Monday, April 14, 2014

MPL -- September 1984

I am still sifting through the stack of "With a little help from my friends" fanzines that I got back at the beginning of the year.  While reading through issue #49 (from January 1985),  I found this nice story about meeting Paul outside of MPL in 1984 written by Laurie Ross.   I wonder what issues Paul had the year before with Italian fans?

Both photos taken by Laurie Ross

MPL –September 1984
By Laurie Ross
Sometimes trying to locate the elusive Macca can be a frustrating experience.  After three days of waiting at AIR and MPL, my friends and I decided to take a day off.  Being down to my last few pounds, I chose to stay in London and see how much damage my Mastercard and I could do to Oxford Street while the others opted for day trips into the country.  After an exciting morning of doing my laundry, I headed down Oxford Street and bumped into a London friend of mine who told me Paul’s car was parked on a side street near MPL.

I headed there to find the usual crew of fans who had seen nothing.  Everyone always heard that if Paul’s at MPL, you can see him, so we figured that John (his driver) was using the car for some other purpose.  After 30 minutes or so, I got up to go for lunch, and for some reason had the incredible urge to take it back to Soho Square with me.  From time to time I glanced up at the building, and on one of the floors there was some fella waving his arms about – in the same way Paul does.  But he did not stand up and I figured that if he was there, the other fans would have told me.

All of a sudden a figure comes bounding to the window and waved to one of the fans – well we all flipped!  It was Paul!  I stood for the next 25 minutes or so just willing him to peek out the window again, but no such luck.   John came out to bring the car to the front of the building and we all made a mad dash for the door.  As John went in, he warned us not to take any photos without permission.
After five minutes of hopping around the pavement with a bad case of nerves, out he comes.  The next five words utter made me cringe, “What are you doing here?”—directed at the small group of Italian fans.  It wasn’t said with a friendly tone at all.  This was the same group that apparently made Paul’s life such a misery in August/September 1983.  As a “peace offering” they offered him a Wimpy box with fish and chips in it.  He said, ‘Is that my lunch?” as they handed it to him, then “A Wimpy!”  When he opened it up he said, “Oh, you can keep it, it’s alright.  I’m a vegetarian.”  One of the girls said, “Since when?” (Can you believe that?) And he replied, “Since many, many years.”  He was asking the Italian girls where they were from and when they said Italy, he said, “Big Italy.”  They asked for photos, and he obliged, so I asked for one and he said “sure.”  I thought, why stop at one, so while he was busying signing autographs, I kept snapping.

At one point he did a cute little pose for the Italians.  I kept thinking to myself, “Why is he being so nice to them when they’re such jerks?” but oh well.  He was about to get into the car and a fellow asked him for an autograph, so Paul asked John for a piece of paper and then he said to me, “Can I borrow your pen?” to which I must have looked stunned, because he repeated, “your pen?” but by the time I rooted through my purse, someone else had given him one.  I asked him when “Broad Street” would be out and he replied, looking right into my eyes, “October 26th in American and like in November here.”

At one point he looked over and saw a German fan standing there with a glum expression on her face, and he said to her, “Don’t worry, it won’t happen!” to which she replied, “What?” And he said to her, “Whatever you’re worried about!”

He finally managed to get away from us all, and I ran to the one-hour photo lab with my film clutched in my hot little hand.

Once again, Paul McCartney proved to me that there can’t be a kinder or more gentle man on this earth—he really and truly cares about all of his fans.

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