Wings Fun Club newsletter December 1976 published

December 1976

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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


Most appropriately, Wings chose their home base on which to wind up their remarkable world tour, which began last autumn in the U.K. and extended to Australia, the U.S. and Europe, by giving three concerts on 19, 20 and 21 October at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London. Not only did it seem fitting to close the tour where it had opened, but it also gave the initial audiences a chance of hearing what by now was a very different show from the one they had seen at the Hammersmith Odeon in September 1975, as it included new material (from ‘Wings at the Speed of Sound’) and incorporated all the changes and expertise which was assimilated during the extensive U.S. tour in the early summer of this year.

I attended both the opening and closing nights. Although the Empire Pool is one of the largest places in London for rock concerts, its atmosphere seems singularly unsuited for any sort of interaction between audience and performer, and one felt at once that the success of Wings at overcoming this built-in obstacle showed not only their enormous musical talents and ability but the meticulous care and planning which had gone into the staging and sound systems as well. On top of which Paul’s personal magnetism pulled together the mass of individuals in rapturous appreciation, thwarting the sterility of their surroundings. It is a refreshing change, and a distinct feature of the entire Wings tour, to have bands appear on stage roughly on time for their performance, and at 8.10 pm on 19 October the lights went down and Wings were dynamically thrust into their opening number Venus and Mars/Rock Show, accompanied by thunderous applause. One is struck forcefully and repeatedly at the outset by the tightness and clarity of the band during their live performances; those moments of disbelief when one can’t quite accept what one is hearing because it is so good. It isn’t the record, because they are right there, and if anything, sounding even better! I also noticed, though, that the lighting effects for the opening number were changed to comply with the G.L.C. safety regulations which do not allow a large number of house lights to be turned off, thus somewhat reducing the effect of the Venus and Mars revolving globe which accompanies the bubbles which fill the air. This would have been an imperceptible flaw if I hadn’t happened to have seen the lighting for it done at Madison Square Garden, New York. Nevertheless, it was something outside their control, and it was the only such thing to occur during the entire performance. As they played through the numbers – which were the same as on the American tour, including Denny Laine’s classic version of Go Now – one could feel the extraordinary effect that the tour had had on the band. They were certainly a very, very good rock band at the outset, but having done the same concert so many times before so many people, it was inevitable that the band should have got the material down to such perfection, which they did, in a tight, punchy rendition. The truly remarkable thing is that they in no way lost their vitality and verve through overfamiliarity. They seemed to be enjoying themselves to the utmost and to the last, and so were we. It says something, I think, about the quality of the material, for it to be so self-sustaining, and that is undoubtedly one of the hidden strengths of the band. The McCartney compositions are almost instant rock classics and can take so much exposure without palling on the band members themselves. And of course, the very pace of the concert keeps both band and audience alike stretched to the full; there are no ebbs and flows about Wings concerts. Wings fly high … and stay right up there!

It is difficult to focus on the high points of the concerts for that very reason – the plateau never levels off; there are high dramatic rockers (such as Magneto and Titanium Man, Live and Let Die and Letting Go) and superb gentle classic, McCartney love songs (My Love, Maybe I’m Amazed, Yesterday). The focus shifts from one band member to another, featuring Jimmy on Medicine Jar, Denny on Go Now and Time to Hide and Spirits of Ancient Egypt. Paul and Denny interchange and interact so brilliantly shifting from guitar to keyboards and back again, while Linda’s solid work on keyboards and vocals was a binding strength. It extends one’s awareness of the recorded performance to see them live, for when one returns to the recording, one thinks, ‘Yes, that’s Denny on piano. I hadn’t realised that before.’
As on previous legs of the tour, Wings were backed by their outstanding horn section.

Of course the relaxed, intimate acoustic section is an unforgettable highlight of the concerts as the band draw themselves together into a circle to sing the songs, and pull the audience right in there with them, which was especially true of the nostalgic songs of the past such as Blackbird, Yesterday and I’ve lust Seen a Face. After the acoustic section, from Magneto right through to the encore Soily, most of the audience on the floor – a large number of whom were Fun Club members – were standing, clapping and rocking away with the band. But while fans like to respond physically to the music – and one gets the feeling that Paul certainly welcomes and encourages this – appreciation of the music in itself is uppermost, and so there is no interference or detraction from it. They extended the experience for themselves while respecting what they were hearing, which isn’t always the case with audiences.

The two concerts I saw were different in slight ways, as all concerts are. On the opening night I felt that there was a certain exuberance from the band and from Paul in particular, which I had never seen to such a degree before. He was more chatty and matey with the audience, perhaps responding to playing on home base? It broke down the natural barrier between performer and audience in about two seconds flat! While on the closing night the band seemed to allow themselves a more interpretative approach to the material; I heard small improvisations around the edges which I hadn’t heard before. And running beneath the surface was perhaps a tinge of sadness, that this would be the last time this particular set would be performed.

After the final concert, E.M.I. gave a party for Wings out at Wembley. Attending were the many unknown friends who had worked on this extensive tour and had contributed so much behind the scenes, and also some friends of the band such as 10cc, Kiki Dee, Bob Harris and Mike Mansfield. The band appeared only a few minutes after the end of the concert looking as fresh and relaxed as they usually do, which never ceases to amaze me after such a long concert without any rests. lt was certainly a triumphant close to a truly remarkable tour, which established Wings firmly
as the greatest rock band in sight!


As many of you may have seen, Eammon Andrews presented a I ive TV coverage backstage with Wings on his TONIGHT programme on ITV at 6.00 on Tuesday, 19 October. Eammon talked with the band about their world tour and the forthcoming concerts at Wembley, and during the course of the programme talked with two Fun Club members, Debra Enderby and Alan Springate, both longstanding members. Debra, who travelled with the Daily Mirror Pop Club group to see Wings play at Madison Square Garden in New York, was decked out in splendid style with one of the most comprehensive displays of badges I have seen in a long time! They were both thrilled to meet and talk to the band.


Now, at last, the album so many of us have been eagerly awaiting is here: WINGS OVER AMERICA, the complete American concert performance packed into a great triple album on E.M. I. (PCSP 720), to be released simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. by 10 December. The retail price in the U.K. will be £6.80, and represents an outstanding value for a triple album. It is bound to go down as the greatest ‘Iive’ album, and is a must for all Fun Club Christmas shoppers! Apart from its sheer brilliance as music, more esoteric devotees will get the opportunity to compare closely the McCartney of yesteryear with the current version, in those songs which date from the past. To my ear, for instance, Paul’s voice and treatment of Blackbird today far surpasses its original, albeit charming, treatment on the White Album.
And I think that Wings manage to surpass many of the other numbers as well. Another long awaited bonus for many will be the inclusion on record for the first time of the song Soily, which has been performed by Wings as early as their 1972 European tour. (A serious student of Wings’ concerts could make an interesting study of the evolution of Soily from 1972 to the present). […]


We are also most pleased to announce that Linda’s truly remarkable and really beautiful book of photographs has appeared, published by Jonathan Cape at £7.50 in the U.K. and in the U.S. by A. Knopf. Comprising a unique selection of photographs which span from the time she was covering the New York rock scene to her present life as mother, wife and member of Wings, the book is packed with photographs of an intuitive, spot-on camera eye. In the early New York photographs Linda both seemed to be around at the right moment and knew what to do with her camera when she was there. I particularly like the one of Jackson Browne on the Staten Island Ferry. The pictures are full of nostalgia for the great days of the late ’60s (such as those of Joplin and Hendrix) and contentment with the present, represented by those of Paul and Wings and the many lovely shots of her children. As with all good photographs, this collection tells the viewer a lot about the perceptions of the photographer behind them. It’s an absolute must, not only for followers of Wings, but for anyone interested either in the music scene generally or in photography.


Watch out for the interesting 30 sec. TV commercial for Wings Over America which will appear around the album’s release date. Built up around the four themes of Live and Let Die, Soily, Yesterday, and Maybe I’m Amazed, it will climax in the album cover … Wings placed well in the Daily Mirror’s British Rock and Pop Awards, capturing both Best Rock Band and Best Pop Group categories, and Paul placed 1st as Best Male Group Singer. Rather a coup! … If you haven’t already done so, rush out and get the rocking new single by Jimmy McCulloch and White Line, Too Many Miles/Call My Name (E.M.I. 2560), which you may have caught on ITV’s SUPERSONIC on 27 November … Linda has compiled another of her desk diaries for 1977, but this year’s is not so rock/family oriented, instead being lovely black and white camera studies on a variety of topics. A lovely book which gives pleasure throughout the year. Please take
care to fill in your coupon properly to ensure speedy delivery … Gene Roddenbury of ‘Star Trek’ fame is currently working on a film treatment of a theme of Paul’s but there are no firm details about it yet … No word on any film from the tour, but I understand that Tom and Jack Priestly are collating the material at the moment … Despite all current rumours, there are no plans for any more tours at the moment or in the near future. Having completed the ‘live’ album, Wings are going to take a well deserved holiday break and will resume work in the New Year, when we may, fairly soon, see yet another album.

Last updated on August 18, 2022

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