On the road with Paul McCartney (8/20/00): "Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There" by Jorie B. Gracen is a charming new book that chronicles the many photos Gracen has taken of Paul through the years in her work as a professional photographer.

Many come from McCartney concerts from 1975 through 1993, though some pics of several other appearances, including last year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, are included. On stage, Gracen's pictures show that Paul has never lost the bubbly Beatle personality we've known since the '60s. Off stage, few are posed, since Paul seems to enjoy talking or joking with photographers when doing photo sessions. Several of the pics also include Paul's late wife, Linda.

But "Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There" is not just a photo book. To supplement the photos, Gracen, herself a Paul fan, solicited fan stories of McCartney concerts and offstage encounters, including a few press conference transcripts.

It was over 35 years ago that many of us (Americans, that is) first met Paul McCartney, thanks to "The Ed Sullivan Show." As "Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There" clearly shows, fans still love him -- yeah, yeah yeah!

Here's a mini-interview with Jorie we conducted via email:

Q: What's it's like to photograph Paul?

A: "Paul is generally cooperative with photographers when it is a press event. He tends to notice me, (a familiar face) and makes sure to position himself in front of me at press events. He posed for me on the steps of Abbey Road studios May 2, 1997. As far as I know, he's never done that for any other photographer."

Q:Does Paul have a favorite photo that you've taken of him?

A:"I think Paul's favorite photo of mine is from the "Tripping the Live Fantastic" album. He also loved the photo that captured him at the Royal Albert Hall (Oct 14, 1997 Standing Stone Premiere) saying to Linda sitting in the audience, "I love YOU!" He did the same thing to me when I saw him in NY a month after I handed him that photo. It was his way of saying, 'Thanks!' "

Q:How abour your favorite McCartney moment?

A:"My favorite concert memory has to be when I had a fourth row seat at Wembley Arena, January 23, 1990. I was wearing an official Liverpool football jersey (soccer). It caught Paul's attention and he had me stand up. I was totally embarrassed because everyone turned around to look at me like I was Paul's long lost cousin. He held out his arms to me and patted his heart and mouthed, "Liverpool." It was quite a touching moment."

Note: Jorie Gracen will be appearing at Los Angeles Beatlefest in November. You can see some pics at her website She also has an official website for the book. (We thank Jorie Gracen for taking the time for the interview.)
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