Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell quit Wings

Wednesday, August 29, 1973

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August 29

Reporter Barb Fenick arrives for an interview at Paul’s Scottish farm. Meanwhile, on the eve of Wings’ departure for recording sessions in Lagos in Nigeria, Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell phone Paul to inform him that they will not be coming. Paul is not greatly distressed, and instead expresses his pleasure that he … “can now play drums on the album”.

Badman, Keith. The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001 . Music Sales. Kindle Edition.

From Record Mirror, September 15, 1973

Denny Seiwell and Henry McCullough bailed on the trip at the last minute.

“As I say, I wasn’t involved in the politics, so I was just as surprised as anyone when they didn’t turn up [Note: Seiwell said McCartney had a falling out with McCullough over the guitarist’s refusal to play the same solos in every show]. I’ve been told that Paul had a talk with [Seiwell] the night before we went and he kind of decided he didn’t want to go.

“But he didn’t say that to me at the time. I don’t think their leaving had anything to do with the trip to Africa. It was something between them and Paul, and Paul said, ‘So what? It’s booked, we’re going anyway!’ and I said, ‘Okay, fine!’ That doesn’t throw me, that kind of thing. No big deal.” 

Denny Laine – From Guitar World, January 30, 2023
From Melody Maker – September 8, 1973
From Melody Maker – September 1, 1973
From New Musical Express – October 20, 1973

WE WERE STILL ON THIS RETAINER, AND we’d been told that as things progressed we could contribute material, become part of a “band’ as such, but it never ever came to that. We’d rehearsed Band On The Run and were due to go to Lagos [to record it] and I can remember it well – we had a row one afternoon. I wanted to contribute: “Give me a chance – if it doesn’t work out we’ll do it your way.” I felt it was time he allowed the musicians to have some of their own ideas used as part of this group’ vibe. But all that was slowly being lost – the idea from the university tour, the van, the craic and all that started to go out the window. And I was trying desperately to hold onto it because I wanted it not just for the band but for him as well to show people that he wasn’t namby-pamby, that he really had balls. And he does have an awful lot of balls, he just doesn’t seem to get it down on record… It wasn’t a fierce row, just “Oh stuff it, I’m away home” sort of thing. There were a lot of things said in the press, like there was a terrible rumour I’d pulled a gun on him, that I’d hit him over the head with a bottle – really! But I think we both knew in our hearts it was time for me to go and he left it to me to choose the time of leaving.

A couple of months later I got a phone call from him, “What are you up to” sort of thing, and he asks me down to his studio in Soho Square. “Look, I know we’ve had our differences,” he says, “but I really appreciate the time you’ve been with the band and I want you to have this.” And he gives me a huge cheque and a flight case full of guitar strings! I bumped into him and Linda a couple of times after that and really I can’t let people know how much of a gentleman he was. People who don’t know him have this idea about him – about his Mary Had A Little Lamb trips and the corniness of it all, but even with that you couldn’t help but like the man: a brilliant businessman, a brilliant musician and a bloody great man too.

Henry McCullough – From interview with MOJO, September 1997

Last updated on August 5, 2023

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001

"An updated edition of the best-seller. The story of what happened to the band members, their families and friends after the 1970 break-up is brought right up to date. A fascinating and meticulous piece of Beatles scholarship."

We owe a lot to Keith Badman for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles after the break-up and how their stories intertwined together!

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The Beatles - The Dream is Over: Off The Record 2

This edition of the book compiles more outrageous opinions and unrehearsed interviews from the former Beatles and the people who surrounded them. Keith Badman unearths a treasury of Beatles sound bites and points-of-view, taken from the post break up years. Includes insights from Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Barbara Bach and many more.

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