Sunday, April 30, 2023

Paul at MPL

Photos by Tore Skaar and Anne Kristin Ekern
Paul at MPL

McCartney Observer

By Tore Skaar and Anne Kristin Ekern (Norway)

Summer 1980


After a lot of struggling, we managed to meet Paul and Wings for the first time on June 15, 1979 – the very last day of our visit to London.  It was merely an hour before our bus left for the airport!  Wings were being interviewed live on Capital Radio when “Back to the Egg” had just been released.  Ray Brown (at the Musique Boutique) had hinted that the group was to be interviewed live about 3 pm.  It was our last chance to see them, and we had to hurry.  Naturally, we were somewhat depressed this last day in London, after all the seeking that gave no result.  Well, Wings arrived, all of them in good spirits, and the dream of seeing Paul had come true.  He was very nice, joked and smiled, ever the diplomat!  We took some pictures and well, the end of the story is rather sad.  Somehow the film disappeared when it was sent for developing, and we’ve never seen anything of it since.

So, therefore we set out with bigger hopes when we made our trip the second time around this year.  Having arrived in London on Saturday, July 5th, we went up to St. John’s Wood on Sunday.  Paul was not living there this time either, so we walked to Abbey Road/EMI aftwerwards.  We didn’t really expect Paul to be there, and we were right.  Someone there said, when we asked where Paul was, “I think he’s in Scotland.” Now, that made us a little depressed again.  After all, it was July, the album (McCartney II) was out quite a while ago, and it wouldn’t really be strange if Paul was on holiday.  But we were determined not to give up.  Having gained quite a lot of experience from the first trip, we learned one thing:  Trust no one!  They all tell you different things!  Whether it’s Tony Brainsby, Sue at MPL, or someone at the EMI Abbey Road – well, it’s a shame, but you can’t really trust any of them.  One of them says Paul is out of the country on holiday; the other says he’s rehearsing at a secret place (far away from London, of course) or that he’s in Scotland, etc etc. so once again – here’s the advice that you all ought to go by: TRUST NO ONE!  THEY ALL TELL YOU DIFFERENT THINGS!

Soon already the next day, this statement proved to be true.  On our way to Oxford Street – we came from “Musique Boutique” – we decided we might as well drop by the MPL in Soho Square.  It was just after 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and the door was locked.  However, a girl came out and was actually very friendly.  Answering the questions about where HE was, she said, “He’s upstairs.”  We couldn’t believe it, and we got so excited.  So, of course, we couldn’t leave the place now, and we started to wait for him to come down.  A Mexican boy called Enrique was also there.  And whom did we see when we had just crossed the street and looked toward the first floor, but Paul! It made us so happy, and we waved at him with a lot of gestures.  He smiled and waved back.  It looked as if he was happy to see us.  He was sitting in a chair, so we could only see his head.  He had a conversation going on with an unidentified person.  Apparently, it was a day of business meetings for Paul, and we were pretty lucky to be here this day, as he's very seldom at the MPL.  Later on, we also saw Linda and baby James on the 3rd or 4th floor.  We waved at them, too, and they waved back.  Linda helped every smiling James with his waving.  They all seemed happy that day. Well, Paul finally went out of the room and seemingly took the elevator to another floor, so we had to wait longer.  And, would you believe it, who came walking towards MPL just after we had arrived there – George Martin!  We didn’t get to speak with him when he arrived, but after an hour or so, he came out again, so we ran to him and said “hello” and “thank you for all the great records that you produced.”  He was very nice, wrote autographs and posed for us.

And we waited for Paul.  After two hours of waiting, he finally came down with James on his arm.  Linda also came.  As we started for the front door, Paul suddenly opened the door and waved us towards him!  “What the hell, is he going to invite us in?” we thought.  He didn’t do that, but he asked us if we were going to take photos, and we said yes, and he just said, “OK.  Well, just wait and few minutes, and we’ll come out.”  We could hardly believe it.  It was so nice of him!  It just goes to prove that he cares about his fans.

There were some people inside, and they chatted for a couple of minutes.  Then they came out, and Paul started posing at one, and then Linda too.  We clicked away with our cameras, and we managed to get some good photos of the event.  Paul then said that they had to leave, and they went into their Rolls.  We ran out into the street to take as many photos as possible.  Paul rolled down his window, and James sat on Linda’s knees.  Linda smiled – so did Paul – and we all said goodbye to each other.  Then they drove away. 

It was Monday, July 7, 1980, at 6 pm, and a day we’ll never forget. 


  1. Ringos' 40th birthday. I wonder if Paul congratulated him that day? (MarkZapp)

  2. Lovely couple and James must have been cute.