Thursday, June 8, 2017

Encounters in 1971

This is the first part of a story about a fan that went to England in 1971 & 1972.  I posted part 2 last year (and I will link it at the bottom of this story) and just now got ahold of Part 1.    

I think it is an interesting story because it was during a time that Paul was not very kind to the fans, as you will read here.   However, he wasn't a total jerk.    

I disagree with what the writer thought about the Apple Scruffs (if that is really who he met).   It sounds like they were trying to help him out.    I think it is natural that they would be a little possessive of the Beatles and their territory.     They were there day in and day out for many years.   This guy is a tourist that will be there one day and then gone.   But still it didn't sound like they were being rude to him---sounds like they were trying to give some advice.   *shrug*

Encounters in 1971 (Part 1)
By Mike Sacchetti
The Write Thing June/July 1984

My story of meeting a Beatle is kind of a two-part story, and not only tells of the excitement of meeting “one,” but also of a personal tour of Savile Row.

In July of 1971 myself and five other friends were on a three week tour of Europe, including six days in London.  Soon after our arrival in London, two of our group went off to see “the sights.”  Totally exhausted from a long day of traveling, I just wanted to eat and go to sleep.   Later that afternoon, there was a call for me at the front desk.  It was our wanderers babbling for us to hurry down to Abbey Road EMI Studios because PAUL was going to show up at any time.  Needless to say, with camera in hand, the rest of us grabbed a cab and rushed to the historical spot.  Once we arrived and met up with our friends, they introduced us to a few other people who were the “Apple Scruffs,” or so they said.  I must say that for all I heard about them, I didn’t think much of them, they seemed so possessive of the whole scene.  Example:  They told me not to go into the driveway or the front yard, because Paul didn’t like that.  Anyway, I wasn’t very fond of their attitude.

After a while a couple of guys came out and sat on the steps.  I had no idea who they were but they looked like they were in the band.  I overheard the Scruffs saying their names and that they were working with Paul on the new LP.  Of course some months later I realized they were none other than Denny Laine and Denny Seiwell.  Anyway, after an hour or so, someone yelled, “here he comes!”  And up pulled this green Rolls Royce convertible.  It was not more than three feet away and I had a great view of the one and only James Paul McCartney!  What a weird feeling that was.  It was really more of an experience than an emotion.  He and Linda looked quite good.  He had on a denim jacket with black slacks and had long hair in the back.  Linda was very pregnant.   I walked in the yard even though I was “told” I shouldn’t and took a few shots.  Then a security guard came out and said everyone had to go, and that Paul wouldn’t be out until very late.  After some joyous minutes with my friends, saying over and over that I can’t believe it, we all thought, hey, tomorrow we’ll try again.

The next day came and off we went to see the real tourist sights of London.  We had a great time, but by 1pm or so I said to my friends, let’s try and see “the house” on Cavendish Avenue.   All agreed and off we went.  After we rang the bell there a couple of times, his housekeeper, Rosie, came out very upset and told us to leave, that Paul wasn’t home, and that he was very mad at the fans for what they did.    She pointed out that the wall had been painted and someone had written the words “F--- Linda.”   We told her we’d never dream of doing anything like that.  But she went on to say he was angry at everyone in sight.  As we were talking, I peeked in the yard and I saw a cat, and also the one and only Martha the sheepdog.  I also noticed his green Rolls, so I knew he was home.

Just as we decided to leave, a car started up and the doors to the yard opened.  There we were face to face with Paul and Linda.  We all smiled and waved and he pulled out of the driveway like a madman and gave us all the finger!  God, we couldn’t believe it, we were so pissed!   We began to curse Paul, but soon after we’d cooled down and realized he had the right to be upset, and we just happened to be there at the moment of his anger.   We began to laugh and say, “after all—who can say that Paul McCartney gave them the finger?”

After dinner that night we decided to go down to Abbey Road once more, and maybe even try to say Hello, and tell him that we weren’t the ones that painted his wall.  Not more than half-hour after we’d arrived there, the now familiar green Rolls pulled in the yard.  I thought this might be the last chance to say something.  The excitement level was high, and I got a surge of nerve up and just walked into the parking area and up to the car, much to everyone’s amazement.   When Paul got out, I said something like, “excuse me Paul, could I just have 30 seconds of your time?”  He looked at me with a weird stare and said, “yeah?”  My brain then went numb!  I couldn’t think of a damn thing to say for what seemed like an eternity.  All I could think to say finally was, “are you recording a new LP?”  (Brilliant, as if he was there to build a house) He said, “actually we’re just trying a few things out.”  “Well,” I told him, “my friends out there and I are fans and look forward to your next record.”  He said, “thanks, gotta go---good night now.”  He walked up the stairs and inside.   My friends all rushed up and congratulated me and trying to make me believe what I had just done.  We then went to a pub and basked in our glory for the rest of the night.

The next day was our last in Europe, so we thought we’d give Savile Row (Apple Corp.) a try.  It was a Sunday and the city was quiet.  We looked up at the building all painted white and tried to imagine the rooftop scene in Let it Be.  We knocked on the door and a very pleasant man dressed like a security guard answered, “Can I help you?”  We blurted the usual stuff about being fans from the U.S. and that we just wanted to look around.  He said that none of the Beatles were expected, but we were welcomed to come in the lobby and take a few pictures.  After clicking like crazy, he asked us if we’d like to sit for a while.  So we stayed for about two hours talking about life in the U.S. and England, politics and of course the Beatles.  When time came to go, he said he would like to correspond with us so I exchanged addresses.  We did write to each other for quite a bit over the next seven months until February 1972 which was my next trip to London. 


  1. remember Mike as a good bloke and also remember personal encounters with some folk in England & NYC who really didn't care for anyone else to be there waiting for the lads

  2. There were two sets of regular fans around in 1971..the regulars who became Scruffs and the regulars who did not.

    1. this was true also thru several years