Today is May Pang’s birthday and I thought that warranted a special announcement here.
I consider May Pang a very special friend to the podcast/website. Over the five years (our birthday is next Friday) that this show has existed, I’ve had the pleasure of talking to some extraordinary Beatle related people. Denny Seiwell was a masterful musician, and Rod Davis (a Quarrymen) has been there from the start. I haven’t had the pleasure of talking to Ringo or Paul (I have my hopes), but the closest thing to that was an actual Beatle. I hung out backstage with Pete Best himself. All very unforgettable experiences. But May Pang will always be special. May Pang was the first.
Before the podcast was on iTunes, before the website was up and running, I was just a little campus radio show growing my legs. I was 18 turning 19 and in my first year at “Florida Atlantic University”. I was devouring every Beatle book I could read and in 2004 (thanks to Beatle freak Lisa) I was able to borrow a copy of the must sought after “Loving John”, which is May’s first book. I read the book as often as I could, even sneaking it during some college classes.
I ventured onto the internet to check out May’s website and decided to shoot off an e-mail asking for an interview on the show. Being 18 years old and producing a campus radio show which only had a few episodes out, I figured it would be a tough sell. She agreed to do it which was a big deal for me.
The road from agreeing to the do the interview and having the interview actually get done was a long one. At one point we spoke on the phone for a pre-interview arrangement and it was for about an hour. I was in seventh heaven because as a Beatles fan she was like a celebrity to me. It was months later (Feb 2005) when we actually got it done. You can here the interview in all it’s glory by clicking here. You can hear my nervousness at the beginning. I tried to make the interview different by asking her something different than all the same questions which have answers that can be found in her book.
Over the years we kept in touch through casual e-mails. We discussed little things like her brief reunion with Yoko a few years ago and the controversial “Walls and Bridges” remasters. My friend Maddy found out meeting her at a Beatles convention in Canada. I sent Maddy an extra copy of “Loving John” to get signed as a gift. Maddy and May apparently discussed my “cookyness”.
Then earlier this year I made the trip to Georgia to see May and Nancy Andrews photo exhibit. I got to meet May in person and she was wonderful. She spent hours at the reception speaking with all the fans answering all the questions she could. It was a blast. Nancy Andrews was great too, but that is another post for another time.
May doesn’t always get the credit in Beatles history she deserves, but she carries herself with dignity. She’s always willing to talk to Beatles fans and answer questions, including this fan. That first interview with her was our first step from being a campus radio show to becoming what we are now. Happy Birthday May, I hope it’s awesome.