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Paul McCartney and Wings’ TV special from 1973
05:06 pm

Pop Culture

Paul McCartney

It’s been a good week to be Paul McCartney. His hook-up with former members of Nirvana re-kindled his rock ‘n’ roll cred in the minds of many people, young and old, who had written him off as an irrelevant old fart. Suddenly we were re-meeting the Beatle all over again and I think he may have been doing the same.  

Here’s some McCartney history from 40 years ago: Broadcast in the US April 16th, 1973 on ABC and a month later on May 10th on the BBC, the “James Paul McCartney” television special is a mostly fun mix of live music, variety show shtick and man-on-the street, cinema verite goofiness (Liverpool pub scene).

Featuring the original Wings line-up:

Paul McCartney – vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar
Linda McCartney – vocals, keyboards
Denny Laine – vocals, guitar, bass, piano
Henry McCullough – guitar, vocals
Denny Seiwell – drums, percussion

Big Barn Bed, Medley: Blackbird / Bluebird / Michelle / Heart Of The Country, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Little Woman Love / C-Moon, My Love, Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey, Gotta Sing Gotta Dance, Live And Let Die, Beatles Medley, The Mess, Maybe I’m Amazed, Long Tall Sally, At The End Of Another Day, Yesterday, Hi Hi Hi

Some bits are silly, some are sublime. Overall, if you’re a fan, you’ll probably dig it. Always the showman, here’s Paul McCartney and Wings (with Linda looking like David Bowie):

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Happy birthday, Paul McCartney!
11:43 am


Paul McCartney
James Bond

Macca turns 70 today.

There are only two Beatles left, celebrate them while you still can.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The William S. Burroughs/Beatles Connection

Below, from One Hand Clapping, Wings perform an absolutely astonishing “Live and Let Die” in rehearsal, during the Red Rose Speedway recording sessions:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Call out the instigators: Thunderclap Newman, one-hit wonders

Although their passionate, anthemic ode to flower power, “Something in the Air” has been used countless times in films and television commercials, Thunderclap Newman, the group behind this classic song remain unfairly obscure.

Thunderclap Newman were formed in early 1969 when Pete Townshend and Who producer Kit Lambert brought together fifteen-year-old guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and jazz pianist Andy “Thunderclap” Newman to form a three-piece group to play the songs of former Who roadie (and Townshend’s sometime chauffeur) John “Speedy” Keen. Townshend originally planned to work with each of the musicians separately, but since he was concurrently working on his rock opera Tommy at the time, Lambert suggested that a group be formed instead. Newman, Keen and McCullough all met for the first time at the inaugural recording session for “Something in the Air” at Townshend’s home studio. Townshend produced the single and played bass guitar under the pseudonym “Bijou Drains.”

“Something In The Air” was written by Keen for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian film with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. The original title was “Revolution” but that had to be changed due to the Beatles’s song of that same name. By the end of 1969 it was a gold record.

The group recorded an album, Hollywood Dream, again with Townshend in the producer’s chair. It’s a stone classic, there’s not a single weak song on it, but since the band never really had anything in common with one another, after a year of touring Europe supporting Deep Purple and Leon Russell, they just broke up.

Jimmy McCulloch went on to play guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings. His debut with Wings was “Junior’s Farm,” a great showcase for his talents. In concert with Wings, McCulloch would switch to bass when Macca sat down at the piano or played an acoustic guitar. He left Wings in 1977 (good timing!) to play with a reformed version of the Small Faces. McCulloch died of heart failure caused by a heroin overdose in 1979, apparently seated upright in a chair (“America’s Funnyman,” Neil Hamburger told me this, btw. He would know).

“Speedy” Keen had one more hit single, “Y’know Wot I Mean?” and went on to work as a producer with Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers on L.A.M.F. in 1977 (their only studio album) and Motörhead’s debut album before leaving the music industry. He died in 2002. Andy Newman formed a new version of Thunderclap Newman in 2010 and plays Hollywood Dream from start to finish in his set.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
When Paul McCartney Met Jack Kirby

This is the moment Paul McCartney met comic book hero Jacky Kirby in 1975. It was at the Forum, Los Angeles, where McCartney and his band Wings, were booked to play three concerts. This was Macca’s first time back in LA since touring with The Beatles. Wings had just released Venus and Mars, which contained the track “Magneto and Titanium Man”, a song inspired by Marvel’s X-Men created by Kirby and Stan Lee. The pair met backstage at the Forum, where Jack presented Macca with a line drawing:

Then around the corner came Paul. “‘Ello Jack, nice to meet you.” Jack gave Paul and Linda the drawing which they thought was “smashing.” Paul thanked Jack for keeping him from going bonkers while they were recording the album in Jamaica. It seems that there was very little to do there, and they needed to keep their kids entertained. Luckily, there was a store that sold comics, so Paul would go and pick up all the latest. One night the song “Magneto and Titanium Man” popped into his head. The thing about Jack was that within a few minutes you felt as if you were best friends, so Paul too was soon laughing it up with Jack as if he had known him for years.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Hockey Puck…Jack Kirby Meets…Don Rickles

Via Scheme 9

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment