The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

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From the Sherbrooke Record

Darren Criss, who plays Blaine on the TV show Glee, came very close to being hurt on stage last year. He was on tour with the rest of the cast, in Washington, when a young woman dragged him into the audience. Luckily he was not hurt, but he did tweet about it after the incident. I believe his exact words on Twitter were:

“Seriously close call tonight! Like, please don’t kill me- I’m nice.”

People seemed to think this was a tad over the top, but I did not even bat an eye when I read it. Growing up in the Beatles era, it seemed to be the norm for me and millions of other girls. If you got the chance to get near a music star, you just stood there and screamed your heart out.

In 1964 I was sent to Mercer Island, Washington for the summer, and my grandparents hoped that their best friend’s daughter, Sarah, would keep me out of trouble. When we started plotting an imaginary trip to Vancouver, Canada for a Beatles concert, they knew what a mistake it was to mix us together. The Beatles were set to perform August 12th at the Seattle Center Coliseum and we had not been able to get any tickets. The 14,300 five dollar tickets were sold out in no time and some were even scalped for $30 later on. Instead of tickets, my step- grandmother came home with a Paul McCartney “Beatle Bobbin’ Head” doll. It did not take her long to find out that the little rubber doll was not going to cut it with me. An immediate call to Sarah was placed, and we began plotting our next move.

If my grandmother thought that Sarah was the perfect teenager she was greatly mistaken. In whispers, Sarah suggested we get her brother to haul her parent’s boat out to the harbor. It was nothing short of a dangerous attempt to get near The Edgewater Inn, where the Beatles were staying. If I was scared to walk 200 feet across the floating bridge, there was little hope I was getting into a boat. Plus I had already figured out it was too dangerous to get her brother to maneuver such a feat and I insisted she come up with another plan.


The great day of the Beatles’ arrival, we asked my grandmother to drive us into Seattle to go shopping at ‘The Bon’. I have to admit, she really got sucked into that one, and just smiled at me and clapped her hands. To her, that was a lot better than having to drive all the way down to San Francisco to pick me up off the streets after I ran away. I was most certainly a terrible young teen who was always bound for trouble!
Armed with a ten dollar bill and my “Beatle Boppin’ Doll”, Sarah and I were driven downtown, let loose and told to meet my grandmother at 5 pm.
Somehow, we weaseled our way near the entrance and when the cars holding the Beatles showed up, they stopped right in front of us. If you ever saw the movie, ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ we were worse than those felines who were shown knocking on the Beatles’ cars in the film. I banged my Paul McCartney “Beatle Boppin’ Doll” on the window and I guess the scenario looked pretty funny to them. Slowly the window of the car inched open, and there in plain sight was Paul McCartney’s head, and it was ‘boppin’ with laughter. In the same vein as the woman who went after Darren Criss, so did young Linda Knight go after Paul.Faster than you can say ‘She Loves Me,’ I reached my hand into that 12 inch space and grabbed some of Paul’s hair. In one split second, my arm was pulled out and grabbed by what seemed like millions of girls. They were touching it with wild abandon and trying to wrench it out of my arm socket. Security rushed in and literally saved me from what was going to be a ‘Twist and Shout’ massacre. My arm was beginning to bruise and there were lots of scratches on it, but I was okay and quite shaken.

In my dreams I wanted Paul to exit out of that limo and save me. Was that not what every girl wanted in those days? Instead we were hauled into a police car and my grandmother was called. My mother had died in September of 1963 and my grandparents had been told to handle my sister and me with kid gloves. The gloves were off that night and I was sent to my room without dinner. This was the second stunt I had pulled and that was it for them for the summer holiday.

My late father always blamed The Beatles for my creative ways. Anything that I did that was different from the norm he would look at me straight in the face and say,
“It’s all that ‘ya ya ya’ business!”
Maybe he was right and one day when I need some of my youth back I think I am going to sit down and listen to nothing but Beatle songs-“when I’m 64!”
Notes from the Peanut Gallery:
Sounds like you had a “Hard Day’s Night!”- B Bailey

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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