||As we spotlight Fans on the Run this week, here’s a personal story from BBC member Don & Khris McKeithen of Columbia, LA, who not only saw Sir Paul from their excellent seats at the Century Link Center, they were actually invited to a meet and greet by someone whom Paul truly wanted to meet, along with themselves of course. Here is their story, told to us by Don:
Meeting Sir Paul McCartney was an awesome experience. Paul McCartney is a class act!
What I was told, was that Paul doesn´t do meet and greets any longer, but in the end my good friend, legendary guitarist James Burton, came through and got a small group of family and friends backstage. In the weeks leading up to the show, James´ people called Paul´s people for a meet and greet and they turned him down, until Paul found out that JAMES BURTON wanted to meet Paul, so Paul, personally, agreed to the meet and greet and also provided James with 15 tickets to the show and VIP passes.
The show is 8:00 pm at the Century Link Center in Bossier City, LA. We’re instructed to get there at 6:30. We arrive early: 6 pm and it’s sweltering hot outside. The doors weren’t open so we waited in the blazing heat. James’ entire entourage is there, but James is already inside. Paul´s tour manager finds us and takes us into the green room, where there are food and drinks and air conditioning! We cool off and relax for about an hour with Paul´s entire band coming in and out the entire time, taking photos, talking with everybody, enjoying refreshments. It was very cool. In fact, Paul’s band members wanted James to take pictures with them, which he did. The room also had the fans who’d bought “The Hot Sound Package”: the pre-show dinner and drinks tickets with the privilege to attend Paul’s soundcheck, plus enjoy up-close seats for the show.
When it came time for us to meet Paul, security ushered them out so that it was just James´ group (though there was a small girl who was clearly ill, there with her parents). Security made us leave our cameras and phones behind.. The ladies had to leave their purses in the green room and we went into a second room where no one was permitted to bring anything back. With about 6 or more security guards watching over us, we waited for 15 minutes. In the room was Paul’s tour photographer / videographer with a photo background for posing. Before we knew it, Paul comes in and talks with everybody! He was extremely nice, talking for several minutes to James. He told everyone what an important influence James was on The Beatles and how it was James´ music that they tried to emulate. He then announces to everybody that James Burton was “the best guitar player ever!” James and his wife give Paul a thank-you gift for bringing everyone back, as the videographer records it all for a possible post-tour video. James and his family take a couple of photos with Paul, then Paul introduces himself to everyone. “Hello, I’m Paul McCartney”, he exclaims. Pretty funny. I was second in the receiving line. I told him how I’d recently chatted with Peter Asher at Abbey Road on the River and I asked Peter to get us backstage at this show. l told him Peter said he’d love to help me, but that he couldn´t make that happen. Paul laughs and says, "But James Burton did!" We talk a few minutes more explaining how I’d met and telling him what an honor it is to finally get to meet , and he says, “It’s a pleasure to meet you!”. LOL.
Then, the real fun begins. Next up is my wife Khris. OMG! Khris tells him she has a gift for him. Earlier in the day, Khris bought an LSU shirt and tells me she´s giving it to Paul. I tell her she nuts, that he doesn´t want an LSU shirt. He probably won’t know what it is and that he could buy buy Walmart. She buys the shirt regardless. Back to the M&G: Security made us leave everything behind in the green room, they stopped James too and told him to leave the package he had. James’ wife explains that it’s a gift from their foundation for Paul, and the tour manager OK’s it. Khris has the shirt rolled up and the guard stops her. She says it’s also a gift for Paul, so she brings the shirt back. Greeting Paul, Khris tells him that she has a gift for him, that it’s not much, that he may not even want it. Paul literally takes it from her hand and unfolds the shirt. While he’s unfolding it, Khris explains to him that we’re big LSU Tiger fans and that because he’s in Louisiana, he has to yell, “Geaux Tigers”. Paul holds up the shirt and asks the photographer to take a picture of him and Khris holding the shirt, then, Paul says, “Geaux Tigers” while the photographer is snapping his picture with Khris! It was an awesome shot! Other people tried to crowd in on the picture, but it’s really good shot of he and Khris, a once in a lifetime moment! I want that pic so bad. I hope we get it. The tour manager says we will, but all photos go to London to be cleared by Paul’s team before they get released. Next, I ask him to say “Geaux Tigers” at the concert and he says he can’t. He’ll get flack from the people who aren’t tiger fans. He tells me a story about what happened when he said “Go Giants” while in New York. I explained to him that he won’t have that problem in Louisiana, but he laughs and says he can’t do it. Paul then tells Khris, “Thank you for thinking of me!” LOL. He hands the shirt to the tour manager then continues to talk with me as he meets others in the group! We’re talking 60’s music. I tell him that 60s music is the best and he agrees, but adds that ”James’ 50’s music was great too”. He brags about Burton again. We talked 60s music for a few minutes. He talked with Khris and I so much that kinda’ felt bad for the others. Finally, he turns and greets the other guests, then says it’s time for photos. There was no time for individual pictures, so we did group shot. He tells me to kneel down in front of him! “I’m so old i don’t know if I’ll be able to get back up”, I say. Paul laughs and says, “I’ll help you”. I kneel down and Khris and our friend Eddie jump in next to me. I’m in front of Paul, I think. We’ll see when we get the photos in 4-6 weeks. Then, 75 year old Paul helps me up, saying, “you can do it!” LOL. He tells me and Khris what a pleasure it was to meet us. Seriously, an incredible experience, one Khris and I will never forget.
The tour manager escorts us to our seats in the center section, row 9. Incredible seats. And that’s the way our Meet and Greet with Sir Paul and James Burton went. How was your week?
A bucket list item: check. ✔️