From My Archive: “Off The Beaten Path: Beatle Stalking”

Last night, I saw a tweet from Paul McCartney, announcing that a fan-club presale for his upcoming show at Fenway Park had just started. I went on and was able to purchase tickets for the show, which will be on my 23rd birthday. This bizarrely easy ticketing venture reminded me of a time when I wasn’t so lucky. I wrote about that sad but still kind of wonderful experience for my college newspaper, The Quadrangle, and it originally appeared in the issue dated April 22, 2009. The article was actually picked up by, and from there it sort of went viral. So this morning I typed it into Google and was able to find it easily. So, another piece of writing from my past– “Off The Beaten Path: Beatle Stalking.”

A few weeks ago, on the night of April 4, I went to a concert featuring the two surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney. The only hitch, I didn’t have tickets.

I tried so hard to get tickets for this once in a lifetime event. I signed up for the presale list (which didn’t work because four million people signed up for this list). Then I got up early for the general sale, but that was also to no avail. All of the tickets left sold out in a record breaking seven seconds.

Actually, I was able to buy one ticket, at the bargain price of $795 dollars. Unfortunately, considering that is practically my yearly income, I had to pass.

I was heartbroken; even though I have seen Ringo live before, I had never seen Paul, and the idea of seeing them together was phenomenal for a Beatles fan. So what was I to do?

I decided to take advantage of this wonderful city and go down to Radio City Music Hall, just to see what it was like. The whole subway ride was bittersweet. I thought how cool it was that even though I did not have a ticket, I can just hop on a train and be there in half an hour. But there was still that lingering depression of not having the tickets.

When I made it to Radio City, the air was buzzing. There were seas of excited people wearing Beatles tee shirts all flocking into the relatively small concert hall. Once all of the actual ticket holders were inside there was still a crowd of about a hundred people outside. Most of them had signs saying ‘1’ or ‘2’, signifying the amount of tickets they needed. One interesting fellow was asking for 17.

It was very comforting, in a kind of strange way, that all of these people were in the same boat as me. We shared stories of trying to get tickets, as well as general Beatles stories. One freakishly tall man with a sign was holding a trivia contest, saying that the winner would get a free ticket. He didn’t have any tickets.

The other Beatles were well represented at the show as well. There was a man who told me that he was John Lennon. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I asked him “Didn’t you die about thirty years ago?”

He told me that it was a cover-up. When I asked him what his death was covering up, he simply replied, “My death.”

There was also a very interesting looking man that looked like he saw the Beatles back in ’65 and hadn’t shaved since. He looked like Gandalf if Gandalf was 5’2″.

The night was not a complete failure though. In addition to meeting some lovely people, NBC studios is right across the street. Since it was a Saturday night, the dress rehearsal for that week’s SNL was about to start. I’m pretty sure I saw Seth Rogan (who hosted that night) get out of his limo, or maybe it was just some other celebrity with a fro.

All in all, my night at Radio City Music Hall was one that I will always remember. No, I did not get to see the ex-Beatles in concert, but knowing that I was really close to them is pretty cool. Plus, I got to meet some characters who made my Beatle stalking seem totally normal.


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