Wings Fun Club newsletter November 1975 published

November 1975

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About

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

At the end of September, Wings completed their long awaited British tour, which brought one of the finest professional rock bands to its ever-widening audience. It presented a tightly controlled, impressive band to its audience ‘live’, sounding as close to the quality of their recorded performance as one could possibly expect. It proved an exciting and rewarding experience for band and audience alike. Returning to Britain at the end of recording Venus and Mars, Wings spent the next four months rehearsing thoroughly for their first ‘live’ appearance as a band. The tightness and control of the music certainly reflected Paul’s desire to produce the very best they could achieve as a band. There were rumours of an impending tour all year, but it was not until every detail had been precisely worked out in full that the itinerary was announced: […]

On 6th September E.M.I. held one of the band’s last rehearsals at Studio 5, Elstree, before some 900 invited guests, representing primarily E.M.I. employees and including 100 members of the Wings Fun Club, chosen at random from those within the Greater London area. This was the first opportunity that most people had had hear Wings ‘live’, and the feeling generated by the music can only be described as to electrifying. Although the later concerts were more perfected musically and included all the stage effects, the initial thrill of hearing Wings perform remained firmly fixed thereafter.

The rehearsal contained the complete material which Wings performed during the tour. The song order shifted somewhat after the Birmingham concert when Soily was temporarily forgotten during the programme and inserted at the end as an encore where it remained for the rest of the concerts.

As the band moved into the ‘rockers’, members of the audience were invited by Paul to join in and dance, which they did with enormous spirit. Afterwards, the band went along to Studio 8 for a party for Elton John’s manager, John Reid.

On 9th September the band took to the road in their comfortably equipped bus, approaching Southampton with a degree of first night apprehension, although the solidity of the musical foundation and the thoroughness of the rehearsals left little room for real nervousness. The travelling party included families, children and a tutor for Mary and Heather McCartney. Films for post-concert relaxing were also part of the accompanying luggage.

Whichever way one looks at it, Wings gave the most tremendous value for money, playing without a support band for two hours, through what amounted to 28 non-stop hit tunes, with little time spent on anything but the music. The pacing of the songs was clever and interesting, albeit slightly unusual, giving scope in turn to each individual member of the band and also to the excellent horn section, led by Tony Dorsey. Solid individual excellence coalesced into a superb rock band sound through all the Wings numbers, sometimes almost surpassing the quality of the recorded performance, as in Letting Go. To achieve the feeling of such a solid, together band with two relatively new members was no small achievement. One immediately noticed the dynamism of Joe English’s drumming (he is a compellingly ‘visual’ drummer, who takes you off with him), and also Jimmy McCullough’s outstanding musical part played with the minimum of stage ‘style’. In particular, there is a remarkable contrast between Jimmy’s seemingly cool look and the vocal energy and drive he displays in a song such as his Medicine Jar. Linda’s presence was a real asset to the group; displaying real virtuosity on her keyboard and vocal backings, she was the cohesive force in the band. And of course, Denny was superb in his own songs such as Go Now. Paul’s performance can only be described as superlative, and by the highest standards, few can touch him as a concert performer.

The acoustic guitar section of the programme (see footnote above) revealed not only the band’s virtuosity but also Paul’s perfect timing in slotting it into the program where he did. It was spellbinding watching the solo figure of Paul, in perfect voice singing the simple little song Blackbird with its unforgettable guitar changes. It went through my head for days and days. If anything, although the audience responded to the Beatles’ material with thunderous applause, its inclusion served to highlight and throw into relief the undoubted excellence of the newer Wings material, surely to become ‘classics’ themselves!

As they warmed up they got better and better, the audiences more and more ecstatic, the notices great. The concert in London on the 18th September felt like a gala first night, with an anticipatory tension rippling through the audience before the concert started. A few touches had been added including a smoke machine for Venus and Mars and dazzling strobe lighting for Live and Let Die. Afterwards there were drinks for friends, among whom I saw were: Ringo, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper, Lyndsey De Paul, Pink Floyd, Queen, and David Frost. Soon they were up in Scotland doing their final four concerts, Glasgow being memorable for the band’s appearing dressed in kilts for the encores. A group of faithful followers from the U.S. flew over for the tour and attended all the concerts. They were: Ken Krinski, Barb Fenick, George Tebbens, Cindy Rosenthal, Mary Ann Dolphin, Marie Lacey, Doylene Kindsvater, Lyndsey Vikios and Madeline Schatz, the all-time super-fan who did the same thing for the Wings tour in 1973. Concensus was that Wings were great everywhere!

After the British triumph, Wings had a small break and then went off for their Australian tour. Perhaps they will do the U.S. tour in 1976

NEWS IN BRIEF

A 60 sec. TV commercial for Venus and Mars, shown on ITV, was made by Karel Reisz … The Elstree rehearsal, plus the Newcastle, Liverpool, and Glasgow concerts were filmed by Tycho Films. Future use of the material is still undecided … Venus and Mars Rock Show backed by Magneto to be new single for the U.S. … Rupert Bear film progressing.

BEHIND THE SCENES

TONY DORSEY. Trombonist, conductor, arranger. American, born Georgia, raised in Louisiana. Played trombone in school. Trained as a teacher, then entered the Forces where he started a band. Other members gave him their experience; he gave them feeling for ‘black sound’. Arranged for band. Worked for Joe Tex 1967-69 and numerous soul acts, including Gladys Knight and the Pips and Sammy Davis, Jr. Ambitions include producing the work of his wife, singer Mary Holmes

THADDEUS RICHARD. Soprano Saxophone. American. Self-taught. Started music in school at age of 13. Session work at Nashville Sound Shop. Toured U.S. with various back-up bands: Johnny Taylor, Paul Kelly. Lives in Thibodanx, Louisiana

STEVE HOWARD, JR. Trumpet. American, born Lake Dallas, Texas. Attended North Texas State Univ. then moved to Dallas working on hotel and dance jobs. Went to New Orleans 3 years ago to work with Lon Price, a sax player, and then worked with Allen Toussaint at Sea-Saint Studios, playing on the Nightbirds’ album, Lady Marmalade, also on Toussaint’s album, Southen Nights. Played 1st trumpet on Call Me Back Again.

HOWIE CASEY. Alto Saxophone. British, born Liverpool. Started playing in the army. Own group: Howie Casey & the Seniors. Made an album, couple of singles. Hamburg 1960. Worked at the Cavern and with King Sized Taylor & the Dominoes for 2 years. Backed Chuck Berry on 1st British tour. Session work. Played on Band on the Run. Lives in London. […]

Last updated on August 18, 2022

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