This is the same story that was posted yesterday, only this is the story through the eyes of Jay and Mary Alice. I find it interesting to see the things they decide to share in comparison to what Trudy had to share. For example -- the late-night meeting with Paul was a great story! Trudy just slightly mentioned it.
Of Late We Think of London Town
By Mary Alice Weiengo and Jay Dion
The England Bound Beatle Fan’s Club newsletter
As I stood at Heathrow (London) Airport and turned to Jeannine (Jay) noticed tears in her eyes. Now our dreams have at last come true. Here we want to try and let you in on the greatest moments of our September (1968) trip.
After the customs bit and finally getting a taxi, we were on our way to our first stop – St. John’s Wood. After what seemed like an hour of driving, we asked the driver if he might know where Cavendish Avenue was. He told us it was very near the hotel we were going to. Then he said, “Isn’t that where one of the Beatles lives?” (All together now..) “Yes!” He said, “Let’s see, which one is it?” WE, of course, replied, “Paul McCartney” and the driver said, “Well, I’ll take you round there then since it's only two blocks from where you are going.”
You can’t miss the house once you turn onto the street because at times girls are standing in front of the gate, but mainly because his gate is not numbered! (And let’s not forget the two blue milk crates). But, on to the hotel to begin the most memorable three weeks of our lives.
Where can we really begin to tell you about the guys? It was like meeting up with four old friends.
Everything must have been with us because the first night we were in London, we met Paul (Well it was 2am actually). The location was EMI Studios, which is 2 ½ blocks around the corner from his house. Mary Alice, Jay, Sue and Trudy (that’s our group) across the street from the studio on the front steps of an apartment house in the shadows waiting. Then the sound of whistling and footsteps coming out the front door of EMI and down the steps over to a little green mini GGJ-382C none other than the original, handsome Beatle himself all alone. We all looked at each other, and no cues at all, we were up and away across the street. Paul looked up while unlocking his car and waited. As we came up to him, he casually said, “Hi girls. How are you?” We somehow replied, “Hi Paul.” He was very, very nice and that’s no joke. He looked fabulous as well, pink suit, yellow open necked shirt, really great. A couple of pics were taken as he signed autographs and Jay asked him how long he’d been working that night. He answered, “Quite a bit, a long time,” among other things. (He has beautiful eyes and he always looks straight at you when he speaks). We were all talking with him and Mary remarked something about “fantastic” and Paul laughed and imitated her saying “fantastic” with a New York/Boston accent and then he winked at her! Don’t know how many minutes passed, then he said, “gotta go now” and we all said “Have a nice drive, Paul” and as he got in his car, we walked out to the front gate. He slowly backed out to the street, turned to us, smiling and said “Have a nice walk home, girls” and he drove away. But thought we couldn’t know it then, we would see him (along with the others) several times before our trip ended. For this was the month that they were going into the final recording session of “The Beatles” album. We had no idea about that until we arrived, so it all amounts to luck – for luck of a better word at the moment.
Every day seemed to last more than 24 hours, and yet there wasn’t enough time. Days passed (without seeing him) and we were all on our way to Surry and Esher, which had a special meaning for Sue and Trudy, who are our New York pen pals, and we were all together. We arrived at our hotel, but were only there shortly and then off to St. George’s Hill Estates for Trudy’s long-awaited visit with Richie.
Surprise! They had company at the Starkey’s and Maureen, who answered the door asked us to come back the next day as Richie was busy. She did take some things in, which he signed and sent back out. Goodbye for now, but we waited out at the front gate for him to leave for the studio. But ---Richie takes to the back roads often.
2nd Day in Surry – No Richie. Maureen again said he was busy. Suddenly, we were off looking for John’s house – rain! In other words, we were soaked, but it was English rain. We retired back to our hotel, where Trudy discovered she had lost her traveler’s checks somewhere along the way from Richie’s. After the rain, we retraced our steps back to Sunny Heights and it was then that we got our first glimpse of a beautiful, little blond-haired boy by the name of Zak Starkey! It made the trip back very worthwhile (but no traveler’s checks).
Onto the Fair Mile Estate in Esher to see George. (Hold on Sue!) We walked about 2 ½ miles, but it was worth it when George’s home came into view. Be prepared for when you first see it. All psychedelically painted as we all know, but when you are there, it is beautiful. Even pictures don’t show how beautiful it really is. The housekeeper answered and Sue asked to see Pattie. A few minutes later, and Pattie came to the door. Sue gave her some presents and she was very happy. We talked awhile with her and she was really nice, considering all the bad experience she’s had with some “fans.”
It's hard to describe Pattie. She’s a million times prettier than her pictures. With her long. Blond hair, and her mystifying blue eyes. It’s easy to see why George loves her! (And it is more than just good looks). She’s the one Beatle girl we’ll always remember.
We took photographs of her, then she told us that George was washing his hair and he would be leaving for the studio, but we could wait for him. HE would be about a half hour or so. So we waited at the end of the driveway. It seemed to go by slowly, then George and Pattie came out, he got in the car and they were talking for a couple minutes, and then he drove to where we were.
To put it mildly, George is, well, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! And that’s putting it mildly. HE was obviously in a hurry, yet he took time to talk and sign things for Sue and Trudy, while Mary and I (that’s me, Jay) asked him about the new album and recording. HE wore the most beautiful burgundy jacket. He looked great! Wow! Then he was of to the studio! (He’s a good driver, too.)
Back to the hotel for supper, and much talking. By the way, at the end of the TV show “Thingmybob” please note: Theme music written and produced by Paul McCartney
3rd day in Surrey (5th day in England) Mary and I slept late, and Sue and Trudy went to Richie’s, but still no luck. The housekeeper told them that Richie and Mo had gone shopping. They went on to John’s, just to see the house. What else can you really do?
Back in London – but in the meantime, we went to Salisbury and then Liverpool for 3 days, where we visited and had lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Harrison at their home. Sue corresponds with Mrs. Harrison, so they had invited us. George is lucky to have them as parents. They make you feel like one of their own. Liverpool holds many memories for us.
Can you imagine what it’s like to be walking by Paul’s house late at night and have the gate open? But then, come to find out it’s only Mal (who later became our biggest go between to them while they were recording). Right away, he put us at ease and vice-versa. We asked him about himself and how he was and then he started to tell us about the new LP and the recording sessions. A couple of photos were taken, then we all went back to EMI which became a regular routine, because we were lucky enough to see them every day.
We truly believed in fate now because we had no idea, they would be recording the month we were there. Happiness is: The month of September 1968!
Now, to make Trudy’s trip complete we at least got to meet Richie. At the studio, he was always in a hurry and we always missed him at his home. But as Richie always sang --- “I get by with a little help from my friends.” We got by with a little help from Our Friend – Mal! (Ahh. Mr. Evans) Up to this point, Mal got used to our daily attendance at the studio because we were always bringing snacks for the guys and having little talks with him (He said Paul really liked the peaches). Trudy’s birthday was coming up, and we wanted her to get to meet Richie, by that time because it was getting close to homeward bound time. Jay and Sue wrote a short letter to Richie, asking him for the special favor, and Mal delivered it (at the studio). At the same time (unknown to us) Trudy did her own bit of writing to Richie and Mal again played errand boy. (Thank U very Much) We were going to Richie’s the next day and in the letter, we asked him if he would come out when we arrived and it would complete Trudy’s birthday wish. All was well as Mal assured us of the letters being given to Richie and in the early morning hours, we went back to the hotel.
Surrey can be a lonely place on a Tuesday night, but on a Wednesday morning --- The housekeeper opened the door, we asked for Richie. She smiled and said “yes, just a minute.” Few seconds later, she came back and asked “Are you the American girls?” “Yes, Yes!” She left again, and we were still surprised by her question until the door opened again. This time it really was Richie, and he asked “Whose birthday is it?” We said “Trudy!” but Mark and I were thinking about changing our birthdays at that minute. I said “Richie, did you get the letters all right?” He replied, “I did and I signed some and gave them to Mal to give back to you, but he came back and said you had gone. But he knows who you are, so he’s got them all.” We took photos and Richie posed “head to head” with Mary and Trudy remarked “You’re too close.” Mary said, “You rat” and we were all kidding around. For a minute I think Richie was wondering what would happen next. He apologized for the times we had come to the house and hadn’t seen him, but he’d been busy and left early each day for EMI. This day made up for all the other times. As we left he said, “Mal will have your things for you” and we said “See you at the studio tonight.” He smiled and said “Yeah, ok, see you.”
OK, Jay now let me tell this about you and John! (This is Mary). We were never really able to talk with John because if you think Richie traveled fast, Lennon went a lot faster with Yoko right behind him. But there was one night when they were coming back to the studio from Paul’s house where they had taken a break and watched a movie on the telly. Mal’s car (with Kevin, George, John and Yoko) came back first.
John and Yoko were in the back set and got out last. Kevin and George got out of the car and went in the studio. We were standing by the gate but Jay was near the front gate, away from us. After John got out of the car, he just stood there for about a minute, looking, and then I noticed he was looking at Jay. She was looking at him, but as I found out later, with John standing in the shadow, she didn’t really see that he was looking at back her. He closed the car door and started to walk around the back of the car, knowing where he was going yet never looking away form where Jay was. When he reached the steps he quickly turned and went up and into the studio, us usual. It was all weird and mysterious to say the least. It doesn’t sound that way telling it here, but if you could have seen it …well, Jay was a bit thought filled and quiet the rest of the night.
There are some of the many things that happened during our trip. We wanted to put in the major bits concerning the guys, but really there is much more. For the moment, this brings us to the end but there will be another time.
Many thanks to Margo, Judy, John Mc, Kevin (and his impressions), “Big Mal”, Kathey, Suzie, Patrice, Cheryl, Carol, Pat, Margaret, and very specially Mr. and Mrs. Harrison: the London bobbies who had time keeping track of us and the sweet old lady who loves Paul as her own “little boy.” (And where was George Martin really going, with a smile, as he drove out of EMI the night of September 3rd?) And let’s not forget the view of “Yellow Submarine” (7 times) at the cinema. But most of all:
To the four most fabulous and big-hearted guys
In the whole world, who deserve all that they
Have for all they have given to us.
If anyone has any doubts about that, we’d be very happy to straighten them out….
Love & Peace
Jay and Mary Alice