Thursday, July 13, 2023

Los Angeles - Take 2

 Los Angeles – Take 2

By Gail Nowak

With a Little Help From My Friends

Issue #48

October 1984


October 23, 1984 – I knew ahead of time that Paul was one of the guests scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show.  I have a friend, Robbie, who works for NBC, so I planned to take a half day off from work and figured that Robbie could get me tickets, no sweat.  Much to my dismay, the employee tickets would go to the studio at 8:00 a.m. the morning of the show.  This was an impossibility for me since I had already made up a story to take off a half day.  So I resigned myself to the fact that I would not get into the taping, but since I had a half day to kill, I went down to NBC anyway, but myself, armed with my camera, in hopes of at least getting a glimpse of the man.

I arrived at NBC at approximately 3:00p.m. to find about 800 fans waiting in line (a record for the Carson Show).  This blew my hopes even further.  Then I spotted a friend of mine (Mike, who owns the GREAT Pepperland Records in Anaheim) up toward the front of the line.  He had spent the night at NBC waiting to get tickets.  Not only did he let me in line, but he also got me a ticket from a girl behind us who had an extra (Mike, I will love you forever!)  At this point, I was as good as in.

While waiting in line I became instant buddies with a girl named Janice, and we teamed up for the remainder of the afternoon/evening.  We got great seats for the show; about halfway up and right in the center.  It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen since the studio is really small, so we were really close.  The audience was really primed and it was like Beatlemania all over again.  Paul was out on stage for almost an hour, since he was the first guest on, and remained onstage throughout the taping.  Fortunately, the video crew ran into technical difficulties when trying to show the “Broadstreet” clip.  This added about 15 minutes of extra time that we were allowed to gape at that gorgeous face.  A guy next to us had binoculars which he shared with us for a super closeup view.  During commercials, Paul and Johnny joked and chatted.  Once in a while Paul even answered fans that were yelling things to him from the audience.  I’m sure you all saw the broadcast of the show, so I won’t go into that.

After the show, Janice and I went to the side of the building to try to see him leaving.  There was a fence to keep the public out, but we could see a limo and a crowd of people at the exit door.  Sure enough, before long, we saw Paul (though not very well because he was surrounded by people) get into a black Corvette which pulled away and drove off.  About 5 minutes later I was on the phone with Robbie (NBC employee) when Janice starts screaming to me that there was a black Corvette out on the street right in front of us.  Needless to say, I hung up the phone and ran over to the curb.  In between the cars, I could see that Paul was driving the ‘Vette and had the window rolled down.  Janice and I grabbed hands and started running across the street towards his car, which was stopped at a red light.  Paul saw us coming and was smiling and laughing.  As we reached the car he said, “Hello, girls.”  Janice said hello, shook his hand, and gave him a kiss.  Then it was my turn.  I also shook his hand and gave him a kiss (on the lips!).  Unfortunately, the light turned green (drat!) and the cars started moving.  He then said, “Watch out, girls.  Gotta go!” and off he drove to some unknown destination in LA.  It all happened so fast it seemed like a dream.  Of course, Janice and I are now friends for life due to this common bond that we shared.  I didn’t get a picture or an autograph, but I wouldn’t trade that kiss for anything in the world!


  1. That's Mary Gross in the second photo with Ed, Paul and Johnny. She was a "Saturday Night Live" cast member in the early 1980s and is the sister of Michael Gross, the father on "Family Ties".

    1. how do you post a picture on here?

  2. On that show, Paul was fun and charm as usual, but at the same time he appeared to be a little uncomfortable, like he didn't want to be there. I guess he was having bad days, as the critics and the media were destroying his film Broad Street.

    1. Very strange interview, very strange vibes.. Lots of forced rapport by 2 great men.

  3. still so handsome here