Monday, July 30, 2012
I just got my tickets for the Fest for Beatle Fans in Chicago in the mail. I am super-excited about going this year. In part because I haven't gotten out of town all summer and I am just generally excited to be going somewhere. But also because I know that this is going to be a great Fest!
I have been asked to be on a panel of women Beatle writers at the Fest. I will be with Susan Ryan, Tina Kukla, Kit O'Toole, and Jude Kessler to discuss the women's point of view of the Beatles. I am can't even begin to tell you how excited I am! Speaking at a Beatles convention has always been a dream of mine. Now, I personally do not think of myself as a writer. I just type of stuff that I find on this blog. I have dreams of writing a Beatles book, but I can't afford to publish a book at this point in my life. But hey....they asked me to be on this panel to talk about the Beatles, so why not? The panel will be at 7:45pm on Saturday in the forum room. If you are a reader of this blog, I would LOVE to see you there. I personally will be talking about the blog, because that is what I do. I thought it would be super-fun to get together with people who are viewers of the blog and get a photo taken.
But even if you don't make it to the panel, and are going to be at the Fest, I would love to talk to you. That is why I am putting up a current photo of myself so everyone can see what I look like (Yikes!). I was going to put up a photo of myself at the Fest last summer, but (excuse me while I brag) I have lost 61 pounds since then and look different. So here I am a few weeks at at the Muny in my hometown area of St. Louis Missouri.
I also am working on putting together a costume for the first time to wear on Friday night. It is something that has to do with this blog (and no I am not dressing up like Lizzie Bravo, although that isn't a bad thought). I will post photos after the fact. I am keeping it a secret right now.
Hope to see you all at the Fest in Chicago in a few weeks!
All you need is love,
Here is a story written by Barbara Clark for "McCartney Lovers and Friends" from January 1973 from when she and her friends hung around during one of John's immigration hearings in April 1972.
So I thought I would write about last April 18, 1972, when we went to see John at court. We started off at 7am for the city, but heavy traffic, the car getting sick on the way (the car stalled out while turning a corner, and a taxi pushed us down the road, where we had to stop for over ½ hour) and the location of the 20 West Broadway (Immigration Office) being unfindable, slowed us down a bit and we didn’t arrive there until 9:30.
Having missed John by a few minutes, we were killing each other, and then noticed that a crowd had already assembled (waiting for him to come out). There were photographers, news reporters, groupies, teenyboppers and assorted people who didn’t know what the hell was going on, but stayed anyway just to see what was happening. Three long hours passed, and finally John made his way out. Seeing the reporters, he threw his arm around Yoko, and seemed to dread the upcoming serge. They literally jumped on him. He spent about 15 minutes answering questions about the court proceedings. Answering some questions on the lighter side, he said that in kindergarten and all through school, nobody liked his face, and he seemed to always be in real bad trouble because of it. He answered a girl’s question about his LP that was going to come out in a few weeks (He was really cheerful about that). He finally pushed his way through the mob and smiled when he looked our way. “Thomas” opened the car door and they were off. Tommy, Marie, Sagi and I were at Apple on a hunch, when Geraldo Rivera from ABC news arrived along with some cameramen. (They went inside to interview John, and it was on TV that night). Marie suggested that he ask John to do a concert for the children of Willowbrook as George had done for Bangladesh. He said that he would (Well it worked!) He seemed to be rather snotty, he thinks he’s a real celebrity you know. We waited and waited and waited. Soon after, two true blue Beatle fans (guys) from New Jersey arrived. They came to give John a letter. It was about Yellow Matter Custard. They kept asking Marie if she knew where John lived so that they could visit him and send him letters (“How should I know?” she said innocently). Eventually, we saw Tom (his driver) come out from Apple, and John came out about five minutes later. The two guys managed to speak to him and asked him about Yellow Matter Custard. John told them to contact Dave Morrell (He’s about 17 ad calls himself the #1 Beatle fan because he has every LP and bootleg going and about $1000.00 worth of Beatle collections.) Anyway, this Dave bloke was on the radio once bragging about his bootlegs, and John was interested in Yellow Matter Custard so he got to meet John and give him a copy (Oh yeah, he was also at Apple earlier in the dya). Anyway he walked towards Marie’s car looked in and then saw Tom behind us and got into the blue station wagon. They took off and when we decided to go our way we found that they were going in the same direction. We almost went through a red light, got hit by a bus, and then found John in front of us. His lane was going too slow and we didn’t know what to do. A cab driver yelled out for us to pass him and Tommy yelled back, “but you don’t understand the situation!” Marie, having one of her nervous attacks, kept saying “let’s take a vote on this.” We had to pass, but I did look back and saw John resting his arm and hanging out the window smiling at all the people passing by.
Remember that episode of the Simpson's where Marge gets a response from Ringo 20 years after writing the letter? That is what seeing this bag full of fan mail makes me think of. How many of you wrote a fan letter to the Beatles? Did you get a response?
The caption here says that Ringo and Paul are trying to comfort Jaquelin Bermin who was nervous about meeting Princess Margaret. Yeah....put two Beatles around here. That will calm a young girl in 1964.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The year was 1968, Jul and August to be exact. About six months prior to this, Pat Kinzer had mumbled on about “wouldn’t it be great to go to England” and I’d mumbled back a dreamy “yeah, sure would.” So we decided to make the dream become reality, threw our money in the bank, rounded up a few other friends and pen pals, namely Joy Kilbane of Cleveland, Nancy Scharfe of Chicago, and Sandy Meckes of Pennsylvania/Dutch land. I’m sure those of you who’ve been to England can remember back to when you went for the very first time, and how you got off the plane, looked around, and through that this couldn’t be happening to YOU, because it only happens to those who wrote for “Datebook” or other such gear-fab magazines. Even when you’re in the bus on the way to the Pan Am terminal somewhere in the sticks outside of London, you keep looking out the window at the cars on the freeway caught in early-morning rush hour, and you keep thinking, “aren’t dreams weird, this HAS to be Cleveland, but everybody keeps driving on the wrong side of the road!” I remember when we finally got to our hotel, which was around Paddington, a none-too-swift area of London; we had to sit in the lobby for about ten years before our room was ready, and our luggage the five of us took up practically the entire lobby.
Finally, suffering through the time change, we stumbled our way to the underground and tried to get familiar with how to figure out the different lines, and we succeeded in winding up back at Paddington three times in a row. Well, what can you except from you first day in London with no sleep and the hour being about 7:30 am? After getting chased all over the place by the St. John’s Wood police, who seem to get some kind of evil glee out of threatening poor gullible Americans that they’d throw them in jail if they didn’t evacuate the vicinity of Cavendish Avenue, believing them and running off to Piccadilly where you also believed a guy in a record store who said an album cost around five pounds, forgetting that five pounds is not the same as five dollars, going down Carnaby Street in total fascination, visiting the Beatles Monthly offices, and doing hours of souvenir hunting, we returned to our hotel rooms, our feet burning so much we had to crawl around on hands and knees. But to skep all the rest of the intelligent little happenings that went on the first few days of your fist big vacation without mommy and daddy, we’ll go on to That Day I Never Thought Would Happen, when we first talked to George.
By this time, in early August, we were staying in a hotel in Esher. Pat, Sandy and I decided to roam around Esher for reasons obvious while Joy and Nancy checked out Weybridge, also for reasons obvious. We found George’s private drive by asking a girl on a bicycle if she knew where you-know lived, and she very tolerantly led us to the gates beyond which there was a golf course, and somewhere beyond that the long driveway that led up to George’s gates. I think I was in a state of shock that whole walk up the private road, which was so narrow, it was more like a bicycle path, and all gravel. You keep thinking, he lives around here somewhere, but no, you’ll never see him, never talk to him, because that just happens to other people, not you.
The walk seemed to take forever. Just when we thought we’d never find the place, we came across the end of the driveway, looked down in it, and sure enough, there was the famous high wall that surrounded his grounds. And you thought, naw, this isn’t for real, you’re still dreaming. Then we were standing in front of his house, the three of us trying to get up the guts to ring the doorbell. I think it was Sandy who finally did, after considerable shaking. The feeling I got when that door began to slowly open, but no, it was Margaret, who from gear-fab mags, we all knew, was George’s housekeeper. Pat, who as most everyone knows, I think, had George’s club for many, many years, and also regularly wrote to 95% of George’s relatives. George knew of her club because his mother always mentioned it and always got him to sign stuff for contest prizes and so forth. Anyway, she had sent a registered letter of warning to him a few days before we left for England, saying she was coming over with four people on such and such a date, and would it be all right if we came by for talk on such and such a date, giving the poor man enough notice to evacuate the country. Margaret said she remembered signing for the letter and that George was aware that we were coming but as it was, he wasn’t home – he was in London. She said if we came back a little while later that day, he’d probably be back and we could talk to him then. We talked to her for quite a while, she was so nice, and then in a trance, walked back to beautiful uptown Esher. Was it really going to happen after all? Were we really going to get to see him? After all these years of wishing, hoping, dreaming, planning, was it really going to happen?
Somehow the time managed to go by that day. How, I couldn’t tell you. Later on in the afternoon, Pat, Sandy and I stumbled back up Claremont road again. There was a huge cloud of dust way down the road, and I was beginning to think that perhaps we were in Esher after all, or even in Cleveland, maybe it was Africa! But it wasn’t a mirage, and as the cause for all the flying gravel came closer, we saw it was a dark green Mini. Sandy said, “That’s George in that car!” Pat looked skeptical. I said, “Naw, couldn’t be!” The car came closer, and the gravel flew faster. Pat went white, and said, “It IS George!” I said, “Naw, couldn’t be.” The car flew past us, screeched on the brakes, backed up, and the door flew open, and oh God, it WAS George. The feeling…how can you describe it? Long before you actually meet him, you keep reading in magazines and things how silly some girls acted, and you KNEW that if it ever happened to you, that YOU would never act that way. So, our initial, simultaneous reaction, “Duh…it’s him!” He looked so crammed in that little Mini that he couldn’t sit up straight. When we later told Joy and Nancy what had happened that day, we tried to tell them what he was wearing and could only remember bright orange trousers and none of us could remember what color of shirt he had on. He looked at each one of us and said, “One of you….” Then he pointed to Pat, at which point she completely lost whatever color she had left, which by this time wasn’t much. He said, “You’re Pat, aren’t you?” Apparently Margaret had told him we’d been by before and told him what Pat looked like. He shook her hand, and meanwhile Sandy brilliantly exclaimed, ‘You remember me George, I’m the one who dropped my rheumatism pills all over Paul’s driveway the other day!” (Note: Sandy unfortunately had rheumatoid arthritis and had to take pills for it, and when she, Nancy and Joy were waiting by Paul’s a few days before this, George had come out of his house and gotten into a taxi, which was right when Sandy’s pills fell out of her purse and scattered all over the driveway, while George looked on sympathetically and maybe a bit bewildered.) George looked at Sandy as though to say, “Yeah ok kid, whatever you say…” He said he’d talk to us, but he was “in bit of a roosh” right now, as he was on his way back to London, but then asked us if we planned to stay in Esher for a few days. We told him we did, and he said we could come back the next day around 1:00 if we’d like. While we nodded like robots being fed computerized instructions on what to do next, he zoomed (literally) off again.
If we thought passing just a few hours was hard before, passing a whole 24 hour day had to be next to impossible. We even resorted to trying a séance, Pennsylvania/Dutch style with Sandy saying, “Make out the lights!” and “whoever is within our presence, make the shoe glow!” and similar things. Funniest séance I’d ever been in, but we had to do something to pass the time….
Robyn Flans was a writer from Modern Drummer magazine, but she also is a Beatles fan. She was one of those girls met Paul in L.A. during the "dirty weekend." She also interviewed Ringo in 1980 and 1996 for Modern Drummer magazine. No word if she ever met John or George....
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
This is another article (I have several to type up) from the issue #1 (January 1973) of the fanzine by Marie Lacey called "McCartney Lovers and Friends." It is about some fans who meet up with Paul during his Wings European tour in 1972 and then right after the tour at his home. What I find the most interesting is this one sentence about how one of the girls was a "baddie" and was known as the girl who threw chocolate mousse in Paul's face. What? What happened there? Why did she do that? This story was written by Kris Martell who lived in New York City but was staying in London at the time.
McCartney’s Lovers and Friends
Written by Kris Martell (NYC)
After a lot of disappoints and much confusion, Pat Miller and I were off to see Wings in Holland. We were not sure if we had tickets or not. We had called Holland a few times and got different answers every time. We wanted to go to all of the concerts in Holland, that being Breda, Groningen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. After several calls to the Dutch Tourist Office, it seemed that Paul kept changing his mind and cancelled out on a few (Breda included). With the little money we had, it seemed that Amsterdam would be all we would make. So, on august 19, Pat and I were lucky and got a KLM flight (stand-by) to Amsterdam. We were really happy that we got that flight because if we didn’t, a boat that left that midnight was the last resort and that didn’t please us too much! Everything was so sudden that I left with just a knap-sack on my back and we were off. We were in the Netherlands by 9:30p.m. and headed for the Dutch Information Center. They found Pat and I the cheapest dormitory on Kriserstraat, right on the docks (it was beautiful there) for only $2.00 per night, breakfast included. The next day, we must have walked all over the city, every place from Ann Frank’s house to Rembrandt’s. But, our first stop was the Concert Gerbou. Stopping to ask some of the natives for directions, we came upon a group of young people who told us the concert was the night before. Pat and I just couldn’t get over it, we believe it so much. He had changed dates so many times right and left, why not Amsterdam as well? It wasn’t until we had our tickets in our hands that we were happy. You might say we floated across the city for 7 ½ hours. We looked all over for his hotel, including Dam Square because we thought that would be the most likely place, but no such luck. So we walked around the canals, took a boat trip and just enjoyed the beautiful city. The concert was at 7pm on August 20th so we got to the Concert Gerbou at 5:30 pm. Around 6, we saw a little white bus coming towards us to Paul, Linda and the rest of the group, plus Mary, Heather and Stella. Pat and I were the only visible fans around. A few technicians were scattered nearby as they were using the Stones Mobile. Paul came out in his white jacket holding Stella. Mary was holding onto Denny Laine, and Heather to Linda. He came right towards us, gave a big smile and said “hello girls” to which Linda turned around and smiled. By this time, we were both getting a bit spastic! Pat was totally shocked because her relationship with Paul wasn’t exactly the best (She was one of the “baddies” known for throwing a chocolate mousse in Paul’s face). Was just so happy because he made it just so personal talking to us. Well after the concert they all came out to listen to the playbacks in the mobile. By this time a crowd had assembled but nothing like what I had experienced in Frankfurt. He came out of the hall, giving the “thumbs up” sign, smiling and wearing sunglasses. The whole family went into the mobile after him. We could hear the playbacks from outside. One of my friends managed to get inside and another of my friends followed. They were two English girls that had been standing outside his home for all the years that he has lived there. One of them went over to Paul, who was sitting in a chair listening to the playbacks. She went over to him to say that she was not going to hang around the house anymore. Paul seemed very pleased, took her hand and said that it was for the best. Linda shed a few tears as they left. It was really a very touching thing, the best way to end off the evening. Paul must have been very happy, knowing that they had come this far to see him, and then to get in his van and say something like that. Linda kept saying that she didn’t mind them coming in after a concert like this and talking and they seemed pleased that they had enjoyed themselves at the concert. In 45 minutes the group came out and went into the white van. Everybody cheered and Paul gave the “thumbs up” sign again. The notable bus was absent. Pat and I got to the airport and slept there for the night. That was some experience. I’d never done it before! But it was great fun and by this time we were on Cloud 9. I didn’t realize so many people sleep out at airports but half of the departure lounge was full of people. I’ve got many memories from that night including banging a vending machine at 3am (we were hungry and had no money) then cleaning my feet in the bathroom and then trying to sleep while some janitor vacuumed the airport floor. But the best memory was the Concert Gerbou! We got to London the next day, literally exhausted. I slept all day and felt a bit sick. At 9pm Alf from the Apple Offices came over to our flat and stayed for two hours. He had his white Rolls parked right in front of the apartment – wonder what the neighbors thought!?! By the 23rd I was still sick and sleeping. Pattie went to the “Godfather” premiere with Neilson. By the 25th (Friday) I was well recovered. We thought that Paul might be coming home. The concert in Berlin was the night before. I really had my doubts though; we all thought he’d be going to Scotland for a rest. Besides myself and my two friends from L.A., there was Harllet Vdo from Germany, Karen from Kansas, Angela, Mirella from Italy and two girls from Georgia that I had met two years ago. We spent a few hours at #9, when Rosie came out and said that he’d be home “shortly.” Food arrived, Martha was home, everything looked great! I still had my doubts from previous experiences. He was scheduled to come home between 6-7 pm. We waited all day and never left, just to make sure. We heard the phone ring and a few times we were so sure that it was Paul calling saying he’d be home in a week or so and not then. Well at 8pm, the red Lamgerghini came around the corner. (I still wonder how it got to the airport to meet him). He got out to open the gate and had on a beautiful yellow and green shirt with his suspenders and tight black pants. He said, “You know we really don’t like people hanging around the house.” My friend said, “Well, we just wanted to welcome you home, Paul.” Paul said, “Yeah, but we don’t like people hanging around the house.” My friend said “We saw you in concert and it was really good.” At the time, Paul was down on the ground unlocking the gate and he only half-heard what she said. HE looked up and said, “What?” My friend said, “We saw the show in Paris and it was great.” Paul said, “Oh thank you.” As he was closing the gate, she gave him a letter from one of the English girls and he said, “Oh Ok.” And “Goodbye.” While this was going on, my other friend was talking to Linda who was in the car. We had gotten flowers for her. My friend gave them to her and said, “These are for you.” Linda looked a bit surprised and said, “oh.” Then my friend said “These are for Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Montreux.” (I had gone to Frankfurt and Amsterdam, she to Paris and Karen to Montreux). Linda took them and winked! So did Heather, who had Stella on her lap. When they went in, we all left, except for the two girls from Georgia. They waited for Rosie, and walked her to the station. Rosie said Linda came in and said, “They’re still out there.” But Paul wasn’t affected by it at all. Rosie said that they had been having some arguments and things were being thrown around. She asked us if Linda was really as rich as the papers made her out to be. She just couldn’t get over the fact that she was from such a well-to-do family. Rosie also mentioned that the only thing Linda cooked for dinner was soup, some vegetables and sandwiches (all the time).
In all seriousness, anyone know what year this was? 1968? And why are Paul and Peter at the London press association? Didn't they have people locate photos for them?
Monday, July 23, 2012
I shared something I recently won off ebay and here is yet another something I recently lost. Some responses from Apple from Peter Brown to a fan. I find these very interesting. Did the fans just not "get" that the Beatles had broken up? It was August of 1970 and this fan is asking something about the Beatles playing live. The funniest one is where Peter Brown is telling the fan that yes Paul lives at 7 Cavendish Avenue but don't send mail to him there.