Wings

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1/1/1971 , England

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Wings

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Biography:

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, Wings had three different lead guitarists and four different drummers. The core of the band, and the only three lifelong members, were Paul McCartney, his wife Linda McCartney and singer/guitarist Denny Laine.

As a founding member of The Moody Blues, Laine was the most recognizable musician in the band who wasn't a former Beatle (or the wife of one). As such, at concerts he often got a solo spot in which he sang songs closely identified with him (most notably the Moody's "Go Now"). In the groups first incarnation, the core trio were joined by drummer Denny Seiwell and, later, lead guitarist Henry McCullough. Seiwell and McCullough, however, departed in anger after the release of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, on the eve of the Lagos recording sessions for Band On The Run. Undaunted, the core trio of McCartney, McCartney and Laine continued on alone, resulting in a triple-platinum, Grammy Award-winning masterpiece - the best album the group ever recorded and, arguably, one of McCartney's finest post-Beatles efforts ever.

Lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch was the next to join the band, joined shortly thereafter by drummer Geoff Britton. Britton, however, left after only a brief stint and was replaced on the skins by Joe English. This edition of the group recorded Venus And Mars and Speed Of Sound, both of which went platinum in the U.S. For the big, ambitious Wings Over the World arena tour (1975-1976), the band added a great horns and percussion section consisting of session veterans Tony Dorsey, Howie Casey, Thaddeus Richard, and Steve Howard - resulting in the Wings Over America triple-disc live album which became the band's fifth consecutive Number 1 album in the U.S.A.

After the world tour and some limited studio work, Wings reverted to its core trio following the departure of McCulloch and English. Working shorthanded (due to Linda's pregnancy as well as the defections), the band released "Mull Of Kintyre", the first single to ever sell over two million copies in the U.K. (earning the first ever "rhodium disc" designation) and the album London Town (which included tracks initially laid down with McCulloch and English). In addition to "Mull Of Kintyre", Denny Laine co-wrote five of the album's songs with Paul McCartney. Later in 1978, session guitarist Laurence Juber (who began playing guitar the week that "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was released by The Beatles) and drummer Steve Holley joined the band, returning it to full touring strength. In the summer of 1979, this edition of the group released Wings last album, Back To The Egg. That winter, they were again joined by the World Tour horns/percussion section for what turned out to be Wings final concert tour.

The brief U.K. tour was to have been but the first leg of another massive worldwide tour which, unfortunately, never materialized. Paul's solo studio work, followed by his January 16, 1980 pot bust in Tokyo and John Lennon's brutal assassination on December 8th of that year, cancelled all future touring and recording plans for the band. With Paul bereaved - and no work - Juber and Holley were forced to abandon ship. Finally, on April 27, 1981, after an abortive attempt at studio work (and arguments over money), it was announced that Denny Laine had also left the band, effectively ending the decade-long, effervescent flight of Wings.

Wings 1 (1971-1973)
Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell, Henry McCullough
Albums : Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway

Wings 2 (1973-1974)
Paul, Linda and Denny
Album : Band On The Run

Wings 3 (1974-1977)
Paul, Linda, Denny, Jimmy McCulloch, Geoff Britton, Joe English
Albums : Venus And Mars, Speed Of Sound
Added for World Tour : Tony Dorsey, Howie Casey, Thaddeus Richard, and Steve Howard
Album : Wings Over America

Wings 4 (1977-1978)
Paul, Linda and Denny
Album : London Town

Wings 5 (1978-1981)
Paul, Linda, Denny, Laurence Juber, Steve Holley
Album : Back To The Egg