Monday, April 30, 2012

Paul in New Orleans 1975 (part 1)

Here is a story of when a fan Gina Fontana huge around the studio where Paul and the rest of Wings were recording in New Orleans in January and February 1975.   This story appeared in the July 1977 issue of "With a little help from my friends."

Paul and his troops arrived in New Orleans on January 16, 1975, at New Orleans International Airport.  During their stay here, they rented the whole second floor of a small hotel in the French Quarter called the Le Richelieu.  They also rented a white Delta 98 convertible and a three speed bike for Heather.

The reason I knew Paul was coming to town was because of a small article in the afternoon paper.  It said Paul was coming to record an album at the Sea-Saint Studio which is owned by Allan Tousaint and Marshall Seahorn.   They were to stay in New Orleans for a little more than a month.  When I read the afternoon paper that day I almost had a heart attack.  The article even gave the address of the studio.  The first thing I did was to find out where the studio was.  It turned out that the place wasn’t even a mile from my house!  I was so happy words can’t ‘explain.  I mean, I‘d been in love with the man for so long and now he was coming to my town.  For a whole month and he wasn’t even gonna be a whole mile away!  Wilds horses couldn’t keep me away from there.

In the article, it said Paul would get here the following Monday, but that Friday there was another small article that said the group would be delayed and there was not further notice of their arrival.  I waited until Wednesday to return to the studio.  When I got there, there was a small group of people outside.  I decided to get out and find out what was going on.  The news was that Paul had arrived in town the night before and he might come over to t studio to check things out.  Needless to say, I was very excited.   All of the guys who worked at the studio were laughing at me.  I’m sure they thought I was ready to be taken to the funny farm.  Anyway, about an hour later we saw this big white limousine coming down the street.  I kept saying to myself, “this is it.  I’m really gonna get to see him.”  When the car stopped everyone moved closer to it, but there was no Paul inside.  I wanted to scream – it was just the driver delivering a check.  He told us Paul was too tired to come.  That was one of the biggest let-downs of my life.

The next day I went only to find out that they still hadn’t come in.  I waited a few days and went back again.  There was no one standing outside, so I just went and knocked on the door.  I had my scrapbook and some flowers for Paul and Linda.  A woman answered the door and said that Paul had already arrived and he was very busy.  I gave her the flowers and scrapbook and she assured me Paul would receive my flowers and she’d ask him to sign my scrapbook if he had time.

Later that night, one of my friends and I drove by to see if there was anything going on.  There were a few people standing around outside.  I recognized a couple of the people who were there the first night.  We stopped and asked what was going on.  They told us that Linda kept coming out but Pal was too busy.  I had written Paul a note earlier that day and I decided to try and get it to him.  I knocked on the door and the woman from earlier that day answered.  I asked her if she’d get the note to Paul for me.  Someone in the background kept asking, “What is it.”  The lady opened the door wider and there was Linda.  She was sitting on top of a desk swinging her legs.  All I could think to say was, “You’re Linda.”  She just sat there and said, “Yep.”  Then she asked again, “what is it” and I told her it was just a joke for Paul.  Then the woman told me I’d have to go back outside, but I could maybe see Paul the next day between 2 and 4 because that was when he usually arrived.  The next day I went back, determined I was gonna see him even if I had to wait there all day long.  I got to the studio about 12:30.  There wasn’t anyone waiting outside except for my friend and me.  I went inside the office to get my scrapbook from Mary (that was the woman who answered the door). My scrapbook wasn’t signed but she said Paul did get my flowers.  He had them on top of the piano the whole night and when they left Linda took them with her.

About 1:30 people started coming, mostly people from the very first night.  We all just sat around and waited.  There were a lot of new friendships developed that day.  It was like a mini-Beatles convention.  Everyone sat around comparing what they knew and what their favorite song was and what their favorite album, etc. – it was really fun.  By 2:30 there was still no sign of Paul.  Around 3:00 a car with Denny, Jimmy and Allan Crowder drove up.  They stayed outside and signed autographs and posed for photos.  Denny told me Paul should be along any minute.  Everyone stood with their cameras ready.  We waited and waited and waited but there was still no show of Paul.  Excitement was everywhere.  It seemed like I’d been waiting in front of that studio for a year.  At 4:05 Paul’s car came driving about 90 mph down the street!  By this time all the schools had let out and there were about 50 people waiting to see him.  He drove up and everyone ran to his car.  It was like 1964 all over again.  I was right against the door of his car.  Everyone was wild – they were pushing and shoving and Paul kept trying to get out but the crowd wouldn’t let him.  He kept pushing on the door.  (The window was hitting me smack in the face every time he tried to get out).  I could see him perfectly.  He looked scared to death.  HE finally got out of the car with one big push.  Then the crowd pushed even more when they saw that he was out of the car.  I got pushed right on top of him.  His first reaction as to scream (Right in my ear.  He sure does have a big mouth).  He screamed, “Get out of here, what is this!”  I almost started crying.  I felt like he was only yelling at me.  I was in tears telling him that I was really sorry but it wasn’t my faulty.  He must have realized what he’d done because he looked at me with the most understanding face in the world.  He said, “I wasn’t just yelling at you.  It’s really all right.”  The crowd started to move back and Paul started making his way through.  I held on to him almost the whole time.  I asked him if he got my flowers and he said, “Yeah, thanks doll, they were beautiful.”  I then asked him if he got my note and he said, “That was you?” and I told him yes.  By this time we were in front of the door and the next minute he was gone.  I can’t explain how I felt when I saw him that first time.  I had actually seen him, touched him, and talked to him.  It was really a dream come true.  Everything had happened so fast.  He was there one minute and gone the next.  I’d seen Paul a thousand time s in my mind but he’d never looked this good.  He was wearing a blue pinned striped suit with a purple “band on the run” t-shirt (The man really matches clothes well.)  His hair was super greasy but he still looked great.   I found out later on why Paul was so mad when he drove up.  The reason he was so late was because he dropped Linda off at a drugstore to buy some film.  She was gonna take a taxi when she was finished.  The drugstore is only about 3 blocks away from the studio but Paul got lost and he drove around for 45 minutes before he stopped to get directions.
Later that night I returned at about 10:30.  There weren’t many waiting outside.  I had to see him again.  Once is not enough.  Around 11:30 or 12:00 Paul and Linda came out to say hello.  There were only about 12 of us waiting to see him.  It was a lot different than earlier that day.  Paul was so at ease with everyone.  He didn’t rush things at all.  He signed autographs and posed for pictures.  He was so nice.  He kept making all these cute faces.  I wanted to grab him.  He had the McCartney charm on full blast.  Linda loved it too because there were these two guys who kept talking to her and taking pictures of her.  She was really nice.  (This didn’t last long.  Other days she was really mean.  Sometimes I think she went out of her way to be nasty to all the girls waiting to see Paul).  They stayed outside for about 20 minutes and then went back in to work some more.  It started raining at about 1:00.  By 3:30 it was still raining.  There were only six of us left.  We were all getting wet and it was freezing.  I knew if I left they’d come out five minutes later and sure enough, that’s what happened. 


  1. Cool Story, Gina! I was there also! Email me at

  2. Gina ,would like to get in touch with you , I was there everyday email

    1. This story was written in 1977 unfortunately. (see Sara's note at the top of the story)....I sure hope Gina finds you, though!