A meeting with Sir Paul McCartney!
Sir Paul McCartney
It was a cold night, I believe in October of 1996. The Charing Cross road was busy, full of excited tourists and locals transiting on foot from one destination to another. Crowded buses pulled to a halt at the traffic lights, accompanied
by the screech of several black cabs applying their brakes in unison. The wide opening of the Leicester square underground was spewing hoards of seemingly limitless amounts of people into the the heart of London’s West End. The air was
chilly and damp, the smell of exhaust fumes and cigarettes lingered, the bright neon lights of take-aways and coffee shops enticing the by-passers like moths to a flame.
This was an ordinary night for such a populated city, but not for me, a young lad of 18 years of age. Tonight was going to be a memory I would cherish forever.
The previous year I’d found myself homeless, and by now I was becoming accustomed to the daily routines of street life, and busking for my next meal. The acoustic guitar and the clothes on my back were my only possessions, but I had a
dream that kept me strong, that gave me hope through the freezing nights, the lack of warm meals and the dangers of being young and naive in such an unwelcoming environment.
Me (1996) Leicester Square, London
My dream was to learn to play guitar and sing for people. I would listen to my music idols, Buddy Holly, Hank Marvin, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, these people gave me great inspiration.
As I sat on the cold stone steps of the Wyndams Theatre, practising the song ‘A Hard Days Night’ of the Beatles, I was oblivious of the event that would shortly take place.
Inside the Wyndams Theatre in that precise moment, the actress Maggie Smith (now Dame Maggie Smith) was on stage performing her role in Edward Abee’s production ‘Three Tall Women’. In the audience, enjoying a evening out with his then
wife Linda, was one of my musical heroes and world’s greatest musical legends…Paul McCartney (now Sir Paul McCartney)!
The Wyndams Theatre, London
Meanwhile outside, I was still sitting and practicing on the steps, when I became distracted by a large black chauffeured car pulling up outside of the theater’s main entrance.
Being curious I stopped playing, swung my guitar over my back and approached the car, to discover that they were there to collect Paul McCartney, who was about to leave the venue in a few moments time. I couldn’t believe my luck and
recognised that this would be a once in a lifetime chance to meet one of my idols of the music business. The situation was not made public either so passers by were also unaware as to what was about to happen. It was a perfect
Time stood still while I waited. It seemed like an eternity. Then finally, it all happened in flash.
Two very large men in black suits and white shirts stepped out of the building on to the pavement, looked around cautiously and waited for a few seconds. Suddenly he appeared. Paul and his lovely wife Linda were making a dash for the
already open car door. Nervously I made his way towards the vehicle and called out to Paul and asked if he would mind signing an autograph. One of the security men instantly made a human wall before me stopping me dead in my tracks. In
that moment I thought that was it, that I wouldn’t get a chance. A feeling of disappointment rushed through me, but as I turned to walk away, I heard that familiar voice say “It’s OK
The huge black and white human mountain that stood before me suddenly stepped aside and I could now see Paul’s friendly smiling face, inviting me over to the open car window. Paul took the paper and pen from my quivering hands and
immediately signed it and returned it back to me asking “Well, are you gonna play me a tune?”
I pulled the guitar around from my back, and knew instantly which song to play…’A Hard Days Night’! While I performed Paul happily sang along as the car slowly pulled away from the curb. I quickened my pace to follow the car as Paul’s
head was hanging out of the still open car window looking back and singing along. “It’s been a hard days night, I should be sleeping like a log”
The black car disappeared into the glow of the streetlights and traffic, but the memory stills remains in my head twenty years on. It had been a hard day, but this had definitely made my night! Thank you Paul!
I’m proud to say I met Sir Paul McCartney, and got to sing a song with him! The autograph I unfortunately lost somewhere in the streets as I had no home at the time to keep it safe. But I will never forget that incredible moment.
Thank you Paul!