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    To Sir Paul With Love

    by | 5 | Aug 17, 2009

    atlantaposterBaby, I was amazed — because the only disappointing moment in one of the greatest musical performances I have ever seen was that Sir Paul  didn’t sing those lyrics last Saturday night at Piedmont Park.

    Maybe I was amazed that Sir Paul had the energy of a teenager.  Maybe it was because he looked twenty years younger than his 67 years, even through my binoculars. But mostly, I was amazed by the voice.

    The voice that I grew up with was still there — one that can tear your heart out when he is singing a gorgeous ballad like “My Love.” (He didn’t have to tell us he wrote it for his beloved late wife Linda, but he did, and then dedicated it to lovers everywhere). Those of us who’d had our own long and winding roads with a mate sang along, and yes, wept a little, knowing how far we’d traveled, often with Paul as our soundtrack.

    Then there was the rocker’s voice. He used it just as amazingly throughout the night beginning with the opening number “Drive My Car,” which signaled we were in for something special.  His distinctive bluesy vocal power rocked us with one signature song after another from “Band on The Run” to one of my personal favorites, “Back in the USSR” from The White Album.

    Then during the evocative strains of “Eleanor Rigby,” the rain exploded with a mighty crash. But even as we stood there in the pouring rain (very strange, most of us didn’t have a mac) we were mesmerized.  
    We were here, there and everywhere we’ve ever been since hearing that voice.

    The first time, I was eight. I listened to “I Saw Her Standing There” at a friend’s house while looking at the album “Introducing the Beatles” (owned by her older brother). I gazed at that cute impish face of Paul’s and it was love at first sight.

    Like all of my generation, there is a memory connected to every song I ever heard him sing since. But I must admit that I have also gone through my John phases. As I matured and became one of those obnoxious pseudo-intellectual college kids discoursing about the meaning of existentialism into the wee hours, I was totally John.

    But then came 1976 and the release of “Band on the Run.” I was a Paul-girl all over again. Years have passed, and I have certainly flirted with John now and then, but deep down there still beats the heart of that eight year-old who first fell in love with Paul.

    Now, here I was at fifty-something standing 100 feet away from this person who I have spent most of my life with (he just didn’t know it).  He hoped we were having fun. We were. And, the way he looked was way beyond compare.

    With many other middle-aged girls who had mascara dripping down our faces and hair matted to our heads, I screamed “I love you Paul” and meant it. I love how your songs make me feel. I love the memories they evoke. I love how you loved Linda and got rid of that trashy gold-digger Heather. I love that you can still fall in love (he’s now dating a woman about my age). I love the hope your songs have brought me when I’ve found myself in times of trouble.

    But most of all, I love the fact that last Saturday night at Piedmont Park, the years fell away. He was just a lad from Liverpool and I was just seventeen (you know what I mean).

    ###
    Melinda Ennis

    Melinda Ennis

    A veteran of the marketing and advertising business, Melinda Ennis-Roughton is the principal and owner of an Atlanta-based marketing firm called Melworks Inc. 

She previously served as executive director and chief marketing officer for the Atlanta branding initiative, chief global marketing officer for Church's Chicken, managing partner with Ender Partners Advertising in Atlanta, as well as a senior vice president at Tausche Martin Lonsdorf and Fitzergerald+CO. advertising agencies in Atlanta. 

From 1983-93, Ennis-Roughton held senior marketing roles for Arby's Restaurants, where she became the first female vice president and senior vice president of marketing. 

She is a 25-year resident of Atlanta and is married to Bert Roughton, a managing editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

     

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    • eleanor ringel cater

      what a peach of an essay. It says it all and it says it right.
      Melinda, I was a George girl and I STILL know what you mean.
      The best thing about Paul is, he still loves the Beatles as much as we do.

    • Dale Bennett

      Hi Mel,

      Nice essay. I’m sorry I missed Sir Paul but very pleased that he came to Piedmont Park to help us celebrate my granddaughter’s birth date. Anyway, that’s the way I’m telling the story. Meredith (my daughter), Brad, both stes of grandparents, and thousands of Sir Paul fans welcomed Parker Emeline Kloth into this world at 9:16pm -- wonder what song Paul was singing at the time. I’m confident that Sir Paul and the Beatles music will continue on through another generation -- especially if Parker’s grandparents have anything to do with it.

      Again, nice piece.

    • Carol Carter

      Hey Melinda,
      Nice!
      Carol

    • We saw a very similar concert in Texas well over a decade ago. Paul wisely chose to focus on his Beatles songbook, and the crowd ate it up.

      To hear that voice… singing those songs… why, it was magic. Only difference? Our show was indoors (at the Astrodome), so we stayed dry and comfortable the whole time.

    • Pat Snyder

      Melinda,
      Sounds like an incredible experience and you described it beautifully!
      Sorry I missed you last Friday.

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