Paul and Linda were enjoying New York City in the spring / almost summer of 1974. They stayed at the Stanhope Hotel on Fifth Avenue for several days before making the trip to Nashville to do some recording (Junior’s Farm and Sally G. both came out of those sessions). As always, we got the word through our network of “assistants” that P&L were in town, so it wasn’t unusual for us to “pop up” at the hotel. He knew us by sight, so as he came in and out, he’d stop to say hi and share a few minutes with us.
By now I had almost completely shaken off the jitters I experienced the very first time I took his picture, silently hysterical inside as I looked through the viewfinder. He had been very patient with me, but because I was shaking just a little (a lot), the result was blurry. These days, I could more confidently snap away (most of the time) - but only after asking permission. We ALWAYS asked permission before taking any photographs, and then we usually only took one or two.
Once he gave me the thumbs up (literally), I did my thing and began taking a few snaps. Paul and Linda continued to talk with us, and I continued to shoot. I guess I was feeling a little brave, ‘cos who wants to stop at one or two pictures when three or four seem doable? This was going to be a special day.
We obediently lined up for our group shot, and as Linda raised my camera to her face, Paul immediately ran around behind us and got in the picture. We were not prepared for this mischievous behavior, nor were we prepared for the fact that as he stood with his arms around us holding the shoulders of the two on the ends (a friend nicknamed Woody on one side, Evy on the other), he started to shake their shoulders and bend his knees into ours. The result was that he forced our knees to buckle, and we began to bump into each other as we tried to stand straight. This kind of thing is something your big brother does to you when you’re ten and he’s twelve, and he wants to annoy you at the family function. Paul had his arms around all four of us holding us in place, then kept bending and straightening his knees behind us, up and down.
None of us thought that Linda was very pleased by this, she seemed impatient more than anything else. On the other hand, we would still be standing there today if it were possible. We were having the time of our lives!! His actions were just this side of safe, but he knew he was close to crossing that dangerous, very slightly sexual, line. Mind you, in a perfect world, we would gladly have skipped with him right across that line had Linda not been watching the whole thing unfold.
Linda made the move to hand my camera back over, but I couldn’t leave our lineup because Paul still had his arms around all of us and wasn’t letting go. He told Linda to take one more, just in case the first one didn’t come out. Wait a minute - in case the first one didn’t come out?? Whhaaa?? I think I heard somewhere that your wife is a pretty good photographer, but you think it might not come out? On a bright cloudless, sunny day?? Really??? Clearly, he was enjoying all of this a little TOO much, but because we had one more chance, the five of us tried to compose ourselves long enough to take a good photo.
That's all for now......Thanks for reading, see ya next time!