Apr. 27, 2014

How I Met Paul McCartney

I knew I wanted to be a rock and roll guy from a very early age. I got my first Beatles album for Christmas when I was five years old…Rubber Soul. Yes…I said five-years-old.

My mom would hold up my ‘Beatles Complete’ songbook when I was 8-9-10 years old. I would learn songs like “Blackbird.” My mom would be dead just a few years later when I was 12. My dad remarried, but I always had my Beatles to hold on to and I loved Paul’s songs: “Mother Nature’s Son,” “And I Love Her,” “Michelle” and “Oh Darling.” I loved John Lennon also, but Paul was my favorite when I was a kid.

When I was 13 years old, I remember watching the Academy Awards because McCartney was up for Best Song with “Live and Let Die.” He didn’t win that year. “The Way We Were” beat McCartney out. This was 1974. I was a few weeks away from my 14th birthday and the Beatles had been split up for three years.

My pal Stewart and I were both huge Beatles fans and we cooked up this idea to meet the man at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We were in 8th grade and it was literally a 10-minute walk from the playground to the hotel. We KNEW he was there. It was just a matter of getting his room number and then….

Okay. I know you are thinking to yourselves. Come on. You didn’t actually find out his room number and meet the guy???

I can’t remember how we got the room number, but we did some sleuthing and got the number. It may have been a distract-and-peek job with the hotel manager.

Stewart and I snuck up to the room and knocked on the door. We were VERY nervous. The door opened and it was the maid.

“Is Paul there?” Stewart asked.

“Who?” The maid was playing coy with us. We KNEW that was the room. We couldn’t camp out there. We were sure to get busted by hotel management.

Draats….

We were determined. We were young and we did not know any better.

Next stop was the Polo Lounge, the infamous bar at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We were four years underage to get seated. I believe I took a quick spin around the room to see if McCartney was in there and Stewart went to the restaurant for a quick peek.

No luck there. This was around 45-minutes into our little adventure and we were tiring and wondering when we would finally get booted by the hotel staff. We decided to give up when Stewart had one last idea…THE POOL.
We ran to the pool area and there they were: Paul, Linda and Heather sunbathing at the world famous Beverly Hills Hotel Pool.

We approached the family.

“Hi boys,” Paul said.

“Sorry about ‘Live and Let Die” out of breath, I said. I told him I watched the Oscars ONLY to see him win. He shrugged his shoulders and said something trivial about ‘getting em’ next time. I then told him about a song I heard at Christmastime called “Band on the Run.”

Paul told us to keep our eyes and ears open as it was about to be released.

Stewart and I exchanged pleasantries for a few more moments with our favorite Beatle and then I did something that I had never done before or since…I asked him for his autograph. He signed little slips of paper for Stewart and myself and then I went to shake his hand.
paulautograph
He was sitting on a pool lounge chair. I put out my right hand FORGETTING he was left handed and he awkwardly turned his left hand upside down and shook my hand.

We ran home with our prized autographs after a most adventurous afternoon.

That is how I met Paul McCartney when I was 13 years old.

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