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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 17:12 GMT
Maccamania keeps the fans queuing
By Greig Watson
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Sir Paul McCartney still inspires devotion worthy of Beatlemania, judging by fans at a rare public appearance.

The excitement caused tears, laughter and a little hysteria among those who queued for two nights on pavements outside a London record store.

Rosemary Preston and her Sir Paul McCartney tattoo
Rosemary Preston has met Sir Paul on several occasions

Sir Paul was promoting his new classical album Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart).

In the light of his recent divorce dramas, Sir Paul declined to meet with the press, posing only for photographs as he signed autographs.

Fan Selena San Miguel, 20, studying in London but originally from Texas, was almost overcome by the moment.

"My mouth was moving but nothing seemed to be coming out - in the end I managed to say 'Texas loves you'.

"I've listened to the Beatles since I was a baby, my parents are huge fans so when they heard Paul McCartney was in town they told me I had better get my ass over here."

Bec Walker, 20, from Manchester, was still shaking from the experience.

Sir Paul McCartney
I gave him a CD I have been making as an homage to him
Frank Bayjens
"I was so excited I wasn't sure I could go through with it, I only just about managed to say anything," he said.

"This has just meant so much to me, I can barely put it into words, I can barely speak. I have just been sat on the pavement crying my eyes out.

"I only got 20 seconds with him but to be that close was unreal - he was a quarter of the Beatles and I love his solo music.

"Everything about him just inspires me - I became a vegetarian because of him. I would have waited all year for this."

Frank Bayjens, 51, from the Netherlands, had flown in the day before to meet his idol.

"He is one of the most important people in my life," he said.

"I have been a fan for 40 years, I saw the Plastic Ono band in 1969 in London but I never met John so it was great to meet Paul at last.

"I gave him a CD I have been making as an homage to him and maybe he will listen to it when he has a quiet moment and maybe let me know what he thinks about it."

Bec Walker with his signed CD
The event left Bec Walker overflowing with emotion
He added: "I haven't heard the new album yet, for me the pop music is the main thing."

Angela Ballard, 50, from Stratford-upon-Avon, said: "I have seen every UK tour since 1973 but this is the first time I have met him.

"I wanted to come today because I wanted to show my support in connection with the divorce.

"It's very sad it went wrong and he got it so wrong - what a waste!"

She admitted that the wait had been very hard work: "I have never done something like this before. It was very uncomfortable and very cold but I felt I had to come."

Rosemary Preston, 54, from Woolwich, is a veteran: "I have met him several times before and he is always very nice.

"The last time was in Liverpool and I asked to sign my arm, as I was raising money for charity, and I was so pleased with it I had it tattooed on.

"But sleeping on cold streets is too much for someone my age. I think this will be my last time."




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