Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Behind the scenes of Paul's 1989 VISA commerical

In 1989 I was a new Beatles fan.   Many of you had been a fan for decades by the time I caught on.  Many of you had seen the Beatles or at least one of the Beatles in concert and many of you had even met one of them in person.    I remember reading a story about fans who were at the making of this commercial for VISA credit card and just being amazed at the fact that you could actually be that close to one of the Beatles. At that time my heart belonged to Joe McIntyre of New Kids on the Block and they kept us far, far away from him.   But here there were fans who got to touch Paul McCartney.   I wanted to know more....and today I am still trying to get close to him!

This is a story of one of those fans who was at the taping of the commercial.  The fans only appear in the ad for a half of a split second.   It was written by an L.A. new anchor named Diane Ruszczky and was originally in the Summer 1990 issue of Good Day Sunshine magazine. 

Diane (the blonde on the far end) and other fans wait for Paul.

All photos are Diane Ruscuzky's

Behind the scenes at the tapes of Paul’s Visa ad in L.A.
By Diane m. Ruszczyk

I attended the filming of Paul McCartney’s VISA commercial November 27, 1989.  I was one of the “fans” who got to scream and touch Paul over and over again for the cameras; and , while I can be seen in only two quick clips in the ad, it was a thrill of a lifetime to be able to tell Paul to his face, “I love you,” and have him acknowledge it.

Filming began without Paul at 9:00a.m., in the parking lot of the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California.  We pretended to be waiting in line for tickets.
Paul joined us at 1:00p.m. and we worked with him until 3p.m., and then he went to a press conference at the Forum Club, which I was also privileged to attend, as a representative of Channel 11, KTTV, New Los Angeles (Fox Television).  Paul even answered a question I asked. 

But, back to the commercial, Paul walked down the line of waiting, screaming “fans”, of which I was one, signing autographs, two times, then he drove by in a limousine four times.  The first time he walked by, I took photos, the second time he walked by I got his autograph, only half signed.  It says “Pa...” but you can see in a photo of him signing it, authenticating the unusual autograph!  The first time he rode by, I reached my hand into the limo and grabbed it, squeezing it very hard, and held onto it for a such a long time I thought I’d never let go.  And I could feel the squeeze long after, his grip had been so strong.  The next time he drove by, I handed a rose into the car, and Linda, now riding with him, took it from me.  The third drive by, again I reached into the car, Paul again grabbed my hand, and as the limo pass by, he was pulled of the window because of our link.  He looked right at me, and I said to him, “I love you!”  I had waited all my life for that moment.  It was great!  Now, they had to back the limo out each time, so when Paul passed by on his way to the starting point, he would tell us to talk backwards.  The fourth time the limo passed, Paul and Linda were through the sun roof, again I took photos.

After that, Paul went on the other side of a fence, and waited for a long time for the crew to set up the next shot.  It was then that the real fans among the actors got a chance to chat with him.  Paul even talked to some of the fans who had gathered across the road to watch.  He was so sweet and gracious.  I was particularly impressed when Paul held the hands of a fan through the fence who had started crying because she was so overwhelmed by his presence.  This girl was a friend of mine and I know how much that meant to her.

The whole day was like a dream come true I got to see Paul in concert that night (I saw him three times in L.A.), but, unfortunately I made one error.  I was to have gone to the China Club after the concert, but since it had been such a long day for me, with the Visa Commercial and press conference and the concert, I just went home.  As it turned out, George Harrison was at the China Club that night!  Oh well, it was a Paul McCartney day. 

1 comment:

  1. So happy to find this story on your blog. It was an exciting day to finally meet Paul McCartney and hear him perform. It had been 25 years since I first saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan (Feb. 9, 1964) and at that time I vowed to become a disc jockey so that I could interview the Beatles. Happily, this was a dream come true. Thanks for posting my story....