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Paul Merrion

Paul Merrion

Senior correspondent | White House Watch | Class of 1974

The upside of Paul Merrion’s part-time college job — Assembly Hall security guard? “I worked rock concerts."

The downside? “I was wearing the dorky navy Assembly Hall blazer while my classmates were passing joints,” says the now senior correspondent for White House Watch, who has a songbook full of memories from those days in the early ‘70s.

“I was on the floor for the Grateful Dead, which had the best sound system I ever heard. It was so mellow, even the cop next to me calmly passed a joint along — without taking a hit,” he said. “I remember my supervisor — a nice, older guy named Charlie — had to check sound levels with a decibel meter during rock concerts. When Yes played, he was taking a reading down by the stage and his ears started to bleed, it was so loud.

“I was there for the sound check when Paul Simon (right) played. I was on the floor talking to a friend about what a huge fan I was, how I had learned to play all his songs on the guitar, when Simon suddenly stopped singing, pointed at me and said, ‘You: Shut up.’ Pretty mortifying.”