Paul McCartney had me at hello. Actually, it was more like “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you…” that Sunday night forty nine years ago when the Beatles made the American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.
I thought I’d go blind with the joy. My father insisted I’d go blind sitting so close to the television. I didn’t go blind. Just a little crazy for Paul. The cute one. The angel faced, smiling, sweet Paul who, I was convinced, was singing from his heart directly into mine.
If I remember correctly The Beatles did three Ed Sullivan shows, a few concerts and then headed back home to the UK. They returned the following summer with a very busy tour schedule. Beatlemania had taken hold and this time there was no way I was going to miss seeing The Beatles up close and personal. Especially Paul. I had become a Beatlemaniac, a groupie separated from her subject by the mere width of the Atlantic Ocean.
Back then I lived in an innocent margin of time within rock band history. When I look back I can hardly believe my parents allowed me and a girlfriend (both 15 at the time) to spend the afternoon in Atlantic City unsupervised. Of course these were pre-casino days, when tourists strolled the boardwalk, marveled at the diving horse out on the Steel Pier or were in town simply to discover the best clam bar. We passed up all that to stand in front of the hotel where Paul and company were staying. Along with a couple hundred others, we stood behind the police barricades and chanted their names. Pandemonium set in when one of Beatles slipped a Cuban heel boot (if you remember the early days you remember those boots) on the sill between the window and the draperies. Whose boot? Whose hand? Which one was teasing us? Was it Paul? More screaming.
Later on we made it over to Atlantic City Convention Hall for the concert. One of the opening acts was the phenomenal Righteous Brothers, but Paul, playing his bass guitar left-handed, shaking his silky, dark hair and singing to me, was all I wanted. And I got it, standing on my chair, like all the others, waving wildly and screaming my brains out. My throat was sore for days afterward. I didn’t care. Sore throats heal but the thrill of seeing my good guy “hero” in person would last a long, long time.
During that short time before psychedelic drugs and violence gave rock concerts an iffy reputation, I managed to see quite a few bands. To name a few, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Herman’s Hermits, and The Animals. Like the tee shirt reads, “I may be old but I got to see the cool bands.” Fun memories, but they all pale next to one fact; in the summer of ’64 I got to see the coolest band of all. The Beatles.
The blurry photos I took with my cheesy little camera have vanished, the Atlantic City Convention Hall was torn down and The Beatles eventually broke up. But I’ve managed to keep my ticket stub from that night forty-eight years ago.
It’s in our safe, next to the other “important” papers. Even though those memories aren’t going anywhere I’d hate to lose that keepsake. Sometimes when I need a special document or a piece of “good” jewelry I take out the ticket and look at it. It always makes me smile.
And, Paul McCartney, if you’re reading this, I still have a crush on you.
Admit it, you have a favorite rock star. So tell us about him – what tripped your trigger? Did you see him in concert? Do you still have a crush on him?
Cindy here: Susan is giving away two e-books – THE BIG BEACH BOOK(3 red hot romances in 1 volume) & PALMETTO PRINCESSES (a fantastic children’s books that my 11 year old granddaughter LOVED!!)
Make sure you comment for a chance to win.
“Well behaved women seldom make history.”