The last time I wrote my blog about my meeting Paul McCartney experience, which my sister-in-law dubbed “The Happening,” I was sleep deprived because of the adrenaline and excitement of it all. Today, one year later, I am sleep deprived because I have a one-month-old baby! Things have definitely changed over the year, but what has NOT changed is my excitement and utter disbelief about everything that happened one year ago today.
On August 14, 2013, after several attempts at other concerts over the years, I got called on stage at Paul McCartney’s concert in Regina, my hometown. I had made a sign asking Paul to autograph under my ‘Let it Be’ tattoo, saying that I would tattoo his signature on my wrist. It worked, and not only did he autograph my wrist, but he talked to me, gave me a hug and kiss, and thanked me for coming. I wrote all about it in WAY too much detail in the posts below this one, so I won’t get into the play-by-play again. What I WILL say is that it even though a year has passed, I am still just as grateful, amazed, and in shock as I was one year ago. It’ll always be the most extraordinary thing that has, and will, happen to me!
Our local radio station, Newstalk CJME, contacted me to catch up with them about the events that happened following the concert. I had the opportunity to talk with them this week, and of course I have been reminiscing about meeting Paul even more so now that it is the anniversary, or “Pauliversary” as I cheesily dubbed it. The day after the concert, many news stations in the city contacted me. I discussed with them how incredible it was to meet my idol, and also how amazed I was by the love and excitement shown by complete strangers over the fact that I accomplished this dream! I am still in awe over the number of people who are SO excited to see the tattoo and hear about the story! Even a year later, I can’t believe that strangers recognize me! People I don’t even know will say, “You’re that girl from the Paul McCartney concert!” I have no idea how they know me, but it’s pretty awesome! Likewise, my dentist, doctor, receptionists, the bank teller, you name it – if they knew me before the concert, throughout the year when they have seen me, they have been so excited by what happened!
My doctor’s receptionist was SO excited to see me. She was at the show and left this note on my chart. My doctor laughed and gave it to me saying that, “She was pretty excited to let me know it was you!” haha!
When I returned to school after the summer holidays last year, many of my students and their parents were congratulating me. My students were so cute – many brought to school the newspaper clippings from The Leader Post and seemed to think that I was a celebrity haha! It has been a blast!
In February, when it was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ rise to fame in America and their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, the radio station again contacted me, as they were compiling interviews regarding The Beatles’ enduring fame. I was one of the resident experts, so they interviewed me and asked for pictures of my memorabilia and tattoo. I felt like my Beatles knowledge and obsession finally paid off – someone was contacting me to talk for a segment about my passion! My friend said that I was stretching my 15 minutes of fame as far as I possibly could haha!
During the interview this week, the interviewer asked me if my life has changed since the concert, and how so. One of the best things to happen because of meeting Paul McCartney is that I also met a bunch of amazing people in the process! After the concert, at 5am when I was too wired to sleep, I posted pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Yay social media! Using the hashtag #paulmccartneytattoo, I found others who had had a similar experience! I had already met Dana, a fellow Saskatchewanian who had her arm signed in Toronto in 2010. We met before the show, and after the concert, we were able to get together and talk about our experiences. It was great to connect to someone who really understood it, and to keep in touch throughout this year! I had also previously met Corey, a girl I had been friends with on the Paul McCartney forums, and attended the concert in Orlando with her. Going to the show on my own, it was great to have a friend to share the experience! On Instagram, I found Jenna, the girl who was signed about a week before me at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. I had read about her on the forums before my concert, and I was excited for her, as the previous three shows I had attended on this tour did not include calling fans on stage. If she had done it, I had a chance! As luck would have it, we connected on Instagram and immediately hit it off. Soon after, I became friends with Beth, an amazing artist who won a contest on Paul’s site. He chose her art as the winning piece, and after I commented on her photo, we became friends. Both she and Jenna live in LA, and they too had become friends. From there, I had become friends with Caity and Heather, both of whom were living in London and were following me on Instagram as well. This fall, following Paul’s New album release, they actually met him at a CD signing! The five of us became friends on Facebook after realizing that we not only share a passion for Paul and The Beatles, but are around the same age and share a lot of other similarities. It has been SO much fun to not only talk about the Beatles (and not just the basics, but all of the little things that the hardcore fans love to discuss!), but to get to know each other so well! I’ve always been an ardent believer in the power of music to bring people together and create change. The reason that my husband and I first met was because a mutual friend knew we both loved The Beatles and introduced us to each other! I just love the fact that had it not have been for Paul and The Beatles, I wouldn’t have met this amazing group of girls! In fact, this past April, my husband and I took a trip to Palm Springs, as because I was 27 weeks pregnant, we wouldn’t be travelling much more for a long time. To my absolute surprise, Jenna and Beth arranged to drive to Palm Springs from LA and surprise me at a restaurant. I don’t think I have ever been so surprised in my life! It was such a wonderful afternoon hanging out, talking non-stop about our concert experiences, The Beatles, and our tips for how we will get Beth on stage for a signature of her own this tour. It was definitely the highlight of my trip, and I am forever grateful to Jenna, Beth, and my husband for pulling off such a great surprise!
In November, Paul had a contest on Instagram to promote his new album. I made a collage of the people I had met due to his music, who had also met him or had some sort of connection, and posted the photo. It includes friends from as near as Saskatchewan, and as far away as Australia and Brazil. Low and behold, my photo was chosen and posted on his Instagram and Facebook! I couldn’t believe it! Not only that, it got thousands of likes!
My picture, “regrammed” on Paul’s Instagram and Facebook accounts!
A year after the concert, I still feel SO grateful and humbled by this experience. I know that over the past 50 years, there have been, and still are, millions of people of all ages who have wanted to meet Paul McCartney, and very few have the opportunity. I was able to do so for one of the best minutes of my life, and it’s something that I will obviously never forget! Did he have to call me up on stage? No – most of the concerts during the tour didn’t include fans being brought on stage, and even at this show, there were several others who had signs. However, it meant the absolute world to me. Not only that, he was genuinely SO nice, just as I had always imagined. I was also pretty proud of myself for being so stubborn and trying to get on stage for years haha! After I posted the pictures on Instagram, so many girls have messaged me asking how I got on stage, could I share tips, what could they do, etc. Most professed how they were so envious and how lucky I was. I am forever grateful and feel that I was SO lucky…but I was also persistent! I thought that if it ever DID happen, my anxiety would cause me to faint on stage, being so close to my idol AND in front of 40 000 people! However, I remained conscious haha, and I think about that when I get anxious about other things in my life. Every time I look at my tattoo, I seriously think about that day and I get giddy all over again. A friend said that when upsetting things happen in my life, I can always look at the tattoo and know that I had that moment. This past year has been quite a rough one with health issues and a tough pregnancy, and there were many times that I followed that advice. I’ve been unable to attend any of Paul’s shows this tour because they were too far to drive or fly to when I was pregnant (they were all around my due date) and now travelling with a newborn is out of the question. I’m holding out hope that he’ll tour again next summer, though, and I will be right back at it again!
A year ago today, I was getting a tattoo at 2am, my friend Shawna by my side. Today, she’s coming over to visit my month-old baby Paisley and me. Instead of getting a tattoo tonight, I’ll most likely be feeding a little baby in a nursery with a Beatles theme. One day, I’ll take her to see Paul live, and she’ll love the experience as much as I have. I’ve been playing her the Beatles and Paul’s music since she was in the womb. She already loves his music – she has no choice!