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From Stars And Stripes, July 21, 1972:
OFFENBACH, Germany — As if on cue, a small fly landed on the reporter’s note pad.
“See what I mean?” said ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, who had been explaining that since selecting Wings as the name of his new rock music group, “I see wings everywhere.”
The sloe-eyed entertainer had also pointed out a pack of. French cigarettes that bore a wings insignia and a wings-decorated glass, brought in from a nearby German gasthaus.
Wings had just ended its second concert in Germany, before the Stadthalle here, half of a crowd of about 2,500 fans at which appeared to be Americans.
Although the local promoters sold standing room at reduced cost, the show started with about 100 still outside vainly trying to gain entry.
McCartney 30, says he is pleased with the general reception of the group on its first major tour since forming last winter. “But the Germans had a tendency to sit on their hands last night,” he added, referring to his Tuesday night Munich concert.
During a backstage interview with The Stars and Stripes, the breakaway Beatle replied to those critics who claim the millionaire musician is on an “ego trip,” citing the new group.
“Sure I’m on an ego trip,” he shouted, “I’m not sure I know exactly what they mean by ego trip — that’s an absurd, overused term — but if it means `I’, then I’m on it!”
McCartney added, “I have to keep functioning and I must do what I do, well. The Beatles are gone. It was a great scene and we went the full circle. So now it’s time to get on with it and try something new. Wings is a new thing, and to me there’s nothing better than something new.”
The Briton likened Wings’ current eight-week continental tour to the early days of the Beatles, “We’re having a good time.” Ironically, the Beatles, which went on to become the greatest money-making group in pop music history, earned their first international fame by performing in Germany.
The dark-haired Liverpool native, whose “long” locks in the early ’60s started the longhair trend among males, wore his hair close cropped at Wednesday night’s show.
McCartney says there’s no real leader of Wings, “There’s not an awful lot of hype about it. We don’t make it a big deal. We just work together.”
His pretty, honey-blonde American wife. Linda, interjected, “The thing is to fool around, make music and have fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
Paul is lead singer and Linda, a former photographer whom he married in March 1969, plays piano and sings. Other members are wild-eyed, jumpin’ Henry McCullough on rhythm guitar; Denny Seiwell, drummer and Pennsylvanian Denny Laine on lead guitar.
Wings shows promise in a field already flooded with rock groups.
His own tune, “Give Ireland Back to the Irish,” an antiwar song he wrote, is banned in England. But it drew thunderous response from the mostly young people — ages 15 to 30 — at the Offenbach show.
“That song says it for me,” explained the superstar. “I love the British Isles, that’s my home, and I think those young soldiers being sent to Ireland are great guys — good lads.
“But I’m like a lot of other people, who sort of know that governments don’t play fair. It used to be that we criticized the Americans for their involvement in Vietnam. Now my government has turned about and done the same bloody thing in Ireland.”
He denied, however, that his new group’s name has anything to do with symbolism or freedom — hence the wings. “No one else had it, and we liked it,” he said with a boyish grin, “so that’s how we got Wings.”
Sarah, Kris, and I arrived at Frankfort airport on July 17 after flying for about one hour from London. We got lost in the airport as none of us knew much German. Finally, we found a taxi and headed for Frankfurt itself. The cab was a Mercedes Benz — very classy! Now we know how George feels in his! After a 45 minutes ride, we arrived at the hotel and we settled in our room. One nice thing about the room was our balcony. Standing on it we could see a lot of Frankfurt and the main railway station right across the street. We spent many hours out there talking, getting fresh air, and searching for a psychedelic bus on the street below.
Our second day in Germany we had to go pick up our tickets for the concert. Our fabulous German Guardian Angel better known as Mrs. Ulrich said our tickets would be waiting for us at the box office in Frankfurt Zoo. I had her repeat this several times because I thought I misunderstood it. We got a cab to the zoo and stared at the crowds waiting to get in. We couldn’t figure out what tickets to a Paul McCartney concert would be doing here! Finally, I up to the window and asked for Mrs. Uhrich. The lady behind the window gave me a black stare that turned into a smile. “Are you Miss Miller?” she asked in broken English. I replied to the affirmative and she pulled out three tickets. I literally shook as I took out the money (60 Marks) and handed it to her. She kept telling me to calm down and that Mrs. Ulrich had gotten us front row seats because we came all the way from London. I thanked her a million times and ran over to Sarah. We all held onto our tickets for dear life. I think I would’ve pushed myself under a Frankfurt trolley had I lost mine. We spent the day at the zoo. It was blisteringly hot and humid. By the time July 19 arrived, we were a bundle of nerves. We got to the concert hall, City Hall of Offenbach. Offenbach being a small town outside Frankfurt. As we sat there hundreds of young people arrived. They were still selling tickets at the door to our surprise (it was full by the time the concert began). We had gotten there two hours early so we sat down to wait. Little did we know Paul had already arrived and parked that wild bus of his in the parking lot behind. Maybe if we had spoken more German we’d have known why they were pointing. Most of the people there were American soldiers stationed in Germany. I heard parts of their conversations as we went in and they were all speaking about The Beatles. I knew, and I’m sure Paul suspected, they all came to see one of The Beatles. Sarah, Kris, and I had come to see the man we love do what he does best — performing! That’s why in a way we were a part form the rest of the audience. Paul is so much of our lives that we felt closer to him, then anyone in the audience could. I know I was upset if I felt the audience didn’t clap or cheer enough for a song. It was as if I was also a part of Paul as he is a part of me.
The doors opened and we thought since everyone had reserved seats we were ok, but little did we know people in Germany don’t’ go by those rules. Everyone dived for the first rows or wherever they landed. there were no users or anything as far as organized seating went. We had a good word or two with the guys in our seats and soon we were settled. Yes, the lady had told the truth. IT was the VERY FRONT ROW, right in the center of the stage. We were about five feet from the stage! We went to get our cameras ready when a man came along and told Sher that she could not take any movies. She had spent $35 on film plus an indoor camera for nothing. Sob! He firmly said no movies and only stills if NO flashes. After what seemed like indefinite waiting and listening to Crosby, Stills, and Nash on the loudspeaker, the noise came from behind the curtain and there were moving feet! False alarm– curtain went up and down again — though that didn’t stop your stomach from feeling like it was 1966 all over again in anticipation of who would be standing behind that curtain.
Again the sound began and this time it was definitely “Bip Bop” – curtain goes up and there’s a loud bass run and it hits us who that white pants leg belongs to! Paul! Yes, that’s him alright — right there! His microphone could not have been positioned better if we’d done it ourselves. He stood there looking like a little boy of 7 in a red and white side striped shirt and white overalls. His hair is short and back but the eyes just the same as always — gorgeous! He looked the same standing up to the microphone and bopping up and down the way he did, smiling and singing. Pau was about in the middle of the stage then Linda to his left seated at the piano in a white ’30’s blouse and dark printed skirt-bare footed. Denny Laine and Henry McCullough up front with Paul and Denny Seiwell behind, thumping the drums. I honestly remember very little about anyone but Paul, thinking you’ll all understand why. “Bip Bop” ended and they went straight into “Smile Away.” There was no break or talking. He really belted that one out and kept looking at Henry and watched him play lead guitar. After that song he said, “Danke Schoen, Thank you.” then asked how are you in German and then introduced “This is from the Wings Wild Life LP and it’s called Mumbo.” Well, I can’t even write what we did when we heard that! We had been sitting around for a couple weeks thinking, wow how fantastic it would be if he sang that — obvious reasons if you understand why — but we thought it would be illogical to sing that – so what does he do but sing it! WE had made mention of it on our birthday card to him, so that made us even more happy to hear it. Unbelievable song in person! Then after that while, we were trying to pick ourselves up off the floor, he wiped his face with a towel cause he was sweating so much and it was hotter than Hell in there besides the air-conditioning. Then he said, “Thank you, do we have many people who speak English?” That got a roaring answer, so he said, “Mostly American?” which got another roar to which he answered in his Texan accent “Howdee ya’ll , how ya doin’?” which cracked everyone up and he smiled. “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” was introduced to applause. The lighting to the whole song was all in greens and the song sounded just like the record, very good guitar. Then Paul said “This is from our next LP, repeated that in German and people applauded when he said it in German so Paul softly said, “been around y’know” and Henry says, “He’s been here before” and smiled. “the song is called 1882” (repeated that in half German/half English). It starts out slow with him singing “Good morning dear master, it’s 1882” Really a new song, definitely Paul type. I think to be on the LP. Denny Laine then sang one of his own songs, “I would only smile,” to be on LP also. Paul sang harmony with him and it sounded really good! The title of the next song may sound stupid but it was really good! “Blue Moon of Kentucky” very loud rocking and he seemed to really enjoy it. After that he said, “Think you hot, dripped up here” as he wiped his face again, looking quite gorgeous. He then said in German that they would take a short break after the next song and come back for the second half. Once he finished the German he said really loud and silly “Get out!” “One more song and if you’re not too hot, clap a little, we’ll see you after the break, song from the next LP called “Mess I’m in,” dedicated to the gentleman with the microphone, pointing. There was a guy behind us with a big mike holding it up so obviously, Paul saw that! He laughed when he said that. Before the concert people had also told him about no taping allowed. That song — WOW it is very good! Loud with a lot of guitar work and then it slows down to a soft bit and then thumpy again. This song also due on the new LP.
The break lasted about 15 minutes and gave us time to recuperate. During the first bit, Linda occasionally gave us looks like we were going to stay in our seats or not. Kris and I both had telephoto lenses and she didn’t look too happy about the close-up bit, but Paul didn’t seem to mind. The curtain went up again and there they were already playing again, only this time wearing black suits with slashed open necks down to the waist — no comment about that! The lapels were covered with gold glitter and he looked quite sexy, to say the least. I’m surprised we’re still alive to tell this. As the curtain went up they were playing a song called “Best Friend,” though I can’t remember too much about it, except there was a lot of bass. Must’ve been concentrating on that outfit! WE spent a lot of time hitting each other over that. Denny Laine introduced the next song, “Soily” off the next LP. The beginning sounds like a bit of instrumental in the “Help” album. Most likely when the album is released, you’ll all think we are nuts and the songs sound nothing like this, but we’re trying. Paul and Denny sang equally on this one. Henry spent a lot of time staring at Kris and I and we sat there giving each other funny looks. Occassionally I felt like I shoudl watch the others. There we were in full view and our eyes followed Paul. The others must have felt unappreciated. I just couldn’t help it when you’re so close, your eyes just stay glued to his eyes. Henry then introduced with “Paul is going to play piano” to which Paul says, “No, he is not” and laughs. Henry says, “Whoops, wrong song — some people never know.” So Paul says, “From the last LP, called ‘ich bin your singer,” half English half German obviously. Everyone clapped a lot for this one right off. He got off-tune once and stepped back to clear his throat and looked so embarrassed and cute. Linda sounded quite nervous and a little weak but he made up for it. The guitar was jazzed up and really sounded good. After that one he took a sip of water saying, “Here’s to you” raising the glass, adding “a song by Denny Laine called ‘Say you Don’t mind.'” Paul sang the chorus with him. It was strange how much Denny sounded like PAul, exactly almost if you didn’t know it was Denny. Paul and Henry sang backgrounds of “ooh-ahh” almost back to 1963 type. The NExt song Linda introduced “a song by Henry, a blues called ‘Take me on home Mama cause I’m running home tonight.” It was a slow guitar solo which was good but a bit long. Paul laughed so hard during one bit while Henry laid on the stage quickly and got up that he had to turn around and stop playing During most of it he watched Henry play lead and had the same expression as while watching John singing “Across the Universe” in Let It Be.
Next song Paul said, “Song we’re going to do is written by Linda.” Some people applauded and he went “aw” and said, “this is the first song she ever wrote. It’s called ‘Seaside Woman.’ If you feel like moving around, don’t’ let us stop you.'” It’s definitely a reggae type number with Paul and Linda singing harmony. Paul said, “We’d like to sing a song off our lap LP and if you know it, keep quiet,” he smiled. “It’s called Wildlife.” This one was really good with a slightly changed chorus at the end. During all the loud songs, PAul always had his left foot-stomping and he was constantly moving around. It’s hard to describe but he looks quite good anyway, more like “Let it Be” than the Beatles days. Henry then announced, “Paul is going to play piano, Denny bass, and Linda just looking good.” Paul said, “This is a love song for all the Americans out there.” WE fell over and all the Americans clapped. He said “My Love” (in a very Liverpool accent) and made a funny comment about Nixon and said, oops this is the wrong country to say that and Linda said something about McGovern being good. This song is another “Yesterday.” Very slow with him singing softly and playing the organ. The main line of the song though isn’t what you’d expect by the song melody -“My love does it good” Well anyway, it’s a beautiful song of Paul back to the 1965 type. Why he dedicated this one to Americans we’re not sure but it’s a nice thought and we can hope? He looked a lot like “The Long and Winding Road” with his eyes and only one light on him singing. Paul then said, “We’d like to sing a song that’s our new record in England. This one is a nursery rhyme and there’s a bit in it that just goes la-la, sing along, be our guest.” Mary Had a Little Lamb. We were singing along “la-la-la.” Afterwards Paul asked, “Were you singing?” Linda said the guy next to us was, but Sher said he was half asleep — oh well. The next one Henry said, “You’ll know this one” and Denny Laine yelled, “Get up off your ass,” and Paul went straight into “Maybe I’m Amazed.” What that did to me — my favorite all-time song. I fell apart during that. He looked so good sitting there screaming it out. By this time Linda had sat down at the piano bench with him. The organ was like in Let It Be while he was really banging out the piano. The applause for this one were the loudest and he looked really happy about it. He got up and went to play bass again. Paul said, “This next song is our last, so all you people who have been sitting on your bums all evening should now take this opportunity and rise from them, shake them a bit, clap a bit, here we are in Offenbach,” he smiled. “Let’s do it!” Then this loud thumping song starts and everyone is on their feet, clapping and he is really moving around by this time. “High Hi High” is the song, the one mentioned before as a possible single.From Meet the Beatles for Real: Wings the Concert of The Century! – This story was originally published in a 1972 issue of McCartney Ltd.
Last updated on February 11, 2022
This was the 1st and only concert played at Offenbach-Halle.
Setlist for the concert
The setlist for this concert is incomplete, or we have not be able to confirm in an accurate way that this was the setlist. If you have any clue, pls let us know and leave a comment.
This is the first detailed study of Paul McCartney's Wings on tour in the 1970s. It covers every single concert from the University Tour of 1972, ending with the abandoned tour of Japan in January 1980. A wide variety of primary sources have been consulted, including all available audio and video recordings; press reviews; fan recollections; newspaper reports and tour programmes.