Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Paul invades Chicago

I wish Paul still did things like this:  just show up in a major city and randomly pick five fans to meet him for a half hour.    Wouldn't that just be so awesome?   When did Paul get so difficult to meet?   I guess in the mid 1990's.  

This is a sweet little story of Gloria Rossi, who was one of those lucky winners from the Fun Club that got to meet Paul during his Broadstreet publicity in 1984.   I found this story in issue #48 (October 1984) of With a Little Help From my Friends. 

Paul invades Chicago
By Gloria Rossi

On October 12, 1984, my mother called me at work and said a Joe Dera called from NYC.  He said that Paul McCartney was going to be in town (Chicago) next week (Thursday and Friday), about meeting him, and to call back collect.  Very skeptical, to say the least, I did, and Joe said that I was one of five lucky members of the Wings Fun Club in the Chicago area that had been chosen at random to meet with Paul and that I would get a call back early next week as to when and where.
I was so excited and surprised I never asked Dera how he was connected with Paul, and I wondered if it was a hoax.  But then again, how would he know I was a member of the Wings Fun Club?
Monday and Tuesday came and went, as did most of Wednesday, when I got a call at about 3 p.m. from a Jae Mulford, who asked, “Are you available for Paul McCartney on Thursday?”  After thinking about it for about five seconds, I said, “Yes!”  She told me to be at the Ritz Carlton Water Tower Place at 1:15pm.  Needless to say, I was there at the appointed hour.  After waiting and waiting (I was never so nervous in my life!), there was a flurry of activity and Linda arrived.  She looked good – she was well-dressed, and stopped to sign autographs and talk to the small crowd that had gathered.  She disappeared into an elevator.  Wait again – and there was another, bigger flurry of activity, and the man himself, Paul, arrived!    He too disappeared into an elevator and so we waited again.  Finally, Jae told us it was time to go up.

We took the elevator and got off at the 28th floor.  We stopped at Suite 2810.  She ran the doorbell and the door was opened by a large bald man, who told us – you guessed it – to wait.  So we waited in a small anteroom.

A few minutes later, the bald man told us to come in, and there he was, Paul McCartney, in the flesh!  He stood in sort of a receiving line of one and we took turns greeting him.  I said “hi” and told him that I’d met him once before in 1981 in London.  The suite was gorgeous – very posh.  It was a two-floor affair – it had a spiral staircase. 

We all sat around a coffee table and proceeded to “shoot the breeze” with Paul McCartney.  He wore a grey suit, blue shirt and striped tie (and he did NOT look like a “Gentlemen’s Quarterly” reject as said the INC column in the Chicago Tribune.)  He had on short dark blue socks 00 you could see a wee bit of Macca’s legs when he said, and his wedding ring as a turquoise heart in the middle, and he has a bit of grey in his hair.

I had several things for him to sign and he said, “You’re organized, aren’t you?”  I said, “I sure am.”  He asked about Chicago’s weather.  He was asked if he was going to tour (no.  Darn!)  He was very gracious, signed all we had brought, and he and Linda posed for pictures.  He then gave us black football jerseys that had “Broad Street” written in large white letters on the front.  He said the women could just hold them up so we wouldn’t mess our hair, but we all put them on anyway.  We then gathered around Paul and Linda (I sat on Paul’s left) and pictures were taken, some of which will probably be in a future issue of the Club Sandwich.  At Paul’s cue, we gave the thumbs-up sign, stuck out our tongues, etc while the photographer clicked away.

Suddenly, it was time to leave.  I was nervous and excited before and after the half hour I spent with Paul, but he was so casual about the whole thing (none of that “star attitude” from him) that it wasn’t until several hours later that I started to realize what a once in a lifetime opportunity I’d had. This was the first time I had won anything, but all I can say, I don’t know how I could do any better!

No comments:

Post a Comment