Monday, April 2, 2012

The Greek Street Gang (part 2)

When we left last Barb, Sheila, Jo, Silvia, and Cathy they were a bit addicted to waiting outside of EMI studios waiting for Paul McCartney.  It was March 1977 and the Wings that included Paul and Linda along with Denny Laine, Joe English and Jimmy McCullough were recording their album, London Town.  But in 1977 the fans didn't know what was being recorded or that Joe and Jimmy would leave the band before the album would even be released the next year.   And I do not think they cared much about that.   They just wanted to see Paul coming into the studio and have brief conversations with him.   Here is the 2nd (of many) installment. 

Show off his present March 14th  Photo by Silvia Purbs

He drove up in the Mini again on Friday, leaning over to check out who was waiting at the gates.  Probably thought we’d call in more troops and there’d be two dozen waiting for him this time.  Secretly I think he’d probably enjoy that more than he lets on.  But there was just six of us there that day (It surprised me that more English fans didn’t show up.  Record Mirror had printed an interview with Joe English that week and mentioned that Wings were at the EMI recording studios, so despite the way Paul had acted that first day, I got the impression that Paul thinks the studio guards are telling fans what the schedule is and he wants to have it out with them if that’s true.  On the basis of that then, one of the guards should get a promotion – he told us one day that Paul and Linda went to the Sea Shell Islands for a month’s vacation.  A few minutes later Paul and Linda drove up same as ever.  Short month!

But on this Friday he was once again pleasant, patient, and accommodating.  He got out of the car to open the gate and let Linda slid over and park it in the lot, while he stayed to talk with us.  Jo and I each had a copy of “Linda’s Pictures”, one for ourselves and one for the club auction.  Paul held out his hands to take it from Jo and sign it, but she shook her head and said, “I want Linda to sign it.”  He was completely taken aback by that.  He must have thought she was a prime insanity case.  Jo, noticing his astonished look and open mouth explained, “Well, it’s her book.”  Paul nodded, still a little hurt I thought, “Yeah it’s her book,” as if to agree that they made perfect sense, but without putting much conviction into it.  (I think he felt a bit snubbed).

I had him sign the book I had and then a Wings handout card form the ’75 tour.  This last for me personally, telling him I had one form that tour, but someone stole it form my house.  “Some friends, “he said to me in a nice moment of responsiveness.

Silvia in her quiet voice asked him about the science fiction movie the press keeps saying they are going to make.  Paul only heard the part about the films, so he started telling us about the “Wings over America” film.  We all thought that idea had been canned since it didn’t come out with the live LP did.  But Paul said, no, he still was trying to get it ready, that he’d been very busy looking at all the footage and that it’s looking good so far and he hopes it will be out soon.

As he left he good-naturally teased us.  “Clear this lot out,” he said in a stage whisper to the guard in a parting jibe.  He also smiled and said goodbye, and he told us he’d probably be back next week.

Standing there patiently on Monday (March 14) reading license plates to pass the time, Jo and I both noticed Denny drive by in a blue Mercedes Benz.  He gave Jo the kind of meaningful look that you couldn’t misinterpret and then went around the corner to the pub.  She looked at me, “Should I go over there?”  She didn’t have to be told yes twice!

I waited for Paul with Silvia and Cathy.  I told them, this time be sure and let me know when you see him coming so I can get myself prepared for that eventuality.  I hate to be caught foolishly looking for him in all the wrong directions.  But it happened again –”Here he comes” they called out.  I couldn’t see the Rolls, the pink Mini or a man walking.  But everyone was milling into the studio parking lot.  “Where are you all going?”  I asked rather peevishly.  Someone nudged me; I was standing right next to Paul saying that.  He had just pulled up on his Honda motorcycle wearing a red helmet with a blue visor and looking very attractive in tight blue jeans and a short jean jacket.  He thought he was really clever this time!  (I told Silvia later, next time give me a break, be specific, say, “Look Barb, here he comes from the right (left) in his A) Rolls, B) Mini, C) Motorcycle D) on foot or E) None of the above.  Perhaps then I could see him arriving before I am standing there next to him idiotically saying, “Where where?”

He went to park the bike by the studio garages and I talked to Linda for a minute.  She had also come on his bike wearing a helmet.  I asked her something about how it was all going so far, and how long they’d be using the studio.  She said they’d keep coming “off and on for a few more weeks” and then by the end of the month perhaps they’d take off for “Someplace warmer in the sun.”  Joe English had already spilled that fact too in his R.M. interview.  Since Jo and I were staying in England until April 8th we hoped they’d keep coming for the next three weeks.  Our insatiable addiction needed still more fixes.  We also had a job to do for the club.  And to get a good story and lots of pictures we needed more time.

When Paul came back up to us, his helmet visor pushed up and chin strap undone.  Cathy had a button to give him.  It was from a rally and march that had taken place on Sunday.  Cathy managed to blurt out, “Save the Seals!” as she thrust the button at him.  Paul studied the picture on it of a baby seal and said, “Anything that stops them from killing the animals.”  She told him about the demonstration and he said, “oh yeah the one with Spike Milligan, we heard all about it.” Then he said goodbye and told us kiddingly to watch his bike, “see that no one takes anything off it!”

While we were still buzzing excitedly about what a high it was to see him looking so cute on his motorcycle with his helmet on, we noticed he was coming out again.  Someone else who works there took him out into the lot to show him his own motorcycle parked there.  We kept our distance a little bit so he could have some peach and privacy to talk without being surrounded again.  But one of the more over-zealous guards (pain in the ass is probably a more appropriate adjective) tried to clear us out of the lot altogether.  Sheila told him, “Paul doesn’t mind if we’re here.”  Paul just looked over and didn’t commit himself one way or the other.  But he didn’t look unfriendly either.

No comments:

Post a Comment