Консерватория/ Conservatory/St.Petersburg/22 MayHardly knew the place
''In the Sixties, we''d heard The Beatles were massively popular in the Soviet Union, and that there were Levis and Beatles records on the black market. We were massively touched, because when we were kids, with the whole idea of the Iron Curtain and stuff, it just seemed like a mystical land of intrigue. We were quite honoured that they knew us and apparently loved us.
Finally to go there and get officials coming up to me saying, ''We learned English from your songs_ "You say yes! I say no!_ Hello!_ Goodbye!"'' - I couldn''t believe it. Another one would come up and go ''When I find myself in time of trouble_ Mother Mary come to me.'' I mean, bloody hell! These guys were, 50, 60 years old, and one of them was the Russian Defence Minister, who said to me ''When I bought "Love Me Do..." - and I was just went ''Woaahhh!''
(above and all through the site, the extracts from Paul McCartney''s interview published in the Observer/14 December/2003)
Пол и Хизер прилетают на самолете в аэропорт "Пулково" и размещаются в "Гранд Отеле Европа". После чего отправляются в Консерваторию напротив Мариинского Театра для вручения Полу звания почетного профессора.Макка сильно опоздал, получил, говорил по-русски почти без акцента и уехал в Эрмтаж.
The idea to invite Paul McCartney to St.Petersburg a day before his first ever concert in Russia belonged to Anthea Eno, the founder of the Menshikov Foundation charity in St.Petersburg. And God bless you, Anthea!
The Moscow tour organisers did all possible to talk Paul out from landing in St.Petersburg as his first stop in Russia.
14:30 Passengers of a private flight set their feet on the Russian soil. There were 21 people in the group that arrived with Paul and Heather.
From Pulkovo airport, they drove off for the Grand Hotel Europe.Paul''s driver was Vasily Konovalov.
At the Grand Hotel, Paul and Heather were staying in suite 152 (Rossi Appartment).
The next stop was the St.Petersburg Conservatory (across the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre) where Paul was awarded a honorary Professorship (for the first ever foreigner).
Paul addressed the audience in good Russian with just a slight accent.
-Ya rat byt'' sdes.(Glad to be here)
-Eta dlya minya bolshaya chest''(It''s a great honour for me.)
-SpasEEba! (Thank you!)
Then Paul was greeted by the Conservatory Curator, Sergei Roldugin and the President of Russia Representative to the North-West Region, Valentina Matvienko.
After the Conservatory, Paul and Heather departed for a private tour of the Hermitage Museum,but were delayed by a huge traffic jam.