i’m not showing off, these are just stories from my life. end of

“Do you know who we’re going to see?”

“Who?” they ask.

“Paul McCartney. Do you know who that is?”

“No.” they say.

“He was a Beatle.”

“What’s a Beatle?”

“A Beatle is a type of bug and you have bugs all over you,” I say and then start tickling the 3 and 4 year old as they run through the house.

“So, who wants to go see a Beatle?”

“Wait, I know. You’re going to see a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Clubs Band.” Says the 4 year old.

“That’s right, you want to go with us?”


“Well, then come on, let’s go.”

“Well my dad says I could go if I was a little bit older.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s right.”

My brother and I pull out 20 minutes behind schedule. This is typical for him. And we still had to get gas. He called earlier in the day to make the speculation that I could with him to see Paul McCartney official. His wife was originally slated to go, but she wasn’t feeling up for it. “You can’t turn down Paul McCartney. It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” I told her, but she was adamant. I knew she would have to convince my brother that she wasn’t going so I waited to see if I really was going to get her pass. I was either going to see Paul or baby-sit for them that night, either way I’d be happy, but the possibility of seeing Paul McCartney was making my stomach do flips.

I drove the first leg on the condition that my brother would drive us back at 2am. We parked at Pentagon City and hopped the metro to the MCI Center. We arrived there at 7:55; the show was set for 8pm. Typical musician lateness on the part of my brother.

While we walked toward the entrance of the arena there were outdoor speakers telling everyone that videos and cameras were strictly prohibited. I had just spent a few minutes at the car in Pentagon City deciding whether or not to take the camera that was now in my right pocket to the concert or not. I began to worry a bit. We entered the door where men and women in yellow jackets were searching purses and pockets. I slyly put my right hand over the camera as if my hand was in my pocket and avoided all eye contact. The first woman asked my brother, “Any cameras sir?” He shook his head no. I avoided her eyes. She never asked me. The next man waved wands over my brother then me. “Don’t wave it over the right pocket. Do cameras set off metal detectors?” I was nearly panicking as he took his time and waved the wand all around. I was cleared.

We headed to will call where we did not get tickets, but facility passes that would allow us to go to the sound board. My brother placed his on his shirt pocket and I put mine on my left leg. We walked to the ticket takers and were turned away. We were told to leave the building and walk around to another entrance. We do this and around the corner we see no signs of entrance. We go around to the back of the building where the trucks and busses enter. We are waved through to a security checkpoint at which time I begin to panic about the camera in my pocket again. We are turned away from this entrance and sent to the main security station where we are absolutely stopped. My brother explains whom on the crew he knows and that our passes will get us in. The security guard tells us that we have to be accompanied by someone who has an all access pass. My brother immediately gets on his cell phone while I run to the bathroom. I come back and we now have to wait until his contact comes down to pick us up. It’s easily 10 after 8 and we have no idea if we are missing the show.

We wait for a good fifteen minutes when a white haired Irishman comes and asks if we are waiting for my brother’s contact. We are polite and shake his hand. He explains that he is part of the security and will take us to the soundboard. We follow him through back hallways then through a carpeted hallway then onto the floor of the arena. “Oh my God” I hear myself whisper. The show has not started yet. Our escort shows us to the soundboard where we take the last two seats on top on a roadcase. We are smack dab in the middle of the venue. I can’t believe our luck. We have perfect views. My brother tells me that all in all it worked out well that we got there in time and got the last two seats. “You fall ass backwards into everything.” I tell him. I’m still in awe of these seats. The people surrounding us and behind us have paid about $250 and in comparison to some of them, we have an unobstructed and perfect view.

The music is unbelievably loud. My brother has brought his earplugs, a standard accessory in his business. At times I use my forefingers to close my ears and when I do the music is so much clearer. I’m sure there is some musical term for what was going on in my ears when they were wide open to the booming music, but there was more distorted sound than when I closed my ears. And it was strange that when I would close my ears, I would immediately feel the bass on the roadcase pumping through my body. Many a time I was jealous of my brother’s earplugs.

It seems that I have bad luck when it comes to seating arrangements at concerts. No matter the concert or my the price in ticket, I seem to always land near or right next to The Most Annoying Concert Goer. At Coldplay last week it was a girl who decided to jump up and down ON my back for half the night. At David Gray on Monday it was the two girls who wanted to stand all night while everyone else sat. But, at Paul McCartney the two women who disturbed mine and about 50 other concertgoers were beyond words. The two frailly thin, bleach-blond-permed haired women were like caricatures from a movie. They were too perfect in their craziness. They were sadly the poster children for Methamphetamine. They were loud, ridiculously so, erratic and just plain crazy. They decided to move seats when Paul got on stage and sat next to the soundboard, which placed them next to me. When they started dancing one girl got wobbly and smacked me in the face. She never even noticed. She just kept on dancing. Then they discovered that they had lost something and spent several songs yelling at each other and digging through purses and crawling on the floor and yelling and walking away and walking back and yelling and dancing. Security was called and thanks to these two fine ladies a security man had to stand directly in front of me in order to watch them. Then another security guard paced the aisle on their left side. This lady provoked two verbal and one physical fight from them. Finally during the 2nd encore, the security manager asked them to leave or calm down. One of the women began crying hysterically and making a huge fuss. Eventually they left on their own accord, but not before they ruined several songs for me and everyone around them. They wanted to enjoy the show and I believe in getting rowdy and dancing, but not at the expense of everyone else. For these Most Annoying Concert Goers, I could write a book about the things they did.

Still, Paul sang for nearly 3 hours straight and did a great mix of old and new and Wings. He played my favorites, the little played “I Will” and “Blackbird.” The last song of the 2nd encore was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band and on the first note I immediately thought of my four year old niece and how much she’d like to have been there if only she was a little older.

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