Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paul's Fun Club meet up

I knew that Paul had met with fan club members in 1984 as part of some contest, but I have often wondered what that was all about.   Well, thanks to a very kind reader of this blog who sent me a maga load of old Beatles fanzines, I was able to find out!   This story is from the June/July 1985 issue of "The Write Thing."  It was written by Linda Aiello, who has happened to have several encounters with Paul McCartney.   

Linda Aiello (far left) with Paul in NY

Linda A. takes Paul's hand as members of the Club Sandwich meet Paul in NY in October 1984

I met Paul McCartney many times in the past, but nothing can compare with my experience on the afternoon of October 16, 1984.

Last year I won a contest to have dinner with Rick Springfield and I thought what if it were Paul McCartney.  Well, I had the chance to find out and here is my story.

On Friday, October 12, I received a call from Paul’s public relations firm of Rogers & Cowan.  Mr. Joe Dera told me he was calling for Paul McCartney.  I had a hard time believing him at first.  I asked him if I had won tickets to see “Give my Regards to Broadstreet.”   He told me I had won something better.  Paul wanted to meet five members of his fan club when he came to New York to promote “Broadstreet”.  He told me I was a lucky winner, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  He told me the meeting would take places on Tuesday, October 16 at the Plaza Hotel and that he would call me on Monday with the final details.  I was a basket case after that!

I was glued to the phone all day on Monday.  At 1:30 I couldn’t wait any more and called Rogers & Cowan.  I spoke to Mr. Dera’s secretary and she told me she’d call back with details when she got them, wished me luck and told me to “sit tight!”

My mother couldn’t believe it was true, and thought I was being set up.  The reason my mother was so scared is because they told me I couldn’t bring a guest.  I had to go alone.  But thank goodness my mother’s fears were wrong.

I got to the Plaza the morning of the 16th by 11:30a.m. and waited in the lobby with the other winners.  I went up to the Suite with one of the other winners and we were told that Paul was running late, and that we should come back in a little while.  One of the winners had just seen Linda McCartney get into an elevator, so we knew we had the right place.

A little past 12 we went back to Suite 837.  We were invited in to have a club sandwich or drinks (hard stuff).  I was too nervous to eat.  I was afraid to drink since I hadn’t eaten breakfast and didn’t want to feel tipsy.

We met the public relations people, radio dj’s, news people, reporters from magazines and the people from 20th Century Fox.  You should have seen the mad house in that room.  I thought if Paul came into this room we’d be lost in the crowd.  As it turned out this room was just the waiting area.  We were given the “Broadstreet” press kit the lp, some press photos and more.

At about 1:00pm our wait was over.  Paul was ready to meet with us.  The press were told to come with us.  As we approached the room I heard Paul say he didn’t want the press in the room now, he only wanted the five winners.  Oh God, give me strength.  The press had to wait in the hall.  As we entered the suite Paul came over to greet each one of us.  He our hands and said, “Hi ya, how ya doing, club members.  You want to sit down?”

The suite was like sitting in his living room.  There was a sofa, a coffee table and some chairs.  Paul sat in the center of the sofa.  I sat in the chair directly in front of him, so that we were face to face.  I was too nervous at that point to sit next to him on the sofa.  He is still so handsome, despite some grey hair and crows feet around the eyes.  His eyes are so beautiful, it seems as if he is looking right through you.  I just couldn’t believe I was looking into his face in person and not on TV.  The great part is that Linda was not there.  I could not believe it since she is always glued to him.  There were only three other people in the room with us and Paul so it was very intimate.  He made us feel very comfortable.  I ‘m happy that I had the nerve to talk to him and not sit there like a mummy.
  I told him I was glad that I was a member of his club.  And other winners said how nice it was of Paul to take the time to meet us.  He said, “Yeah, well I figured I’m gonna be over here so might as well see a few people from the club.” (He then introduced us to the club photographer Dave Dagley.)
Paul offered us a cup of tea, but everyone said no.  I told him I couldn’t believe this was all happening.  “I can’t believe it either.” Paul says, saying “can’t” the way I did.  “I was up all night waiting to meet ya’s.”  And he laughs.

I told him how my mother thought I was being set up and the other winners agreed.  “Listen, you might be set up,” Paul says with a laugh.  “I’m not really here”  Then he asks us where we are all from.  One winner says Brooklyn, and Paul repeats that with the accent, “The Dodges!”
After a little bit, the press was let in and they wanted us to get around Paul.  I never expected this to happen, and then I was sorry for not sitting next to him on the sofa.  I thought I would be cut out of the pictures, but Paul kept telling us to move in closer.  I was holding his hand in some photos and thank goodness I was not cute out.  Then Paul suggested we take some photos by the wall, and the photographers agreed.  I tried to get closer to him this time, but was beaten out again.  I did manage not to be on the end!  Paul told us to hold our hands out and say “Ta da!”  We did and all cracked up.  The photographers had us do that one gain and again.  Then the press left and we were alone with Paul again.

So I asked Paul if I could take some photos now and he said sure.  Another fan said she was told no cameras.  Paul said to her, “yeah well you don’t always listen to what they tell ya.”  Paul asked if I had enough light for my picture and I said I had 400 speed film.  “Let’s hope for the best.”  He said.
Paul signed autographs for all of us too, he personalized them all and he gave more than one autograph to each fan.  “Are we getting a bit tired now?”  he asks us.  Then one fan gives him a card and another fan gave him a present.  “Thanks very much, that’s very nice.  Thank you.”  He said, “OK gang that’s it.”  He said that in such a cute voice.  Then a fan tells Paul she didn’t get a photo taken with him yet, and he asks me, “Linda, could you take one, just quick of us?”  Then all the fans said bye and shook his hand, but I knew I wanted a kiss.  “I’m gonna give you a kiss whether you like it or not.” I said to him.  “OK, he says.  Then all of us wished him good luck with the movie.
After we left the suite we realized that we forgot the “Broadstreet” shirts and we had to go back in to get them.  We waited out in the hall for Joe Dera, and as we waited Paul came out and said, “see ya gang” and I felt his hand on my back.  We all said, “Bye Paul!”  Thanks Paul for making this happen!
Linda Aiello


  1. Paul signed autographs for all of us too, he personalized them all and he gave more than one autograph to each fan. “Are we getting a bit tired now?” he asks us. Then one fan gives him a card and another fan gave him a present. “Thanks very much, that’s very nice. Great stuff

  2. ohhhh nice story-loved it! :) :)

  3. I love this story. Ed - Aka Call Me Mr Broadstreet

  4. I have the original photo of the last photo in this story. Signed by Linda Aiello herself!