BACKSTORY: Was There a REAL ‘Eleanor Rigby’?
Q: Was there a real “Eleanor Rigby”?
A: Paul McCartney says he originally titled the 1966 Beatle song ELEANOR RIGBY as “Daisy Hawkins.” He also says he got the name 'Eleanor' from actress Eleanor Bron, who co-starred with the Beatles in the film “Help!” and the surname 'Rigby' from a shop called “Rigby & Evens Ltd. Wine & Spirit Shippers.” (The character of 'Father McKenzie' was going to be named 'Father McCartney' but Paul thought it might upset his own father; the name 'Father McVicar' was also discussed but rejected.) As for a real 'Eleanor Rigby'? Yes, there was one. A real Eleanor Rigby is buried in St. Peter's Churchyard in Woolton, England, a suburb of Liverpool; the tombstone says she died in October 1939 at the age of 44...McCartney denies he got the name from the gravestone but also says he may have subconsciously remembered it. In a strange coincidence, teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met at St. Peter's Church – which could explain Paul's subconscious recollection.