Wednesday, August 9, 2023

One of those Days


“One of Those Days” (November 9, 1973)

By Kris Spackman

With a Little Help From My Friends

April 1974


I knew from the moment we got out of bed on Friday, November 9, that it was going to be one of those days!  Actually, it had all begun the night before, when we’d literally tried to eat ourselves out of house and home, so we wouldn’t have so much to carry when we moved flats the following day.  Marla and I were amazed at the amount of junk we’d accumulated in 3 months’ time in London, and though we stayed up half the night packing, we still had a thousand and one things to do that Friday.

As we rode the underground into town for our daily jaunt to Apple.  I half-jokingly predicted, “You watch – just cuz we have all this stuff to do, probably George, Ringo and McCartney will show up today!”   At Green Park Station, we paused to buy an Evening Standard, then made our way to Apple, arriving about noon – fifteen minutes ahead of our planned meeting time with Pattie and Kathy.  Taking up our “places” on the step outside, we began to read the paper.  Minutes passed and we were both hunched over a story, when a voice above us commanded, in a very insistent tone: “All right, you lot!  No sittin’ about here!  C’mon, let’s go…”

My immediate thought was “Oh for Christ’s sake, who in Hell is bothering us now?” and was ready to tell the intruder to buzz off when we looked up into the mischievously grinning faces of Paul and Linda!!  Talk about instant heart failure!  We both scrambled immediately to our feet, Mar repeating, “Ok…. Ok…” while I mumbled some incoherent, “Yes, sir’s” Quite enjoying the whole thing, McCartney slugged Marla in the arm, assuring, “I’m only kidding!” and before we could utter another word, they were on their way inside.  I finally managed to call, “It’s nice to see you again,” to which Linda smiled and waved.

Then we collapsed!  We had been seeing McCartney and Linda almost daily for most of the month of October when they’d been recording “Band On The Run.”  But they're turning up at such an unexpected place as Apple, and taking us so completely by surprise threw us into a mild state of pandemonium!  Through the door, we watched them bop around reception, talking to Roger (one of Ringo’s errand boys), who was on the switchboard, then they disappeared upstairs for a few minutes.  Ringo had not yet arrived, and for a panicky few moments, we thought sure they’d “escape” before Pattie and Kathy arrived, or before our friend Angela (who worked in Apple’s kitchen) was made aware of their presence.  In fact, they were on their way out the door, while we frantically racked our brains for some sane conversation which would keep them there an extra few minutes – when Ringo pulled up, in driver Peter’s little blue Volvo, instead of his own tan Mercedes.

And there we were, folks …. McCartney and Linda to the left of us – Ringo to the right of us, and poor Kris and Marla in the middle, looking slightly more idiotic than usual!  In his usual slow pace, Ringo got out of the car; he was wearing one of his “work uniforms,” a red and black diamond checked sweater, blue jeans, and tennis shoes!  He paused to nod at us and bid us “Good morning,” and when he saw smiling Paul (who was holding the door open) and Linda, his face broke into a big grin and he held out his arm, greeting cheerily, “Good morning, boys and girls!”

McCartney called, “Hello, hello” and in they all went, trooping through reception and on upstairs.  A few paces behind, driver Peter shook his head and grinned at us, teased and amused, for we apparently looked as delighted as we felt!  We did manage to say hello to him, then summoned Roger, who was hopping around and babbling idiotically about getting McCartney’s autograph, and told him to tell Angela to get the hell up here!  When she appeared, we said a grand total of 3 words to her, “Ang, Paul’s here…” and she was off like a shot!

The whole thing was so absolutely insane, like a scene from some crazy movie, that we couldn’t get over it!  We still had no idea where in the world they’d come from, for neither the Rolls nor the Lamborghini were anywhere in evidence.  And they had to have come from the direction of Piccadilly Street to come upon us like they had.  I’d always had a feeling that McCartney would show up at Apple one day, but never expected him to sneak up on us that way!  When he’d been recording, he’d spent most of his time at George Martin’s Air Studios; but when he did the remixing, he spent one day at Kingsway and 2 or 3 at EMI.  We’d always managed to find out where he’d be ahead of time and turn up before he did, until finally, one day at EMI, he asked how we did it! (Kathy merely smiled and Marla told him, “We have our ways!”) (and to digress momentarily here, that was the same day that Mar and Linda had a heart-to-heart chat about Cleveland because her mother was from there!).  Anyway, in our discussion of the Macs’ “ambush” upon us “innocent by-sitters,” we decided that, on seeing us, he probably thought, “All right!  Now it’s my turn!  This’ll really get ‘em!” 

But little did he know that we had Angela on the “inside” who would shortly serve him tea and undoubtedly blow his mind!  Meantime, Pattie and Kath finally arrived, and once they’d heard what they’d missed, vowed never to be late again!  Then Angela came out, all aglow.  She had brought Ringo, Paul, and Linda their tea, and Mr. McCartney had indeed been quite astounded, as though we’d planned the whole thing!  When she came into Ringo’s office, Paul had stared at her in amazement, and said, “You work here?  How long have you been working here?”  She told him, “Three months,” to which he added, “Do you mean all the time at the studio… you were working here?”  He then proceeded to tell Ringo how Ang and her friends had waited for him at the studio, and Ringo teased her about “deserting” him!  Ringo really liked Ang, as does everyone at Apple who works with her; she’s just one of those immediately likable sorts, though basically quite shy.  We were really happy for her and for ourselves.  Later, Ang once again served them coffee.  Linda, who was on the phone, accidentally bumped into her, and was profusely apologetic!

Meantime, we waited outside, anxious to see what would happen next!  We heard they’d come to discuss publicity for the new album, but when they emerged about 2:30, Mccartney was carrying a copy of Ringo’s album.  By this time, we’d all calmed down a bit, and I noticed she was wearing a long coat, a red and blue vest, black pants, and a blue cap.  He stopped in front of us, all smiles, and said, “Your friend works in there! She brought me tea and I was all...”  and he did a darling imitation of his astonishment at seeing Angela!  Mar laughingly told him that’s what he got for sneaking up on us!  And then out of nowhere appeared that magic taxi which arrives the instant he sets foot out the door.   Calling goodbye, he and Linda got in and were off.  As we made our way home, I vaguely recall someone saying she wouldn’t be surprised if Paul returned to Apple later that day.

As per usual, we went back to Apple at 6 to wait for Ringo, and Ang met us with the news that McCartney and Linda had come back.   We’d missed them by just 15 or 20 minutes, and at the time, Ang had been outside talking to this older Italian woman who was a friend of Lucy (of ex-Scruff fame).  McCartney had asked Ang if that was her mother, which just completely broke us all up!

Ang gets off work at 6, and besides the four of us, she and two other friends of ours, Elena and AnnaMaria, waited as well.  Elena had some flowers which she gave to Ang to give to Paul and Linda when they came out.  We passed the time talking to each other and to Dave from McCartney Productions, who was going to drive them home.  Dave was in a harry and assured us they wouldn’t be long.

They came out about 8:30, smiling and saying “Goodnight” to us all.  Then Mar asked, “Paul, can we give you something?” He was quite agreeable and Ang and Kathy gave the flowers to them.  They thanked them, then Dave led them back to his car.  They called “Goodnight” to us again as they climbed in the back seat, then waved to us as Dave drove off.

The night was not yet over, however, for we were soon to be witness to another “phenomena.”  Mr. Richard Starkey at the wheel of his own car.  Apparently, he’d given Peter the night off and someone had brought the Mercedes into town for him.  But when Ringo took the wheel, we worried about him til we next saw him safe and sound.  The Mercedes was parked out front, between one of the other driver’s cars and another in front of it.

Ringo came out about 9:20. I was a bit nervous at the time because I’d been volunteered to ask him to sign a birthday card for a friend of ours, which we’d gotten most of the other Apple employees to sign.  He was saying his “Goodnights” when I approached him with the card, and without a second thought, almost before I’d gotten the word out of my mouth, he took the pen I held out, the card, and told me to “hold it” as he signed “Ringo – xxx.”  It almost seemed as though he were expecting me to ask him, and he was so sweet about it!  Then he moved towards the car, and started to get on the wrong side before he remembered he was driving! As he went around the other side, he winked and smiled at Angela, then got in and started it up.  We all stood by, nervously guiding him out of the parking space, crying for him to stop when he almost backed into the car behind! “Should we go out and stop traffic?”  Elena wondered aloud, but he finally worked his way out of the spot and drove very slowly up the street, as we all crossed our fingers and hoped for the best!

To celebrate the day, we then went to the pub, where Mal joined us a short while later for one drink and entertained us with stories about the ghosts at Friar Park!  Oh, we did finally get all our packing and cleaning done that day, somewhere in between times and when we got home that night.  And even though it was “one of those days,” we wouldn’t have missed it for the world!


  1. always wondered how some fans could afford to stay so long in London; at 20 then I was working a full time job to live

    1. me too and would have been fired for a long absence

  2. Funny, how the author keep saying McCartney instead of Paul or Macca.

  3. Funny, how the author kept saying McCartney, instead of Paul or Macca!

  4. So after all, Linda wasn't that bad! I gather, it depended on the fans' attitude, and the mood she was in!