Interviews of Joe English
Oct 04, 1975 • From Record Mirror
Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.
Joe English (born February 7, 1949) is an American musician, vocalist and songwriter who, during the 1970s, played drums in Paul McCartney’s band Wings and in the Southern progressive rock/jazz group Sea Level, among others.
A native of Rochester, New York, Joe English was a member of band Jam Factory, a group based in Syracuse, that evolved into the Tall Dogs Orchestra of Macon, Georgia. Searching for an opportunity to expand his talent, he answered an ad for a drummer in early 1975. The address led him to the basement of an old building where, much to his surprise, he found himself face to face with Paul McCartney. The audition was for McCartney’s Wings, and English got the job. His first album with Wings was Venus and Mars and, one album later, he would even take the lead vocals for the song, “Must Do Something About It” from Wings at the Speed of Sound. He accompanied Wings on tour and was the drummer on the Wings Over the World tour.
In September 1977, during the recording sessions for Wings’ London Town, English became homesick and returned to Macon, Georgia, where he began playing with Chuck Leavell’s band Sea Level. This ended his time with McCartney and Wings.
Following his Christian salvation experience, he formed the Joe English Band, performing as lead singer and drummer. The band toured the world, playing with other major Christian bands of the era, including Petra, DeGarmo & Key, Mylon LeFevre and Servant. The Joe English Band recorded a release without Joe’s vocals called AKA Forerunner. The band included John Lawry, who left to play for Petra in 1984. In 1986, Joe English played in former Petra vocalist Greg X. Volz’s band, Pieces of Eight. In the late 1980s, English joined Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy, Rick Cua and others as part of the Compassion All Star Band. In 1988, the band recorded live One by One, their only album together.
English played the snare with his right hand and the hi-hat and ride cymbals with his left, a technique commonly termed “open handed”. He has been unable to play drums professionally since the late 1990s, due to chronic ankle health issues.
As of 2008, English lives in Spindale, North Carolina being a member of the Word of Faith Fellowship community. He is no longer involved in the music industry. However, he maintains his interest in music as a member of the choir at WOFF.
Wings a trio!… After Jimmy McCulloch’s move to join the Small Faces, Joe English decided recently to return to his family in America. Joe feels that his roots are there, and he was not too happy spending the necessary time in Britain. Both he and Jimmy will be heard playing on Wings new album [London Town] which looks like being released early in 1978.From Club Sandwich N°5 – October / November 1977
“Two years ago, everything was working against me,” Joe English marvelled. “My old lady and two kids left me. I had no gigs, no money. I was on the bottom. But Dayle stuck with me, kept my spirits up, and helped me get through the year.“
Joe English’s predicament after Jam Factory broke up is one with which Paul McCartney and Denny Laine can sympathize. The Rochester, New York native had joined the band in 1968, when he was 18 and stayed with them for six years, touring with Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, playing at the Fillmores East and West, and releasing an album on Epic.
While touring with the Jam Factory, English became fond of the Atlanta, Georgia area and moved to the Macon complex of the Allman Brothers Band with girlfriend Dayle. His lot is far happier now than it was in early 1974: “We have three dogs, twenty-five chickens, a goat, six horses, and a cat, Amos, who we brought back from near death after he’d been thrown out of a car. I like to run a Massey Ferguson 150 tractor, fish, and plough on the farm. It gets me away from the business.“
English was rehearsing with Bonnie Bramlett in early 1975 when he got a phone call from Paul McCartney. Tony Dorsey, one of the arrangers of Wings New Orleans sessions, had recommended Joe to Paul, and Joe accepted Paul’s summons to Louisiana. The next day they were recording, and when riding to a mixing session in Los Angeles, “Paul turned to me in the car and asked if I’d like to join. I said yes, and that was it. Who wasn’t a Beatle fan? You flash back to those first days, and it’s fun! What shocks me is to realize how many tunes he’s written.“
The American English, who replaced the English Geoff Britton, plans to rent a place in England this summer to use as his new music business base.Paul McCartney – From Wings 1975 tour book
Last updated on August 29, 2023
Albums, EPs & singles which Joe English contributed to
By Wings • 7" Single
Contribution: Backing vocals, Drums, Hand bells, Percussion • 3 songs