Sunday, July 23, 2017

ES-Say #97

A Ketchup With "Paul Or Nothing" Podcast

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney had the opportunity to ask some questions to Sam Whiles, Creator of the "Paul or Nothing" Podcast. On the show, Whiles offers some knowledgeable insight into McCartney's music catalogue as a 1970s solo artist and beyond, along with some special guests to weigh in about Paul's post-Beatle career.  Whiles was a good sport to tackle our burning questions, so let's get on with the interview!

Meredith Evonne, NSATPM Blog: How has your podcast developed since starting back in November of 2016? Has it met your expectations?

Sam Whiles, Paul or Nothing Podcast: Wow, November 2016! Has it been that long? The podcast was previously on another podcast hosting site, so it must be even older than that. In terms of success, growth, and branding (and all those other horrid buzzwords), I guess I am very pleased that I have any listeners at all. Paul may technically be more popular than ever, but in terms of people I meet, it may as well be the dreaded 1980's in terms of being a fan.

The Podcast has yet to hit 10,000 downloads, but our fan base is a wonderfully vibrant bunch, who teach me more than I probably teach them! After the success of my Tom Waits Podcast, Down in the Hole, which was considerably bigger, I never expected anything really, so all of this is a plus.

NSATPM: How do you prepare to discuss your McCartney album and songs analysis prior to a recording an episode of the podcast?

Whiles: The preparation process for each episode varies. The general gist of it, is at least two months of soaking in the album. The show is just as much a journey for me as it is for the audience, so I need to get my hands dirty with each release as opposed to just listening to it once or twice.

I then write long hand the entire script for that episode, which can easily go over 30 pages. This is mostly done due to a pretty noticeable stutter (that I am far too self-conscious about). However, I am experimenting with a looser format for a much quicker turn around. Don't even get me started on the editing process...

NSATPM: I heard you talk about 'Monkberry Moon Delight'. Is this your favourite McCartney song? I got that impression...
Whiles: Early on, I did commit to ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ as it was my favourite McCartney track before I started the podcast. It's always tricky to be faithful to a particular song, and truthfully, I have been tempted by many other sultry tracks. For example, the charms of ‘Goodnight Tonight’ have recently been worming their way into my ear. Similar to my favourite album, the choice varies with how I'm feeling and what I'm listening to. Though it will always be in my top 5. "SO I SAT IN THE ATTIC...."
         There's a lot of love for this Wings single at NSATPM, but you've heard it all before!

NSATPM: The several bonus episodes are an interesting feature, as you got to interview a few popular McCartney book authors and former Wings Guitarist Laurence Juber. Was it easy to book your guests or were they hard to contact at first? Who else would you want to interview? 
Whiles: Every guest who I have had on the show, has been surprisingly cordial and easy to book. Juber, in particular, was a gentleman who acquiesced to several rescheduling of his interview. Normally, all it takes is a well-written email, some flattery, and the confidence to pretend that the show has a lot more listeners than it really does. In terms of future guests, the current Holy Grail's are: Denny Seiwell (Wings first drummer), Denny Laine (Wings lead guitarist), and Mark Lewisohn (the king of Beatles biographies). Any of those guys would greatly warm the cockles of my heart.

NSATPM I'll be honest, I like to occasionally listen to several different Beatles and Paul McCartney topic podcasts and radio shows. It's refreshing to have "Paul or Nothing" as a newer entry, but how are you trying to promote your show within the fan community? 
Whiles: Thank you, It's always tough being the new kid on the block, especially since I do the show by myself, like some sort of digital hermit. Honestly, I should always be doing more to promote the show, but all the avenues are lucrative if you know how to use them. Lately, I have begun promoting the show (and blog) on 10 of the biggest Beatles/McCartney Facebook pages; they have given me a very kind welcome.
Appearing on other podcasts, is a must in this industry, and conversely I am also planning on having other podcast hosts (who will remain nameless for the sake of tension) on the show to help with online visibility. For example, I had YouTube Beatles celeb and auteur 'The HollyHobs' on my channel and that brought me more traffic than I ever could imagine.

If I was in traffic(and could learn to drive*), I would listen to the "Paul or Nothing" Podcast by visiting:
On ITunes, and other podcast sites by typing in "Paul or Nothing" or "Paul McCartney Podcast"
On Twitter @mccartneypod
Thanks to Sam Whiles for his time and interest in talking to us!

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney would like to remind you to check out our current Paul McCartney news and our blog updates by joining the  "Fun Club" Facebook Group or Twitter page(see the widget!). Our next ES-Say #98 will be forthcoming and you won't want to miss all the exciting action!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ES-Say #96

ES-Say #96 Glasgow West End Record Hunting
A Canadian Copy of The Beatles Rarities LP(1980) reveals a reprint of the Butcher Cover in its gatefold!

Once again, it is time for another ES-Say of Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney(NSATPM) where I get to discuss one of my favorite hobbies: Beatles Record Collecting. Solo McCartney LPs collecting and related memorabilia collecting is also included within the hobby. Record show attendance is only one option for myself to collect stuff. Another, is to walk around a foreign place or country and try my luck with finding record stores. I can't think of anything more fun then being faced with this scenario:
Simply cross this plank of wood in the rain to get out of a puddle and continue looking down the alley for a record store that may or not be open.

The biggest issue is not finding a record stores listed over the internet, no, the issue is finding out if the place actually exists. Sometimes you find a place either closed or non-existent, and then you return back to your accommodations extremely pissed off that you wasted the time. Other times, you hit the jackpot- It is an actual record store with vinyl and it closes in a half hour!

I've talked about the gender issues I've faced at record shows. At record shops, the fact that i'm female usually pans out the same. Yet, I've learned how to handle myself when stuck around retail record shop cardboard boxes and displays: get stuck in. Forget that nobody greeted you or asked if you needed any help, forget that you used to work for Virgin Megastore, forget whatever pro-female statement you want to shout at the shop owner who doesn't look like he's in a hurry to close: you got "work" to do.

Work, *ahem*, the hobby. Yeah, the usual protocol- don't wear any band adorned clothing and keep your eyes peeled. I broke my own rule whilst in Scotland. My mother was nice enough to give me a Beatles Love Cirque Du Soleil hat and button(attached to hat) on her travels when we met up in Glasgow. I sort of forgot I was wearing it for several days when I waltzed in to Mixed Up Records 
Walking down a side street, I found Mixed Up Records but didn't see any nearby signs leading to it

Despite my hat that screamed "sell all your Beatles crap to this idiot," I was able to look around amongst one other customer within two connected small rooms, undisturbed. There's a difference with being helped and being sales-targeted and neither of those things happened when I flipped through the Beatles Vinyl. I quickly spotted a £10 Rarities LP I hadn't been familiar with. I flipped to the back of the album and saw that the songs were compiled from 1980. To me, it seems like lots of early-1980s Beatles vinyl isn't always that popular but I liked the way it looked(sometimes I buy vinyl strictly for the album design). Then, I looked in bookcase and found a 1984 Hong Kong reprint of a 1973 Beatles book for £4. Finishing up, I saw a Give My Regards To Broad Street UK Cassette for a pound and impulsively bought it. (a sub-collection of Paul's 1984 film memorabilia is included within the "main collection." I know, it's very confusing to what it is I actually focus on collecting!)

When I left the shop, I decided to look for another record store that was a six-minute walk from where I was in the West End, The Captain-Obvious-titled LP Records (please note: I never looked at any of the store websites I went to, I only looked on google maps for addresses.) It was a small single-roomed record shop, presumably to attract hip people who want to get in on the resurrection of the vinyl format. (This year's Record Store Day releases took up about 1/4 of the shop). It was the type of store where you had a range of genres but clearly not enough stock. It felt like a pop-up shop, where it seems bright and pretty but might close next week to make way for another pop-up shop.  
                                             Oooh Look- A Seagull....and A Record Shop! 

Even though the sales person was helpful to tell me about the Record Store Day releases when I asked, the Ebay-competitive prices(clearly not the Record Store Day original prices, £20 for a Hollies record) turned me away from looking, but no surprise that the recent "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields" studio remix single 45 wasn't stocked. I won't lie there were some regular Beatles albums on the opposite side of the room, but not what I would have been looking for and certainly not willing to drop £25 when it seemed this place needed to retain whatever stock they had to look LP Record shop. I wouldn't consider returning to the place due to the minimalist collection but maybe some people like small record stores.
                                              Red Arrows Are VERY difficult to not follow

The next day, I returned to Play It Again (47 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow, G12 9BG), a Mom-and-Pop type record store(with a clawed cat displayed in a box as the security) , where I had trouble understanding the opening hours when I found it previously closed on a Sunday. The shopkeeper was nice enough to tell me that they actually were opened on a Sunday as I browsed through the Beatles records. It was a pretty big collection of 45s but there were many repeat copies of titles. I grabbed the multiple copies of Ebony and Ivory but didn't find anything that wasn't a EMI UK copy. The best thing for myself was finding decade old magazines. I brought a group of magazines and 45s to the counter but unfortunately, the store did not take credit cards. I had £2 in change and left the store to go to a cash machine. I was raining very hard and I had jumped over enough dodgy puddles(see wood plank photo) and I just changed my mind. I went back to the store and spent my £2 wisely. 

I went back to Byres Road(another well-known West End area) and tried my luck at a known and reliable charity record store, OXFAM Music Shop. I actually visited this place the last time I was in Glasgow. Most of the other OXFAM stores around the UK are great because it carries various genres of music, music books, and they take credit cards. As much as I enjoyed looking around, I found one item that I really wanted- A cassette of The Beatles Live at The BBC V1! It was in great condition with really cool packaging(like the small-sized info booklet).

Here are the photos of the stuff I had to balance on my head when leaving Glasgow.

So, what has been the end result of this trip to Scotland. Overall, I was happy with the stuff I was able to find. I didn't know I would be starting to collect cassette tapes however....

Tune in next time when we decide to discuss the highs and lows of collecting cassettes in 2017*

*Maybe. It's looking that way since I've invested in a cassette player...

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney has a Facebook Group that we welcome you to join, as well as the Twitter Feed(see this blog on the right side). News, Views, can't lose!



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ES-Say #95

ES-Say #95 I've Wheelie Bin To Liverpool!
                  Paul McCartney's crumbling hand greets me at 31 Matthew Street, Liverpool

Liverpool, England-The Birthplace of The Beatles. The Mecca for Beatles Fans touring the UK, and home to 468,000 residents(approximately!). A place that is sometimes thought to be a stone's throw away from London(it's not, and takes over two hours to travel by train). And, a surprise of great cultural history sightseeing in the Liverpool City Region, that preceded and followed the popularity of The Beatles in the 1960s. It's a city that thrives with employment related to Beatles tourism but has so much more to offer visitors, in the form of the spirit of the people(Yes, all you die-hard Scouse football fans). If you weren't sure what the word "loyalty" meant before, Liverpool will set you straight.

I was bitten by the Beatle Bug during the early-1990's when I was attending High School. This interest in all things Beatle, spun off from an interest in New York City classic rock radio station WNEW-FM. But, had I not be a fan of McCartney's 1993 Off The Ground LP first, I don't know if I would have be open to listening to, and enjoying the Beatles music and learning about their English history. The 90s period between the releases of Live At The BBC Volume 1 and The Beatles Anthology series sealed the deal for me as a devotee, but going to Liverpool?  "Yeah, right" I thought at the time, "That aint gonna happen! Cha-Cha-boom!" while listening to Besame Mucho on my Walkman.

To be honest, I didn't think I would do a lot of things in my life, but here I am now, an unpaid freelance writer and Beatles collector with a 9 to 5 job-to-pay-for-said-collection. A grown-woman who finally after two decades has visited Liverpool during two separate weekends in 2017, in the both the pouring rain and scalding heat weather. Yeah Yeah Yeah, I got some things to say!

                                 A View Of The Liver Building And The Liver Birds

Essential Categories   

Travel and Accommodations

Traveling by train is a great way to reach Liverpool Lime Street Station, one of the major port of calls to reach Albert Dock, Matthew Street, Liverpool One Shopping Centre, and your hotel. So, when I watched the local London news the night before my 1st trip, Liverpool Lime Street Station was closed until further notice. Basically, an avalanche on to the tracks shut down the major Liverpool station to the city and I got packed onto a shuttle bus from Runcorn in Cheshire to reach Liverpool. On my second visit on June 17th, three months later, arriving at Lime Street was like a new experience. I wasn't rain-soaked and walking around clueless looking for my hotel again like back in March. No, I walked out of the station and immediately saw my hotel and checked in.

Advice you didn't ask for - Liverpool has many hotels from mid-priced budget to swanky. If I were you, I would prefer to stay at a popular hotel near a train station. Even my first hotel was also near a station and I slept well. I can't imagine staying directly at Albert Dock or further down the dock or outside the middle of the city centre. As it was between 26c/78f this weekend, I should have shopped around for a hotel pool, but even in the rain or heat, I wanted a convenient hotel and this was more than suitable for a city break.

Tours and Attractions

There are several options to tour the city and it depends on how you want to experience Liverpool. On my first trip, I didn't want to share the experience with anyone but our Blog's famous nemesis, aka The Foot, who dislikes The Beatles strongly and got dragged along for the "Ticket To Ride." I decided to book a private car tour with Jackie Spencer at and I got what I paid for in a 4-hour tour itinerary-everything Beatles. We did all the important tourist places in a relaxed and fun rainy day out and something I wouldn't easily forget with Jackie's knowledge, expertise and style. On the second trip, I went on a specially-themed Paul McCartney's 75th birthday tour organised by Jackie for a group coach tour. A super sunny eight hour tour of all things Macca and Beatles with extra stops that we didn't get to in my four hour tour(such as additional Paul homes, Auntie Jinn's home, Stuart Sutcliffe's grave site(RIP) and more).

Advice you didn't ask for -St. Peter's Church was one of the highlights of both of my trips, along with a return visit to The Museum Of Liverpool . You should go on the National Trust Tour as this is the only way to get inside Paul's Forthlin Road and John's Mendips homes, but you can still cheaply go to take photos of the exterior of these homes from the sidewalk as most tourist do. The city centre had so much to see and do both Beatles-related, such as Beatles Story Museum , lots of shopping areas and (this is most noticeable and can't or shouldn't be avoided) along with THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE-SIZED AND DESIGNED CITY BUILDINGS, STATUES AND CATHEDRAL(S). (If you don't appreciate the importance and scale of those mesmerizing places, I can't really explain to you any further why Liverpool has some of the best architecture in the world).
             Queen Victoria is housed in a Grade II listed building, don't say I didn't warn you!

Food, Drink, Nightlife

Many people will want to know about where to dine and have a pint. I'm really the wrong person to ask now that I've avoided going into the famous Beatles live places like Cavern Club and  Casbah Coffee Club BUT if I ever go back, I'll try those places. On the first visit, I lost all ability to taste food so everything I consumed or drank(including rum and coke) tasted like metal. This time, I had fast food, supermarket and room service, but a brilliant Pub Vegetarian lunch. This category is something to explore further to get an accurate description.

Advice You Didn't Ask For- I'll be going back to the following three pubs McCartney's Bar on Hanover Street , The Grapes On Matthew Street , and which ever pub these women from Kirkby invited me along to, after we helped a little boy who got lost in the less glamorous (or Dodgy area) between pubs and closed smaller shopping complexes that are slowly going out of business due to Liverpool One. Liverpool is a party city that you can't pin solely on the locals, and you will inevitably this find out. A "party city" can refer only to the drinking but you'd be hard pressed to be bored finding evening events if you love nightlife, or a good concert. I can only now imagine what  International Beatles Week  could be like- spoilt for choice!

Hopefully, the Blog was able to give you some idea about visiting Liverpool. I didn't want anyone to feel like I would be revealing all, but everyone has their own unique travel experiences. It is a friendly city with a lot of pride and heart and I hope others will be able to enjoy themselves as much as I did.

I failed to get the Purple wheelie bin as a Tourist Souvenir that was discussed as a compromise colour between Liverpool Football Clubs team colours-LFC(Red) and Everton(blue) during my trip on Paul's 75th birthday tour. At least I borrowed it for the Blog's title!

       A Neck-Streching Opportunity at the Plaque for the Day John Met Paul at St. Peter's Church Hall

Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney will be writing more about something Paul-related in the not-so-distant future. Such as the experience of celebrating Paul's birthday, which will contain further recommendations of stuff that I saw and the stuff I bought to add to my growing memorabilia collection. If you prefer not to wait for another blog entry please join us on Twitter(see our Widget) and at our newsgroup  NSATPM Fun Club

Monday, May 29, 2017

ES-Say #94

ES-Say #94 Salt And Pepper Over Scrambled Eggs-The Beatles at 50+
Sgt. Pepper 2017 Subway Poster   (Tottenham Court Road, London Underground, Photo:MFloate)

I have to ask- when is Sgt. Pepper 50th Anniversary 2017? Was it on Friday the 26th of May(original UK 1967 release day), when the Apple 2017 remix releases came out and everyone declared it "Pepper Day"? Is it coming up next week on June 1st? or maybe the 2nd(the original 1967 US release day)?  

For all I know, with all the media attention, special events, and a tie-in film, etc etc, it's about a two month celebration that started in May and will finish sometime in June. Hooray?

But, this has now been shifted to pre-celebration for the 50th Anniversary re-release of the White Album, which is only about 18 months away, but it was suggested by Giles Martin it would be upcoming as the next release from Apple.

Don't get me wrong. I really like Sgt. Pepper and I tell everybody that my favorite Beatles album is the White Album. It's nice to have these great albums given the appreciation they deserve on their 50th Anniversaries." But-

What is the deal with the omission of other 1960s Beatles Albums and their corresponding 50th Anniversaries?  

Generally, in 2014, this seemed to be the launch year of celebrating the Beatles in the 1960s.

We had highly profiled chronological Beatles 50-year milestones that were celebrated. Such as-
  • The Beatles arrival at JFK and the British Invasion of 1964(USA LPs CD Box Set January 2014)
  • The film re-release of "A Hard Day's Night" (1964)
  • 15th Anniversary Re-Release of "1" (November 2015)
  • Ron Howard's Eight Days A Week-The Touring Years film (September 2016)
  • SGT Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP Release (May/June 2017). 
I'm a bit confused as to the lack of attention for Help!(film and album), Rubber Soul(album), Revolver(album), just to name a few. (I don't even think Magical Mystery Tour, the film, which was re-released in 2012 is going to get a nod).

Sgt. Pepper's anniversary is now the talk of the summer that not only praises the LP but the Summer of Love 1967. A big opportunity for hippies to reminisce about Peace, Love, Drugs, and the Far Out music they enjoyed. The release of Pepper is noted for being a main "turn on, tune in, drop out" trippy record of the time. Yet, the album has it critics.

Journalist Ray Connolly wrote about his problems with the Sgt. Pepper album in the Daily Mail(27/5/17 edition) and pointed out that the exclusion of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever made the album "A bit like playing the final of the World Cup and leaving your two best players in the changing room."

The Beatles actually won "The World Cup" of record releases without the help of Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields. This idea that the album would be so much better is rubbish. Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever getting looped into an already experimental album could have toppled it over. We don't have to rewrite history to potentially improve a Beatles album.

The stand along Double A-Side of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever have gotten enough media attention lately that it runs the risk of being considered their greatest single ever. For many, it already is, but just because it was applauded during the "1+" (2015) for the singles' ground breaking music videos and recently re-released on 7" for Record Store Day 2017, it shouldn't overshadow the importance of other Beatles singles and album cuts.

It used to be songs like Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Ticket To Ride, In My Life, or Michelle. Earlier releases that were considered turning points in the progression of the Beatles music. All of a sudden, prior releases to Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields, don't need as much attention in Today's press.

Paul McCartney has recently been interviewed about mishearing someone say "Sgt. Pepper" when they only said "Salt and Pepper."

In my 25-ish years of Beatle Fandom, I've never heard about this leading to the concept of Sgt. Pepper. What I have heard time and time again for 25-ish years is this little story(maybe you've heard it).

Interviewer- "Paul, how did you come up with Yesterday?"
Paul- "It came to me in a dream..."
Interviewer- "Wow, really!!!! How did Y-
Paul- (interrupting) *Sings* Scrambled Eggs...Oh My Baby How I Love Your Legs...."

Where is this repeated story about condiments? Have I been sleeping when Sgt. Pepper is discussed?

                                    My Couch Tribute for Sgt Pepper 26/5/17(photo:MFloate)
Maybe, but I seem to have memories of the album cover being a huge discussion overshadowing any small detail about the inception of an idea that Paul may or may not have had with the Pepper band themes. Peter Blake's cover design and the Paul McCartney Death clues are what keep me up at night.

I'm also kinda grateful for Paul Howard's 2016 Tara Browne biography book because it prequels what really led to the creation of the album- A change that ended Swinging 60s culture.  "A Day In The Life" has a strong backstory to be considered the most important song of it's time.

Giles Martin as a producer, what ever he is doing, hasn't knocked my socks off by remixing the entire album in stereo. In the same breath, he hasn't ruined the way the songs have always sounded. The songs all stand up for themselves.

Personally, I have to agree with the backlash against "Within You Without You" because I think it's way off base, but this is where Harrison head was at, so it should be respected on the album.  I can't fault any of the rest of the album and I don't think I need to go into the dynamics of why these songs work so well together.

I don't think the people listening to it in 1967 had any deep thoughts about these songs either. It's just the way it was.

It shouldn't be more than it was either, for what came before it needs as much attention as well.

...And Now For Some Cranberry Sauce-Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney welcomes your thoughts, opinions, and interest in our current Twitter and Facebook group.  



Sunday, May 21, 2017

ES-Say #93 Vegetarian's Flock To Linda Mac Food Demo

                  Plenty of HOT food at Linda's Veggie Table event in Shoreditch(19/5/17)

Friday Night in London, I had a ticket for an event held by Linda McCartney Foods. This was a cooking session held for National Vegetarian Week. As some of you are probably chomping down on a hot dog right now reading this, my blog will not try to convert you into adapting a wheatgerm diet. Equally, I want to convey this was an event I would recommend to others interested in plant-based diets and hope it will return next year.

Then, of course, there were the purely fantasy reasons that I paid £10 to attend one of the nine sessions- Maybe a McCartney family member would show up. It seemed logical- each session was limited to about 20 places, it was located in a somewhat-snooty-area of Shoreditch, Paul McCartney was actually in London* this week, and accounting the Times article I reviewed (ES-Say #92) it could have happened. (I mean, I bought a pack of Sharpie markers along just in case.)

However, the "Star Vegetarian" originally unknown when purchasing tickets was revealed to be(drum roll, please..)



Despite having the same amount of syllables in his name as Paul, I had to google McGuiness and ask younger co-workers of mine if they heard of him being in a band called "The Wanted." I found out that McGuiness also won a series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing(a hugely popular British program that I can't stomach). It had not yet been revealed whom the guest chef would be so I was hopeful I would have some knowledge of who it would be when I got to the session(Nope! Chef Glen was fantastic though).

So, I navigated my way on the Overground to Hoxton, a short walk to the venue located within a courtyard. I was let in to an upstairs wood interior designed studio loft. It had a stage featuring free mocktails and canapes (aka Linda's Lounge). There were also a couple of display tables-

One had a basket with blank index cards and pens to submit questions for Glen and Jay.

Another, had a contest to win an old cookbook...


                             Well, at least I got a shadow of my hand on the book in the photo!

Naturally, I asked a host when I would find out if I won this signed copy by Paul, Mary, and Stella. I thought I had read that every guest had automatically be entered into this contest. I didn't enter the other contest to win £100 worth of vouchers for Linda McCartney Frozen Food because I only wanted to win this colossal prize.

The host explained that she would take a photo of me with a chalk board standing next to a promotional Linda foods wall. All I had to do was write my favorite veggie dish down and then they would email the photo to me to stick up on social media for a chance to win.

I started to prattle on about my love for Linda's Frozen Lasagne and complain I hadn't seen it in years at the supermarket. So, due to being disappointed with finding the product, I scribbled that in chalk. Maybe I should have continued the complaining so the host would lose the will to pay attention and the displayed book would suddenly be gone.

A criminal record? I did consider it for a second, but I was afraid to handle the book at all. (I mean, if I win this thing I'm not going to let them mail it, I'll go get it person with a bodyguard).

The contest entry had made me feel numb, so I wrote down a jumbled question about Stir Frying on a index card and then proceeded to drop canapĂ© sauce on my jeans and nearly fall off a chair.

Pinup Jay McGuiness began to offer canapes around the room. I told him would take one of the canapes because "he was offering it." (worst. icebreaker. ever. Crickets started chirping and he moved on quickly).

It was clearly time to move on to the cooking session. Things began to improve because the next room was set up like a kitchen studio inspired by Linda. It contained free tote goodie bags on all the seats. I didn't want to risk falling again from stools in the back so I sat in the center second row on a bench seat facing the kitchen island.
          A Slightly Better Photo Can Be Found In Our NSATPM FACEBOOK GROUP

Hosted by Jay McGuiness and a chef-named-Glen** the 1-hour session went like this:

Jay McGuiness cracked some jokes and explained things in the way you would expect a member of a boyband to speak, sounding rehearsed but able to "get with the program" of presenting.

A Chef-Named Glen did all the hard work of making three dishes while Jay and a couple members of the audience assisted with slicing and presenting the finished products on platters. (My favorite member of the audience insisted in peeling down a carrot to the nub, brilliantly guaranteeing herself more time on stage with McGuiness).

Every time, ACN Glen finished cooking a dish, we all got to eat a sample in a paper cup.

In order:
Vegetarian Pulled Pork Fajita
Warm Catalan Salad With Vegetarian Chorizo
Vegetarian Duck, Ginger and Mango Rice Bowl

The entire session was filmed, but later they went live on Facebook. Early on, They decided to ask the questions off the blank index cards from the previous room.

I believe it was only one question: Mine!

Jay was struggling to read my handwriting. Where is Meredith?!?


I decided to speak directly to ACN Glen, explaining that I had no idea when preparing veggie mince was cooked properly during a stir fry. Glen was asking if I was talking about the Linda McCartney brand, basically my cue to agree that it indeed was. I admitted cooking sometimes with ketchup. I didn't care what any of the "trendy" snickering people in the room thought. I had the attention of an actual Chef, who could properly cut into an avocado. I needed all the help I could get to cook Linda's frozen food well done. (believe me, over or under cooked convenience meals taste horrific despite a proper McCartney connection).

Overall, I learned to cook my stir fry's in separate dishes based on what Glen explained. I went home in a good mood, ready to receive the contest entry picture in my inbox.

It took about 24 hours.

The photo(check out our Blog Twitter Feed) has been posted.

now we wait for the disappointment that I lost. Stay Tuned!

I promise to listen to a song by The Wanted every day for the rest of my life if I win***

All proceeds from Linda's Veggie Table were given to 

* The Paul McCartney was spotted in Mayfair and appeared in Liverpool at LIPA this week.
**It cook me an hour to find out his first name, I didn't need to put another hour of research despite liking the Chef
***my chance of winning is slim so I'm comfortable knowing I won't ever have to listen to Jay McGuiness again.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

ES-Say #92

ES-Say #92 Magazines! I I Me Me Mine!
             After a successful day of searching, more Macca magazines clutter up my house!(photo: MaccaMeri)

...And so how did you spend your Saturday? Well, I ran out of my house in a daze with one thought in mind-"go and get it." The "It" in question is the The Times Magazine with Mary, Paul, and Stella on the cover, available for one day only-May 6, 2017.

Back in 1980s Brooklyn, I used to do a similar thing when I heard the jingle of the Ice Cream Truck passing my house- drop everything and run barefoot, scream "Ma! I need a dollah,"and reach the end of the block just in time to get into the line for a "Fat Frog" with other shoeless children.

Today, thirty years later, I'm on facebook with all the hip people, and Linda McCartney Foods page shows up on my "feed" with a photo of the Times Magazine cover. So, I- drop everything, waddle quickly to the local London corner shop displaying a large Times newspaper sponsored rack, and...nothing!?!?

"We had two copies, light delivery today." the shop owner replied, so back out on the street I went. Still transfixed, unaware I had two holes in the back of my sweatpants, I proceeded to walk another ten minutes to the supermarket. Upon arrival, I couldn't see the newspaper within the piles of the daily papers for sale but before thinking "great, I gotta get on a bus now.." I spotted The Times!

I had used one of the time saving scanners to scan and pack my own shopping. I packed that newspaper and the new special McCartney copy of Classic Pop Magazine (that fell into my bag) to my satisfaction of being crease-free. Fast Checkout? No, my scanner had flashed a message that I translated as "DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT PAUL MAGAZINES!"(it actually said I had been selected for a random shopper service check). After they were satisfied that I actually did scan £22 worth of groceries, I was only relieved the employee listened when I instructed-"please scan everything but the newspapers!"

Back to the responsibility of payment for the £22 bill of magazines and random groceries, my face froze when I remembered I left my wallet at home. The one thing you laugh at friends for doing and I had gone and done it. But, I somehow realised when I opened my bag, that I miraculously had £50 in cash floating around on me. I would not have to do any empty-handed-walk-of-shame out of the store! Thumbs Aloft! 

Casually back at home and horrified that my derriere might have been exposed for an hour, I looked at the treasured Times magazines-


The Times- The supplement cover story was about The McCartneys and the 25th Anniversary of the Linda McCartney Frozen Food range. The journalist was slightly disappointed by the fact the interview was a publicity piece and the topic of discussion would be the Food Range and not about THE all.  The journalist played up this omission throughout the article by not ever directly saying "The Beatles" and prattling on about attempting to receive Stella McCartney clothing discounts in lieu of this. It sounded like something I might write with a tounge-in-cheek theme about meeting McCartney but without any mention of needing my heart restarted every five-to-ten minutes.

In other words, if a journalist is going to suggest being adopted to the McCartneys (she actually said to them she was up for adoption), she should have convinced me as well. It came off as pushy wishful thinking rather than genuine sentiments. "Deborah Ross has since given up meat" was her ending post-script after the interview discussed several pro-vegetarian view points.

"Meredith Floate has since given up vegetables. She couldn't take the McCartneys refusal to discuss anything but salad during a 45-min interview opportunity."

Let the clan read the phone book for 45 minutes, I'll take the opportunity to sing/shout his entire back catalogue of his work whilst starting only at McCartney, forget the serious interview and possible merchandise discounts. Use your time wisely and don't joke about vegetarians, Deborah Ross, this is how we choose to live our lives....why does nobody get that???????

I digress and cry that nobody reads this blog.*

Also, please don't mug me, I never have more than £5 in change on me. I still ask my mother for ice cream money, she can vouch for me.

I'll take the opportunity to discuss my magazine collecting obsession in detail another time.

*might be a genuine statement

For genuine McCartney and Beatles news and Not Saying Anything To Paul McCartney Updates(such as the skinny on Classic Pop Magazine):

Monday, May 1, 2017

ES-Say #91 The "1Day" I go- Attending Beatles Festivals

                                           Here Today, Gone Tomorrow In Stamford Brook, London(photo:MFloate)

Sunday, 30th April 2017- I paid £15 to attend a Beatles Festival in London called 1Day(please see the end of this blog for related-Beatle links from this event). Please understand 1 thing- I am giving an account of my experience and mean absolutely no offense to the organisers, attendees, public, venue, celebrity impersonators, Beatle people, or the one lady I met. I would be highly flattered if anyone decided not to attend next time because of my "review" but I encourage people to make up their own mind about these types of events. For £15, can 1 really go wrong?

Oh yeah...yeah...yeah- 1 can go a bit wrong, especially if they have high hopes to devote their attention to 1 aspect of a Beatles Festival- Merchandise. This festival seems to be have been going on in Twickenham in the past few years and was known for having Beatles Tribute acts playing for the whole day. I suspect they wanted this year to expand the festival to facilitate talks and merchandise. A meeting of music, special appearances, and a record show all rolled into...yup, you guessed it "1"!

It was held at Chiswick Club Society, a social club that can be rented out for events, such as 1Day. After doubting I would get there in time after being on public transport for two hours, I actually was on time for the 11am opening. Intially, there was a handful of people arriving including myself, Roy Orbison Live's "Roy Orbison", and I believe, a person associated with British Beatles Fan Club Magazine(he left a stack of free back issues for attendees and I grabbed a bunch, claiming it was for my "research" and I left it at that. Free is free!).

My next stop was to look around and find merchandise for sale. It was about four dealers with tables out. I didn't expect miles of tables, but I expected several more dealers. These four were: Beatles Days, Beatles International, Beatle Style, and a crowd funding Beatles-related book project(think "Pledge Music"). I had just arrived and I saw these tables and a futher open area where Roy Orbison Live would be performing first in the next hour or so. Despite the amount of tables, there was enough merchandise for me to throw my money at, but I didn't really put a lot of though into what I wanted.

In the time I was hanging around, more people started to arrive but I wasn't fighting for space at the merch tables and I was greatful I didn't have an urge to go find a cash machine. But, I did a great job spending my money quickly. As this was one of the highlights of my three-and-a-half hour visit, this was some of what I picked up:

Paul McCartney New World Tour Penlight(shockingly, burnt out after 20+ years)
Paul McCartney New World Tour Badge(to replace the one I had stolen, unbelievably)
Paul McCartney Press To Play Picture Sleeve 45 "Video Edit"(not needed, bought in error)
Paul McCartney and Wings Mrs. Vandebilt P/S Netherlands(beautiful!)
Paul McCartney Sgt. Pepper Pillow Case(I liked it, my partner doesn't: Big Shock).

After walking away from the merchandise tables, I didn't know anyone so I had to look busy by sitting down and pulling out my phone. I quickly became bored sitting alone and posting on Facebook, and decided look up "penlight repair" on the internet. (Paul McCartney's penlight would not open to change the battery and this pissed me off for no valid reason.)

After fighting with the £1 penlight, I got up to move to where a stage had been set up and the solo act of Roy Orbison Live began playing. I sat off to the side and started to write some notes and doodle(another spur-of-the-moment decision). I wrote some notes about this tribute act and the onstage talks that occurred next. It had started to get more crowed and by the time the talks started I could really only half-hear the Beatle People talking.

This might explain some of these jumbled-up notes:

When I could hear-

1. Roy Orb Live- looks the part, vox nice, too bad I'm not that into it...sounds like a nice day out at the beach. I know the hits. This guy got here when they opened like I did! Some bum notes, but not really that important..about 20 people watching.

When I couldn't really hear too well-

2. Talks-unscheduled(?) NEMS and Apple Shop workers, talking about stuff like not being starstruck with seeing The Beatles(?). Moderator: Travelling Wilbury's. London Beatles Secretary-MMT. Only half-listening because of the noises behind me. One of the guests apparently saved James McCartney(SR-Paul's Father) life by preventing a road accident and from then on James Mac used to buy him lunch. Again, not really understanding whom these people are but I'm getting very hungry. Where is Roag Best? I need to get up and roam!

Yeah, let's talk about Roag Aspinall-Best. As the 1DAY scheduled timetable was presented on the day, I noticed that the talks were spread out between the tribute acts. Aspinall-Best was scheduled for about 6pm. I asked where he was and was told he was coming down from Liverpool. I went back to where I had been sitting for the talks and told the one lady I had been chatting with that I had to go. I had enjoyed meeting her and talking her photo with a look-a-like George Harrison but I reached the decision that this 1day would be ending. I could have waited four hours for Mr Aspinall-Best but I had a remembered I had a prior engagement with eating a sandwich.

I needed some fresh air and got on the trains and decided to visit Baker Street, where I got lunch and dipped into the tourist attractions(mainly London Beatles Store). I got an Abbey Road ashtray and Beatles postcard for my troubles and two-hours later I was back home.

For myself, this 1Day event was similar to, London Beatles Days, that are organised by Beatles Days. There was a difference, 1Day is perfect if you dig Beatles Tribute Acts and London Beatles Days are perfect if you like merchandise(& special guests). I think I've made it clear that I am the latter.

I hope I don't get banned I try to go next year...there's always Liverpool International Beatle Week to consider...


The Beatles 1Day
Beatles Days-
Beatles International-
Beatle Style-
British Beatles Fanclub-
London Beatles Store-

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