Hi to all Macca fans.
AN UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
The fact that Paul McCartney dedicated to me a minute of his time was an unique, unforgettable and irrepeatable experience.
But let’s begin in the beginning!!.
SATURDAY, MAY 29: Jordi and me left Barcelona early in the morning. More than 600 km driving were waiting for us, but we knew it was worthwhile!!
We arrived at Madrid after five and a half hours driving. We ate something and we went to the “Estadio de La Peineta”, on the outskirts of town, in order to find out the way for going until there, to see if there were posters or other promotional items, and to have a look at the stage environment of which there it would spend the night following.
For our surprise the access doors were open, and we could gain access inside the stadium without no problem. They were mounting the stage and giant screens, and they were covering the grass with a kind of blue canvas. We took advantage of the moment and we made some photos to the stage and to our tickets. It suddenly began to pour with rain and we seated in the stands, observing as everything was taking form. And even a thought crossed my mind…Maybe Paul also wants to come and to see the stage environment the previous day of the concert !!!… but, obviously he did not come.
When it stopped raining we decided to go to the center. In the stadium of La Peineta there were no posters, unlike Gijon, where Jordi could take great amount of them of the walls.
Our next objective was to obtain one.
We saw several but all were broken when we tried to take them. Suddenly, in Fuencarral street when trying to take one we saw that he was still wet and we thought... someone has just place it. So we began to go down the street more quickly, until we saw the motorist whom was placing them and evidently we rushed ourselves on him to request one. He was very kind and He gave us a new unrolled poster.
Our first aim was fulfilled.
Our second objective was to find out in what hotel Paul was lodged.
We met with two friends of Madrid, Elena and Belen, and with a British girl who came specifically to the concert, Roopa.
After some inquiries and reasonings, it seemed that the possibilities were three: Santo Mauro, Ritz , Villa Magna. We began to speculate which was the most probable, the pros and the cons of each one, and in the end we were decided by Villa Magna. When we arrived there were more fans there, which made us think that we did not choose wrongly, and with determination we decided to enter in the hotel as if didn’t matter. They did not put impediments to us and we arrived at the Bar of the Hotel.
And for our astonishment.... who was there?. No, he was not Paul, but three members of his band: Paul “Wix” Wickens, Rusty Anderson and Abe Laboriel Jr.
Later they went away to have for supper. Outside, there were fans that until tried to follow the taxi which they took, in case they had made an appointment with Paul to have supper, but they did not get anything.
Inside,we saw appear to the other member that was missing, Brian Ray. He was alone and he seems a little absent-mind. We spoke with him, we made photos with him and we requested an autograph to him, but we did not dare to ask to him for Paul.
We were there about four hours, amortizing the 7 euros that a white coffee cost to me. But.... nothing about Paul.
Until Jordi jumped surprised!!!.
He had just seen the big Paul’s security man. The one that in Gijón appeared always half an hour before than Paul did. He was there half an hour until he said good night, going away to sleep. If the security head were going away to sleep… surely Paul was sleeping a lot of time ago. Our hopes to see him were vanished!!!
It was more worth to go to sleep, because a hard day were waiting for us.
SUNDAY, MAY 30: We woke up, we made a banner in which it was possible to read “SO GLAD TO SEE YOU IN MADRID” in one side, and “WE STILL LOVE YOU, PAUL” in the other side, and we went to have breakfast: churros con chocolate (flour fritter eaten with hot chocolate), the typical breakfast of Madrid.
We decided to go towards La Peineta very early, at 2:00 o’clock, because we were warned by a friend of us that a lot of people was already there and, of course, we wanted to be in the first rows. When we arrived, really there was a big crowd, bearing in mind the time, and the worse thing: it was a hell of heat, really too much sunny. We sheltered ourselves under trees, at the expense of losing positions in the queue, but… the heat was unbearable. We spent the time listening people who had gone to Lisbon, the second concert of this tour. After several non-sense torrents of people, at 19:00 hours, shortly after the soundcheck (which was shorter than the one of Gijon, and in which Paul played among others CELEBRATION, COMING UP, MATCHBOX and HONEY DON’T), they opened the access.
All we ran to take the best positions. We were able to locate ourself in the first rows, although a little in the corner. But in another non-sense torrent of people (we still wonder the reason of it), we were ourselves pushed to an even better place, more centred. The objective was also reached.
Jordi was still very distressed to have had Paul so close in Gijón and not to have obtained an autograph. And not only Jordi. I was also obsessed by a Paul’s autograph. And not only us, but also our friends from Madrid, one of who, Elena, after making the sacrifice of going to Liverpool to a signature of Paul in a bookshop (we think it was the signature of the poem book “Blackbird singing”), and after queuing all the night, she saw as Paul stopped signing just three people in front of her.
Anyway, while we were waiting the beginning of the concert, and while we were listening background music, as the “Family Way” theme, we had a brilliant idea: We could go to the hotel, in order to try to obtain an autograph of Paul at the end of the concert. There were a rumor going round that perharps Paul would not return to the hotel but He would go directly to the airport, which was closely together of the stadium.
But I had the hunch He would go to the Hotel. We considered the possibility of going to the airport, but I convinced them that there were 50 % of possibilities, and that it was sure that in the airport we were not going to be able to accede to him. But obviously... to go to the hotel and to hope that He signed to us would mean to leave the stadium before the concert was finished. Jordi was not very convinced of it, since his experience in Gijon, but intuitively I knew it was worth to try it, so we decided (Elena, Belen, Roopa and me) that after finishing HEY JUDE we would go away towards Villa Magna Hotel.
The show did not begin until 22:00. As in Gijon , a disc-jockey appeared in a cabin placed on the left of the stage, and under the chords of Venus & Mars a man turned up dancing in stilts. After him, flags with medieval shields, as well as giant globes, an acrobat and dancers, all under remixed songs of Paul like “Temporary Secretary”, “Darkroom”, “Oh Woman Oh Why” among others. A good beginning!!!
And after the pre-show.... the delirium!! SIR PAUL APPEARED ON STAGE!!!!. He and the band performing JET, followed by GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE. After this Paul greeted us with an “HOLA MADRID, VIVA ESPAÑA”. Later, FLAMING PIE and ALL MY LOVING. He spoke in spanish saying: “HABLO UNAS PALABRAS EN ESPAÑOL, LO APRENDI EN LA ESCUELA A LOS 11 AÑOS” (I SPEAK SOME WORDS IN SPANISH. I LEARNED IT IN SCHOLL WHEN I WAS 11) and he began to perform LET ME ROLL IT. That is to say… few changes with respect to Gijon. Then he said there were some songs that he had never played : “ESTA CANCIÓN ES LA PRIMERA VEZ QUE LA TOCAMOS EN ESPAÑA” (THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE PLAY THIS SONG IN SPAIN). It was YOU WON´T SEE ME. I knew the list of songs performed in Gijón, but... I was surprised by this song . It sounded very good!! Modern and Fresh!!!.
Then he repeated the little mistake of Gijon, when he said with SHE´S A WOMAN, that he had never played it live in Spain, when really he did in the Barcelona secret gig, in his visit to Zeleste, in 1991.
This night he dressed with jeans, a red shirt and a blue jacket.
Rusty Anderson introduced the following song, while Paul went to the piano. It was MAYBE I´M AMAZED. Still in the piano he performed THE LONG & WINDING ROAD.
After leaving the band the stage, he commented that he remained alone with us, and that he liked this. And then he introduced, as in Gijon, IN SPITE OF ALL THE DANGER, the first disc recorded by him, John and George, with other two boys. He explained that the record had cost 5 pounds, and it was passed one to another: ONE WEEK GEORGE, ONE WEEK JOHN, ONE WEEK ME. In order to perform the song he requested our collaboration, and we rehearsed the “UOUOUOUOOO”.
All the crowd joined with the chorus, and when the theme finished Paul congratulated us, saying that we were very good singers, and that we could record with him.
The repertoire did not vary: BLACKBIRD, WE CAN WORK IT OUT and HERE TODAY, dedicated to his friend John, to whom they were left so many things to say. Later, the tribute to George: ALL THINGS MUST PASS. And finally, the tribute to the fourth Beatle, some verses of YELLOW SUBMARINE. Later, another one of the new features, I´LL FOLLOW THE SUN, with two small reprises at the end.
As in Gijon, Paul returned to present the following song, FOR NO ONE, as a new song never played in a tour, although in fact he had already performed it in London, in Saint James Palace, April of 1995. And in this time, he finsihed again with a small new reprise of I´ll follow the sun.
CALICO SKIES, I´VE JUST SEEN A FACE, ELEANOR RIGBY, DRIVE MY CAR, PENNY LANE. The public was surrended to Paul. It was a sublimeperformance!!!!
After this, Paul removed to his more rocker side with GET BACK, BAND ON THE RUN, BACK IN THE USSR and LIVE AND LET DIE, presented by Abe with a ¿ESTAN PREPARADOS PARA EL FUEGO? (ARE YOU READY FOR FIRE?). The explosions during this theme were spectacular, and even there were fireworks in the end.
I´VE GOT A FEELING, the other newness of this tour. A delight! Later he sat at piano again, and he began a previous introduction to LADY MADONNA, with references to Madrid (TIME FOR MY MASSAGE IN MADRID JAM), a novelty respect to Gijon, although it seems that he also did it in Lisbon.
Later, HEY JUDE, as always, touching and lovely!! As always, the dream culmination of the show. With the cameras filming to the public while we sang together the words of the final apotheosis, we raised our placard. And we reached our following objective: TO APPEAR IN THE GIANT SCREEN AND THAT OUR DEDICATION TO PAUL COULD BE READ.
It was nearly the end, only the encores. The show was almost over. That meant the beginning of my adventure to the “hunting”of Paul.
Only an aside…, when Paul repeated his history of always about the three rabbits, Santi, a boy from Seville, tried to give to him.... three felt rabbits! It seemed that Paul was not going to see them never. When I left the stadium Paul had not realized them, but... according to Jordi when he explained to me later, in the encores he finally caught on, and he took them.
DESPERATELY SEEKING PAUL:
Well, after HEY JUDE, Elena, Belen, Roopa and me were heading for the way out. It was not easy!!! We were in the first rows, and the stadium was crowded. People looked at us as weirdos, and a boy said to me: "Don't go!! The show is not finished!!!". "Yes, yes! I know" I answered, but I went on, desperately towards the tunnel of exit, while YESTERDAY was playing, wonderfully, each time more and more distant!!!
THANKS TO ELENA PEREZ FOR HER PHOTOS.
© 1998 MELGAR PRODUCTIONS.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
©1998 Jordi and Amparo. ©2000 Jordi, Amparo and Jordi Jr. ©2002 Jordi, Amparo, Jordi Jr and Marian.