Route 66 News

More on the road with Sir Paul

NOTE: Bumped for updates below.

The previous post about Paul McCartney traveling Route 66 with his girlfriend has become long, so here’s a new thread to cover the new developments.

McCartney and gal pal Nancy Shevell spent Wednesday night in Amarillo, Texas, at the Ambassador Hotel, according to a local NBC TV station and the Amarillo Globe-News.

Video is here. You’ll see Rory Schepisi, owner of the Boot Hill Saloon & Grill in nearby Vega, Texas, in the footage. McCartney also passed through Vega.

The Globe News also reported on this charming encounter:

During the overnight stay at the Ambassador Hotel, the singer-songwriter serenaded one particular fan, a 4-month-old boy named after his 1968 hit – “Hey Jude.”

Lori and Don Dunavin, Jude’s parents, tracked down McCartney at the hotel Wednesday night, but the 66-year-old took more interest in Jude than the lifelong Beatles fans.

McCartney pulled out a small harmonica from his pocket and played for Jude.

“Jude just kind of smiled at him while he was playing,” Don said.

Lori said they were hesitant about naming their child Jude for fear of teasing, but the chance encounter is like a seal of approval.

“Now that this has happened, it doesn’t matter if he gets teased,” Lori said. “The man himself played the harmonica for him.”

The Daily Oklahoman has a detailed story about McCartney and Shevell’s dinner in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. A few facts: Sir Paul is a great tipper, he ate a vegetarian meal, was “personable” to the waitstaff and restaurant guests, and stayed overnight at the historic Skirvin Hotel afterward.

And the Daily Mirror in London reported that McCartney and Shevell’s camped out at Bennett Spring State Park in Lebanon, Mo., on Sunday. This makes sense, because they asked for directions to the park during a pit stop at a Lebanon gas station earlier that day.

And Illinois Route 66 roadie Peter Stork forwarded this photo of McCartney in Lebanon with a former co-worker of Stork’s wife.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist and longtime roadie Dave Hoekstra has a follow-up story about McCartney’s kicks on Route 66. He’s welcoming all news tips about the musician’s trip.

I’ll have more about Sir Paul and his adventures as they come trickling in …

UPDATE: Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich fears the Route 66 trip will sabotage more than help McCartney and Shevell’s budding romance. Killjoy.

UPDATE2: KOTV in Tulsa provided a few more details about McCartney’s stop in Oklahoma City, including his visit to the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

UPDATE3: The Quay County Sun reports that McCartney was seen Thursday shopping at an antique store in Tucumcari, N.M., and getting food to-go at the town’s venerable Del’s Restaurant.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra cranked out three more stories Friday, getting interesting nuggets of information along the way. One was about McCartney’s stay in Amarillo; the couple stayed in the Ambassador Hotel’s V.I.P. “Cowboy Room” and inquired about seeing the nearby Cadillac Ranch. Another was about Don Dunivan’s encounter with Sir Paul. The third story was about suggested road tunes for the former Beatle.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we go a few days without hearing anything about Paul and Nancy. The likeliest destinations are Santa Fe, which is already a hangout for many celebrities, or Albuquerque, a big town where it’s easier to vanish into the crowd.

UPDATE4: One of the fellows who met McCartney at the gas station in Springfield, Ill., sheepishly admitted he excitedly “bum-rushed” the ex-Beatle. He’s a video of the interview.

British sources are speculating that McCartney is ready to marry Nancy Shevell.

The couple, who were first linked romantically last autumn, have spent the last week on a road trip along the historic Route 66 across the US and a source told the News of the World that the time they’ve spent together recently has convinced Paul he wants to be with her in the long term.

The source explained: “They’ve been with each other 24/7 – a perfect way to see if they’re suitable for marriage. Paul’s not about to rush into anything, but he’s happier than he’s been for years. They’ve got so much in common.

“Paul’s utterly enchanted with Nancy and he’s already rolling the idea of marriage around in his head. He adores everything about her. He thinks she’s ‘The One’.”

Also, this site is a treasure trove of information on McCartney’s Route 66 trip.

UPDATE5: The Daily Mail reportedly has a photo of Paul and Nancy in Santa Fe, N.M.

UPDATE6: The Associated Press reports seeing McCartney and Shevell in Gallup, N.M., on Saturday.

[They] stopped in Gallup on Saturday to take in dances at the 87th Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial.

Dario Chioda was in the announcer’s booth at ceremonial when he learned McCartney was in the audience.

But he says McCartney motioned that he wanted to keep his visit quiet.

UPDATE7: A commenter at the Abbeyrd’s Beatles page reports that the couple was seen at Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday night.

They ate at Pa To a Thai Restaurant located in the hotel. It was closed down for them and they ate alone with the dining room lights out. Paul’s back was to the window. They apparently stayed at the hotel as their Bronco was parked in the hotel parking lot all night.

UPDATE8: Oklahoma Route 66 expert Jim Ross wrote today:

In case anybody is interested, my neighbor Toby Thompson told me today that he was cleaning up the culvert in front of his property last Tuesday afternoon when a couple in a Ford Bronco stopped to ask him if the road here was old 66. Toby said it took him a few seconds before he realized who he was talking to. He didn’t have a pen, camera, or phone on him, so he simply gave McCartney the information, said he was honored to meet him, and away they went.

Ross lives on a very old alignment of Route 66, near Arcadia, Okla. So it looks like McCartney and Shevell were exploring at least parts of the old road in earnest.

UPDATE9: Dave Hoekstra at the Chicago Sun-Times has a lot more detail about McCartney’s visit to Gallup and the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial.

UPDATE10: The Daily Mail in London said that McCartney and Shevell arrived in London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, reportedly in good spirits after their Route 66 trip.

UPDATE11: According to the Daily Mirror in London, McCartney cut the Route 66 trip short because one of his daughters gave birth, and the couple decided to fly back to London to see the baby.

A source close to Macca said yesterday: “Paul is over the moon and couldn’t wait to jump on a plane.

“It’s a very personal thing meeting a new grandchild for the first time, but he loves Nancy so much that he wanted her to be there.

“He is only expected to be here a few days to catch up with the family before he flies back to the US with Nancy.”

There’s no word on whether or when McCartney and Shevell will resume their Route 66 trip. Reports had them at least as far west as Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday night before arriving in London on Wednesday.

UPDATE 9/10/08: Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker says McCartney will probably marry Shevell, and lays out the ample evidence of why.


8 thoughts on “More on the road with Sir Paul

  1. Kirk Liefer

    I don’t know who Stork is, but that is my husband with McCartney in Lebanon, MO. We were just stopping there for potty break for our six year old daughter on our way to Branson. The reason McCartney is holding up his finger, is that he is trying to get our son’s Karson’s attention to look at the camera. We were quite awe struck and didn’t get out our digital camera. This is just a cell phone shot.

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