Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back to the streets

I went on a couple of [photo] feature hunts with Tracie Faust back in the old days of Siloam, but I haven't mustered the courage to make it out in Columbia. Until last weekend.

This time it was a scruffy guy playing guitar outside of a nice-looking house, so I stopped my car and got out to ask him if I could take some pictures. Donald, 52, lives south of Columbia with a fairly well-to-do family in exchange for odd jobs and landscaping care. He's been living with them for about five years, he said. He dropped out of school when he was a young boy because the other kids made fun of him for being poor.

Years later, he got fired up by the false rumors in the 1970s that Paul McCartney was dead. He dialed a number that he said rang through to McCartney's production company in London. (He claimed he memorized the number and gave it to me in a string--(01) 144 1439 6621--but something feels off to me about that, unless telephone number formats have changed a lot since the 70s.)

Eventually, he got on the line with McCartney himself, and he claimed that he gave the former Beatle a song that he wrote. He was also convinced that the line 'Phil and Don' in McCartney's "Let 'Em In" is a reference to him despite also being widely linked to the Everly Brothers.

Sketchy stories aside, he was an interesting guy.

1 comment:

Jarred D. said...

That phone number is sketchy considering 01 it the country code for the United States. Pretty sure the production company was British but I could be wrong.