she said yes, that she thinks about other things constantly and sometimes goes into shock when she suddenly realizes she's on stage, thinking "where the hell am ?!?" She asked about our travels and I told her we'd just been to Dorset and she told us that they had considered moving there because it was beautiful and so magical.
Jane's mother lives on Abbey Road in St. John's Wood, in fact she was going to have lunch with her that day, and she asked where we were staying and told us that she, too once had a flat in Maida Vale (in '68 right after she broke up with Paul).
She said her brother Peter, lives in California now and they had gone to visit him and took Katie to Disneyland. Katie picked up a pear form a bowl on the table and asked, "Mummy" to cut it and peel it for her. Afterward, she said, "Mummy, I wonder if one should ate the pits?" Jane told her she shouldn't but it wouldn't do her any harm if she did. "Nut you see, Mummy, the point is, I already have ate them!!" Cute!
It was getting time to leave so I asked if we could take a picture before we left, which Jane agreed to. Katie loves cameras and took a photo of Jane with Susie's camera. Katie wanted to get in the pictures so I asked Jane if that was alright and she replied, "Normally I don't allow it, but for you, yes."
She was telling us all about the renovations of the house and how we'd see a big change the next time we came. She kept saying, "really, you mustn't wait so long to come again." It was such a good feeling to be sincerely welcomed by such a warm and pleasant person as Jane.