Monday, August 3, 2015

Wings in concert

I really enjoyed typing out this story this afternoon.    I can only imagine how much fun this group of friends had traveling around England together and seeing Wings concerts in 1973.     This story was written by Doylene for McCartney Ltd and had no  photographs included with it, so I tried to find some to add to the story.

Wings in concert (part 2)
By Doylene
McCartney Ltd. November/December 1973

The Liverpool concerts (two in the same night) were definitely a highlight of the tour.  Before going to the first one we made a trip to the Cavern – something I had wanted to see since it was going to be closed and torn down in about ten days.   The whole club was much bigger than I’d imagined but the actual place where the Beatles had performed was very small and exactly as I’d pictured it.  We didn’t get to stay there as long as we would’ve liked to, as it was nearly time for the concert to start.  As we were all waiting for Paul to come out for the first concert, the crowd began spelling out Wings letter by letter.  Also must mention that shortly after I was seated (in my beautiful 4th row seat), I spotted Paul’s Dad and Step-mother seated in the first row!   Then the concerts began and I enjoyed it so much.  Paul kept throwing his dad special looks and before the concert was over, his step-mother was kneeling in the aisle beside me, clapping right along with the kids!  Then Pal did something that really cracked me up.  Naturally Paul had heard the audience spelling out Wings before the concert so thinking he’d be really clever he introduced “Wildlife” as an earlier song by Wings---he spelled it wrong!  And somehow I sort of doubt that he meant to do that on purpose.  The concert ended with me standing on my chair again and catching three Frisbees sometime while I was up there.  A concert like that can really drain you and when you have two in one night—well it is was hard to take! 

The one that followed was even more exciting—being that everyone seemed to be wound up right from the beginning.  He came out in a different outfit—the longer style jacket in black and red checks (more of a flannel type jacket as worn in the pub scene of the TV special).  For this concert we had third row seats so the view was even better.  Right after the concert had begun this guy with a movie camera started filming the audience and he kept aiming that stupid thing straight at me!   I tried to ignore him, but he must of found the look on my face as my eyes followed Paul around the stage quite interesting.  I hope he had a good laugh.  Just before Paul began “Little Woman Love,” he started to say the audience was welcome to clap along but before he could get it out the audience was bursting into applause.  Well, that brought the greatest expression to his face and he started saying “…no… I mean the kind of clapping that you do with the music!”  And so went the concert with everyone going completely insane by the time he was into the rockers.   I was on top of my seat again and we all kept going down like dominos but climbing right back up.   People were on top of people shoulders.  After one encore of “Long Tall Sally” the audience was not about to let Paul go and he didn’t want to stop anymore then they wanted him to.   So, he came back for yet another encore, which surprised us all!  Incredible to say the least!  But the night wasn’t over yet.  Almost everyone else was waiting by the rear door entrance for Paul but having been fooled several times before; I decided to wait out the front.   It paid off!  As I was waiting there a bobby who had been standing on the corner told me to wait right where I was because Paul would be coming out the front shortly—but he asked me not to tell anyone else.  Then almost before he had gotten that said, sure enough Paul came walking out (in a gorgeous silver and black jacket ) and seeing him so close lke that nearly shocked me to death.  I was expecting but still I wanted desperately to say something to him but I couldn’t.  I just stood by his car—paralyzed.  There was hardly a soul around except one guy who asked Paul for an autograph (which he gave).  In spite of the fact that my tongue was tied like an idiot, it was good to see him so close and without the teenyboppers crawling all over him. 

Wings Backstage---is this the shirt she was talking about?

The next concert was in Leeds, but we decided we’d keep our room in Liverpool and come back on the train after the concert since it was only a few miles between the cities.  But what we hadn’t figured was no train leaves Leeds after 11pm, so we ended up spending a very miserable night in the Leeds train station, but the concert made it worthwhile.   We had special guest tickets (which came as a great surprise!) so we got to sit in a balcony directly overlooking the stage instead of on the floor with no reserved seats.   WE got quite a look from a couple roadies who were guarding the balcony stairs when we’d showed them our tickets like, “How did you manage that?”  Just before the concert started, Paul walked across the floor where the people were sitting instead of making his entrance from the backstage which gave the people on that side of the floor a thrill!  Then the concert started and I really enjoyed the view, especially when Henry opened his big mouth after the first few songs and everyone on the floor ran to the stage----looking like some kind of a stampede!     Just before the rockers began he gave me my thrill of the day by telling everyone to “clap and shake a bit” and then demonstrated by swiveling his hips from side to side.  I almost lost my grip on the railing there and fell through!  I was already tripped out due to the fact that I was sitting directly next to the amplifiers.  I could actually reach out and touch them, that close.  Anyway, it was quite a night.  Afterwards, I picked up my poor trampled poster and was able to get a hold of a RRS t-shirt.  Then we returned to the train station and began that awful vigil. 

Wings in concert in the UK

Back in Liverpool we slept almost through the next day and then we were off to Preston the day after that.  Ann, Marie and James rode with us.   Once in Preston we went directly to the Guildhall where James and Madeleine got to see Paul backstage.   The rest of us missed out.  However I had a second row seat at the concert, so that helped my disappointment! Marie and Ann didn’t have very good seats so we “shared” our seats with them.  It was really a fantastic concert.  Marie and I were going crazy over the looks he was giving us.  Then during “The mess”, we went down to the stage and Marie and I got directly in front of Paul.  That was Heaven for about 2 seconds and then we were crushed mercsiously  (sic) from behind as the other people rushed the stage.   The look of sympathy we got form Linda was really something and it was nice when Paul asked the people to move back for us, too!  At the time I didn’t’ think I’d get out alive but I now believe It was worth it—even if my view of him was mostly from the waist down.  Afterwards we waited for him at his hotel but a lot of good it did us since he was attacked by two girls the minute he stepped off the bus.  They were pulling him down by his hair.   It was really disgusting. 

Paul in 1973--photo may be from Marie Lacey

We left for Edinburgh the next day and had one free day before the concerts.  Two in one night.   When Paul and company arrived at the theatre, he came bopping down the middle aisle of the bus with a radio held to his ear.   Then once they were off the bus they were covered by “fans” again but Linda stopped to say “Hello” to me, which really shocked the heck out of me.  At the first concert we had balcony seats, 2nd row which wasn’t bad at all.  I loved the way Paul introduced “My love”—adding “Let’s be having you…” after the usual introduction.  At that point we all ran up on the stage and said---“okay!”  Not really, but it’s a thought, right?  Obviously it was more than a thought to this one girl who climbed up on the stage and grabbed him from behind a couple songs later.   The guard pulled her off once but she grabbed Paul again nearly ripping his jacket off.  Afterwards we saw her walking out sobbing and shaking and being comforted by her girlfriends.   At the second show we had the lousiest seats of the whole tour—rear balcony—last row---really bad!  Marie said he  changed lyrics on “Hi hi Hi” making them a little more interesting, but I didn’t catch that.  Maybe I couldn’t hear way up there.  Anyway, we walked to the hotel after and waiting for him.   We were alone until 10,000 people appeared out of nowhere when his bus arrived.  So once again he was mobbed and we were disappointed. Stevens  (please do not post this photo elsewhere)

The next concert was at Glasgow and since we were the only ones going, Marie let us use her tickets which were 5th row seats.  I really despised the town.  The people were rude and the accents were terrible to understand, but the concert was great!   Right from the start the crowd was enthusiastic but the security was something else.  No one was even allowed to stand up!   Guards came along shoving each person down and they were really rough!   Also, just as the concert was starting this stoned little groupie in makeup and glitter wanted to know if she could “sit on my lap” (which she then proceeded to do!).  I always get the strange ones.   Anyways, soon a guard came to my rescue and threw her out.  For once I was glad to see him!   During the concert, Paul walked over to Linda, whispered something to her and they both smiled.  Would have been interesting to know what he said.  Anyway, that got a shriek from the audience.   Finally, at the start of “Long Tall Sally” the guards couldn’t hold the crowd back any longer and everyone rushed down to the front.  And seeing that everyone had a short time to unwind, Paul decided to do “Long Tall Sally” 1 ½ more times!   That was really fantastic.  We started to wait outside the theatre after the concert, but the Bobbies had other ideas and we were sent on our way.  Then we went to the hotel Paul was supposed to be at but wasn’t.   Luckily there as a couple guys there who knew where he was so they showed us the way.  Of course, due to our detour, we missed his arrival, but did get a nice view of him through a picture window as he came out of the elevator for dinner and he gave us a big smile.

Wings London 1973

Audience in London 1973

The next day we began the long trip back to London for our last stop, but three more concerts.   We got there at 6pm after traveling all day and Marie gave us a couple extra tickets for the 1st concert since it had been sold out when we wrote for tickets.   We had seats in the 26th row but it wasn’t too bad since we were on the ground floor and had binoculars.   The thing I really remember about this concert is the girl getting on stage and grabbing Paul during “go Now”.  Of course, it had happened before but this time the girl started kissing him and it seemed that it took forever before she was removed.  It was driving me crazy and I kept thinking “My god, someone get her off!”  Strange feeling.   The next day Marie, Sarah, and I decided to be brave  and make a trip to his house.  We all chipped in for some roses and finally he and Linda came walking out just before it was time to leave for the theater.  Marie gave him the flowers while Sarah and I froze in the middle of the street.  Then he and Linda got in the car (the red one) and drove past us beeping the horn at us and waving.   You should have seen his face when he saw us in the press pit that night at the concert!   But Marie had seen someone in the pit she knew so she thought  if she could do it, we could do it, so we crawled in!   Anyway, being in there made it the most enjoyable concert of all!  We had a perfect view of him at al times plus we could move around all we wanted during the rockers.   Then we got another look from him when he did his “My Love” intro about couples.  He looked at us and shrugged like he didn’t know what we could do.  Finally the last day of the tour rolled around and I couldn’t believe it was almost over.  We all decided we had to be in the press pit again, so matter what, since it was our last night and all.  So that where we headed (Sarah, Vickie, Ann and Madeleine joined us this time!)  But it seems a lot of other people had the same idea and it was really crowded in there.  When they started checking press passes I thought we’d had it in but we managed to half-way hide under a tarp thing they had in there.  Anyway, no one bothered us.  Not because they couldn’t see us, but probably because they thought we were suffering enough!  My best memory of this last concert was when he was singing “when the night…” he looked so gorgeous and when he sang “I never will forget the night,” I thought how I’d apply that to myself and never forget that moment.  I also remember exactly how he looked as he was getting ready to leave the stage.  He had a guitar pic in his mouth all the while he was talking and then he raised his arm up to wave goodbye he pulled his jacket up quite nicely.  Also, I have to mention that all during the concert these people in the front section kept yelling for “Yesterday” and finally Paul told them to “Shut up!” which I thought was hilarious. After the concert we went to the CafĂ© Royale where a party was being held for Paul.  We waited a long time and then finally we saw him and Linda walking down the street toward us.  Him in a yellow safari outfit with short sleeves.   Then this strange guy ran up to him and starting shoving things in his face so there ended our chances of really speaking to him.  I walked him walk inside the building and someone was kind enough to leave the door open so I stood there looking at him for as long as I could.  That was the last time I saw him.    Then the man acting as Paul’s chauffeur was nice enough to give us al lift home and he even let us take a look at Paul’s clothes which were in the trunk.   Having spotted the “Macca” jacket each of us just HAD to tr it on and that was nice—to be inside something he’d been inside.   The next day I returned to L.A. leaving behind the most wonderful 2 ½ weeks I’d ever spent.  I know I’ll never forget them as long as I live.


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