Kecia Howell of Lakeland lived a Beatlemaniac’s dream Monday night: Dressed in a shiny, blue Sgt. Pepper costume she made herself, she got to share the mic and a smooch with Paul McCartney onstage at the Amelie Arena in Tampa.
Howell, a veterinarian who founded Polk County Animal Hospital on U.S. 98 N., was selected from audience members at the sold-out show to share the stage, singing and dancing along to “Get Back” along with Sir Paul and his four-piece band.
When Howell and her teen-age son, Noah Horowitz, were escorted onstage, McCartney seemed taken aback by her jacket, a dead ringer for the Victorian-era band uniform he wore on the “Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band” cover, released 50 years ago last month.
“Mrs. Sgt. Pepper!” he exclaimed.
Howell told McCartney and the other 17,000 people in the audience she spent about a month working at nights making the jacket.
A Baby Boomer and long-time Beatles fan, Howell was seated in the front row with her son when McCartney crew members spotted her with her Pepper jacket.
The front-row ticket let her view the sound check before the show. McCartney warmed up with “Drive My Car,” “Lady Madonna,” “All My Loving,” “Honey Don’t,” “Ram On,” and more, she said on Facebook.
“It all feels like a dream,” Howell told TV reporters gathered at her veterinary office this morning. “I still can’t believe it. I will never forget it as long as I live.”
LkldNow is hoping to hear from Howell later today to find out what it was like to meet a Beatle and whether she’ll ever dance with another since she danced onstage with Paul.
Video: Kecia Howell and son sing with Paul McCartney