Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Astroid meets Paul

Tonight's story comes from a very gutsy girl from Brazil named Astrid Leon.  I personally don't' think that I would have called after Paul two times or rang the intercom at Ringo's house.   But I guess being a bit gutsy gets you one step closer to meeting a Beatle.   This story is from the July 1983 issue of "with a little help from my friends."

photos taken by Astrid

My Meeting with Paul
By Astrid Leao

I arrived in England on June 12th (1983) I went through an International Friendship Program of the UNESCO.   I stayed with a nice English family in Chatham, a city an hour and a half away by bus from London.

I was hoping I could see one of the Fab Four while I was there, especially Ringo, ‘cause he’s my favorite.  I didn’t know where they were at the time.  Then my English Grandma told me she had read in a paper that Paul was in London recording his new album!  I had sent him a birthday card in which I told him I was from Brazil and would love to meet him in person. 

On my second visit to London, I went to Air Studios hoping and praying that I could see Paul.  I had to take a bus at 7pm so I waited for him until 6.  I left my autograph book with a nice fellow who worked in the building.  He said he’d get Paul to sign it.

On July 4th, I went to Oxford Street again.  At 11:20 a.m., Paul appeared, walking down the street like anyone else.  He had his hands in his pockets and was chewing gum.  I noticed he’s a bit thin with some grey hair, but is still very, very handsome.  I tried to convince myself I wasn’t dreaming and thanked God for that moment. 

Paul was extremely nice.  He stopped to say hello to me and to other fans.  He said some German words to two German girls.  I presented myself by saying, “Hi Paul I’m the Aseroid from Brazil!” because that’s what he called me when he signed his autograph (He had written “To Asteroid!! Lots of love from Paul McCartney,” and even drew a little boy’s face, on June 30th when I’d left my book there).  He shook my hand and I kissed both his cheeks as Brazilians always do.  He talked to us for four minutes and then said he had to go.  I shouted, “Wait Paul!  I brought you some cashew nuts from Brazil!”  He waited while I desperately tried to find the nuts in my bag.  When I gave them to him he said, “Thank you very much.  That’s very nice.”  As he was entering the building, I shouted “Wait Paul!” again ‘cause I wanted to photograph him.  He smiled at me and I took his picture.  I don’t have to say how happy I was!

After that, I went shopping.  At four in the afternoon, I returned to 214 Oxford Street hoping someone could take a picture of Paul and me together.  There were more fans at the time.  I asked them “please” to photograph us when Paul came down.  The German girls said they would.  I really hope they did!  I took six more pictures of him.  I said, “Sorry, Paul, but I’m back because I don’t have any photo of the two of us together.”  He said he couldn’t stay long because Oxford Street gets a bit “tough” in the end of the afternoon.  It was 5:00 already.  Then I followed him to his car.  Other people did too.  When he rolled the window down I told him, “Paul, you’re still gorgeous and beautiful at 41!”  He gave me a big and unforgettable smile.  Then I said, “If you send us to hell, Paul, I will understand because we fans are always bothering you!”  And he smiled and replied, “No, I won’t do that!” He left then and all of us who had that lovely chance of seeing him were so happy.  I still can’t believe that it happened.  I saw Paul twice!

On July 6th I went to Ascot trying to find out about Ringo.  A man who worked for him told me he was in London.  Of course he didn’t tell me exactly where.  That was a frustrating moment.  I had cashew nuts for him too and a birthday card. I also talked to a woman through the intercom.  She had a very unfriendly voice and was very rude to me.  I returned to Chatham mad and sad.  But maybe in the near future I’ll be able to see that Starr in person.  I’ve seen George four times and I’ve now seen Paul twice.  Ringo is more difficult to find but someday I will meet him too.
I only know that meeting beautiful Paul was the greatest joy of my trip!  Thank you Lord!

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