Back when The Simpsons was still good, the season two episode “Brush With Greatness” dealt with The Beatles and the mounds upon mounds of fan mail they received. In said episode, Marge Simpson finally received a response to a fan letter she had written Ringo Starr nearly 30 years prior, inspiring her take up painting once again. (Seriously, her portraits of the least popular Beatle made him look almost dashing.) Now, it’s a bit of life imitating art as Paul McCartney has responded to two fans’ message after over 50 years.
As the BBC points out, Barbara Bezant and Lyn Phillips recorded their message on reel-to-reel after seeing the band perform at the Lewisham Odeon in December 1963. Among other things, the message said: “This dream is just to come round the back and see you, but I don’t suppose that’ll ever happen. But we can always live in hope, can’t we?” The girls then posted the tape to the walls of Finsbury Park Astoria, where the band were due to play next.
Years later, the tape resurfaced at a local flea market in Great Yarmouth, where it was bought by local historian David McDermott. “It was like sitting in a bubble and being there when these two girls were making this tape,” he told the BBC. “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and it made me wonder if these two were still with us.” So, McDermitt took it to the BBC magazine program The One Show, who reunited the women during a visit to The Beatles Story exhibition in Liverpool, where they were presented with McCartney’s letter.
It read simply:
“Hi Linda and Barbara, thanks very much for you lovely tape. It finally got through, better late than never. Great to hear that you found each other after all these years. Keep enjoying the music, love Paul.”
While the letter left her “amazed,” Bezant added, “It all seems a bit of a dream now but the great thing is I’ve been reunited with a school friend and our little tape didn’t go unnoticed after all. But my family will disown me when they hear the tape because it’s rather embarrassing.”
Watch a replay of the episode at BBC’s official website. Below, watch a clip for the “Brush with Greatness” episode: