Other Wings members leave Japan

Monday, January 21, 1980

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Paul McCartney still being jailed in Japan for the 5th day, Denny Laine, Laurence Juber and Steve Holley decided to leave Japan.

As reported in The Beatles Diary Vol.2: After the break-up 1970-2001:

Denny headed for Cannes, in the South of France, where he catches the end of the annual Midem Festival. It is there that he concludes the publishing deal, with the company Performance Music, for all but two of the tracks that will appear on his forthcoming album Japanese Tears. Informed of Denny’s actions, Paul becomes annoyed by the fact that while he is languishing in a Japanese cell, Denny is sunning himself in France and concluding business deals behind his back.

In a 2015 interview, Steve Holley shed some light about the situation, and his decision to leave Japan:

First of all. I came in with Denny Laine from London on a direct TWA flight and we had multiple-entry, open ended tickets for anywhere in the world, First-class, valid for one year. I questioned Denny about it and asked ‘Why have we got tickets like this?’ and he said it was his guess that if the Japan dates go well they will add more shows in another country. Apparently they did that in ’75 or ’76 where they did a tour and then were told to take two weeks’ vacation and then regrouped in Australia or Sweden or wherever. […] I’ve thought about it and you know as well as I do that there are at least a dozen theories but none of them seem plausible to me. So I can’t tell you what happened but I can tell you happened when it went down. We were all obviously very stressed out by it and the brutal efficiency of Japan as well was shown by the fact that when we rode in from the airport to the hotel, there was a poster every hundred feet (30m) saying ‘Wings – the greatest rock band in the world visits Japan 1980!’ They were everywhere on billboards, lampposts, buildings in store windows…it was inestimable how many there were and in the morning, they were all gone. […] We hung out there in the hope that they would manage to solve this, spring paul and that we could salvage some of the tour but after four days it was apparent that it was not going to happen. He ended up spending nine days in jail which was the longest separation he ever had from Linda and I found out later that he was upset because he thought we’d just buggered off and left him too it but that was not the case. We were upset obviously and he carried the weight for everyone but after a time it wasn’t going to happen so I spoke to Alan Crowder (from MPL office) and suggested we move on and he agreed. I told him I wasn’t going straight home if he didn’t mind because of this splendiferous ticket I had so I visited my Uncle and Aunt in New Zealand and my dad in Australia. I got offered a job there and took it and lived there for a while but always staying in touch. Even when he was back in England though, it was months before we heard anything so I just swung around a bit including going to Hawaii and Canada and that was that.

Steve Holley, interview with Glenn Williams, February 2015

On this day, Linda & Paul McCartney received a telegram from George and Olivia Harrison :

Thinking of you all with love. Keep your spirits high. Nice to have you back home again soon. God bless. Love, George And Olivia

Telegram sent by George And Olivia Harrison, to Paul and Linda, and received on this day.

They also received support from Jamaican musician, Lee “Scratch” Perry, through a letter sent to the Japanese Minister of Justice.

21 JANUARY 1980



Dear Sirs,

I LEE PIPECOCK JACKSON PERRY would LOVE to express my concern over your consideration of one quarter kilo to be an excessive amount of herbs in the case as it pertains to master PAUL McCARTNEY.

As a creator of nature’s LOVE, light, life and all things under the creation sun, positive feelings through songs, good times and no problems. I find the Herbal powers of marijuana in its widely recognized abilities to relax, calm and generate positive feeling a must.

Herbs is his Majesty’s. All singers positive directions and liberty Irrations. Please do not consider the amount of herbs involved excessive.

Master PAUL McCARTNEY’s intentions are positive.


From Record Mirror – January 26, 1980

Last updated on July 25, 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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