Wings

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Wings

Born

1/1/1971, England

Birth Name

Wings

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Also Known As

Paul McCartney & Wings
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Biography

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Although Wings was the only actual "permanent" group that any of the former Beatles ever formed, the band itself was far from permanent. In fact, Wings was noted for its perennial personnel changes nearly as much as its impressive and consistent chart success. In its decade of existence,…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • "Live and Let Die", the main theme of the 1973 James Bond film, was the first Bond theme to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Written by Paul and Linda, and produced and arranged by George Martin, it was the last McCartney single on Apple Records credited only to "Wings".

    • The basic tracks for the multi-platinum album "Band On The Run" were initially recorded in Lagos, Nigeria at EMI's primitive, out-of-date local studio.

    • In 1979, ""Rockestra Theme", from the Wings album "Back To The Egg", won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Once again, the award was credited to Paul McCartney & Wings.

    • In 1974, Paul McCartney & Wings were awarded a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus for the album Band On The Run.

    • "Mull of Kintyre" (1977), an ode to the Scottish coastal region McCartney called home in the early 1970s, became a massive international hit. It dominated the charts in Britain (where it stayed #1 for 7 weeks), Australia and many other countries, ultimately becoming one of the biggest selling U.K. singles of all time.

    • The band's name is said to have come to Paul as he was praying in the hospital while his wife Linda was giving birth to their second child together. McCartney recalled in the film Wingspan that the birth of Stella was "a bit of a drama" as there were complications and both Linda and Stella almost died. As he waited outside the operating room, Paul prayed fervently that she be born "on the wings of an angel". Later, he decided to name his new band Wings.

    • In February of 1972, Wings released a single called "Give Ireland Back To The Irish" - a response to the violent events of Bloody Sunday. The song was banned by the BBC for its political content and only mentioned in Radio 1 pop chart rundowns as "a record by Wings". In spite of its limited airplay, the single reached #16 in the U. K., as well as #1 in both Spain and, of course, The Republic of Ireland.

    • All 23 singles credited to Wings reached the U.S. Top 40 - and one single ("Junior's Farm/Sally G") was a double-sided Top 40 hit.

    • In an attempt to capture the spontaneity of the live performance style popularized by Bob Dylan, five of the eight songs on Wild Life were first takes by the band.

    • The album Wild Life, released December 7, 1971, was the first project to credit Wings as the artist.

  • Quotes

    • Paul McCartney: (on writing "Picasso's Last Words" at the behest of Dustin Hoffman) I happened to have my guitar with me; I'd brought it around, and I said, yeah, sure. I strummed a couple of chords I knew I couldn't go wrong on and started singing, "Drink to me, drink to my health," and he leaps out of his chair and says, "Annie! Annie!" That's his wife. He says, "Annie! Annie! The most incredible thing! He's doing it! He's writing it! It's coming out!" He's leaping up and down, just like in the films, you know. And I'm knocked out because he's so appreciative. I was writing the tune there, and he was well-chuffed.

    • Paul McCartney: (on recording in Africa) Lately we've gone to two different places to record, just for the fun of it. We've been to Lagos and to Paris, and in both of the places they say, "Why did you come here? You've got much better studios in England or America, you must be daft!" And we say, "Well, it's just for the fun, it's just to come somewhere different for a different type of turn-on, that's all." They never really seem to be able to understand it. I think old Fela, when he found us in Lagos, thought, "Hello, why have they come to Lagos?" And the only reason he could think of was that we must be stealing black music, black African music, the Lagos sound; we'd come down there to pick it up. So I said, "Do us a favor, we do okay as it is; we're not pinching your music."

    • Paul McCartney: These stories grow so madly, you know, from just one little line. There weren't any big hatchet jobs. Denny Seiwell left of his own accord. I'm sure I could go through the whole line-up. It's a bit boring really, and a bit of a yawn. With the last Wings line-up we parted in a friendly way. Everyone was a bit disappointed and I was a bit sad because that was it...because it was a bit of a burden. It's like a marriage you've got to keep up. It becomes a very real thing.

    • Paul McCartney: (on "Hi, Hi, Hi" being banned by The BBC) I thought the "Hi, Hi, Hi" thing could easily be taken as a natural high, could be taken as booze high and everything. It doesn't have to be drugs, you know, so I'd kind of get away with it. Well, the first thing they saw was drugs, so I didn't get away with that, and then I just had some line "Lie on the bed and get ready for my polygon." The daft thing about all of that was our publishing company, Northern Songs, owned by Lew Grade, got the lyrics wrong and sent them round to the radio station and it said, "Get ready for my body gun," which is far more suggestive than anything I put. "Get ready for my polygon," watch out baby. I mean it was suggestive, but abstract suggestive, which I thought I'd get away with. Bloody company goes round and makes it much more specific by putting "body gun." Better words, almost.

    • Paul McCartney: (on Wings first album, "Wild Life") I must say you have to like me to like the record. I mean, if it's just taken cold, I think it wasn't that brilliant as a recording. We did it in about two weeks, the whole thing. And it had been done on that kind of a buzz we'd been hearing about how Dylan had come in and done everything in one take. I think in fact often we never gave the engineer a chance to even set up a balance. There's a couple of real big songs on there, that only freaks or connoisseurs know.

    • Paul McCartney: (on Wings first tour) I was pretty scared on the Europe tour. That was a bit more of a big deal, here he is, ladies and gentlemen, sold all the tickets out ... I had to go on with a band I really didn't know much. We decided not to do any Beatle material, which was a killer, of course, because it meant we had to do an hour of other material, and we didn't have it, then. I didn't have something like "My Love" that was sort of mine. I felt like everyone wanted Beatles stuff, so I was pretty nervous on that.

    • Paul McCartney: Early on, say with Wings, it was a necessity to not sound like The Beatles. I didn't want to write another "Eleanor Rigby".

    • Paul McCartney: I used to think that all my Wings stuff was second-rate stuff, but I began to meet younger kids, not kids from my Beatle generation, who would say, We really love this song.

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