Rumours abounded that he was coming...and when I saw this....
Then it was the stress...being he was coming to my home town I HAD to be up front!!! I just couldn't be back with the masses who vaguely remembered some Beatles hits and didn't he do an album called "Band on the Run" and the people who were going just because it was he was a Beatle...no way!! I had always scoffed at soundcheck and said if I was going to pay that kind of price I'd have to be able to sit on Paul's lap while he was playing the piano. (still wouldn't object to that!) Well as the saying goes "never say never"...and the day of presale had me sitting with bated breath and huge butterflies in my tummy. I went directly to the VIP and got my ticket - shaking the whole time. Section A3, row 3 - seat 77. I cried, I have to admit I cried. I had never been that close at a concert of his before. I then proceeded to help other people get tickets due to one circumstance or the other. I was getting worried I was near my limit but after a reassuring call to Ticketmaster I was once again busy online. Somehow when you are getting other people's tickets it isn't quite as stressful.
Then the anticipation started - four months of it!! I befriended two other local fans on line - Dana Koch and Chelsi Gobeil and joined the Welcome Paul McCartney to Regina Facebook group. I still could not believe my huge crush was coming to little old Regina. Life went on...as it does. I went to see him in Ottawa with the delicous feeling of anticipation of his coming here. (why Ottawa? always have to have a backup plan...what if we had a tornado, what he got sick, what if something else happened that the concert got cancelled...it's why I always do two concerts on a tour...)
A friend of mine knew someone at CBC who wanted to interview me - so I sat with Eric Anderson outside Government House and talked about Paul. My favourite subject! He kept saying "you are awesome" and "you are great" which beat "you are a crazy lunatic" (which was probably what he meant - ha!) If I ever find the link again I will post it here.
Finally it was August 13th. I hung out at the Hotel Saskatchewan as we all knew he was going to stay there...I met both Dana and Chelsi and hung out with others waiting for Paul to arrive. I am good at hanging out for Paul - have been doing it for a LONG time- probably why my knees are shot....sometimes with great results - other times not so much. The band arrived....Paul went in the back entrance. Oh well. A couple of fans were devastated and I guess if I'd been in their shoes I might have been too but I knew the best was still to come. My friend Pat flew in that evening for the concert and I said for the next 48 hours we are channeling our inner teeny bopper - and that we did!!
Off to work a half day the next day (I must admit I wasn't much use that day or the day after...) and then back home to change. I was going to take a sign with me "42 concerts and you finally come to me" but I forgot it. I am not really a sign person anyway so it didn't bother me. As we were leaving Dana texted me to tell me that CTV Live wanted to interview me due to being a local and it being my 42nd concert (after a short session on the computer looking up concert dates the night before - we determined that - oops - it wasn't number 42 but number 43...). This was to be my friend Pat's (another crazy adventuress) 90th concert so I mentioned that to the interviewer and soon she was in on the interview as well. Here's some of our press: (cough!!)
Video on CTV
Hey it was our 30 seconds of fame and it was fun - I think Pat deserved some recognition for seeing him 90 times and me too. Okay some people might think we have a few screws loose but I say screw them...we are having the times of our lives and not hurting anyone. So there!! :)
We then lined up to get into the sound check. Here's me with my ticket all full of happy anticipation.
By the way the t-shirt I am wearing has a story. It is a bootleg t-shirt I bought after a concert in Philadelphia in the early 90's. It looked familiar to me and I finally realized it was MY photo.....check below...
|October 6, 1981|
Anyway we were soon escorted in and given our passes to be worn around our neck. Eek!! I had seen people wearing them at concerts in other cities but never ever thought I'd wear one.
We were offered a drink - I just took water at that point...we sat low on the stands for an hour and a half - luckily we were given a bathroom break!!! At around 5 p.m. we were led to our seats. Sound checks are usually held by the sound area but we kept going and ended up around the 20th row. I was in the front row of sound checkers and almost dead centre with Paul - I could not believe it. Out he came with his shades on and greeted us. It was a fantastic sound check - well I didn't know any different (except what I've heard of outside the stadiums but I'm told by others that it was a great one) and he did comment on how we were a small group but an enthusiastic one. A gal in my row had a sign "I've had PMS (Paul McCartney Syndrome) for 50 years. When Paul saw it he chuckled. The songs he sang at sound check were as follows:
1. Blue Suede Shoes - oh my I loved that!
2. Honey Don't - never a favourite of mine but somehow I tolerated it!!!
3. Jet - I LOVE this song and was disappointed he shelved it for this tour so I was thrilled.
4. Drive My Car - never tire of this
5. C-Moon - a favourite of the hard cores
6. Let Em In - okay Paul, getting tired of this but guess I can handle it.
7. San Francisco Bay - a treat!
8. Things We Said Today - love this one.
9. Midnight Special....oh my how I love this song...loved his album of oldies
10. Ram On - another hardcore favourite
11. Blackbird - another special one
12. Celebration then into Lady Madonna
|My only decent photo from Soundcheck|
Paul said okay we are finished but stayed on the stage as he was rehearsing with the pipe band. As I was walking away I thought I can't believe I am walking away and Paul is still there (Of course the inner teeny bopper wanted to run up to the stage but the 61 year old me bitch slapped her and told her "NO") I turned and waved to him and he waved back...screech! I then blew him a kiss - hey someone on Facebook told me to so I did as a spur of the moment thing - but no blown kiss back...sorry whoever it was....!! It was so exciting to see him with only 80 or so other fans even if we were 20 rows back. Even though I have met him on various occasions it is still a thrill to know he has seen you and acknowledged you. Paul McCartney knows I exist once again!! (eek...teeny bopper spirit escaping again!)
We then went up to the press box where we had a delicious vegetarian buffet meal along with appetizers and dessert. Of course the local press made a big deal (I think they do this every place he plays) about how he 'forces' the local crew to eat vegetarian. Well he pays for the meal and he is a strong vegetarian so why not. Why should he pay for meat? I overheard the catering manager talking to a couple about it and he said the crew enjoyed the food - vegetarian chili, veggie lasagna, what's not to like? Anyway I snagged a seat by the window and ate my meal, drank some wine and watched Paul. Couldn't hear him but watching was fine by me...I thought wow I am one lucky gal. Okay I paid a high price but I am damn lucky I could afford it. (sort of!! lol!!) Eating good food, drinking wine and watching my Pauley wauley doodle all the day. (okay, now I am regressing - but that is what I called him at age 12 and I was channeling my inner teenybopper remember?)
|Not a bad view while I am munching on the delish food below|
|Veggie buffet - awesome! The desserts were lovely but I didn't take a pic of my piece of cake.|
Down to my seat - third row centre. Screech!!!!!
The concert blew me away....here are some of the photos:
|12 year old Laurie is saying "is he looking at ME"?|
|Now Laurie, behave!!!|
|Was hoping they would bring out the Saskatchewan flag - yay!!|
|Nice butt shot - that is the 61 year old Laurie talking...the 12 year old would not have appreciated it.|
|Lucky Chelsi got him to sign for a tattoo...so happy for her!!! And must admit I was jealous that she got to be so close and personal with him!!!|
What a night!!! I still can't believe he came to little old Regina!!!
It's been interesting hearing the comments...99% raving...one person told me she was pissesd off he was late and he looked tired...well if that is tired I will take it! He was still bouncing after three hours. And earlier that day he worked out in the gym in of the Hotel Saskatchewan and went for a bike ride around Wascana Lake. (probably the exact route I have walked many many times!!!) I cannot get over how they go on about him being late...I guess I never hear the bitching from non-fans in other venues...I hang out with the hard core fans at concerts and we know he will be late and adjust accordingly. And no he doesn't do it because "he can because he's a big star". He does it because sound checks run late and he needs time to eat, prepare, etc. between the sound check and concert. Surely the effort he does give for those three hours is worth him taking his time. And that film IS the opening act. I had an argument with someone over this....she said nope he was supposed to be on stage at 8 p.m. Let me see...I have been to 43 concerts...I think I should know....
Will it be the last? I used to think that - once he came here that would be it but I realize I never said goodbye...so as long as Paul keeps rocking so will I. Long may it continue...