Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Close Encounters of the Beatle Kind!!
The following story of a fan meeting Paul McCartney in 1981 was first published in the March/April issue of "The Write Thing." It was written by Gloria Rossi.
I met Paul McCartney 4 times, twice on Sept. 21, 1981 and twice on Sept. 28, 1981. I was on vacation in London with my friend Terry. We had been talking about going to England for a couple of years to "see the sights" but kept putting it off for one reason or another. But this year was it, England or bust. A mutual friend, Laurie, was also there and contacted us at our hotel in London. We toured all the usual Beatle sights: Abbey Road, Apple, Paul's house on Cavendish Ave; etc. I was pretty happy with that. Terry had heard form Pat Simmons from "With a Little Help" who heard from someone else that Paul was mixing at album at Air Studios. Laurie had the phone number so she called to see if John Hammel, Paul's roadie would be in, this being the 21st. Whoever answered the phone said that he was expected that afternoon. So where Paul's roadie would be, Paul would follow.
We headed down there to try our luck. And luck was with us that day. We set up a vigil on the corner about 12:30 and waited less and half an hour, when all of a sudden this car drives up. Thought to myself, "that man in the back seat looks like Paul, but don't get crazy thinking every time a car drives by, Paul might come out. All of a sudden Laurie said, "there he is," and I was in such a state of shock that I didn't see him at first, saying only "Oh, my God!" Paul, James Louis and Linda got out of the car. He stopped for just a second saying he was in a hurry, but I managed to say "hi" and touch that gorgeous hunk! I didn't believe it, me who has literally never met anyone, let along one of the Beatles. I barely managed to contain myself and started going crazy just before they disappeared in the building. Paul turned around and gave sort of a funny look, but I guess he doesn't realize what a thrill it is to meet a Beatle! I thought I was "satisfied" with seeing him this one time, but after seeing him once, I wanted more, once is not enough!
So after attempting to see some of the other "sights" in London, we decided to go back and wait for Paul to come out. We got back to our corner about 4:45 and about 5:30 his car drove up and out came Linda and James. It happened so fast I didn't see them, but I knew if they were going back that meant Paul was still in there. So we waited and had my eye on the door and all of a sudden about 6:45, out he came holding James' hand, with Linda following. I immediately started taking pictures - didn't want to blow it this time. He stopped for just barely a second again - we then asked about pictures. Paul said only a quick one, but we couldn't get him to stop and pose. After seeing him earlier this afternoon, we decided to get something for James's birthday, even though we were a little late. I remember Paul saying somewhere that if he could be any animal he would like to be a Koala bear. So we got one for James along with a card that said, "now that you're 4." Terry gave Paul the bear for James, but she still had the card in her hand, so I said to her, "give him the card, give him the card." I started taking pictures again as they went across the street and got into the car. In the car Paul waved at us, we waved back and James held up the bear and off they went.
On Monday the 28th, we got a call from Laurie, saying she was going to Air Studios to wait for Paul, and did we want ot come. After thinking about it for 1/2 second we said yes and got to our familar corner about noon. This time we had to wait, wait and wait some more. By 2:30 my feet were killing me. At 2:40 his car drove up and otu comes Paul, and he was alone this time, just with his roadie, who drove. Again he said he was in a hurry, but this time he stopped for a minute, but long enought ot get him to sign John's book "In his own write," which I had been faithfully carrying around, "just in case." As he was signing a Rupert the Bear book Terry had, she asked Paul if she could have a picture and he said, "I think you are" as yours truly was in position with her Pentax! Terry was then getting ready to take a picture of Paul and Laurie and I figured I'd better get in there or lose out, so I got on Paul's right, put my arm around his waist and Terry clicked. I couldn't believe it, meeting Paul 3 times.
Paul went into the building, and this time it took quite a while for me to recover (I still haven't recovered!). We decided to do some shopping, but who could after meeting Paul?? So we went back to try to see him leave. Terry and I were leaving for Paris the next day, so this would be our last chance to see him. We waited from 5:30 til 7:50. Paul's roadie came running out, and got the car, so we knew that Paul would be out shortly. Sure enough, a few minutes later Paul comes running out, saying "sorry I'm in a terrible hurry girls, I'm sorry I can't stop now." As he ran across the street, I called to him "thanks for being so nice this afternoon!" I hope he heard me. He got in the car adn disappeared into the night. Goodbye Paul, and thanks!