Tuesday, September 27, 2022

48 Hours


Do you remember the Paul McCartney special on the CBS television show 48 Hours?   I sure do!  It aired in 1990,  and I thought it was amazing.   I never thought I would ever get to see him in concert, so watching this special program was just fascinating to me.  I  thought the fan they highlighted was particularly interesting, and I wanted to be friends with her.    I located her story and how she got to meet Paul in person after the program aired.   

A long, winding road for McCartney Fan

On the Go with 48 Hours and Paul McCartney

By Joy Waugh – O’Donnell

Good Day Sunshine   #56

Summer 1990


After receiving a call from my friend Jay Geoppner, I really thought it would be a lot of fun to get a call from 48 Hours about a special they were planning to shoot about Paul’s upcoming tour.  Last August, my only concern then was to get tickets for all three concerts!  I received a call from an Associate Producer who asked me a lot of questions about Paul and The Beatles.  The next step was a few more interviews with her, a visit to our home, and a couple of additional interviews by the Producer, Rann Morrison.  After all this, I knew they were speaking to a lot of area fans, but I Was very flattered that they took the time to see me.

Then the fun began.  48 Hours called me on November 30 to ask me about my schedule for the weekend.  Well, I had a pretty full weekend coming up:  a trip to the hairdresser, some shopping before the concert, friends coming from three states to attend the concert, and 3 full days of Paul watching.  Sounds like a pretty full schedule, right?  Well, 48 Hours thought so too…

“That sounds just great, Joy.  We’ll start shooting on Saturday.  We’ll meet you at 2:15 on Saturday,” said Rann.  I spent the next two days very excited.  Imagine me on national television!  I thought it was all too good to be true!

Saturday, December 2, 2:15 pm:  Bob dropped me off at the mall, I got out of the car, and the cameras were rolling!  Can you imagine what it was like, walking through a major shopping mall 3 weeks before Christmas with a camera crew following you?  When people came up to me and asked who I was, I usually told them it was for a Paul McCartney special for television.  The first day was spent shopping, getting my hair cut, and in the evening, “casing” the hotel.  I saw Paul there in 1984 when he was in town for his Broad Street promotional Tour.  (Boy, it sure was easy back then.  I saw him all day!)

Sunday was the really big day.  Friends from all over came by to go to the opening night concert.  48 Hours were there, and they brought Victoria Corderi, their correspondent, to ask questions and take in all the madness.  I guess the funniest part of the afternoon was driving to the Rosemont Horizon with a cameraman holding on to the hood of my car.  There were a lot of puzzled motorists on the road that day!  As most of you know, the concert was absolutely fantastic!  Yes, even the cameras were rolling throughout the show, and as far as that goes, every night.

The next two days were spent on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago by day, the concerts at night.  48 Hours did a great job of capturing the important events of the day.  They caught the disappointments, the excitement, and the pure happiness of knowing that I was going to see Paul again, even if it wasn’t a face-to-face encounter.  One thing I think is very important about the 48 Hours filming.  Everything was spontaneous.  There was nothing planned or staged.  It probably was quite obvious, as I was standing on the corner by Paul’s hotel, crying because I knew my last chance for a wave or autograph was over.  It was a very personal moment for me, but looking back, I am glad I shared it with all the fans.  Before I knew I was chosen for 48 Hours, I told the producer, “I’m flattered to be considered, but take a bit of advice from someone who has ‘paid their dues.’  Make sure and pick someone who cares because WE can see right through that.  So, it came to the end of shooting on Tuesday night.  I tearfully said goodbye to Rann and the great camera crew.  The next day was a work day and back to reality.


January 25, 1990 - My husband Bob and I were told by 48 Hours that we may only be on for 1-2 minutes.  We watched the show that night alone, and kept seeing us over and over again!  What a surprise!  It’s really funny, as we actually stopped eating in restaurants for about 2 months.

Thursday, February 1st - Since I work for an advertising agency, Thursdays are always the busiest day of the week for me.  I got a call from a gentleman who said he was Paul’s publicist Paul wants to meet who?  Me!  He had seen 48 Hours and thought that I had gone to a lot of trouble.  What?  I’d been doing this for years, not just in Chicago but in London too.

On Friday, February 10, Bob and I flew to Worchester, Mass, to meet Paul.  Everything was at his expense, the airfare (first class, of course), the beautiful room at the Marriott hotel, and a limousine to the concert.   We were met at the airport by Paul’s publicist, Geoff, and a tour photographer, Phil.  There were so many people at the airport.  I told Bob, “Paul must be here!”  Then, when we walked through security, all these flashbulbs started going off.  The people were there to see us.

Our limo took us to our hotel, and after a quick hello to some Paul fans, we went up to our room.  We had a whole half hour to prepare for an interview at 4 pm with CBS Chicago.  Yeah, I was getting used to it.  At 5:00, we were driven to the Centrum just in time for the sound check.  It was really strange walking into an empty arena.  Then, there was Hamish, Robbie, Wix, and Chris Whitten all saying hello.  Stagehands and roadies we saw on 48 Hours were waving and saying hello.  As I was talking to the people for CBS, Bob says, “There he is!”  Paul jumped on stage, Linda took her place at the keyboards, and they were waving at us!

You know, the ride to the Centrum was really a wild one.  For years it was me on the other side of that limo.  I can’t even tell you what it was like to see the sea of faces and hands reaching out to the car.  Just to be polite, and of course, to keep the fans informed, I put the window down to assure them that Paul was definitely not inside our limo, just me and my husband Bob.

When I proceeded to lower the window, there was a great rush of Paul fans, and I yelled, “He’s not in here!  Honest!”  Seeing I was the “48 Hours fan,” they reached in the car and kept screaming, “Where’s Paul??”  I just replied, “I don’t know!  Honest!”

Well, back to the real good stuff – the soundcheck!  Can you imagine how it feels to sit in a large arena, just you, the maintenance and stage crews, and Paul’s band warming up?  Paul was great up there, even with no audience (well, except me).  He joked and smiled all the time while the band performed “Matchbox” and “C Moon.”  After each number, we clapped and showed our utmost appreciation.  The big moment then arrived!  He put his guitar down, came down the few steps from the stage, and there we were, face to face.  After saying, “I heard you were the star of the show!”  I just stared at him.  He said, “How ya doing?  I’ve heard a lot about you.”  I figured I may as well tell him the same thing since it was true.  After a kiss and a hug, I introduced Bob to him, and told him I felt that we were long departed family, and asked him, “Where have you been all these years?”  We gave him some gifts backstage and then we saw Linda.  She was very nice to me and gave Bob a kiss. Paul then told the television cameras that were following us that we were going to have some private moments, which we did.  It was really great meeting the family and being photographed with Paul.  After some conversation and an autograph session with him and Linda, Paul had a couple of interviews to do.  He gave me and Bob some treasured gifts, and we then went around to meet the rest of the band.  His publicist, Geoff was the greatest, he always made us feel at home and comfy.  Paul then gave us our tickets to the show.  Since we had VIP passes, we actually watched part of the concert behind the stage, which was a thrill beyond belief. 

What a thrill, what an honor.  Believe me, I’ve had a lot of f people tell me that they have been living their dreams through seeing this all happen to me.  I consider myself to be one of the luckiest fans in the world.  But each and every one of you were with me that day. 

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, Joy passed away in 2007. Two of my friends were also featured in the "48 Hours" show chatting with Joy, her husband and their friends outside the venue. And yes, they did a follow-up story showing Joy meeting Paul at long last.