9. Father McKenzie from “Eleanor Rigby” could have been Father McCartney.
John Lennon’s closest friend was Pete Shotton, whom he grew up with and would later purchase a supermarket for, even inviting his Liverpool chum to the occasional songwriting session. One such affair was at Kenwood. The Beatles were there with their significant others.
After dinner, the men-folk headed off to Lennon’s home studio, Lennon having become bored with the TV program everyone was watching. “Fuck this shit,” Shotton remembers him saying in The Beatles, Lennon and Me.
“Paul McCartney, as usual, had brought along his guitar, which he got out and started strumming.” He played everyone a new song, which just happened to be “Eleanor Rigby.”
In the song, the priest’s original name was Father McCartney. “Hang on a minute, Paul,” Shotton interjected. “People are going to think that’s your poor old dad, left all alone in Liverpool to darn his own socks.” A fair point. Everyone pitched in names, until Shotton came up with both the winning Father McKenzie and the idea of him presiding over the burial service for the dear departed Ms. Rigby.
“I don’t think you understand what we’re trying to get at, Pete,” Lennon remarked, prompting Shotton to reply with “Fuck you, John.”