Even Better in Person – Noel “Paul” Stookey

Noel Stookey talks with a fellow concert-goer.

We went back to McCabe’s Friday night to see Noel “Paul” Stookey, formerly of Peter Paul & Mary.  BankCamp and Dulce met us early for dinner.   They stopped by McCabe’s before it closed as a shop and ran into Noel Stookey, who chatted with them and got their names.

We saw him at the restaurant we always go to before McCabe’s concerts, and Hydra flashed him a peace sign, which he flashed back.

We got in line outside the venue about 45 minutes before the doors opened.  We like the front row, and seats aren’t assigned.  While in line we met a man–originally from Indiana–who had a guitar with him.  He’d had it signed by Peter Paul and Mary in something like 1965 and 1969.  He was back to get it signed again and to tell Noel how his music had changed his life.

The concert was terrific.  Lots of new music, and stories of how some of the songs came about.   He’s a really good guitar player on top of everything else.   It was as comfortable as having a friend perform around a song circle.

We happened to be in line behind this fellow to have our CD signed.   You can see how Noel listened to him, and appreciated the connection.  At one point he reached forward and hugged the guitar man.  Then he drew a very cool caricature of himself on the guitar!

Wish I’d thought to ask to take a photo of the guitar, but Hydra was already talking to Noel.   We let him know that the PP&M PBS special Lifelines connected us with a lot of the musicians we still enjoy, including the amazing singer/songwriter Susan Werner.

When BankCamp and Dulce talked to Noel, he remembered their names.  What a generous man.  He said during the concert that he got a giggle out of seeing people standing in line outside the Bitter End when they first headlined, and he still gets a giggle out of it today.

Yay!  It’s great when you meet some one you admire and they are as wonderful as you hope they’ll be.  And I’m really happy for him that he still gets so much out of creating and sharing his music.

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6 thoughts on “Even Better in Person – Noel “Paul” Stookey

  1. Gala says:

    Great story! I love when an artist can maintain his or her sense of gratitude and awe at the whole process, and that lovely generosity of spirit. This reminds me of seeing Johnny Cash at the House of Blues many, many years ago. It was his birthday, and he had all kinds of special guests on stage with him – amazing. When the crowd started spontaneously singing happy birthday to him, he just stood up there, with tears in his eyes (I was right by his feet!), completely, genuinely blown away. An incredible moment that still gives me chills when I think of it.

  2. Hydra says:

    NPS is still writing great music and what a wonderful man to meet.

  3. Sundry says:

    Gala – Wow, that sounds great! It’s always so good when you feel you can give something spontaneous back to a performer… He seemed to really appreciate that the McCabe’s audience loves to hear new music. He could be a singer/songwriter rather than a folk music icon for a night.

    Hydra – Truly!

  4. Ed says:

    It took me a few to get who BankCamp and Dulce were, but it finally dawned on me, it was us! I’m not slow, just pre-occupied. It was Truly a great concert and he is a very warm and wonderful person. And as always, having dinner and seeing a great show with two of our best friends is always a pleasure.

  5. Sundry says:

    I think you deserve a better nickname…when one hits me, I replace it! We love sharing music and conversation with you two, too! So glad we’ve become good friends. I admire you both so much.

  6. Hydra says:

    Well BankCamp you and Dulce struck up such a good experience with NPS I thought the next great folk group was going to be Peter, Paul, Mary, Barb & Ed. Mary being there from some previously recorded and unreleased tracks like John Lennon and the Beatles did a few years back.

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