Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to the Southhampton

This is the continued story from the McCartney Observer from January 1980 about the group of American fans that followed Wings around the U.K. in the winter of 1979.   This is all about the Southhampton show. 

The show in Southampton was fabulous!   They were just a bit of a slower type than in Manchester but once they started, it was full speed ahead!  Perhaps they were guarded at first due to the ushers who literally threw them back into their seats!  I don’t think their shinning flashlights in everyone’s face endeared them to anyone’s heart either.  But alas, they would have needed more ushers than fans to keep everyone in their seats for too long!   They were a friendly bunch.  They seemed to be roused to fighting for “Every Night.”  “Thank you very much, how ya doing?”  Paul shouted.   Thunders of response.  “Alright, alright, great!  Good to be back in town anyway.  The next song we’d like to do is off the album ‘McCartney’”  His pronunciation of his surname effects people like one of his suggestive looks.  “It’s called ‘Every night.”  With the applause, you’d have thought money was falling from the ceiling.  ‘Every night’ is a romantic song anyway, but with Paul signing it live, he adds elegance to it as he croons the words.

Denny was in an extremely feisty mood tonight which was a lot of laughs.  He begins to introduce the next tune and stops; “This one is from….excuse me while I pick my nose and then I’ll get going.”  Everyone burst out laughing.  “This is from Back to the Egg, it’s called ‘Again and Again’”  He provoked a generous bout of applause for that.  I suspect a few were still clapping over the nose joke!  “Thanks very much, you’re a nice quiet bunch tonight just sitting there.”  Paul observed.   They clapped and shouted trying to prove him wrong.  “Anyway, this is off London Town and it’s called Oive and Enuff.”  He stands back from the mic and hands held high in the air he claps vigorously as the audience joins in, whistling and shouting.   The applause at the finish continued longer than usual, Paul thanking them over all the noise.

After “Now words”  Linda introduced her number with a little ad libbing form Paul.  “This next ones a bit of a rock and roll number.”  Paul steps in here “That’s my missus there in case you didn’t know.”  Applause.  “That’s right, yeah.”  Linda continued.  Out of nowhere Paul calls out “Fish n Chips for me please”  and Linda, ever the vegetarian “Just chips for me.  Now Cook of the House.”  She was warmly accepted.  Paul wiggled and really performed during this, watching Linda time and again and making faces at her, sticking his cute behind out and wiggling it like a duck out of water.  To this concluding applause Linda answered, “That’s to all you cooks out here.”

You know what is next…”Old Siam Sir!”  Paul, ever the raconteur, “Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen of  Siam!”   Everyone giggles.  How cute he is!  “I went somewhere, was it …”   Denny helped him out pronouncing Southampton in a new way.  “Was it?”  Paul asked.  “I met some people and some butler goes by.  I said ‘Where are you from?’ and he says (fast) Siam.  I still haven’t working it out.  Anyway, enough of that.”  He makes his guitar scream and got a quick round of applause.  “Thank you!  Anyway this ones called Ol Thiam Thir.”  However can I let you know just how tantalizing Siam is.  If you ever see Siam offered in film, you know from one of those modest companies who charge eighty dollars and any two members of your family for eight inches of overexposed film?   Get it.   It’s still worth it.  You’ll miss your family but this bit is great.  You can make a copy of the film and then ask for a refund!  Voila!   You have Siam on film and your family back.

“Maybe I’m Amazed,”  “Fool on the Hill” and “Let it Be” were once again hypnotic, the audience finding it hard to believe just what they were hearing!  It was indeed grand.   Things were kept bouncing and everyone were having a great “Knee’s up” as they say up there in the north.  The encore brought the band out to toss Frisbees to the audience.   Denny’s song Laine hopped from the audience to help out too!   He threw a few out and then ran to Denny to hang on his leg!  It was cute.
Denny started it again as he introduced “Hot as sun.”  “Paul’s gonna play the guitar for you now, and he does a lot on record.  Nothing tricky from him this time.  He does a lot on record.”  He smiled at Paul, “We thought we’d give him a chance to have a go.  Anyway, this ones called “Hot as Sun’.  For the Caribbean sunshine! “  No unbiased opinions in this club allowed – Pau was fantastic!  It’s one of the most popular songs in the shows.  At the finish Paul shrugs, “Well, I don’t think Eric Clapton has too much to worry about.”

‘Spin it on’ went well as did “Twenty flight rock” bringing us up to an introduction from Laurence.   “Thank you.  Hi.  I’m Laurence.  It’s nice to see you.”  A friendly welcoming applause for Laurence.  He looked around “Denny…now he’s gonna demonstrate one of his latest flying leap.”  Denny walked offstage then.  “He’s NOT going to demonstrate one of his flying leaps!  But he is!” and suddenly Denny charges across stage, over the piano and right side up!  Claps and whistles for Denny!    “It would have been better if we’d had guitar.”  He shrugged.  Laurence “alright---he is goingn to sing”  There is a pause as Denny fidgets.  Paul “Alright he’s really gonna sing now.”  And Denny, “Will you shut up!”  and finally we hear “Go Now.”  An original intro if ever!  

They were all in joking form and it was a good time for all.  Once during the show, maybe it was after “Yesterday”, a man jumped up onstage with a program for Paul to sign but was roughly tossed back into the audience by guards.  Paul reached out for the program and what else he’d wanted signed and said he would sign them afterwards.  He signed them after Mull and handed them back to him.  That’s some special man, I say!   After Wonderful Christmastime, Linda and Denny started dancing.  That was a sight to see!  Funny little bits spiced the show here and there and it was great!   Band on Run brought us to the rallying close.   Flowers were tossed onstage and Paul was followed by chants and applause!

After the concert we sardined ourselves into George’s car.  All of us!  That’s Barb, Mary Ann, Doylene with Marie on her lap, Sheila with myself on her lap, Mar up front and George driving, as it were.  In a two door sports midge that’s no mean feat.  Half of the time all of us were babbling at the same time about the concert, a tape of the show blaring on the recorder and making our driver a nervous wreck.  The other half we were screaming as George kept turning corners and driving up the wrong side of the road toward on-coming traffic and swerving just in time “I’m a lot of fun, huh?”  George—it was a hair raising experience.  You can imagine bystanders reactions as we pull to a stop, a door flies open and one unfolds herself and squeezes out of the car, then another and another and another…

We sat in the lounge of the hotel as Sheila treated us all to a round of drinks, which was very nice indeed.  As we talked George stepped out of the lounge and returned a moment later and sat down.  He sipped his drink.  “Now when he gets here, just walk out by the entrance, ok?  Everybody stay calm.”  We will.  We know.  “Because they’re here.”  Who???  “the band  and Paul.”  What????  We jumped up leaving everything but our cameras, touched down and bolted for the lobby, calling over our shoulders   “George!!!”  He just sits there and says Paul’s here.  C’mon George!

A false alarm.   The band had arrived, but not Paul.  The lobby was filled with camera owners and autograph seekers of all ages, such as the sweet group of children we’d talked with a little earlier on our arrival.  Steve waltzed in first and was just as anxious to pose for pictures as everyone was to take them.  He said hi to Barb and she asked him if he knew when and if Paul would be coming.  “No.  I’m sorry.  I’ve got about as much idea as you. About that much.”  He held up two fingers spaced to demonstrate small and we watched closely.  It wasn’t much.  Barb deadpanned, “Zippo, huh?”  and Steve cracked up.  He still seems to be in awe of his new found fame and it’s very charming.  Marie asked if we could take a picture and he said alright.  He cautiously set his guitar in case down, and following his gaze he looked to each of us to see just who was there.  Marie took my camera from me and suggested I get in the photo too.  I asked Laurence and he said sure and stood next to me with an arm around my shoulders.  He also posed with Barb after that.  He’s an amiable person, very obliging.  Not to mention quite handsome.

Something was mentioned about it being Doylene’s birthday and Steve turned around “How do you say that?”   Marie repeated it for him.  “Doughlene?”   Doylene clarified it for him by spelling it and he smiled and went back to the friend he’d been conversing with.

Roll the red carpet!  Denny came in next, his children trailing after, jumping ahead of him and then lagging behind again.  Denny’s got a gentle look, until you look him in the eyes and you know he’s not thinking very genteel things!  Laine stuck with Denny and Heidi wandered a bit.  She’s a little waif, and looked precious as she had on a pretty red frock.  She looks like Jojo.  I took a photograph of Denny and I was about to take just one more and a roadie said, “Here Denny, pose for her.”  Denny stood straight and smiled and I got a nice photo.  I said thank you and smiled as the roadie said something to Denny I didn’t quite catch and they both smiled at me and Denny winked.   (Right after that George called me over to the side and told me what he said.  It was “Hey, do I get a commission on this?”)

I suggested to the children to pose with Steve and Laurence and I’d take their picture and send them prints when I got back home.  They were all excited and rushed over by Laurence to pose.  Both Steve and Laurence posed but I missed Steve looking as my flash was giving me trouble recharging  Marie and Doylene also snapped at the same time.

Paul still had not shown up and we were beginning to worry.  Alan was passing out Wings badges and he gave Marie one.  After she thanked him she said, ‘Listen it’s that girl’s birthday over there with the blonde hair so why don’t ou give her one too.”  She pointed out Doylene and he gave one to her, and turned to me.  I must have looked pitiful because he gave one to me.  I think the others got one as well.

We returned to the lounge to continue waiting, hopefully for Paul.  Our purses and coats were half on the floor from our mad dash out of there.  The band came into the lounge a moment later.  Steve and his wife sat at one table with Thadeus behind them.  Laurence stood at the bar with friends.  His reflection was in the mirrored walls and as I took a picture he caught me and waved.  Denny wandered in and up to the bar with the roadie he’d been talking to earlier.  Alan and a few others stood in the middle of the room talking, probably about us and pointing in our direction.  (That’s ok, you should hear what we say about him!)  We talked for a while, realizing defeat.  Earl Oakie came over to our table and talked for a few minutes Beings there wasn’t much reason to stick around a few of us decided we’d like to leave.  Laurence left the room for a moment and returned holding his jacket.  George said we would leave after he finished his drink so I left to freshen up in the ladies’ room.  On the way back I ran into Laurence on his way back to that special room again!  I said hello and started to walk back to the lounge when he called me back and commented “Oh I like that” pointing to a pin on my shirt.  I was wearing two and assumed he meant the one from Alan.  “Oh yeah, Alan gave that to me.”  He said, “No, that one there.”  (a read heart with wings).  “I got one something like it in New York.  It’s a little different though.”   I just smiled and said yes it was nice, it’s different.  I suppose I didn’t really think at the time I was only concerned with being disappointed Paul hadn’t shown, but I guess he would have liked to have talked.  I smiled and said goodbye and returned to the lounge.  Denny was the only one left in the lounge with his friend.  I didn’t notice him right off and believe me, I said some pretty dumb things.  I saw he was there as we got up to leave.  We sardined once more into George’s car, screaming down the motorway as George drove down the wrong side of the road.  We had a nice evening and it was great being with friends.

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