More from year 1976
Wings Fun Club's newsletters
April / May 1977
February / March 1977
Circa January 1975
Circa September 1974
Circa June 1974
April 20 - July 22, 1972
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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
AT THE SPEED OF WINGS … !
After having spent a solid two months working at the E M I Studios, Abbey Road, London, Wings have now completed their fantastic new album, Wings At The Speed Of Sound, released on 26th March. It is another smash hit album, having been certified gold immediately upon its release in the United States. Ranging from rockers to lovely love songs, the album brilliantly displays the strength and inventive genius of the band as an entity, while also emphasizing the outstanding individual talents of its members. The Wings sound, in my opinion, is crystalized in such tracks as She’s My Baby which displays a bouncy, interestingly-syncopated rhythm with a memorable mixture of McCartney images, fused by tight vocal backing. Silly Love Songs is a catchy number bearing the McCartney hallmark and has a
superb horn refrain. Cook of the House sizzles away, giving great scope for Linda’s vocal ability. Wino-Junko by Jimmy focuses on its message with a direct, simple pathos, while Denny’s Time to Hide is a tight, strong number. A surprise to many people will be Joe’s great octave range on the lead vocal of Must Do Something About It. The backing harmonies of this album are so good that they are a feature in themselves. Wings At the Speed of Sound underscores, to a marked degree, the complete virtuosity of the band, showing them to be in the very forefront of rock music today. […]
U.K. No. PAS 10010
U.S.A. No. SW 11525
Produced by Paul McCartney. The album cover photo was done by Linda McCartney, with the back cover photo credited to Clive Arrowsmith, and inside photos by Bob Ellis. All prior Wings albums have been certified gold. The albums Band on the Run and Venus and Mars were both certified platinum.
WINGS OVER AMERICA
April 8, 1976 will mark the beginning of one of the most eagerly anticipated concert tours of the U.S., Wings Over America. It will be the debut of Wings on the North American continent, and will also be Paul McCartney’s first personal appearance on a U.S. concert stage in almost ten years. The tour will encompass 20 cities and 31 performances, and is the fourth and final leg of the Wings World Tour.
Wings will be arriving in the United States direct from Paris, where the group concluded its triumphant European tour on March 26th. Accompanying them will be the four member brass section, who have played with them on the other segments of the world tour, and who have contributed their expertise to Wings at the Speed of Sound.
The band will be performing a set lasting between two and two and one-half hours with no intermission New sound and light apparatus as well as special staging have been designed especially for the tour. Wings will be performing material from all prior Paul McCartney and Wings albums, including songs which have been associated with Paul McCartney throughout his career. Selections from Wings’ latest release, Wings at the Speed of Sound will also be included. […]
There will be no ticket sales by mail order, and tickets will be limited to 6 per applicant. l very much regret that due to the absence of any Fun Club staff in the United States, it has not been possible to have any club ticket allocations, as we would not have been able to handle the job properly.
At the end of the Australian tour by Wings in November 1975, the consensus was that nothing like it had hit that country for the last ten years! Wings attracted an almost unprecedented level of press coverage, fan fervour and concert reviews in the tour of the state capital cities.
Opening in Perth at the Entertainment Centre, Wings were enthusiastically received being described by one journalist as “the best concert I’ve ever seen staged.” The following day Wings gave a press conference for a group of more than 200 pressmen and photographers. On 29th October, after the band had finished practising and were jamming away, a huge birthday cake was presented to Denny Laine for his 31st birthday. While in Perth, the Wings party made an excursion to Rottnest Island returning by hydrofoil.
The sold-out box offices and mobbing fans followed them on to Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. Altogether 60,000 fans saw the shows, and the programme was similar to that given on the U.K. tour. […]
NEWS IN BRIEF
Linda’s book of photographs will be published late in the year in time to catch the Christmas market … LINDA’S PIX FOR ’76 is still in stock and can be ordered at a reduced price now […]
Linda will be doing another diary for next year … Mike McGear’s new single, Simply Love You, was out in February (Warner Brothers K 16658) …. Paul and Linda celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary on 12th March.
MEETING JOE ENGLISH
“I was born in Rochester, New York, on July 2, 1949, and have one older brother. I attended Benjamin Franklin High School, but failed to graduate by just one credit, which didn’t make any difference to my career anyway. I moved to Syracuse, New York to join a band called ‘Jam Factory’, who were based there because one of the members went to Syracuse University Music School. It was a really good experience; six of us together for five years of solid, live, playing. We remained there from 1967-1973 when the band left and went to Daytona Beach, Florida. During 1968, ’69 and ’70, I toured with Jimmy Hendrix, Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. We played the Philmore East and West, Whisky-A-Go-Go, and eventually the band lost its drive and broke up. (‘Jam Factory’ recorded an album on Columbia in 1968 Sitting in the Trap, which was not released in the U.K.)”
“My family were not very musical, but my grandfather played the guitar, although he never showed me anything. I don’t really know why I eventually took up drumming – it was something about the knives and forks at the table. I was always beating out things. Then when I was in the sixth grade I took a special musical test which dealt with tonal ability, beats and rhythms, and I came out top, so my parents thought that I must have some talent.
Although they couldn’t afford it, my parents got a bank loan to get me a drum set. They went into a store and said, “we want to get a drum kit” and the guy who owned the store saw them coming, and sold them the best professional one he had! I learned by myself; I just played what I wanted, so I developed my own style – which is backwards, very unorthodox drumming. I played most things, but got onto soul music which I stuck with until I joined Wings.
l just practised on my own and then played in small groups at colleges or beer parties. You name it, we played it. Back in the days when I was 15, I was playing “Bluebird” by Buffalo Springfield, and then I went through the stage of playing Wilson Pickett and James Brown – all white bands playing that while I was practically living in a ghetto with nearly all Blacks and Puerto Ricans. Of course it did have an influence on me, which is why I’m going through an adjustment period playing the music I’m playing now. This is the first gig where I’m playing someone else’s thing down to a T – it’s very controlled, but good. That’s the way Paul writes a song; everything has to be in a certain spot. I’m learning, getting discipline. I’ll be well-rounded musically after this.”
Time in the South
“After we left Florida, we went to Atlanta where we played at a club called Richards. Then we played with Spooky Tooth and Little Feet, and with the Allman brothers for a couple of weeks. Then Butch Chucks, a drummer, came to hear us, liked us, and recorded us live. We were invited to Macon, Georgia, but we left Macon to do a week’s gig in Miami, after which l split and went back to Macon.
Macon’s a good place. I lived out in Julliette 20 miles away with 500 acres of pine trees. There were two places to live which you reached by going three miles down a dirt road. We weren’t bothered by anyone. I know how to plant gardens and run tractors from my Georgia experience, which was about how to get out alone and survive, as opposed to being in cities, which I think are dying.
Before we left we had 20 chickens, 4 ducks, 5 dogs, 1 cat, 2 horses and cared for 13 other horses.
There was always a lot of playing going on there, lots of musicians, just jamming. That’s about the only place on the East Coast that it’s happening right now.“
Drum Kit Details
I use four different kinds: Gretsch drums, Gretsch tom-toms, Cameo tom-toms, Ludwick snare drums.
“I couldn’t go for the straight standard set. Also my style of drumming is backwards, which I find comfortable. If you’re comfortable your way, do what’s inside you. It’s the same with people. My advice to young drummers is to learn to play rudiments and practice them. Play what you want to play and don’t be hung up. You’ve got to be able to take in the good things and sift out the others and use your own stuff.”
Paul and Wings
“I was in Macon living on the Allman brothers’ farm, when Tony Dorsey, who knew of me through “Jam Factory”, contacted me to say that there might be a small chance of getting a gig with Paul McCartney. I said “Yeah”, and two months went by and l didn’t think anything of it when I got a phone call in the middle of my rehearsing with Bonnie Bramlett. Paul, Linda and Denny asked me to come and record the album (VENUS AND MARS), so I found a replacement on a Wednesday night and I left the next morning for New Orleans and on Friday we started recording. I think Paul was looking for a more funky beat in the rhythm section, compared to that straight ahead, conventional sound. But it wasn’t until we left New Orleans that Paul invited me to come to L.A. to mix the record and have a sort of vacation. After that he asked me if I wanted to join the band, so here I am. This band is so easy to get along with. Paul’s relaxed, he doesn’t have many worries and is just a good person. People are treated more as equals than in previous bands I’ve been around, and after the finish of the world tour, this band’s going to be on top in the world. We won’t have to worry about all that phenomenal staging of other bands: the music is what they want to hear – Paul McCartney’s voice coming across the microphone and the band having a good time.” […]
Last updated on July 31, 2022
"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!
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.