Wings Fun Club newsletter #1 published

April 1973

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The Paul McCartney and Wings Fun Club was formed in late 1972. Between 1973 and 1976, the club issued some newsletters which would later evolve into the Club Sandwich newspaper. These early newsletters were either in the form of typed foolscap folio (20.3cm x 33cm) sheets or A5 (14.8cm x 21cm) booklets. Most of these were quite amateurishly done and sent out irregularly. Various MPL employees compiled them, Lucy then Nicky then Sue Cavanaugh, without forgetting Claire who launched the idea of an unofficial Wings fan club, wrote a first unofficial newsletter and contributed to the very first official ones.

My sincere thanks to Andy Weal, one of the early members of the Wings Fun Club, who helped us put together the club’s history and provided copies of some artefacts.

From Record Collector – June 1997:

[…] Club Sandwich grew out of the plain, typewritten newsletters issued by the Wings Fun Club in the early 70s, which itself developed from an unofficial fan club run by a long-forgotten McCartney devotee known only as Lucy. A girl called Claire took over the Wings newsletter in 1973, and with the blessing of McCartney’s MPL company, she launched the Paul McCartney and Wings Fan Club via MPL’s Soho Square address that year. The inaugural issue coincided with the release of “Red Rose Speedway”, and the initial membership fee was just 50p, for which fans were promised a newsletter every four to six weeks.

The first despatches were foolscap-sized, mimeographed affairs. Back in ’73, the innovation of photographs had yet to be adopted, but members were kept informed about such subjects as the James Paul McCartney TV special (the report on which suggested that “The Long And Winding Road” was edited from the final version), the recording of “Red Rose Speedway”, Wings’ first tour, the group’s visit to Marrakesh, plus a candid report on Paul’s bust for growing marijuana plants for which, revealed Claire, the ex-Beatie was fined £100. Early club offers included an exclusive Wings badge, which featured a red bird on a white background. Yours for just 12p.

For the second issue of the newsletter, MPL’s address was replaced with a more discreet P.O. box number, and the title of the organisation was amended on McCartney’s recommendation to Wings Fun Club. Official news was bolstered by fans’ letters and comments, plus a personal ads section in which eager readers requested back issues of The Beatles Book (“will pay 8p per copy”), and McCartney’s soundtrack LP for The Family Way (“will give £1”). Bootleg tapes of Wings’ 1972 university tour were also avidly sought after, and adverts soliciting them were frequently published.

By issue five, the newsletter had become an A5-sized magazine, edited by a surname-free girl called Nicky. It was still produced on the cheap, and although photographs had started to creep in, the magazine remained black-and-white. The editorial content too continued to be frank: after the unexpected departure of Wings’ members, Denny Seiwell and Henry McCulloch, Linda McCartney revealed that there had been “no row” between them and the rest of the group. “We didn’t really know Henry,” she observed, “and he didn’t know us.” The mag proved its point by reporting with some dignity on the deserters’ post-Wings activities. Among the new Club offers was a selection of Wings biros available in red, green, blue, mauve and pink – priced at 6p each.

In 1974, the Fun Club magazine turned more professional-looking, with a glossy, black-and-white cover, and generous offers to buy 10″ x 8″s of Wings’ floating line-up. At this stage, editor Nicky was joined by American MPL employee, Sue Cavanaugh, and to this day, Sue remains – notionally at least – in charge of Club Sandwich.

The last A5 Wings magazine was produced in December 1976, and was stuffed with reports of that year’s American tour, plus a multitude of club offers including a “Helen Wheels” poster at 55p, T-shirts at £1.70, and a trio of tour programmes: Europe 1972 at 30p (now worth £10), U.K. 1975 at 50p (now £25) and U.S.A. 1976 at £1.50 (£30). […]

From Record Collector – June 1997

In April 1973, the first official newsletter of the newly-formed fan club was sent to members of the “PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS FAN CLUB” (even if what would be the official name of the club – “PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS FUN CLUB” – was revealed in November 1972).

It features a review of the recording session when the live section of the “James Paul McCartney” TV special was recorded, mentions Wings’ first-ever live performance in London that followed on the same day, and gives details about the upcoming new album – “Red Rose Speedway” – and supporting UK tour.

It also makes reference to the recent Wings trip to Marrakesh and the recent fine Paul got for growing cannabis.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first club newsletter; enclosed is your membership card and you are now members for the year as signed.

Wings had a week’s stay in Marrakesh, Morocco, in February, but were back working on their TV spectacular soon after. The 60 minute show is to be aired on British and American television and will be the first time a ‘rock ‘n’ roll superstar’ has done a prime TV show for Britain and the U.S. The show, to be entitled ‘James Paul McCartney’, will be aired on April 22nd. The film includes a pub sequence with friends and relatives in Liverpool and a live sequence which took place on Sunday 18th March at the ATV Elstree Studios in Boreham Wood.

The band arrived on stage at about a 1/4 to 8, mirrors and everybody seated on the floor in a very crowded studio helped the atmosphere tremendously. – A surprise beforehand when Henry and Denny L. wandered down past the crowds waiting to get in. Nobody batted an eyelid, cool reaction? or did the potential audience know only one member of the band they were about to see? – Paul was wearing a white battle jacket top, suit and black shirt. Linda with her new short hairstyle was dressed in yellow wearing suit and boots and plaits in her hair. Around her neck was a wide choker of beads similar to some Paul was wearing, – perhaps ones they bought in Marrakesh? Henry wore a sequined ‘Pearly Kid’ waistcoat and Denny L. wore a silk jacket and green pants, – let us not forget Denny Seiwell, dress in beige, in fact they all looked mighty fine.

The first number was quite a surprise: Long and Winding Road. Incomparable with the version on Let It Be, – perhaps it was the live feel, more probably because this time it was Paul’s song interpreted Paul’s way instead of Phil Spector’s way. Denny Laine was on bass as he was whenever Paul was on piano. Linda did not take part in this number, but moved around taking her own personal shots of the band. Straight into ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ and the audience certainly were. Listening to the track as performed on ‘McCartney’ does not portray half the excellence of this number as performed live now. Paul puts so very much into it – as he did for every number in the show – he really stretches his vocal energy to a peak, in that well-known fashion of his. APPLAUSE!!

‘When the Night’, a song from Red Rose Speedway, is just beautiful with excellent harmonies from Denny L., Henry and Linda. Most of you will have heard ‘The Mess’ by the time you read this. It’s the rock B-side to the new single, the beautiful ballad that received much acclaim on the tour, – ‘My Love’. ‘My Love’ is on the album but ‘The Mess’ will not be, and this is the first time Paul has ever released a ‘preview’ single – a number off an album, previous to the release of the album. Release date March 23rd. This single release emphasises still further Wings’ versatility, compare: Ireland:Mary:Little Woman Love:C Moon:Hi Hi Hi:My Love:The Mess! Both tracks are Paul and Linda comps, and produced by Paul. With ‘The Mess’ Paul invites us to get up and dance Wild Life another number where Paul really stretches his vocals to the full extreme and one cannot doubt his feelings for the words he sings.

Denny L. takes over with ‘Go Now’ the track he wrote and made No.1 when he was with the Moody Blues, and the track which made Paul an admirer of his. The rock sound of Hi Hi Hi and everybody really starts to get in and enjoy themselves.

With Long Tall Sally some people get up but as always when things seem to be getting really under way, it’s over; – thankfully not completely, and in 1/4 of an hour they return. Paul announces that the set must be repeated cos of the ATV filming, evidently response wasn’t really acceptable. There’s a better reaction to all numbers this time but one feels it’s slightly ‘arranged’. But considering it was a TV filming there was as much spontaneity as could possibly be expected. With everyone on their feet Hi Hi Hi is played twice this time, the second being at a different tempo. A quick exit is made at a good point when everyone was on their feet and moving to Mr. McCartney and the band. The variety of the numbers had obviously been chosen to ‘cater for everyone’ and so they did. For most that was the end, but for the band it was not. A quick trip to the Hardrock Cafe for a party and surprise benefit concert for ‘Release’ followed. With no cameras etc. the whole thing was looser, and so more together(?) About two hundred people – at £5 a head, had a really good time.

The band are a really tight outfit now, each member contributing a great deal to the overall sound. If any member of the audience was still under the impression this was just McCartney and his back up band their thoughts were soon dispelled. Henry’s fine guitar playing and humorous character captured a great number of the audience. Linda’s harmonising backs Paul beautifully and Paul and Denny come together to produce an excellent rhythm section. With the more central stage many people noticed, and were amazed by Denny’s drumming. Denny Laine interchanges from bass to guitar to keyboard, (keyboard on his highlight Go Now).

The show certainly made many people previously indifferent to Wings, firm fans, and impressed already fans considerably with their live talent, which most had not had a taste of before. Letters followed from excited fans still hot from what they had seen and the band’s smiling faces showed the feeling was mutual. Thank you all very much for your appreciative letters. Sorry Tuesday didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped.

The new LP ‘Red Rose Speedway’ certainly has great potential, going by the reaction the new numbers received at the show. It is a single album, but double cover containing a booklet of colour pictures, mainly ones taken on the European Tour, and lyrics to all the songs. – The back cover pic may puzzle you, – it was taken at the Paris Olympia gig, during the interval somebody took the flowers and white soft toy on the stage and left them under Paul’s mike for when he returned. The album will be released on April 16, and it’s almost worth buying just for the pics!.’ I’m sure every one of you will be excited by what you hear, it really is a good album.

Release of the album is followed by the group’s first British concert tour. The itinerary has been subject to a lot of alteration as you all know, but here is the final line up of dates: Bristol Hippodrome (May 11th); Oxford New Theatre (May 12th); Cardiff Capital (13); Bournemouth Winter Gardens (15); Manchester Hard Rock (16 & 17); Liverpool Empire (18, two shows 6.15 and 9.00), Leeds University (19): Preston Guildhall (21); Edinburgh Odeon (23, two shows 6.15 and 9.00); Glasgow Green Playhouse (24) ; Hammersmith Odeon, London (25 & 26); Birmingham Hippodrome (27), and Newcastle City Hall (28). Tickets will be on sale at the respective Box Offices between 3 and 7 weeks before the show. (They are already on sale at Hammersmith Odeon). Prices are between 50p and £1.60. Tickets for the Leeds University gig can be obtained by sending £1 per ticket plus s.a.e. to the Entertainment Secretary, Students’ Union, Leeds University, Leeds LST 9JT.

What numbers would you like to hear them do? Paul and Linda have asked me to make up a “Top 10” of the songs you would most like to hear. So put down the three songs you’d like to hear them do, in order of preference, and send it off to me. I will send on the results to Wings. […]

As most of you will know, Paul’s court case over his pot(ted) plants was on Wednesday March 8th. He was fined £100, which shouldn’t break him! The judge took into consideration ‘his status amongst young people.’

Various people have asked me about the souvenir brochure offered through the ‘Jackie’ magazine to the first thousand members. There are some brochures but not this number, and when we have thought of a fair way of distributing them we will let you know.

At present I hope you can appreciate the amount of work that is on top of me with the club beginning and thousands of applications and various fan mail to answer. When all this has settled down a little more I will be getting together ‘club offers’ as promised. At present the only club offer available is ‘Wings’ badges, price 12p plus S.A.E. They are white with red print with a bird and the word ‘Wings’ printed around the rim.

Well, I think that is all the news we have for you at present; if you want any adverts or your name for a pen pal put in the news sheet just let me know, and please remember to always state your club number, whatever reason you write for.

Smile Away,


From the collection of Andy Weal
From the collection of Andy Weal
From the collection of Andy Weal

Last updated on August 19, 2022

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