I found this story on the website for the newspaper, The Advertiser and it was written by
|Photo taken by Mike McCartney. Copyright held by Ann Savoy (pictured with Paul)|
By Cheryl Deval
When you're young, the most unlikely things can happen.
Just ask Ann Savoy about the time she hung out with Paul McCartney.
Yes, that one — "Sir Paul" to most of us now, back then a Liverpool lad who rocked the planet with his band before Wings.
This week, Savoy, a Eunice-based musical performer, producer and historian, posted evidence of their meeting as the cover photo on her Facebook page.
She put it there not knowing that this happens to be International Beatleweek, a festival unofficially launched last Thursday by McCartney's concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, site of the Beatles' final concert in the United States.
"When I was young, I was living with my mother and sister in Switzerland," Savoy said in a phone interview. "We took a trip to London.
"I was," she noted, "very interested in the Beatles."
So was almost every teen girl in the developed world as the band prepared to release its sitar-infused album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in mid-1967, three years into Beatlemania.
Here's how Savoy said she, at 15, got past the cordon of celebrity.
"I was with my friend Johathan Bragdon" — then in his early 20s, now a world-renowned visual artist — "and I said, 'Let's go see Paul McCartney.' "
Her idea was to pass by his home in London. Savoy's friend wanted to push it further.
"We went up to St. John's Wood where he was living. My friend said, 'I really want to talk to Paul about the influence of Indian music on his work.'
"It so happened that McCartney's brother Mike was driving through the gate," Savoy said. "So Jonathan wrote a note to Paul, handed him the note and Mike drove in.
"And the next thing we knew, (Paul) came out and said, 'Come on in.'
"We hung out for hours, talking about the influence of Indian music," Savoy said, sounding surprised 47 years later that any of this had happened. "He said he was so happy we were there."
But wait — there's more.
"There was a knock on the door and Mick Jagger came in."
Turns out that the Rolling Stones' frontman had just been released from jail after his first arrest. Somebody had tipped off the police about drug use at a party he had attended.
"He was shaken up so much," Savoy recalled. Jagger and McCartney talked while their young guests were in the room.
After awhile, she remembered, "Paul said, 'We're having a party in a couple of nights. Wanna come?'
"Here I am, a total innocent," Savoy said. Her friend Jonathan Bragdon said, "'Sure!'"
Because Bragdon was a trusted family friend, Savoy's mother allowed him to chaperone. "My mother couldn't believe it, either," she recalled, "but she let me go."
The guest list included Jagger, his muse at the time, Marianne Faithfull — wearing a Girl Guide Brownie uniform — Beat poet Alan Ginsberg and the big white dog McCartney name-checked in "Martha, My Dear."
Savoy described the tone as mellow and congenial with good food and conversation. "The people were quite gentlemanly," she said. "They weren't acting like bad boys — they were holding out chairs for the ladies. I just couldn't believe that.
"I was one of 'em. The thing was, it was very unbelievable."
But she had proof that it had happened — the photo Mike McCartney took at her friend Jonathan's suggestion. It ended up in her high school newspaper.
Since Savoy's memento of what she calls her "once-in-a-lifetime weird little moment" surfaced on Facebook, "I've gotten so many comments on it," she said.
During the years in between — when she moved to Louisiana, married accordion master Marc Savoy, reared four children including Grammy winners Joel and Wilson, and produced well-reviewed albums including "Evangeline Made" and "Creole Bred" — she's taken some big lessons from that little moment.
"The whole thing inspired me on every level. When I produced those (recording) projects with rock stars, I wasn't intimidated.
"At that extremely impressionable age, to be invited into such an incredible situation, made me realize that anything can happen," Ann Savoy said, adding, "Be prepared for it."