This article first appeared in my column in Rolling Stone Italia
By the time you dolls read this column, Paul McCartney’s first studio album in 4 years, “Memory Almost Full,” will hopefully be on your ipods and among your favorite itunes, and you won’t have decided he should be put out to pasture at the grand old age of 65. It was a pretty bold move, leaving Capitol Records after all those decades and trying Something New (the title of the Beatles’ third Capitol release in 1964) by signing on with Starbucks’ new label, Hear Music. And what a crazy coup for that everpresent caffeine titan! (I love “Vintage Clothes,” when he sings “Don’t live in the past/Don’t hold on to something that’s changing fast…” If only he’d met me before that maneater, Heather Mills…sigh.
I was a Beatlefreak from the very beginning–the perfect age of fifteen when they crossed the Atlantic and altered everyone’s consciousness forevermore. As I said in ‘I’m With the Band,’ “I wrote with a Beatle pen, slept on a Beatle pillowcase and breathed with Beatle lungs.” My deepest dream was to meet the Fab Four, and guess what? I did! It took quite awhile, but a goofy little girl from Reseda, California, got to shake hands with all four Beatles. Well, I shook hands with three of them anyway.
In ’69, I had just posed for the centerfold of Rolling Stone with my all girl band, the GTO’s, and as we were leaving the studio in full feathered regalia, we ran smack dab into George Harrison, in the parking lot. We all stopped to chit-chat, and when the sensitive Beatle told us he’d heard all about us, we were breathless with excitement. He then looked me up and down and said in that accent, “You have very pretty legs.” (I met Mr. Harrison again decades later at Bob Dylan’s 5oth birthday party, but I’ll have to write an entire column about that divine day).
I was holing up in London with the bass player of the Pink Fairies, but had fallen in love with Todd Rundgren’s bassist, Tony Sales, and was trying to figure out a way to gently escape from the fairy lair, when Frank Zappa called to offer me a role in his movie of life on the road, “200 Motels,” shooting at Pinewood Studios. None other than Ringo Starr was playing Frank Zappa, complete with perfect curly black wig. I tried to act nonchalant while Ringo stood there watching my big scene, but I couldn’t focus on my lines with the be-ringed, moptop drummer observing my every move! I eventually (sort of) got used to his presence and was finally able to shoot the breeze with Mr. Starkey.
Whenever the Whos’ drummer, Keith Moon slammed into town, he called me immediately and his ‘assistant,’ Dougal would come and fetch me. On this balmy eve in ‘74, I was taken to a recording studio on Sunset Boulevard where Harry Nilsson was recording with John Lennon. Keith was the entertainment, I suppose. He usually was. John was leaning up against a doorframe wearing a cute black beret, and when Keith introduced us…”Pamela, this is John, John…Pamela,” the smart Beatle muttered, “Pamela, John, John Pamela, Pamela John, John Pamela….” until it turned into total meaningless mush. Needless to say, we didn’t shake hands. I felt sad, but John was in the middle of his ‘Kotex-on-the-Head’ phase and was without his muse, Yoko.
I had been in the room with my fave Beatle, Paully-Waully Paul-Paul on previous occasions, but never had the Beatleballs to make his acquaintance. Recently, a guitar playing pal o’ mine, Brian Ray, got a job with the Cute Beatle and invited my ex, Michael and I, to the concert and a small party afterwards. After dreamily swooning along with over 30 Beatle songs, I was nibbling fancy foodstuffs at the afterbash, when the red sea parted and Paul appeared. I had brought my first book along just in case I had the chance to place it in HIS hands, but when he was a mere 3 feet away, I couldn’t move until prodded by a sweet stranger, who insisted on introducing us. I gave Paul the book, and he took it in his very Beatle hands and thumbed through it, glanced over at Heather, lifted his eyebrows at me and said, ‘We haven’t met before…have we?” Only in my dreams Paully-Waully, only in my damp and delicious teen dreams.
Wowie Zowie! Layla Cuts Loose: After being offered almost a million pounds (close to 2 million dollars) Pattie Boyd Harrison, the pert and pretty doll-faced wife of George Harrison and later, Eric Clapton, is finally penning her memoirs after 40 years of keeping quiet about her intense relationships with 2 of our greatest rock gods. We all thought that Pattie broke The cosmic Beatle’s heart when she left him for the guitar legend, but rumor has it that she intends to bare all about how ol’ Slowhand agreed to swap his own galpal for Pattie as a trade-off with George Harrison.