Monday, September 16, 2013

Traveling Europe in 1972

Just a warning:  if you are someone who likes to read stories where Paul is really nice and kind to his fans, then it is best that you skip this one.    Typically we read stories where Paul is generous and friendly to those who are hanging around the studio and his house, but there was a time in the 1960's and into the 1970's when Paul was upset with those who were hanging around.   Not that what happens in this story is bad by any means.  Paul was very kind to this group of girls but when they began filming him getting in and out of his car, I guess that just angered him.

As is explained in the story, they did not take any still photos of Paul, so I included a few photos of Paul and his family during the months of June and July 1972 just so you all can have a mental image of what Paul looked like during this time.

This story was written by Sher Miller and was published in the Fall 1978 issue of the McCartney Observer. 

1972 was the year of my third trip to England and it definitely had its up and downs.  With me in limeyland was (as usual) Sarah N., Kris M., and a new traveler named Marie.  Having first ventured over to Italy to visit Ann and her family, Marie met us in London and we were much thrilled to see her.  Only problem was the main object of our devotion, one James Paul McCartney, was nowhere in sight.  We went by the empty house day after day getting more and more depressed.  Only those who have been in London when Paul wasn’t can know the feeling.  I was feeling a little panicky as two years earlier I’d been in England six weeks and never saw Paul.  But Rosie, Paul’s faithful housekeeper and dear person assured us that he was expected back from holiday in Spain any day (any day turned into two weeks).  But the great day finally arrived.  We tried in vain to see him at his gate to give him some birthday gifts we had for him but we only ended up having a grand fight with a nine year old brat named Heather.  She was quite obnoxious, telling us we couldn’t park the car on her street and that we can’t go near Paul because we would just want his autograph, etc.  It seemed like her parents had her well trained on how to treat Paul’s fans.  We finally convinced Heather we weren’t there to rip Paul’s clothes or ask for his autograph.  We just wanted to give him his birthday presents.  Well we didn’t see him that day anyway, but Sarah and I did see Heather and Mary out in front of Paul’s gate, Mary without benefit of panties.  They were trying to chase the sightseers away and catch their many dogs at the same time.  Well all this was nice and stuff but we wanted to see Paul already.

Finally a few days later Kris and Marie had seen Paul leaving in his new sports car but he hadn’t seen them.  They called Sarah and I and we rushed over with the wine we had for his now belated birthday gift and our cards.  We all waited in the car Sarah had rented when from the opposite corner this bright red, Grand Prix looking car zoomed up the street.  I said to Kris, “Is that it?” and she replied “That’s it!”  We all very gracefully got out of the car.  We got to the gate and suddenly realized we were missing about three of our troop.  Sarah was somewhere behind us, Char had slammed the car door on her foot and was limping her way over to the gate so as not to miss anything, pain and all.  Kris had disappeared also.  By now Paul had stepped from the car and was opening the gate, he still hadn’t looked at us (it was the first time I’d seen him since that famous New York trip in 1970, and  I was afraid he was going to ignore us like he had back then).  Linda was on our side as we approached and she gave us a look like “don’t you dare even try talking to him.”  We decided to ignore her.   And then Marie called Paul’s name and he looked up at us.  She held up her birthday card and he started to come over to where we were.  Just then Linda drives in the car nearly hitting Paul in the midsection but he jumped back and said, “Whoops!” with a big smile.  We knew then that everything would be okay.  Then Marie said, “Can we give you some gifts for your birthday?”  Paul was beaming from ear to ear.  “For me birthday?  Yeah sure.”  His eyes just lit up.  We handed him our cards.  (Sarah and I had picked one that was kind of obscene in a funny way and on the front it said, “Happy Birthday Tiger.”  The special thing was a few months later Paul was wearing a leather jacket that said “Wild Tiger” on the back.  Nice to think maybe our card inspired him.).

After we gave Paul our cards it suddenly occurred to both Marie and me that the most important item, the wine, was missing.  Neither she nor I had it.  Oh god, after all this time of waiting to give it to him and we had our chance and that was about to be over.  Marie and I said almost in unison, “Wait, we have some wine for you too!”  Paul answered, “Wine?  You do?  Swell!”  Just then Kris grabbed the wine from the car and ran up the street with it.  When she got to the gate she handed it to him.  Paul must have been wondering how many more of us would pop up unexpectedly because Kris hadn’t been visible up until that moment.  Char was still about 20 feet away from us in awful pain when she heard Paul say, “Wonderful.  Thank you.”  All this time he was smiling this incredible smile.  I just couldn’t take my eyes off his face.  It wasn’t until we talked about it later that I realized what he’d been wearing.  It had been impossible to stop looking at those beautiful eyes.  We had been so depressed prior to seeing Pau but just the few minutes we were together made up for al the days we hadn’t seen him.  We said our goodbyes and he closed the gate leaving five very happy people.  We had decided before we even saw him that day not to take any pictures, not to bother him with cameras for once.  I really regret that now, of course, but at the time it was the right thing to do. 
Two days later we decided to sit by Paul’s house in our car so he wouldn’t see us.  We parked the car farther down the street then it had been and just waited cameras ready.  At about 6:00p.m., the now famous sports car came down the street right past us.  I took some movies of the car pulling into the driveway and Paul was getting out to unlock the gate.  Marie and I both saw him look in our direction and we’re pretty sure he saw us in the car.  I got some great film of him spreading his legs as he opened the gate (doing an Elvis imitation) very similar move to the roof scenes of Let it Be.  Then Linda drove the car in and we took our leave.  Marie was going home the next day with very sad feelings about leaving, but happy that she’d gotten to see Paul.

Well, along with the Frankfurt concert those two days were the “ups” and now for the “downs.”  Unfortunately we got greedy and decided to go down to Paul’s and watch him arrive home from our car again.  Only this time we were a little farther up the street nearer the house and by the time 6:00 rolled around we were the only car on the street.  By the time that awful news sank in and we could move the car, Paul was driving up the street.  I took a great chance and started filming again, a very great chance as they were now just across the street from us, not down the block.  Well, all went fine for a while.  Paul got out and bopped over to the gate and was about to open it when Linda (who was in the front seat) called him back to the car.  He went back, leaned in to hear what she had to say to him and then turned around right to us with a furious look on his face and shouted “Get out.  Get out.  Piss off!” flinging out his left arm as he yelled.  I had by then dropped my camera of course and Sarah got the hell out of there.  I don’t know how she ever drove past him.  He kept staring at us until we turned the corner.  Oh God were we upset.  When we’d gotten back to our guest house we found one of our Paul posters had fallen off the wall – must’ve been the vibrations from Paul’s anger.  It left an awful memory.  Our theory was that Paul had definitely seen us when he’d gotten out of the car and he obviously wasn’t going to say anything to us until Linda called him back to the car and then he had to do something..  But anyway, we shouldn’t’ have been there in the first place.  A few days later we drove to Paul’s just for a few minutes to see some German friends who were hanging around and thank goodness we had left just in time because Paul had come tearing out of the house and chased the Germans up the street yelled at them to leave him alone.  It really seemed then that the only time he’d been nice to the fans was when we’d seen him that first time.  Made us feel good.  The couple of weeks we’d seen Paul he’d been rehearsing with Wings for the 1972 European tour. 


  1. Is understandable the reaction of Paul, I dont undertand why those girls (not only them), went to the house three times or more, with one visit is enough to me, they want privacy and they were a bit tired of the fans. The fact that upset me in this story is what Linda did (and Heather), I know some fans were cruel to her, but why do something like told him that some girls are watching them in a car or filming them? (because for obvious reasons that's what she said), the girls were not even next to them, if she didnt say anything to him, nothing happened, I feel a lot of bad vibe with what she did and her daughter too, Heather was a child, is disrespectful what she said to them, I dont image a child telling me that I cant be in a place, and less at that time, and I dont see Paul telling me "Get Out" very upset, I would be very sad and depress, I hope this fans got over it fast because after all, they met him.

    And dont worry, I love read this kind of stories, I really enjoy it ad I hope you will post more soon :)

  2. Although I agree that Heather did act rudely and somewhat like a brat, I think under the circumstances she almost had a right to. After all, these people were constantly tresspassing on their property. Of course the fans are the reason he is where he is today etc etc, BUT there is a limit. There is a limit to how much he really owes us...any of us. And there is a limit to how much someone can take. I don't think I would enjoy being stalked all the time, and face it, that's exactly what these people do. They stalk him. They weren't happy with just one they needed three, and they had to film him too. I don't blame Linda for bringing it to his attention, and I agree with the author of this piece, that Paul seems to have acted for Linda's benefit, rather than his own. In other words, he saw them but wasn't going to do a thing about it until Linda forced him to. It says something of his character (and John's too because John had infinite patience) that he put up with so many intrusions every day, and he didn't get angry more often.

    1. I truly have mixed feelings about this. I do not think Heather, as a 9 year old, had any business telling fans that they could not be on her street. On her family's property is one thing, but Cavendish Avenue isn't HER street.

      Where my mixed feelings really come in is that the fans weren't hurting anything. They were sitting in their car filming him. They weren't vandalizing anything. They were climbing the fence. They weren't ringing the buzzer. But then Paul had a reason to be annoyed in general with fans always hanging around. I am sure it got old and was annoying. These fans already saw him once and they should have just let him and Linda be. Even they admitted that they got greedy.