Meeting Mr Wilson

Written By: LWDadmin

Meeting Mr Wilson 2002 ‘This article was originally printed in the ‘Stomp’ 2002′

Pet Sounds Tour Poster 2002
Mark London’s Great Pet Sounds Tour Poster 2002

So the story begins most unexpectedly with the delivery of a small brown, type written envelope…. little did I know that the letter enclosed would be so wonderful…? Roy & Mike of the Stomp had written to me wondering if I would consider!? Presenting Melinda Wilson with a bouquet of flowers. This was take to take place on the night of Brian’s first London show….. Needless to say, as I read & re-read the letter I was trembling! I Called Mike up that evening… he said they had been wondering who they could ask, and remembered that I had been ill in ’88 (on what would have been, my first convention) They thought that the opportunity to do this might make up for missing Brian all those years ago…..
The next challenge, was wondering who to take with me… they wanted it to be someone who had not met Brian before, which was tricky, then I remembered a chap called Harvey who I had received a couple e-mails from regarding articles in the press…checked with Roy first, so as not to get his hopes up. Then on Friday morning, e-mailed Harvey. John Porteous had already mentioned to Harvey that I had been asked to do this… Harvey was thrilled… & accepted….
I was totally fraught, as the first notion was to present the flowers on the stage just after the interval…. which merely the thought of made me shudder, but thankfully it was then decided to do it back stage after the gig. So, made all the arrangements, didn’t tell anyone else, as didn’t want to jeopardise anything… & on Sunday once I had finished work, headed off to London, listening to Pet Sounds…
We arrived at the Royal Festival Hall at 5ish, the bar area already had some people milling about, donned in their beach boy t-shirts… went & got a much needed pint, as the realisation of what was ahead of me was hitting in! John called, and said to turn round, he was the other side of the room waving at me, he suggested I get to the ticket booth ASAP as they had a few tickets back for that night… I had booked my tickets for the Tuesday night & had been unable to get any for Sunday,
I was in luck. Managed to get, what I think must have had the last two tickets, located on the penultimate row… but still had a perfect view. Met up with Mike & Roy by the merchandise stand, they presented me with my back stage pass! we planned where to meet… & discussed how cool it all

Brian Wilson Autograph
Brian Wilson Autograph

The concert was AMAZING I was close to tears on many occasions… couldn’t believe after all these years of total obsession that I was actually to be found in the same room as Brian.!! The band were great, I loved the choice of songs, hearing Brian sing forever was lovely, & very poignant, of course the whole Pet sounds, I thought he sounded great, especially on ‘Don’t Talk’, beautiful!
At the same time though, I was starting to feel most concerned, realising I was going to be in the presence of the man that created all this fantastic music!….. Met up with Harvey in the intermission, we had never met before, so that was fun! Gave him his backstage pass, and as per Mike’s advice, said to make his way down to the stage once the concert was over.
So now for the second half of the show & Pet Sounds…I was getting more & more nervous…. shacking in fact… when Brian sang Love & Mercy I was in a right state. Once the concert ended, I went against the crowd & stumbled in a daze down to the front of the stage, walking past Melinda & David Leaf, all most surreal…. Harvey was there & Roy + several other people…. We were then told to go back up to the 5th floor, to the Meet & Greet room, lots of people congregated on the steps, Kingsley Abbott. Tony Rivers, John Porteous, Roy & Mike & then Harvey & me, wondering what on earth we had done in a previous life to deserve all this!! Eventually made our way up to the room, all the band were there, just chatting & laughing… then we saw Brian sitting at a table, looking a tad bewildered by all of us…

Pet Sounds Tour back stage
Pet Sounds Tour back stage

When I saw him, for some reason all the nerves I had felt disappeared. Mike suggested that we go quickly whilst we had the chance… I had brought along the picture of Brian taken in ’88 where he is praying, for him to sign, as have always loved that one… he was just about to sign over his face!! So I said in a jokey way…. Brian, please don’t sign your face it’s a lovely picture… he just looked up at me & said ‘oh’ in a kind of, why would she like this picture tone & signed his arm instead!!!! I shook his hand & thanked him very much & then stumbled off in a total state of shock…. Took some pictures but had a little trouble remembering how my camera worked.. I guess they call it shock! Harvey got his Caroline No song sheet signed & was a very happy bunny, Then the editor of the Mojo magazine joined Brian behind his little table, & made the announcement that they were presenting him with their first ever ‘respect’ award! Brain looked taken aback, and touched as the chap read out his speech, so that was a lovely surprise, (look forward to my next issue of Mojo to read about the event as someone who was there for a change). Lots of people were taking pictures & Brian suddenly said ‘ all these people taking pictures of me’ as if it was unusual.
I then chatted with various people in the room. John Porteous informed David Leaf that I had my driving test the next day & David wished me luck!! Which was very surreal! (I passed by the way) then Mike & Roy motioned for us to go behind the screen & hand Melinda her flowers. She was very nice, kept making sure Roy had got all that he needed autograph wise. A lovely lady, I handed her the flowers, Roy read out his speech & then Brian’s manager

Royal Festival Hall Pet Sounds
Royal Festival Hall Pet Sounds 2002

suggested to her that Brian should go as “he had four more days of this” so that was our job done. We mingled once again, chatted & had pics taken with Darian, I made sure I got a pic of Kingsley Abbott & me to put with my Pet Sounds book…. Then after a chat with Mike, Roy & John, thought it best to think about getting the train home in preparation for the next day my driving test! Which I had pretty much forgotten about.

All that can be said is….. THANK YOU SO MUCH Mike & Roy… it was a dream come true…. I will treasure the memory always…….. can’t thank you enough.

© Lucy Hall