While pumping gas off of Southern State Parkway in Eastern Suffolk County, Long Island, a dark gray Mercedes pulled into the pump next to mine. Of course I did a TRIPLE TAKE when Paul McCartney got out of the car to pump his own gas. I almost had a heart attack !!!
I immediately ran over to say hello and introduced myself. I shook Paul's hand and waved to Linda in the car. Paul was very nice.
I apologized for acting like such a jerk and Paul said he understood, because he acted the same way the first time he met Little Richard.
We talked for a little while -- just small talk. Then we both went into the gas station to pay for the gas. When we were done, Paul said, "Gotta go mate. The wife misses her folks."
Paul shook my hand, got into the car and drove off. As the car was leaving, Linda turned around to wave good-bye. I just stood there and stared, and stared and stared...
-- Joe Manzione
Sir Paul arrived accompanied only by his driver at the side entrance of Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall to perform his annual presentation to graduates of LIPA. He was late, and showed a worried look on his face as he quickly made his way through the doorway as fans closed in.
LIPA is now ten years old and was Paul's former school, The Liverpool Institute. Paul made a speech at the graduation praising the work of the students, teachers and staff for making the school a success and turning his old school into something worthwhile.
"I am very proud of what we managed to do," said Sir Paul . "The original Liverpool Institute was in danger of collapse. It was going to be pulled down. I can"t believe it. The dream we had to save this old building and turn it into something really worth while has happened. I find it very moving... One of the guys who came up on stage said, 'You've done a great thing here' and I said, 'It's my pleasure' and that's the truth. '"
Earlier, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees arrived to receive an Honorary Companionship Degree - the equivalent of an honorary degree. He seemed reluctant to enter the hall spending almost ten minutes posing with fans and signing autographs. He didn't say much, but appeared to be enjoying himself.
If you're reading this Robin, thanks very much! Your attention to the fans was the main topic among fans waiting three hours for Paul to arrive.
Macca's brother, Mike McCartney arrived next and as usual spent quality time with he crowd.
Last year Paul and Heather entered the Philharmonic at the speed of light and left almost as fast. Paul told the crowd then waiting for autographs, "I can' t sign them all! Luv Ya! " So he signed none.
This year Paul signed as many autographs as he could and twenty lucky people where rewarded. He looked happy, relaxed, and finished signing by throwing the marker pen across the street. A friend of mine who was one of the lucky ones, later sat on the sidewalk and found her own pen at her feet. SPOOKY!
So what a difference a year makes. Maybe Paul noted Robin and Mike's treatment of the fans or maybe it's the company that you keep.
Thanks Paul it was much appreciated.
-- Steve Barnes
From me To You Beatlestore
I flew from Japan to attend the Adopt-A-Minefield benefit in Germany with hopes
of meeting Paul. As I patiently waited at the entrance of the
ballroom, Paul and Heather arrived with heavy security. I followed
them into the ballroom.
Heather walked quickly towards their table while Paul lingered by himself not sure where the table was. While Paul was looking for the table I said, "Hi Paul!" He turned around and smiled at me and said, "Hi !"
During the concert Paul surprised
everyone and joined Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) onstage to sing
"All You Need Is Love." Then
Paul played "Let It Be" at the piano with Yusuf accompanying
him on guitar.
At the end of the performance Paul went back to his table and had to pass my table. I couldn't let him go by without saying something. So I said, "Great show, Paul!" He replied, "Thank you, " and SHOOK MY HAND! As he continued on his way I said, "Please come to Japan...," but I don't think he heard me.
-- Masahiro Sendai
It all started when I was just a teenage girl. One day I fell ill, and my mum kept me off school. That day I laid on the sofa and watched TV. On one of the channels I saw a black and white movie - the actor's faces were familiar and since there was nothing else on I decided to watch this movie until the end. That film changed my life. The film was "A Hard Day's Night." I knew then that my life would never be the same.
Since then my biggest dream was to meet the Beatles and visit Liverpool, but for a long time it was just a dream because the Beatles never came to Russia and I could never go to UK because of visas and money. But in 2001 by a huge miracle after hitch-hiking over 4000 miles, I found myself standing in Mathew Street, yes MATHEW STREET, LIVERPOOL! My story appeared in the Liverpool Echo and on local TV. Honestly, I thought that that moment was the high point of my life! But no, it was only the beginning.
That day, in a Liverpool shop, I heard by chance that Paul was going to read his poems at an event in Wales! Wow! It was a very small but real chance to see him! So without knowing the name of the town (just "somewhere in Wales") or the day (May 30, 2001), I went hitch-hiking to Wales, penniless, traveling in a country I didn't know.
On my way I found out the name of the city, Hay-on-Wye. After hitch-hiking in many vehicles, the last car luckily was going straight to the festival. When we arrived I found out that Paul was going to appear only one time and it happened to be the day of my arrival. Unfortunately, all the tickets were sold out!
"Never mind," I said to myself, "I'll be very happy just to see Paul entering and leaving the building!"
The gentlemen who brought me there advised me to write a sign saying, "Does anybody have a spare ticket? I'm from Russia and I have hitch-hiked here especially to see Paul." I carried the sign all day, but nobody had a spare ticket.
Ten minutes before Paul was
to recite his poetry, I was approached by a young man who left
his place in line to offer me an extra ticket! He said that his
brother had become ill and he could offer me his ticket. It was
Once inside the room I noticed there was no place to sit except the first row marked for "VIP's." Shy by nature, I built up the courage to sit in a VIP seat. As soon as I sat down, security started to make their way towards me, but as luck would have it, a side door opened and all those "very important people" started to take their seats next to me. Two seats to my left sat Heather Mills! After that the security didn't dare remove me from my seat.
Paul began reading poems from his new book "Blackbird Singing" only a few feet away from me! Seeing Paul so close was a dream for me, almost unreal, but he was amazingly real and surprisingly normal.
At the end of the performance Paul agreed to answer a few questions from the audience. There was a huge box filled with thousands questions. He pulled out three pieces of paper and as fate would have it, the second one was mine!!! To top that off someone had told him the story of my travels from Russia to meet him. So Paul asked the audience where this girl from Russia was. The audience unanimously pointed at me because they all saw me that day with my cardboard sign begging for a ticket. Paul invited me on stage, gave me a HUGE HUG and we talked!!! I thought I'd die from happiness. The next day my story was on the front pages of the UK and Russian papers.
Six months later (October 4,
2001) in London I had my second meeting with Paul. It had happened
during another poetry reading at Queen's Theatre in London and
to my surprise PAUL
RECOGNIZED ME!!! That day
we talked like old friends. He asked me about Russia, my home
city and about the Russian people.
Two years later Paul gave his FIRST EVER CONCERT IN RUSSIA - Moscow's Red Square (May 24, 2003). I was happily in the front row!
Currently, I work as a TV-presenter for MTV and I have my own column ("culture/music") in the largest newspaper in my city. I also play in a band and released my first CD last year.
Thank you, John, George, Ringo
and most of all Paul!
-- Jane (Evguenia) Enenko Cheliabinsk
It began the weekend of
August 2nd when my girlfriend, and a few other close friends had
a surprise birthday party for me. My girlfriend, Angela gave me
the best present ever. A Rickenbacker bass just like the one that
Paul has!!! After I caught my breath, I said to her, "There
will never ever be a better present than this... unless, we actually met
Several days later I was looking at the Paul McCartney Photo Web Page, when, to my surprise I learned, Paul was in Long Island for the week. I live about an hour or so from there, so my Angela and I drove out to see if we could catch a glimpse of him.
After arriving at our destination, we spent a good portion of the day hoping against hope for the impossible. And, what do you know... just as we were about to give up, here comes Sir Paul and Heather riding their bicycles up the street!!!
We turned the car around and high-tailed it up the road to see if there was any way that we could meet him. Our hearts were beating a mile a minute, and all of the nervous, frantic, panicky, excitement set in. We stopped in a small parking lot ahead of them, and got out of the car. Paul rode right up to me ,while Heather continued on, and said, " Hey man, how' re you doing?" I was absolutely awestruck!!! I weakly replied "Hi Paul... can I please have a picture with you?" He asked politely for us not to take any pictures, because he was on holiday (vacation). Seeing our disappointment he offered, "But will you settle for a handshake?"
PAUL MCCARTNEY JUST SHOOK MY HAND!!!! and went around to the other side of the car and SHOOK ANGELA'S HAND!!!! We were in total shock. Angela said to Paul, "Just saying hello, really made our day," and we both thanked him.
He seemed pleased that we were happy and told us to have a nice day and said he had to catch up with Heather. Then Paul hopped on his bike and rode off.
We sat there for almost an hour in total disbelief of what had just happened calling everyone we knew to tell them who we just saw. I don't know if anyone really believed us. (Just ask Paul if you don't believe us!)
Afterwards, I realized that my girlfriend had given me something that was better than the bass guitar-- Paul McCartney himself!!! -- with a little help from Jorie Gracen.
Paul was so nice to take time out of his busy day to say "Hi." I hope he knows how much we appreciated that.
It's a birthday I'll never forget thanks to Sir Paul and Angela.
-- Michael Syrett
I went to the Four Seasons
Hotel the day after McCartney's last concert in Tokyo hoping to
meet my my idol. A camera crew was in the lobby taping interviews
with band members, but there was no sign of Paul and Heather.
Finally at 1:20pm I saw Paul's limo leave the hotel. Paul rolled down the
window, waved his hand and said, "Konichiwa!" (hello) as he passed ME and the other waiting fans.
My friends and I decided to take a taxi and follow Paul's car. I knew that Paul would leave Tokyo by train to Kyoto to spend a few days there before he headed to Osaka for the final two shows of the "Driving Japan" tour. As we followed the limo, I realized I was right and that Paul was going to Tokyo station to catch the high-speed Shinkansen express train which travels at speeds up to 175 m.p.h!
We jumped out of the cab and raced to the station to see Paul and Heather come in. Paul was carrying a small duffle bag in his right hand and Heather was holding his left arm. Paul didn't sign any autographs, but allowed us to take his and Heather's photo. He was accompanied by several body guards.
I walked beside him from the entrance to the departure area and nobody stopped me or the other fans who figured out that Paul would be there. Luckily it was a long walk to the train and I talked to him the whole way. I said," Congratulations on your wedding!" He replied, "Thank You! Konichiwa! Ossu!" (a Japanese word, which indicates acknowledgement) I asked about his sightseeing visit to Takao Mountain and told him that Kyoto was a beautiful city. HE SMILED AND WINKED AT ME!!!
After Paul got on the train so did I. The only problem was, I didn't have a ticket and not enough money to go to Kyoto, but I got on the train anyway. Paul and Heather rode in the same car as the other passengers but most riders didn't recognize them. Paul took off his jacket and sat on the aisle seat next to Heather who was by the window. They read magaziines and went to sleep for awhile.
I got off at the next station, Shin-Yokohama, and took the next train back to Tokyo.
After Paul left, I was so excited I couldn't talk. I couldn't believe that I MET PAUL McCARTNEY and talked with him!!! I had dinner with my friends and ironically "Yesterday" was played over the PA system. I thought, "I've met this singer!!!"
Paul is my hero. I have listened to his music since childhood and learned about life and love from him and his music. I will cherish this day as long as I live.
-- Masahiro Sendai
I went to Liverpool in hopes of seeing Paul McCartney who was in town to meet the Queen and show her his paintings at the Walker Gallery.
I arrived about an hour and 45 minutes before the Queen was due to arrive hoping Paul would show up sometime before then! We waited and waited with the large crowd where I had managed to find a spot right up in front. McCartney's silver jaguar came by with the windows open as he waved to the screaming crowd. He and Heather came out of the car and continued waving. I was with five other McCartney/Beatle fans and we all shouted in unison to get his attention. Paul turned around, waved, and to my surprise, walked over to us!!! He said kiddingly, "I've only come over to sign a few books. Can't be late meetin' the Queen," and he laughed. Paul added, "You're all cool. Thanks for coming." He came up to me, signed some painting books (including mine), shook my hand and one other person's. So I guess I was extra lucky!
After Paul and Heather went into the gallery, everyone wanted to shake MY hand because, PAUL McCARTNEY HAD JUST SHAKEN IT!!! I was the happiest lad in the world.
-- Daniel Cunningham
My friend Mary and I drove out to Atlanta on May 13th from Murfreesboro, Tennessee to see Paul's show. I had a feeling that my biggest dreams were about to come true. We approached Atlanta around 5pm and got lost, arriving later than we expected.
I ended up on what I thought was a one-way street to the parking garage of the CNN building so I turned around. Just as I was about to exit the street, two motorcycle policeman arrived, followed by a stretched limo, followed by a Lincoln Town Car, followed by two more policeman on motorcycles. I turned to Mary and gasped, "That could be Paul!" So, I made the most illegal U-turn and followed the motorcade.
After a 1/4 mile, the motorcade suddenly stopped. I parked my car in haste, left the keys in the ignition (sorry dad!), grabbed our tickets (which were in a Ziploc bag for protection of course) and started running toward the limo. Picture this! There were about ten fans and us running towards the limo. THEN... the tinted window lowered and Paul poked his head out. All together now... Gasp! We did!!
THERE WAS PAUL McCARTNEY!!! in a beige tailored suit with Heather, and a cameraman capturing us all on film. Everyone was getting their guitars, t-shirts and album covers signed. Then it was our turn!!! I stepped up to the limo and Paul said, "How are you?" "Uhh..." I stumbled out with "You're AMAZING!" Yeah my IQ dropped three hundred points. He replied, "Thanks lass!" I shook his hand and noticed his watch and how soft his hands were. Before I could ask him what lotion he preferred, which was bound to come out of my speechless self, I asked for his autograph on my concert ticket. Mary touched his arm and got his autograph also. Then he yelled out, "See you at the concert!" and the limo whisked him away. I didn't have a camera on me so I didn't even get a picture with him (can't be greedy after that encounter). So Mary and I went back to car, which hadn't been stolen, thank God, and found our way back to the parking garage after crying and calling almost everyone we knew to retell the story.
While waiting for the arena doors to open, I noticed a man with a video camera interviewing a fan waiting in the long line to get in. I grabbed Mary's arm and made our way over to the man. When he finished the interview, I asked him what he was doing. He said that he was filming for Paul's "Driving USA Tour" DVD due out this fall. I told him we just met Paul and showed him our autographs. He asked if he could interview us. I noticed the sticker on the camera. It was the same as the cameraman's in the limo. I asked the cameraman about the similarity. He told us that was his friend filming in the limo for the same DVD. So I guess our chances are greater since we were filmed twice.
If we make it onto the DVD look for the two girls who can't put a correct sentence together
-- Jenny Clements
My dad and I got to Cleveland's Gund Arena at 4:00 p.m. and a super nice security guard talked to us and said he would do everything he could to get me backstage, but they wouldn't even let him bring his grandma, who was a huge Paul fan. "That's okay," I said. Then he told us EXACTLY where Paul's limo would be entering the arena. When we got there, another security guard who was on a walkie talkie told us that Paul was nearing the arena. We waited patiently and finally Paul's limo came down our street! When it got close, Paul rolled down the window and waved to us! I snapped away with my camera hoping that I'd get a photo of him in the limo and I DID!
After the excitement of seeing Paul, we headed to the arena to wait until the gates opened. On the way I took my good camera back to the car fearing that security would take it away if I got caught with it inside. I didn't want to lose those pics of Paul I had just taken. Dad and I each had a disposable camera hidden on us and worried when we saw security wanding people with metal detectors. Luckily, we found a crowd of people and slipped through WITHOUT GETTING WANDED!!
Then we headed for our awesome FRONT ROW SEATS and immediately started chatting up the security guys. (HINT: THIS REALLY PAYS OFF, AS YOU WILL SEE!) They told me I could take pics as long as I was using a disposable camera. NO problem!
OK....then some English guy, a roadie I think, comes over to us and asks about our shirts. Mine said "NO MORE LANDMINES" and Dad's said "WIX." He asked my dad if he could borrow his shirt for a minute and took it backstage. Turns out he was trying to find Wix so he could sign it, but he didn't know where he was!
Cut to the show.....after about 30 minutes, Paul looks at me and I wave to him. HE WAVED RIGHT BACK!!! WOO HOO!!! Then during the acoustic set while Wix is playing accordion, Paul goes over, nudges him and points to my dad's shirt!!! Wix looked very flattered. He gave us a thumbs up and smiled! The English guy said that he told Wix to look for the shirt with his name on it!! How COOL! Then guitarist, Brian Ray and drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. came over and signed my "Driving Rain" CD cover. Real nice guys!!!
After the band left the stage for the encore, the English roadie went over to change a snare drum head that Abe had been playing and gave it to the guy next to him and pointed to me. THE ROADIE GAVE ME THE DRUM HEAD!!! Sweet!!
Now cut to the Encore......Paul came out with his "NO MORE LAND MINES" shirt and pointed right at ME because I was wearing the same shirt! He nodded and smiled with approval!!! Now I'm ready to pass out!!!
After the Encore, Wix and Brian come over to our side of the stage to wave and my dad threw the drum head to Wix who signed it and threw it back!! WOW!
I saw Heather during the Encore, but couldn't get her attention because she was singing along to "Sgt. Pepper!"
FYI.....Making friends with
the security guys helps. They kept warning me when Paul's security
was near, so I wouldn't snap any photos and get caught. One guy
even shielded me during the encore so I could take pics! THANKS
The show was AMAZING!!! Paul was PERFECT and I had the best night of my life!!!!! I'm a happy camper now that I SAW PAUL McCARTNEY!!
Around 8:00pm, the grand ballroom opened and we went up a flight of stairs to go in. My table was #43, about 35 feet from the stage and right next to the dance floor. We were sitting there talking and picking on the salad for a while. Around 8:30 pm or maybe a bit later, we heard that Paul was in the building, downstairs in the lobby. We were happy because at least we knew that Paul was definitely going to be there.
Three people at my table decided to check out what might be going on in the lobby, so they got up and walked across the ballroom and I followed with two others. We got to the ballroom exit, stopped to look around, then proceeded into the hallway which was deserted except for two men. At least one of these guys was Paul's body guard. Nobody I recognized, but one of the ladies I was with did recognize him. She ran over to him and they exchanged hello's and the rest of us just waited around watching them talk. I moved over to what I thought was the wall because my pantyhose was falling down off my waist and I wanted to give it a good yank up before it slipped down to my knees. I gave a pull, losing my balance because of the three inch heals I was wearing and accidently fell into someone behind me. This someone kindly righted me by holding my shoulder. I turned around to and to my shock there stood our favorite knight. I couldn't help but shout, "PAUL!!!" What I thought was a wall behind me was actually the door to the men's room! Paul had opened it to come out just as I was leaning on it to pull up my pantyhose.
Paul recognized two of the ladies I was with and said, hello, shaking their hands, then mine and my friend Lorraine's hand. Lorraine thought he looked at me like he knew me as he said, "Nice to see you again." I had met him on many other occasions, but had recently lost 100 pounds so I looked different. After he shook our hands, we all were speechless and so was he. We looked at him smiling, he looked at us smiling, and thinking about it now, it was comical.
Ideas flashed through my head in a nano-second. I was holding my camera and thought, "Should I start snapping?" I decided it was not a good idea. Realizing that I was only NINE INCHES from him, I asked myself, "Should I just take him by his shoulder and give him a kiss on the cheek?" Scratch that one, I didn't have the guts, so I and the others just stood there for what seemed like like minutes but was probably only15 seconds. Then Paul broke the silence and said that he had to get inside before his cue to go on stage. To prove his point, he pulled out a piece of paper to show us. The paper appeared to be something he was going to read. I think the paper said "healthy - veggie". Paul told us that he had to attend to that. As he left he said, "See you girls later," and proceeded to his table.
Man, what a moment!!!
-- Alice Klein
Paul attended the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) fourth graduation held at the Royal Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. I was lucky enough to obtain a ticket.
Paul wore a beige suit (same colour as Heather's), blue shirt, open-toe brown sandals (no socks) and looked really good. He sat on the stage during the proceedings and gave out pins to the 200 graduates whose names were announced in rapid succession. Paul dropped several pins while fumbling to hand them quickly to the continuing queue of graduates. He also stood up and bestowed honorary degrees to Malcolm McClaren (former Sex Pistols manager and punk guru), Joan Armatrading, M.B.E, a successful singer-songwriter in England and British, lyricist Benny Gallagher (former staff writer for the Beatles music publishing company, Apple). Paul was very much at ease and gave a short speech about LIPA. He was on the stage for approximately an hour and a half (maybe a little bit longer).
By the time he and Heather left there was an enormous crowd waiting outside the Philharmonic. John Hammel, Paul's assistant, drove the couple away in a dark blue Jaguar. My friend and I decided to walk over to the nearby school (LIPA), and to our surprise, saw Heather and Paul crossing the road WALKING TOWARD US! Paul saw us and gave us a big wave of recognition. They had gotten out of the car to buy a bag of salted crisps (potato chips) at a local sweet shop. Heather was eating the crisps when they emerged from the shop. Both returned to the waiting car and were driven the 20 yards to LIPA.
To say I was taken aback to see Paul walking towards me after he'd just driven away from the Philharmonic, is an understatement and is something that was the icing on the cake after a GREAT day!
Like most Beatles fans, I've dreamed of meeting my hero, Paul McCartney. The opportunity came on June 14, at the "Adopt-A-Minefield" black-tie benefit, and for a $500 donation, I shared a table with other McCartney fans.
As I stood in the lobby, bulbs flashed and reporters screamed "PAUL!" My heart jumped into my throat as Paul made his way down the stairs, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!
Still in shock, I took my seat and looked over to see THE MAN eating dinner THREE TABLES AWAY! He got up and headed for the stage to present an award with Heather Mills and passed our table, but not near enough for me to talk to him.
When they returned from the stage, Paul and Heather walked toward me. I had to think quick, so I grabbed the rare Elvis 45 I brought and said, "Happy Birthday, Paul!" He stopped, somewhat confused and said "What? Are you giving that to ME?" At a loss for words, I said "Yeah!" He smiled and said, "Well, I'll have that, then! Thank YOU!" I had to rest my head on the table to let it all absorb...My dream came true! I MET PAUL McCARTNEY!!!
After dinner, Paul Simon performed a short set and then it was Macca's turn. Paul walked by us again and said, "I hope you all enjoy this!" He made his way backstage and came out still wearing his tux! Onstage he grabbed his acoustic guitar and did "Yesterday," followed by a thunderous applause. Then he picked up his Hofner bass and did "The Long and Winding Road," followed by a new song called "Drive In the Rain." Next he read "Jerk Of All Jerks," a poem from his new book "Blackbird Singing." The impromptu poetry reading was unprecidented and Paul remarked that this was something he's never done before. While he read the poem, the band played a 'Beatnik' style instrumental accompaniment. The set ended with "Let It Be." Paul Simon came out for the encore and brought Macca onstage with him. They closed the show with a duet of "I've Just Seen A Face."
I'll never forget that night! I still have trouble trying to believe that it ever happened!
-- Jude Montoya
I was #3 in line for the Barnes & Noble signing. After camping out for two nights, spending a total of 52 hours in line, I knew I was going to meet PAUL!!!
I made a sign that read, "Paul, I was only waiting for this moment to arise!" When Paul walked into the store, he paused, pointed to my sign and nodded. I could've fainted! I also brought a package to give him, but they made us give all gifts to security before we went in.
Paul sat at a table, signing a book for the guy who was #2 in line! This was it! I couldn't breathe. He was so beautiful. Then it was my turn and someone took the poetry book out of my hands, opened it, and handed it to Paul. When I stepped forward, Paul shook my hand and I physically felt my knees go weak. His eyes were so big and bright! I thought to myself, "Don't faint! DON'T FAINT!"
I wore a PETA T-shirt designed by Linda, and Paul said, "Great T-shirt!" I started to babble to Paul about the gift I brought, a package of animal rights bumper stickers and buttons. He pointed to the empty plastic bag and said, "Is that it?" Sadly I said, "No, they MADE me hand it over at the door." He must have heard the disappointment in my voice and said, "Oh, yeah." Then he tilted his head sympathetically and said softly, "Security?" I said, "Yeah, they have to protect YOU from ME!" Why did I say that? Then there was a silence as Paul finished signing my book, and looked up at me with a smile. I must have looked like an IDIOT, just smiling back at him, silently, staring into his eyes! He handed me the signed book, and a security guard guided me out, assuring me that Paul would get my gift.
The whole meeting lasted maybe
15 -20 seconds. It was the briefest moment! BUT I HAD JUST MET PAUL!!! He
looked at ME! Smiled at ME! Shook MY hand! And HIS hand was SO soft!
Paul was very upbeat as I walked over to have him sign my "Blackbird Singing" book. He was very warm and friendly; in good spirits, accessible, and he really made one feel as relaxed as possible. He had been given my book by a staff member, and as I approached he said, "Hi, what's your name?" I shook his hand and said, "It's Barry," and he said, "Good to meet you."
"I like your shirt," he said as he pinched the sleeve gently to see how it felt. "It's real psychedelic." I wore a "Yellow Submarine" shirt with psychedelic depictions of each Beatle.
As he began to sign the book I asked, "Are you going to tour to support 'Blue Skies'?"
"'Blue Skies?'" What's that?" said Paul coyly.
"It's rumored to be YOUR next album," I said emphatically. "Are you going to tour?" I repeated, wanting to get an answer and not get too bogged down on the title, eating up the rest of the short time I would have with him. He was non-committal and said, "I don't know yet."
"I just want to ask you one or two things about the book, Paul. When I was reading some of the poems, some of them seemed to have a certain musicality. I could almost hear melodies for some. I was wondering if there are some melodies that were in your head when you wrote some of these, melodies that we haven't heard but are there?"
"No, no, it's just the words," he said at first. "But then...actually, there are one or two that have melodies and could have been songs. 'In Liverpool' could have been a song. That was very astute of you to pick that up, to notice that," he said as he smiled and beamed while pointing upward with his index finger for emphasis with a kind of a "way to go!" assertion.
Paul handed me my newly signed
book, which read, "Barry,
Cheers! Paul McCartney 2001"
I hope I said thanks, because it was time to let the next person in line, #100, get his chance to meet Paul.
I had seen Paul on a couple of occasions, but never got the chance to greet Paul in person. The opportunity came at Paul's first book signing in New York City.
I got to the store really early that day and was told the line was closed because fans camped out over the weekend and obtained numbered wristbands. I was sad and ready to give up when one of the security personnel said, "Aren't you with the press?" I said a quick "YES!" and jumped into the press area. Then I chatted with some of the press guys and Paul's security people. Most of them were so kind and I actually knew one of the press guys. He told me to work with him as his assistant.
When it was time to go in, they allowed only five of us to enter at a time. All of a sudden a group of rude and impatient photographers pushed ahead of my friend and me. I was visibly upset and Paul's security came around to gave me a special escort through the crowd and into the store.
Once inside, I couldn't believe my eyes! THERE WAS THE MAN!!! A man I adored for so many years sitting at a table RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! I always thought I would faint upon seeing him. I didn't. Instead, I felt a very warm, friendly feeling that calmed my nerves. His facial expressions were so kind and gentle.
Being on the short side, I was able to duck under the TV cameras to photograph him during the press conference which was after the book signing. When I put my camera down, he smiled at me and I smiled back. He did this a couple of times during the press conference. I jostled for position like a pro, holding a 'disposable camera' which probably was quite amusing to Sir Paul.
After the conference ended, Paul made his way toward me and a small group of people, while security worked out his exit. I froze. All I wanted to say was, "Hello! I think you're great! Thanks for the music!" but the words didn't come out. Some men in the group handed books to Paul for an autograph. I followed their lead and took my book out too. They were surrounding him making it difficult for me to hand him my book. Paul noticed, and with pen in hand, reached over the huddle and took my book to sign. He said, "Sorry, but it may come out a bit scribbly." I told him that was fine. As he finished I said, "Thank you, Paul! Love ya!" He smiled as security took him away.
I will never forget that day.
-- Jill Vita
This could be a long story, but I will make it short and to the point. Some of the most memorable moments in my life were meeting Jorie Gracen, John Lennon, and George Harrison. But the biggest moment in my life was finally meeting Paul McCartney.
When Jorie and I first met, I was so envious of her and all her encounters with Paul. I have met most of the Beatles but NOT the one that I have LOVED and FOLLOWED for 34 years of my life. I was a Paul virgin, and told Jorie that had to end!!!!
I can't say I didn't try myself for many years. I had, raised a family, traveled, and hoped to meet Paul on my many trips to England, but NO!!! I grew up in New York and tried many times to meet him there, but NO!!! I had done all the Beatles/Paul things growing up; attending the Ed Sullivan Show, two Shea Stadium concerts, three Wings concerts and numerous shows during the l989-90 and 1993 McCartney tours. Each time I tried to meet Paul, but NO!!!
After a couple of years of befriending and nagging Jorie, an opportunity came up that answered my prayers. Paul was recording his second classical piece "Standing Stone" at Abbey Road Studios in London, April 30 to May 2, l997. I flew to Chicago from Florida to meet Jorie and we took off for London. During those three glorious days, I met Paul SIX times!
The first time was the first day of recording for Paul. He came out of the Mercedes and I ran up to him calling his name as he approached the steps. He turned around, waved and posed, while everyone took photos of him. He looked so HOT, I thought I would DIE! I felt my whole body go faint. All I could do was sit down and say to myself, "GOD I just seen Paul in person right in front of me for the first time!!!"
I never thought that it could get any better, but the next day at the same time, while watching for his famous blue Mercedes, Paul came walking down Abbey Road ALL BY HIMSELF!!! Jorie said, "Run Linda!! There is PAUL!" So I ran over to him with the other waiting fans, and walked with him to the studio. He was happy and chatting to us. He stood for a moment and said, "Piccies!" So I stood next to him to get a photo. Paul asked me where I was from. I couldn't remember or get the words out. I was in such shock!!! But I did remember to hand him the prezzie in the big blue bag I brought. He said, "What is this?" I said, "It's from Florida." He said, "Just wot I need. A bag from Florida." He took it and walked with it.
Everyone was taking photos of him. I just stood there and didn't move from his side. I really wanted an autograph, but he said he would sign for everyone if they left what they wanted signed at the reception desk inside Abbey Road Studios. The next day a studio employee brought a bag full of autographs out to us. That was my first autograph. I will treasure it forever!!
I can't thank Jorie enough for being there for me. This was one of the best moments of my life. Since l997 I have seen Paul many times at different events, and did get one more autograph, which I love. But, nothing could compare to that wonderful day in May when I finally met Paul and he walked down the street with me!
Now my dream is to see him again, and have him sign the photo of me and him together. With a little luck, maybe someday it will happen. If not, I'm still a very happy and lucky woman who cherishes my dear friendship with Jorie. I'm proud to have my Mexican Coca-Cola can photographed in her wonderful Paul book, "I Saw Him Standing There."
AND I DID!!!
Paul invited me down to his recording studio in East Sussex after I contacted EMI in November 1994 to inform them that I had unearthed a Quarrymen recording from circa 1959-1960. My father and uncle used to loan Paul and John their Grundig reel to reel tape recorder so they could hear what they sounded like. The tape was unearthed after my grandmother died in 1994 when my dad was clearing out the house. He told me years ago that he used to lend Paul and John his old tape recorder but I never ever believed him.
I got a call March of 1995 from an employee of Paul who said Paul would love to have a listen to the tape. I thought that it was a work colleague playing a practical joke on me and told him to piss off. However the gentleman on the other end of the phone gave me a number to call him straight back. The gentlemen turned out to be Alan Crowder, Paul's manager. Arrangements were then made for my visit.
I thought I was dreaming. I've been a Beatles fan since I was five (now I'm 36 years old). I play the guitar and piano because of the Beatles and just could not believe that one of them invited me to his studio.
The highlight of my visit was when I asked Paul to play "Free As A Bird" on the piano. It had just been announced that the three surviving Beatles had recorded the track after rumours had circulated about a reunion song. Paul told me that he could no longer remember the piano chords as it was 12 months since they had recorded it. He assured me that he would do something better for me later in the day and as promised, took me into the recording studio mixing room. While there he sent one of his employees to get something. Guess what it was? To my surprise, it was the master tape of "Free As A Bird!" Paul sat me down on a chair as his aide inserted the tape and then positioned my chair so that I was right between two huge speakers. Then he played me the master tape. This was eight months before its release. I couldn't believe it! He played it twice for me and told me about the Lennon backwards vocal at the end which he also played a few times. I was told that I was the first fan in the world to hear the song. Prior to the song's release, only 12 people including me had heard the song before it was aired on American TV.
During my visit, I had the privilege of asking Paul everything that I had ever wanted to ask and more. I even sat at his piano and played "Let It Be" for him while he sat on the bench next to me. We posed for photos and my favourite is the one of me posing with his Hofner violin bass. My other favourite is of his smile when I was playing his grand piano.
As I was leaving Paul said, "I'll see you again when I open my school next year." True to his word when it was announced that Paul would be opening his Fame School January 30, 1996, I called Geoff Baker to remind him of what Paul had said. Two tickets were reserved for me and my brother Les. I had told Paul that my brother wanted to come with me to his studio but had been ill and could not travel. Paul made sure to invite us both to the opening of LIPA (Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts). We were Paul's guests on opening day!
Talk about a dream come true!!!
I attended the premiere party for "Give My Regards to Broad Street" at Club A in New York city.
As everyone from John Malkovitch
to Phoebe Cates to the MTV V-Jays were milling around waiting
for Paul and Linda to arrive, I found myself fairly near the front
door. Suddenly, the paparazzi swarmed as the door started to open,
literally picking me up off my feet with the swell of the crowd.
They carried me along with them until I was nose to nose with PAUL!!! Neither of us could move, due to the
sheer force of the mob.
We looked at each other and laughed...he said, "Hi!" I said, "Hi!" and suddenly I was freed and pushed far away from him.
Should WINGS be nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? There's a debate amongst Beatles/Paul McCartney fans whether Wings is covered by Paul's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a "solo artist." Does Wings qualify as a band and are they worthy with a string of number one hits during the '70s? Should its band members be recognized for their contributions?