Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Evening With Sir Paul

First let me tell you that I was not a normal teenager. While everyone else our age was rocking out to the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, Katie Kerr and I were playing Beatles 45s and watching Yellow Submarine. There was even an instance where we created water color renditions of what we thought Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds might look like. Of course, being 12, we had no concept of what LSD was at the time, but the pictures are appropriately trippy.

And at the center of our Beatles obsession, was of course, Sir Paul. I remember back when I still had dial-up and WebTV was all the rage, Katie and I would sit in front of the ancient TV we inherited from my grandmother and search for Paul McCartney lore using that magical little box and it’s accompanying wireless (aka magic) keyboard. We had the whole “Paul is Dead” conspiracy memorized and had philosophical conversations as we waited for the little bright green progress bar to creep to 100% on the next crappy GeoCities page covered in low resolution gifs and busy, ever-moving backgrounds.

In high school, we’d listen to the CDs driving around in my little aqua blue Tercel with my bowling ball having escaped its case and rolling around in the trunk. I remember getting my first precursor to the iPod, whatever Dell’s version was, and adding Abbey Road and Rubber Soul along with all of my Jimmy Eat World and Rooney.

In college, my floor bonded over a mutual love of the Beatles. The marching band played the Beatles and even adopted “In My Life” as the official postgame song, singing along to our own music. And at my wedding? At my wedding, I will be walking down the aisle to a Beatles song.

My life started out with an early love of the Beatles stemming from my mom’s own fondness for the mop tops that showed up in the states when she was just 14. So in light of the fact that Mom and I are both huge fans, it seemed pretty much imperative that we got a chance to see Paul when he came to Philly this time around. I mean, how many times in your life do you get a chance to see a real live Beatle? And since Paul has already surpassed the “When I’m 64” that they sang about back in their early years when 64 seemed ancient, I feel more than ever that I’d better get a move on to see him or I might miss my chance.

Of course the concert is only one night. And of course, everyone else in the tristate area is thinking along the same lines as me, so each time I call into the radio station to try to get the pre-sale tickets they’re offering, I don’t even get a busy signal because the lines are so jammed. After a solid week of celebrating Sir Paul’s birthday with my phone alarm set to each time WMMR, WJBR, WOGL, and KISS are giving away tickets and calling and hitting redial a million times with each try, I found myself the day before the sale day with no tickets. Not surprising, but a little discouraging that I hadn’t even come close.

After realizing how crazy the demand is on these tickets, I opted to try to find a way to get them early. American Express has pre-sale specials, right? Whelp, Mrs. U gave me the info I needed to get into the presale site, but if you wanted ‘em you, you were paying $400 per ticket for them. Yikes! So that plan didn’t work out so well.

Sale day rolls around and it’s 5 minutes to go time. I’m at my desk, with ten Comcast Tix windows open to start crazily requesting tickets as soon as the box office starts selling. I also have my cell phone clutched in my hand with the box office number programmed in. I announce to my coworkers that I’m on break, and it’s on.

I’m calling over and over again using my left hand. I’m clicking and typing in captchas with my right. I’m getting nowhere. Server time outs. No ring or busy signal because the line is so jammed. I was afraid of this. And then they close the sale. Fuck.

Alright, over to Stubhub. Tickets starting at $150. Fine. That’s about face value. Grabbed two in an okay section and bought em. Woo hoo!!! I’m going!!!

Except that then I got the email that says I’m not. What the eff does that even mean?!

Urgh. So I’m a little broken hearted at this point. I sat at my computer and went back to the Wachovia site one more time just because I wanted to stare at the “sold out” notice and wallow in self pity. I happened to be scrolling with my mouse wheel and saw at the very bottom of the page, very small, Sunday August 15. Huh? The concert was Saturday the 14th. What is this? A second show? A SECOND SHOW!

So, needless to say I was all over it. Two seats, section 106. If the Wachovia Center is the world’s largest dinner table, I will be at the opposite head of the table across from Sir Paul screaming like a lunatic fangirl for a 68 year old Beatle next to my equally excited Mom. It’s
going to be phenomenal…

According to Elizabeth (my cubicle mate), Sir Paul was so excited that I was coming to the concert that he stopped by work to say hi. Apparently I missed him by mere moments, but he left a note. Interesting that he decided to leave a photo of his 22 year old self and that his handwriting and signature don't match. And for that matter, his signature is taped on... now that's a little suspicious ;-)


  1. Sir Paul puts on a great show. You'll enjoy it!
    This story reminds me of when I got tickets for his D.C. show last year. I barricaded myself into the phone room at work and stole the intern's cell phone so I could try two lines at once!

  2. I'm glad someone else is as serious about their ticket buying :-)

  3. Ok, so for you it was Sir Paul, me it was my beloved Mr. Conductor, aka Ringo Starr :-P I remember the days of interwebs before computers when we would sneak on the internet cause we were supposed to be on there late at night. I think we might have been 14 for the water colors, but still too young to know.