I didn’t mean to keep you waiting for more of this story. And it wasn’t meant as a tease.
It was the fall of 2010, and I knew that Sir Paul was to perform in a one-night Broadway gala honoring Frank Loesser, and benefiting The Actors Fund at the Minskoff Theatre. My friend Brad Haak was the music director, and Paul’s “co-chairperson” was to be Jo Loesser. (Jo was the love of Frank’s life, and has been my dear friend since about 2003 when she engaged me to arrange Frank’s last, though incomplete show, Señor Discretion). Jo was well aware of me being the biggest Beatle fan in the world, yet I didn’t have real hopes of being involved with the gala.
Now, I’ve never understood that expression of “feeling your own heart pounding” – until I played back my answering machine that day. It was Brad, saying that he’ll be conducting one arrangement of mine from Señor, but, “…what I really need is for you to do an arrangement for Paul McCartney.” I was aware of my heart pounding, and all I could do was to drag my son to the phone to hear that message. After a few more minutes, my heart returned to normal.
A phone meeting was set up for Paul and me (!) for the next day. Paul sang me his ideas for “On a Slow Boat to China” (a song of Frank’s that Paul owns, I think). Then we had a chat for about 20 minutes… and the next day I worked out the arrangement and emailed a little demo. On the 3rd day, the phone rang at around 8am — “Hello, Larry – It’s Paul.” I picked up the phone, and said “Paul who?”
Well, he had already listened to the demo and loved it, so I wrote the full orchestration in time for a Friday orchestra rehearsal, but Paul wouldn’t be flying to NYC until the following day. A meeting with Paul and me was scheduled for Sunday afternoon at his hotel, and Brad was to join us at some point. This would be 2 days before the concert.
To be continued!