Denny Seiwell and Hugh McCracken visit Paul and Linda McCartney in Scotland

Tuesday, June 22, 1971
Timeline More from year 1971
High Park Farm, Kintyre, Scotland

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Around May / June 1971, Paul and Linda McCartney were at their farm in Scotland. Paul started forming the idea of creating a new band, asking Linda if she would be part of it.

Sometime in June 1971, Paul McCartney called Denny Seiwell and Hugh McCracken, the players who participated in the recording of the album “RAM“, and invited them and their wives for some holidays in Scotland.

Denny and Monique Seiwell were the first to arrive. They flew from New York on June 22, and arrive in Scotland on June 23.

[Paul] said, ‘How would you and your wife like to come over and have a little vacation in Scotland?’ We said ‘Yeah fine’, because my wife being from France we could go down and see her family while we were there. At the end of the conversation, he said, ‘Why don’t you bring a small kit along?’ And I said ‘Yeah, okay! Sure?’ Because I like to play music with him. […]

Denny Seiwell – Interview with Maccazine – Volume 47, Issue 1 – The birth of Wings

You flew to that weird airport in Scotland, and PanAm had us driven down to Campbeltown in a van. It was a five-hour trek, and we were dropped off at a local rent-a-car, checked into a typical little Scottish hotel, and set out to find the farm, which was in the middle of nowhere.

We asked some of the villagers how to get to High Park Farm, and they said things like, “Well, laddie, ye take the wee car…” and I’m thinking, “What the hell are they talking about?” We finally found the right road, and they had said that we’d come to a farmhouse, which was on the edge of the McCartney property, but after that, there was no real road to their house. Well, the sun was setting in the black lulls of Scotland and we beeped the horn and this old guy came out, and we said, “How do you find Paul’s farm?” and his answer was nearly unintelligible, but he opened this old wooden gate and there were these boulders everywhere. We ruined the car. We ruined about three rental cars; they wouldn’t rent us any more cars in this village. Finally, we got to the farm. Two bedrooms in the “main house,” a kitchen, the kids, the horses, the sheep. Linda cooked up a dinner that was to die for, real simple stuff, and what we saw was nothing but straight, straight love between her and Paul.

Denny Seiwell – From “Linda McCartney: A Portrait” by Danny Field, 2000

Hugh and Holly McCracken arrived in Campbeltown a day or two after Denny and Monique Seiwell.

[Hugh] came in a couple of days after us. I remember going down to the airport to pick him up. We picked him up. I have footage of him, actually, him and Holly getting off the plane. He had rented a motorcycle somewhere. He had a motorcycle helmet and everything, so they were just finishing a tour. They were on vacation mode. They stayed a few nights at this little hotel in Campbeltown. That’s why we were actually looking to rent a farm of our own, knowing that we were going to stay.

Denny Seiwell – Interview with Maccazine – Volume 47, Issue 1 – The birth of Wings

We were just staying in this funky hotel, the Argyll Arms in Campbeltown, Scotland, and putting hot water bottles between our legs to stay warm and going down the hall to piss and shit, y’know? It was kinda weird.

Denny Seiwell – Interview with Howie Edelson, 2008

Time was spent visiting around, playing some old rock ‘n’ roll songs and hanging out. At some point, Paul asked Denny and Hugh if they wanted to join a new band. Denny readily accepted, while Hugh took the night to think it through and finally refused.

We were enjoying our holiday. It wasn’t every day up with Paul and Linda. We rented a car and drove round, did some exploring, visited some Scottish castles and stuff like that. But just about every day we went up to the farm and spent time with Paul and Linda.

Denny Seiwell – Interview with Maccazine – Volume 47, Issue 1 – The birth of Wings

He called me three or four months after “Ram” was out and said “C’mon over. Let’s have a little vacation.” I took my wife and went up to the farm in Scotland. When we got to Scotland, he said “Let’s put a band together.” I said “Yeah. That sounds like a good idea.” So, we went back to New York and packed everything up and moved to England and formed the band Wings with Paul.

Denny Seiwell – From Gary James’ Interview With Wings Drummer Denny Seiwell (

Linda said, ‘Would you guys mind coming back tomorrow? And leave the wives at home. We’re going to do some playing’. We came up and played. It was goofy stuff, having fun jamming. […] Hugh grew up playing in so many cover bands in New Jersey that he knew every song ever written. [Then] Paul sprang it on us: ‘How would you guys like to form a band?’

Denny Seiwell – From “Wild Life – Archive Collection“, 2018

My wife and I show up in Scotland, and he tells me “I really miss my old band and want to play ‘live’ again. Do you want to form a band.” I said “Count me in!”

Hugh McCracken just got off touring with Gary Wright, so he came up to the farm. But, he couldn’t do it, and we were devastated. I later learned he wanted to spend time with his young kids. So Paul then got Denny Laine.

Denny Seiwell – From DENNY SEIWELL: ON SIR PAUL’S WINGS – Jazz Weekly

From the “Ram” sessions, Denny Seiwell seemed like a good band member and we also asked Hugh McCracken if he wanted to join. He came to Scotland and rehearsed with us but he didn’t like the idea of it. I think he was happier in New York. We were starting from the ground up. So Hugh bowed out. That was OK – I understood why.

Paul McCartney – From “Wingspan: Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run“, 2002

[Hugh] was such a New York guy that he didn’t really like to be away from America. New York is such a satisfying town, you can walk one block and get anything, whereas you can’t do that in the Mull of Kintyre.

Paul McCartney – From The Story Behind the Artist: Hugh McCracken (

Was Linda already involved at that time?

That was later one. At the time I was talking to Paul about personnel for the new band and I said it would be great if we could get this piano player from New York that both Hugh and I worked with, a guy named Paul Harris. […] Paul didn’t make much of it, because a day or two later Hugh opted out and left. He went back to New York, so at that point Linda wasn’t involved yet.

Denny Seiwell – Interview with Maccazine – Volume 47, Issue 1 – The birth of Wings

I said, ‘I’m in, but I can’t hang out till the next phase comes along. I got to go back and work.’ And that was all at my expense, you know. […] I was doing well in the studios and I just made a lot of money doing RAM, so it didn’t irk me that much.

Denny Seiwell – Interview with Maccazine – Volume 47, Issue 1 – The birth of Wings

Hugh and Holly McCracken returned to New York on July 5. Denny and Monique Seiwell followed on July 6, waiting for Paul’s next call.

Last updated on May 1, 2022

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