1979 was the year where everything really hit the wall in my home. Our rock, the only person who could control my father came down with cancer, My Grandpa Rich. He was actually diagnosed in February and past away in August. My father is an alcoholic and abusive when he was drunk. You could say he was abusive in other ways when he was not drunk either. After his father died it became worse. He would say that God never answered his prayers so there must not be one. I turned to music. I have always loved listening to music and I played the piano. I loved a lot of groups from my parents area, like The Beatles as well as a lot of groups in the 70's. I remember that Sunday when my Mom took me to K-Mart. I wanted to buy a new album with the money I earned from babysitting. I think I may have wanted a Shaun Cassidy album but once I saw Paul McCartney's newest album, I thought Wow! He is so cute! (I knew who he was because of The Beatles as well as Paul McCartney and Wings. I remember when my mom was pregnant with Amy, Linda and Paul McCartney were on Good Morning America showing their newest child, James.) I just had to have this album.
This was when I officially became gaga for him. I would listen to his music for hours. I would check out as many books as I could read from the library about him or The Beatles. I would lose myself when I listened to his music or played the piano, this was my way of coping with what was going on at home. My sister Lisa, turned to alcohol and drugs, I wish she would have made the same choice as I did. It is funny because my mom was not worried about her but me, because I would lie on my bed just staring up at the ceiling listening to album after album of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings, or just plain Paul McCartney. Now, I did listen to other music as well, but the bulk of it was The Beatles. As I was on my bed I would fantasize, what teenager girl didn't when it came to stars. I would fantasize about being his wife or even his daughter. I read how he was a wonderful father and it was never in the media that the children were ever into trouble. I would fantasize about James and Amy marrying one another. I would fantasize about meeting him and telling him what he meant to me. It was his music that saved me. It saved me from what was going on in my house. His music was my therapy, yes I was an addict but to his music not to the drugs that they (The Beatles) were addicted to. I wanted to learn all the instruments that Paul McCartney could play. I wanted to make myself write left handed so I practiced all Summer, my teacher scorned me for doing this. This was in 8th grade.
He was the subject of several of my journal entries while I was in 11th grade. My teacher even commented on one stating how much of a huge fan she was as well. She would taunt me in a friendly way how she saw him perform 3 times. Oh, how I was envious of her. To hear him play live in concert was one of my dreams that I wanted to come true in the worse way. This teacher of mine during Spring Break that year went to California. When we came back to school, in my journal was an envelope, inside was a post card of Paul McCartney when he was a Beatle. She included a note as well, "Please keep care of this, it came from a Beatle Shop in California. I wanted you to have it." Years later when my oldest was in 8th grade I ran into her at his school. She was the school's librarian. She remembered me and asked me if I had the post card still. I answered with a smile, that I do, it is in my photo album the same condition it was the day I brought it home from school. I wish I could say I still have it. When I divorced the boys' father he was suppose to gather somethings and give it to me, this was ordered by the court. I never got them. They are now long gone in a landfill when his house became foreclosed on.
My boyfriend in High School was jealous of Paul McCartney, that is how crazy I was about the man. I think back now and find it humorous that someone I was dating was actually jealous of a celebrity that was/is way out of my reach. Is that insane or what? In college I still enjoyed listening to him. I would listen to his music any time I was stressed or needed to relax. The music would still take me a way to another place. I married the boys' father while I was a Senior in college, 1988. The following fall, 1989 while I was pregnant with our first son, I heard an announcement that I had been waiting for 10 years. Paul McCartney was going to tour again. This would be his first tour in 13 years. I told my husband at that time, I did not care if we had to drive to New York or California, I was going to see him live. It was announced that he would be playing two shows in Chicago. I called and it was busy for 2 hours then I finally was able to get through, only to hear a recording that the shows were sold out, two concerts were sold out within 2 hours. I was heart broken. The nights of his concerts I cried myself to sleep in bed, both nights. I thought what a cruel cruel joke this was. THEN shortly after Matthew was born an announcement regarding his tour. He had to cancel one of his dates in Canada and he scheduled a date in Ames, Iowa instead. Oh this was my chance I thought, with my baby only being two weeks old, I stood in line for tickets while my Mom watched him and tried for tickets over the phone. We both had success and we had 8 tickets. We kept the better seats of the set and sold the others to someone else. I could not believe it, one of my life time dreams WAS going to come true. July 18, 1990, I went to Ames, Iowa to see him perform. My sister-in-law watched Matthew. On our way up, it was my Mother, her boyfriend, and my ex-husband, I was holding back tears because I felt so guilty for leaving my baby. This was the first time I left him for more then 1 hour (the day I bought the tickets) and the furthest I was away from him as well. I was starting to think I really did not want to be there. We went into Cyclone Stadium (he played outdoors in the football field) my heart was so heavy from guilt. We found our seats. My Mom kept reassuring me that I was not the worse mother ever, then it happened....the stage floor opened...a piano was coming up from below and sitting at that piano was the man I had longed to see in concert. At that moment, I did not think of anyone or anything, it was like who had a baby? Me? I was lost in his music. In awe of the moment. I kept looking at my Mom and squeezing her hand every now and then. I was thrilled I was sharing this moment with her. I have never felt so high off the ground before in my life until my current husband whisked me away on a perfect get-away in 2008. I can not explain how great I felt.
Three years later when I was pregnant with my second son, he toured again, this time we did not go because his concert was only 4 days before my due date and we did not want to waste that much money. I was okay with missing his concert this time. I have missed a few other concerts since then. He announced another tour this year. We even looked into it. The timing is perfect for us because we are on vacation during that time. One of the shows in Chicago is on Todd's Birthday and we thought about getting tickets for an anniversary gift to one another but then we saw the cost and we just can not swing it right now with just replacing the washing machine. I think we will sit on our deck and possibly listen to McCartney's music that night, maybe even dance to it who knows.
Oh by the way, Al, my Mom's boyfriend, he was a photographer and he is a big McCartney fan as well. In 1990 when he was in Ames, Al drove up the day of the concert to see scope out things and took pictures of Paul McCartney. In 2008 a few weeks before Al died he told my Mom to make sure I received this picture. It is now on my head board in my bedroom. I love it. I reminds me of that special time in my life and of a very special man, Al. How Al realized how much McCartney meant to me as well.
Happy Birthday Paul McCartney and thank you for all of the music you have provided us.