Friday, August 7, 2009

My evenings with Paul. (This is kind of long.)

Well, my husband was there, too, and he took most of these pictures. We were sitting on the field at Fenway Park. And for several minutes when we first got there on Wednesday night, I was sort of geeking out on just being on the field at Fenway Park.

This is the view behind us.

And this is me in front of the green monster, which we totally touched, you guys. I guess I'm also trying to show off my trademarked Beatles hairthingie here too. I do quite love this hairthingie-- I thought it would be a cooler way to show my fandom than wearing a t-shirt.

Of course, right after this was taken I actually bought a t-shirt (to the tune of $40) and immediately put it on, but hey-- I'd been in dork-mode for like 24 hours already, and I could not be trusted to do anything cool.

Anyway, eventually everyone seated themselves and Paul came on, and what was great was that he came on with so little fanfare. People had started to cheer because the filler music had gone off, but nothing was really happening, and all of a sudden a few guys just kind of wandered onto stage, and one of them was Paul. He just walked out like this normal guy with the band. It was awesome. And then they started playing "Drive My Car" and I was a ball of scream for the next two and a half hours. I had been a little worried that all the screaming would kill my voice, which I needed to make a presentation for work the next day, so I tried something I had long suspected might work, and it did. For anyone out there who's ever taken voice lessons, just apply some of that technique (column-of-air, resonating-in-the-mask, yada yada) to your screaming. It might have sounded a little stupider, but I was able to scream all night and was fine the next day. I wish I'd thought of that years ago.

My calves fared less well. I kept jumping up and down and basically stood on tiptoes the entire night for the best possible view, so the next day my calves were hopelessly sore. Next time I'll know to stretch. Jumping up and down was kind of the only dancing there was space to do, and I couldn't NOT dance to a lot of this.

This was basically our view, though obviously my husband's holding the camera over the heads of the obnoxious people in front of us. (They weren't bad, really, but they were in front of us and thus incurred my anger.) I know there were better seats there, but these are the best I've ever managed to have-- and they were, frankly, lovely.

My husband also kept trying to get pictures of Paul on the jumbotron with the Pru in the background. This is the one that came out best, I think.

I could report on the playlist, but it was identical to what he's played in New York and DC on this tour. And Steve the Beatles Examiner has been covering these shows exhaustively, so I do want to refer you there for lots and lots of coverage and fan response and links to local press and stuff (all glowing). Thanks, Steve! What I will add to all of that is that yes, Paul can SING. I mean, some of the songs he did, like "I've Got a Feeling," I felt like he was almost showing off how well he could still sing, you know? And his guitar solos were longer and sicker than usual. I think my husband was actually a bit surprised by how much he rocked out, say, "Foxy Lady" (which he made into a coda for "Let Me Roll It"). I honestly can't believe how good he still is. He was more on and more awesome than any of the other times I've seen him for sure.

After the show on Wednesday night, I wanted to wait and see if Paul would come out and say hi, and I was prepared to wait until midnight if need be. We located the trailers and security detail, and basically parked our butts on the curb with a few other stalwarts. I had brought two LPs (I was going to pick one at the last minute based on how I felt) on the offchance that Paul would autograph-- I don't think he does this frequently, but if he'd been doing it and I'd had nothing to sign, I would have had to kill myself. Here is the back of my head while we wait. (I think Mr. Megan was getting bored. He later compared this to sitting in a pumpkin patch and waiting for the Great Pumpkin alongside one's sweet baboo.)

When a black armored car with tinted windows finally pulled out after maybe two hours of waiting, with nary a sign of Paul, we got the message.

But this was not to be all. Last night, as soon as I got back home from my business trip, we set out once again for Fenway for the second night of Paul. We didn't have tickets, but the great thing about Fenway is that it's smack in the middle of the city, so you can walk right up and hear whatever's going on inside. Which is what we did. Some others who had planned this even better actually had brought deck chairs and just set them up on the sidewalk-- the cops didn't seem to mind, which I made a mental note of for next time. We, however, were just sitting on the curb again. A couple stalwart friends came out to brave my dorkiness and keep us company, bless them. We heard more than the second full half of the show again this way (we got there just as "My Love" was finishing up, which was kismet, I tell you), and you could actually hear quite well, except for the truly acoustic stuff like "Blackbird." And we got to see the "Live and Let Die" fireworks all over again.

But the BEST PART was that my husband actually figured out the best place to be, several songs in advance, for when Paul was going to leave. So we and no more than 50 people who'd been listening in the street crowded around these barriers and waited, cameras ready. We had actually forgotten our own camera tonight, but honestly I was more interested in the autograph anyway, so I had the same LPs with me in the same plastic bag. At the end of the show, out come some hangers-on-- Nancy Shevell, his current girlfriend, and what looked to be much of her family, and then the rest of the band-- and THEN PAUL CAME OUT AND WE ALL LOST OUR FUCKING MINDS. I was like 10 feet from him. I don't even need a picture of this, or want one, because it was so amazing I could never ever forget it. He didn't sign anything, sadly-- he basically just hopped into the bus-- but he waved and mugged and hammed and I totally, totally, made eye contact with him for maybe a second or a half-second or something, and there was a connection. (Paul-- call me!)

After that, I totally needed a drink, so we went around the corner and I got a couple champagne cocktails. It didn't seem like a night to skimp.

A bunch of people have asked about this, so I wanted to get it all down while it's fresh and beautiful. I'll be covering a song as usual later in the day... perhaps when I'm feeling a little less dreamy. Any other reports from the concerts to share? Any other Paul stories you've got? And, out of curiosity, has anyone reading ever managed to score a McCartney autograph? I need some tips for next time.


  1. Awesome post, Megan. I'm glad you had such a great time.

  2. Oh my. Had I stood 10 feet from him, I might have stupidly fainted. What an awesome memory for you.

    I saw Paul at the DC show, and, really, I'd like to know how he does it. B12 shots? Viagra? What? Cause I need some of that. It still seems cool to trash Paul in some quarters on the Web, but he turned me into a fangirl. It was thrilling to watch and listen to him do his thing.

    He signed 2 autographs at the end of the DC show. Somebody close up threw a record jacket up on the stage as he was leaving after the final encore. He picked it up and signed it. I don't know where he got the pen, then he threw the record sleeve back. Then someone threw a program up at him and he signed that and threw it back too. Of course the risk is, you throw some prized possession and lose it.

  3. Oh my God, I would have tried to leap in front of the person who had thrown the program or whatever and tried to catch it myself. This would not have made me proud of myself, and might have gotten me stabbed or something, so it's just as well I didn't have the opportunity.

    The Paul-haters just don't KNOW. They seem to want to hold him hostage for a few less-than-great musical choices. But his output of 45 years of so is so huge, and the merit of what's good so outweighs what's bad, that you HAVE to love it. It would be different if he were up there insisting on playing "Bluebird" and "Say Say Say" and so forth, but he knows what we want to hear, and he ROCKS it.

  4. Glad you had such a wonderful time, Meg. I knew you would. You posted a fun write-up, too. Entertaining to read. Felt like i was there ... almost. On the kerb anyway (Brit spelling of curb, ya know.)

  5. Frank, did you get tickets to the show in Atlanta? That's coming up (har har), isn't it?