Driving USA Tour
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My story of the Paul concert night April 23, 2002 in Washington, DC at the MCI Center
Maybe I'm Amazed..(in fact I know I am)

Our Long and Winding Tale begins at the F St Sports Bar at the MCI Center where I heard the local Cerpheradio DJ Cerphe"Surf's Up!" was giving away free food and McCartney tickets. We parked about a block from the Center went straight there. We were greeted by Cerphe who asked us our names and I think we got on the radio. <G> We got all kinds of cool stuff like blinkie bottlecap buttons, George cards from the Govinda Gallery and radio station bumperstickers. I gave him a button of Paul I had made earlier in the day from the spacesuit picture.

We stayed there for awhile and then started to head back to Angelo & Maxie's to get our dinner Paul Buttonand concert tickets. On the street outside we met a man who said a group of fans were waiting around by the loading dock for Paul to arrive for the sound check, so we turned right around and went down there to wait with them. There were several tv crews and Dale Solly from the local station waiting there too. We waited quite awhile (almost an hour) and were joustled around by the "Event Staff" who kept warning us that we would get hit by a car if we didn't stay out of the street! Dale and his crew gave up and left after Dale made a call on his 2-way phone and said that Paul hadn't even left the airport yet. :( Another crew who was there filmed some of the fans and one guy in particular who had about 8 "Driving Rain" concert buttons on the front of his jacket. I tried to edge forward so he would seee MY button, but he missed it! Darn!

So... when we could wait no longer we started back to A&M's. We heard later that he showed up about 6:10 which was 15 minutes after we left! :( Around the corner fans were lining up to get in the Arch Campbellbuilding already. Then we encountered another local tv guy, Arch Campbell from the ch 4 news. We recognised him and said hello and he asked us if he could interview us for the 6:00 news! Of course we said yes! So he asked us a couple questions about how it was sad because Paul was one of the two remaining Beatles and stuff and then Ellen says "show him the buttons!" So I brought out the baggie of buttons (I made about 10) and we talked about the buttons for a blink in time, and I gave him one. He was delighted! We said thanks and walked on, got out our cell phones and called a couple people to tell them to watch the 6:00 news! Then we saw Dale Solly and his cameraman again, the cameraman said Paul's plane was late, and that was why he hadn't arrived yet. (I thought Paul had his own plane....)

More incredible events followed! We got to the restaurant and were seated at a table with the other ETS participants. We had hardly sat down when Karen E came over and asked if I was Susan. I had told her we would be the two blondes with the big grins, so she spotted us immediately! So I have finally met a fellow macca-lister! We talked a bit and then went on the have dinner. Hey Karen - what happened to ya!?!?!?

Here comes the incredible part. There were 3 people at our table who had driven down from Maryland and were missing one of their party. Apparently their sister was too sick to attend. So next thing we know, one of them comes over to Ellen and me and says, "We have this extra ticket and it's in the 11th row, would you two like to have it to share?" We thought about it for about 2 seconds and said YES! I thought I would faint right there - is that like pulling a Kimmy? LOL I had to fan myself with the Driving Rain sign from the middle of the table. (which I decided to keep!) I have NEVER seen Paul up close before.

She gave us the ticket and we left saying "see you in the 11th row!" We could not believe our luck! I didn't mention this before but Ellen was a Macca-virgin before last night! So each of us got to experience the concert for part of the show from the 11th row!! I was floating! (Our other seats were good, but not that close) Thank you thank you Laura and Kathleen wherever you are!

Ellen and I also got goodies from the ETS people. Two posters each, another Driving Rain sign, a CD holder, and then I won a Wingspan DVD and she won a Give My Regards to Broad Street CD!

You have heard all about the concert so I'll just say it was incredibly amazing. I couldn't believe howsilloutte of Hofner and Paul great Paul looks. He was wearing the red t-shirt with the stripe on the sholuders and *blue jeans*! They looked brand new! The MCI center felt much more intimate than in `90 at RFK Stadium. The fact that RFK is the size of a football field and MCI is the size of a basketball court might have something to do with it. The stage was also not as high and far away! The show is terrific but I tried not to focus on the screens and just watch Paul. He was incredible. PAUL ROCKS!!!! The whole evening just seemed more intimate. Set List

The best part? I'm going back again tonight! I'm taking my niece and she is super excited, also a Macca-virgin! She is 33 and didn't get to go in 1990. Tonight I'll be a little more relaxed myself.

Oh yeah - the girl next to me in the 11th row had a camera and was taking flash pix. The ushers came and looked to see where it came from a couple of times. She seemed a little nervous, and I thought it was good I hadn't tried to bring one, cause I'd rather enjoy the show than be afraid I'd be thrown out or my camera taken away.

BTW - in the row where we sat at first were several nice people including Karen's brother Eric and his daughter Erin. They drove all the way down from Pittsburg! Eric, let me know if you got back ok and if you go to the Cleveland show! There was also a guy next to Eric who was from a local Maryland station. He had been to Beatlefest in NJ and interviewed Alistair Taylor. He offered to send me a copy of the interview! I took him up on his offer and gave him my phone number and email address. I sure hope he comes through! I met Alistair in Liverpool, he is a very nice man. I'd love to hear the interview.

Also, one last thing. When we got back to Ellen's house, her husb had taped the 6:00 news and we were on it! They showed a closeup of the button I made and had a few of my comments about making them, and the closing shot was of Arch holding out the button on his lapel and grinning!

Doreen Genzler & Arch Campbell

Ellen & Susan

Ellen & Susan before the concert

Arch's lapel
more later about the Wednesday night concert!

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