Wings Fun Club newsletter N°1, 1974 published

Circa June 1974

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About

The Paul McCartney and Wings fan 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.


Circa June 1974, the following newsletter (labelled as “No. 2. 1974“) was sent to the members of the “Wings Official Fun Club“. It features an article about the sessions for the “McGear” album and an interview with Denny Laine about his first solo album.

In the “NEWSFLASHES” section, the newsletter makes reference to the following events:

  • “Linda also working very hard compiling a photographic book, including photos from the very early part of her career”. This effort would become “Linda’s Pictures”, a photography book released in 1976.
  • “Zoo Gang theme released 26th April by Jungle Juice – record N°. BRAD 74071. Original theme composed and performed by Wings on TV”. This single is a cover of Wings’ version of the tune, which was released some weeks after as the B-Side of the “Band On The Run” single.
  • “They also went to the studios where Harry Nilsson was recording his next album, which features both John Lennon and Ringo.” This visit resulted in a jam session including Paul McCartney and John Lennon, which ended up being bootlegged.
  • “Bruce McMouse Show film based on European tour 1972. Names of cartoon mice: Bruce and Yvonne, kids – Soily, Swooney and Swat”. Production of The Bruce McMouse Show stretched from 1972 to 1977 when the project was shelved; it was finally restored and released in 2018.
  • “Recently Radio 1 and the ‘Daily Mirror’ stated Paul was looking for a drummer to augment Wings […]. Auditions for the selected 25 were held on the 29th and 30th April at the Albert Theatre”. This selection process led to the choice of Geoff Britton, as the new drummer for Wings.
  • “Scaffold’s latest single ‘Liverpool Lou’ released on May 3rd on the Warner Bros. Label. Record No. K 16400.” This single release was another collaboration with Paul’s brother, Mike McGear, who was part of the Scaffold.

STOCKPORT: IN THE STUDIO

On January 3rd, Paul Linda and Denny arrived at Strawberry Studios, Stockport, to begin work on the first solo album recorded by Mike McGear. Produced by Paul, the album includes work by him, Mike McGear and Roger McGough.

Musicians featured were Linda, Denny, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, drummer Jerry Conway and Mike McGear. While in Stockport, Paul and Linda stayed with Paul’s family in Liverpool. McCartney’s party stayed at a nearby Manchester Airport Hotel.

Last week I spoke to Peter Tattersal who engineered the sessions, and has previously worked for Brian Epstein as road manager for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. Pete told me:

“It was incredible when Paul came to the studios, they’d work from 4pm to 5am. There isn’t a clock in the whole place, and the atmosphere is very casual. Other than Neil Sedaka and the Sid Lawrence Orchestra, we haven’t had many big names recording here, usually just college groups making their first demo. It’s a pleasure to work with someone as professional as Paul.

I remember one night, Denny picked up his guitar and started playing some Buddy Holly numbers. We all had a great sing song for about two hours. It was Shrove Tuesday, and we had a little Calor gas stove in the studio. Linda had made us all these incredible pancakes. They were so thin and fluffy. I’ll never forget them. We drank gallons of tea and wine. That was one of the most memorable nights.

Paul’s an amazing producer. There was a very strange number we did off one of the Roxy Music albums. He just brought the album into the studio and said: ‘Right, we’re going to do this one next.’ I’d never heard anything quite like it. I remember thinking, ‘oh, I don’t like that, all those discordant notes.’ But the more you hear it, the more you like it. It’s very clever. Paul was setting down the basic track, and really, I wasn’t sure what he was doing at all. It didn’t sound too right to me. But he has a great quality about him, in that, unlike so many producers, he is able to look ahead. There’s a big orchestral backing to it, and a completely new bass sound. Off the whole album it’s my favourite track.

He’s marvellous the way he deals with musicians. He got this incredible oboe solo out of this middle aged woman. He was sort of egging her on saying ‘yes and bend a note here’, and stuff like that. She was pretty amazed at what she had been able to do. His whole approach, and friendliness, endeared him to the session musicians.

Actually, he was telling me all about Sgt. Pepper. That whole album was amazing when you think that it was recorded on a four track. The Beatles did a hell of a lot for the recording industry. They did things that you didn’t think were possible. You’d sit and listen to their LP’s and marvel. In fact, from ‘Pepper’ onward for three years there was a tremendous growth rate. Nowadays we’ve got thirty-two track recording studios.

I’ve learnt a lot from Paul, and rate myself a more professional engineer since having worked with him. I hope they come back again.”

DENNY LAINE

Denny Laine, the great man himself. He’s been in the music business since I first raved about ‘Love Me Do’ by ‘The Fabs’. At twelve he was in a band called Barry Hall and the Hepcats, at fifteen formed Denny and The Diplomats, and in 1965 had his first No 1 singing ‘Go Now’ as vocalist with The Moody Blues. He got bored with The Moodies and formed the Electric String Band and later Balls. In the early ’70’s he spent a short time with Ginger Baker’s Airforce. In 1971 he received a phone call from Paul McCartney.

Well tell us about your solo album Denny?

“Ah… Laine! Most of the songs are two years old-recorded in England and LA. I wanted to go to LA as I’d never been there before.”

Is there a great difference between the British and U.S. studios?

“I really liked it over there, it’s very casual. I went with Ian Horne, one of the Wings roadies, who helped me produce the album. When I was over there I met one of my old mates, Dave Mason, formerly of Traffic. You know those exercise programmes they have on TV in the morning. Well Ian and I were getting fit and jumping around banging on the floor. The lady in the flat below rang up to complain about the noise. It was Dave’s wife. Dave is featured on one of the tracks, and apart from John Moorshead, Steve Thompson and Colin Allen, I play all the instruments on the LP.”

Denny, why did you change your name from Brian Hinds?

“That was my nickname at school in the gang I used to hang around with. At fifteen we had this band called Denny and The Diplomats. We all dyed our hair blonde and wore black crocodile skin suits. That hand didn’t last too long; everybody thought we were queers. Also I wanted to move to London, but all the other members had jobs and ties. Bev Bevan was a bank clerk and things like that. With The Moodies we had this house in Roehampton. The Beatles broke just before we did, and they used to come round to the house to drink and listen to records. After The Moodies, I spent a time in the Canary Islands, here I met this bloke who played a flute, called Charles Butler Jackson, he was dodging the draft. Then before joining Wings I was in Andalucia, southern Spain, living with gypsies and leaming flamenco guitar. Actually, I’ve just found out that my great grand-mother was a gypsy.”

What are your favourite tracks off the album?

“The first one I did was ‘Talk To The Head’, but it turned out a bit messy. I also love ‘Destiny Unknown’.”

And Baby CaroIine?

“That’s a sort of Marilyn Monroe type story.”

‘Sons of Elton Haven Brown’, what happens at the end of that one?

“Oh, that’s about three brothers, they see their Indian mother murdered by three men and become very bitter towards society. They go around robbing and killing. Beniamin, the eldest, tries to rob a bank and gets shot. So Elton Haven Brown and his two sons ride to Blenheim Town on the dey of the last delivery.”

A showdown?

“yes, they all get shot in the end.”

Mike McGear, Paul’s brother, comes over. He’s eying the last copy but one, of Denny’s album. He’s not too hopeful when he hears we’ve only just managed to get our copies after five months.

Denny, what were your musical influences?

“I’ve always loved South American Country Music. People like Django Rheinhard and Diz Disley. My elder brother who’s about sixteen years older than me was an electronics wizard, so I was encouraged to be musical. I’ve also got three older sisters.”

What albums do you listen to at home?

“I usually borrow records and then put them on tape, but the last album I bought was the theme music to ‘Felix The Cat’, but I’m a great Blues fan. I love Billy Holiday, Woody Guthrie and Scott Joplin. And apart from music I love cars. I’m having one built at the moment. I’ve partly designed it. It’s a group six, a rally car with a Porsche engine.”

How do you feel about all the Beatles reforming rumours, does it make you feel at all insecure?

“No, not really. Paul’s not getting Wings together just to leave and reform the Beatles.”

What are the future plans for Wings’?

“As soon a the band’s finalised, we’ll fly to Nashville to rehearse for a tour of probably Australia and then the States. The time to go to Australia is when it’s summer over here. And as for the States, well if our records keep going to No 1 over there, then that’s the place to go!”

Sue and I look a bit disappointed, it’s been nearly a year since the last British tour.

”The time most bands tour the U.K. is ’round about February to May. But it’s possible that we might do some of the big festivals in England. We don’t know yet. Paul’s already written some songs for the next album, and I expect I’ll have some for it.”

McCartney-Laine compositions, are there any more to come like ‘No Words’?

“What usually happens is that I get so far, then get stuck. I wrote the first few verses to “No Words” and couldn’t get any further. I took them to Paul and he added his little bit of magic. I sometimes help Paul with his songs too.”

What about ‘Red Rose Speedway’. Originally this was to be a double LP. What’s happened to all the songs that were not used?

“It’s possible that we might release them later on an albums.”

At this point in the interview, Paul came over and:

When did you write ‘Go Now’, then Denny?

“I didn’t write that one.”

Oh you didn’t?

“No, but I wrote the one before that. Better, but not a hit: ‘The Fall of The Roman Empire’.”

Linda: “By Caesar P.” […]

NEWSFLASHES

Out in June, a ‘Woman’s Own’ interview with Linda…. Linda also working very hard compiling a photographic book, including photos from the very early part of her career…. Zoo Gang theme released 26th April by Jungle Juice – record N°. BRAD 74071. Original theme composed and performed by Wings on TV….. No further work done on the Rupert Bear film….. ‘Red Rose Speedway’: The title was inspired by Rose, Paul and Linda’s housekeeper, a redhead. Apparently, Rose was rushing around making breakfast one morning when Paul suddenly said, “I know, Iet’s call it ‘Red Rose Speedway.’….. Denny featured on Pop History Vol. 9. on Ginger Baker track – ‘Man of Constant Sorrow.’ …. Paul and Linda attended the Ossie Clark fashion show before flying to the U.S. to attend the Oscar presentations. Paul was nominated for an Oscar and Grammy Award. While in L.A., on April 9th they were guests of honour at a luncheon held at the Capitol Records Tower where they were presented with a platinum album representing the sale of one million copies of ‘Band on The Run’ …. They also went to the studios where Harry Nilsson was recording his next album, which features both John Lennon and Ringo. George Harrison was also in town ….. Paul and Linda spent Easter with Linda’s family in New York City, where they took the kids to the famous Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. 20th-25th May, Wings Top 5 featured on Johnnie Walker’s radio programme ….. Bruce McMouse Show film based on European tour 1972. Names of cartoon mice: Bruce and Yvonne, kids – Soily, Swooney and Swat ….. Recently Radio 1 and the ‘Daily Mirror’ stated Paul was looking for a drummer to augment Wings, within minutes the switchboards of both the BBC and McCartney Productions were jammed with 400 calls from eager musicians. Auditions for the selected 25 were held on the 29th and 30th April at the Albert Theatre, London. Final auditions from 8th May. As the band isn’t yet complete, the biographies and group history to be sent out with this newsletter are postponed …… Scaffold’s latest single ‘Liverpool Lou’ released on May 3rd on the Warner Bros. Label. Record No. K 16400. It’s an old song, credited to Brendan Behan’s brother, Dominic. Paul produced and arranged it. In the middle there’s a gizmo solo, it’s a new instrument invented by Lol Creme and Kevin of 10CC, who partly own ‘Strawberry Studios’. There are only two gizmos in the world ….. While Paul was up north, we forwarded to him many Valentines including the most beautiful and original selection from an American fan, Aurora Jellybean ….. Some of you may remember the drawing of Father Christmas that Paul drew for the last newsletter. I had a bit of a mix up with my printers and it wasn’t printed. But here he is. Still smiling even though it’s June!

AHH———–LAINE

An Exclusive Interview with Denny.

Thursday 2nd May, 4.30pm – Denny Laine still hasn’t turned up for an interview set for 3.30. He’s sorry but he’s having a lovely time at a party thrown for Scaffold by Warner Brothers. Trevor, one of the Wings roadies offers to go and drag him out, and half an hour later Denny breezes into McCartney Productions. We all go into a spare office: Denny’s drinking some strong black coffee and saying he’s perfectly willing to do the interview but Sue and I will have to come over to the party ‘cos it’s really great over there. After about ten minutes of humming and hawing and us apologising for dragging him away from his party and suggesting the interview be set up for another time, he suddenly gets up, “Come on girls”.

Down in ‘The Den’ of Warner Brothers everyone is very friendly. Linda is very sweet and greets us warmly. “Hi, how are things going?” We talk briefly about hotdogs and whether the Macs are still vegetarian; they are on and off, but aren’t so strict about things nowadays. Meanwhile Denny’s fixing us a Bacardi and… Oh, there’s no coke, ”Will lemon do?” Yes, lemon’s just great. There’s some incredible music blasting out of the Hi Fi: something about James Dean. And….. we’re all sitting very comfortably.

It’s getting late. We’ve been chatting for nearly two hours. Outside on the street we wait for Denny to come up, so that we can take a few photos. Paul, Linda and Mike drive past and Paul gives us a toot on the horn. We smile and wave, and think how nice he is, not at all ‘Big Time’ despite all the adoration and glory he had in the Beatles.

Denny comes up and we take the photos, then all walk round to Soho Square, it’s been a lovely interview. We must do it again sometime. We thank him and wave goodbye as he drives off in his Bentley.

Denny Laine: one of the best, you can’t help but be fond of him. We leave slightly worried – if it hadn’t been for his manager, ‘Ahh.. Laine’ would never have been finished. Above all this album proves Denny to be a great songwriter. The vocals from the first groove to the last are superb. ‘Ahh.. Laine’ is a showcase for Denny’s undeniable talent. A great album…………………….

What’s that? You haven’t got your copy yet? Well, for goodness sake drop everything right now. You can finish this newsletter later. Get to your record shop quick! You never know, Mike McGear might be at your local store right now buying the last copy.

Record no. of ‘Ahh.. Laine’ SWZ 2001A. The Wizard label

STOP PRESS

The band has now been completed. An announcement to the press will be made very soon.

Last updated on August 4, 2022

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