Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One afternoon on Oxford Street

Here is a nice story to show how truly kind Paul McCartney can be to his fans.  Paul really went out of his way to pose for photos and sign autographs for these girls and they really appreciated it.   This story of meeting Paul in late August 1983 appeared in the October 1983 issue of "With a little help from my friends."    I am excited to read their story all these years later.   It was written by Terry Klemmer and Pam Pritchard. 

It happened on August 26, 1983 at 1:15 and again at 1:30pm.  Pam and I had been in front of MPL when we ran into Barb and Bonnie, two girls form Chicago that we had met previously at Cavendish Avenue.  They told us they had seen Paul earlier as he was going in to AIR Studios  So, bright girls that we are, we deducted, “What goes in, must come out,” so we planted ourselves at a sidewalk table at the café next door to AIR, prepared for an all-day wait.   After only an hour or so, as we were sitting, talking to a woman from Kenya, we caught just a quick glimpse of him as he very quickly came out the door and walked down Oxford Street.  With that, Pam said, “Is that him?”  Catching sight of that familiar bounce from behind, I realized it WAS him and took off down the street.  Pam caught up to me and we caught up to him on one of those little islands halfway across Oxford Street.   Paul was with someone, but don’t even ask what the guy looked like as I haven’t the slightest idea.  Pam said, “Paul, may we have a picture?”  He turned around and said, “Not now—could you hang out a bit longer?  We’ll be right back,” and with that, he touched my arm.  I nearly fell over!  He started to cross the rest of Oxford, turned and said, “About ten minutes.”  What a decent guy!  He certainly didn’t have to give us a time span.  We returned casually, to our table, and the woman from Kenya, and sat down as if nothing had happened (she probably was wondering about us), but we babbled on like fools.  Pam started having trouble with her camera and was getting into a small panic trying to prepare it for his return.  We wondered if he would return as he certainly didn’t have to, and he sure could have gone home or entered another doorway.

But just as she got the camera functioning again, from behind us, we heard this familiar voice saying, “all right girls, let’s make it a quick one.”  I still am not over the fact that he returned from a different direction.  We didn’t see him since we were watching down the street and he approached us!  He was so nice, standing there so patiently while I fumbled with the focus.  He started to laugh and said something like, “Here we are posing on Oxford Street!”  I can’t begin to describe how it felt looking through the lens and seeing THAT face looking back at me.
Pam then asked for an autograph and he said ok, but to hurry as he didn’t want a crowd to gather.  We each had postcards handy that the girl at MPL had given us earlier.  As he signed, Pam asked about the Rupert project.  Pam: “Is your Rupert project still forthcoming?”  Paul:  “Yes” Pam:  “when?”  Paul (laughing) “That is a good question!”  We should’ve said “do you have a good answer?”  But he then added, “When it’s done.”

I didn’t know the title of the new album yet, so I asked him and he told us “Pipes of Peace.”  That when some of his friends arrived, and he went back inside.  Pam and I had retained our composure remarkably well for the circumstances, but after he left, we found ourselves wandering around London mumbling like a couple of mad fools.  

We also ran into some girls from Italy who said that had briefly seen George.  They were not able to speak to him or take photos because they only saw him drive out of his gate, but they said he was all smiles and waved to them.  They think he went to pick up a dinner guest because it was that time of day, and he returned shortly with another man.  Again, he waved and smiled.
From Pam:

The man is certainly handsome, thin, and has quite a bit of gray.  His hair is gorgeous and cut in a nice fluffy, layer “do.”  He couldn’t have been nicer; he was all I expected and more.   I still am touched at how he came up from behind and called us.  He didn’t have to do that and he did return in 10 minutes like he said he would.   What decent, honest, kind man!  Another thought was that he must be very observant of people in order to be able to recognize us as we’d only spoke briefly on the street (in the center traffic island).  There are so many people he meets and we saw him so briefly in that initial time that he must be very keen on his surroundings to be able to pick us out after such a brief first encounter.  We weren’t standing out in front of the studio, either; we were seated at our table at the café.  This is comforting to know – the fact that he is alert and on the watch for and cares about us fans.

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