- United Kingdom
- Royal Court Theatre
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From journalist Paul Du Noyer:
It’s a raw Sunday night, 25 November 1979. Paul McCartney is kicking off his Wings tour at the Royal Court, after receiving a letter that told him the venue was struggling.Down Roe Street there are touts clearing 2000 per cent profit. But Lime Street is blocked by a barricade of taxi cabs. The drivers have called a lightning strike. Which was a very 1979 thing to do.
The show is not a classic. It took his head a few more months to get the message, but in his heart Paul already knew the Wings experiment was over. They would never tour again. The music is just like Wings‘ last album, Back To The Egg: moments of piercing beauty and some galumphing passages in the key of boring.
In other words, we lurch from Yesterday to Mull Of Kintyre. The newer songs aren’t familiar to most and they never would be. But today I listen to Old Siam, Sir and I realise that Macca’s music has one outstanding feature. It’s not the melodies, or the occasional sentimentality, but the sheer, unfathomable strangeness.
Afterwards I’m with Paul in that lovely art deco bar downstairs. Characters from his Cavern past, like Alan Williams, rock up to slap backs and wax nostalgic. A miniature press conference is set up for me and Penny Kiley and a few other journalists, sitting across a table from Paul, Linda and Denny Laine.
I was a punky young NME reporter who followed the Clash line: ‘Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust,’ and I was too cool to look impressed. But the fan inside of me was ecstatic.I walked home along a freezing Scotland Road (still no taxis) thinking, ‘God! I’ve just spoken to a Beatle!‘From Getintothis
From the McCartney Observer fanzine, Fall/Winter 1979-1980:
This was a terrible day for Doylene, Susie and I. The box office manager gave everyone standing tickets except for the three of us. He pocketed their money, charging them full price to stand in the balcony! He warned them not to move from where he told them to stand and kept coming back every few minutes to check up on them. Guilty that some usher may want to check the tickets he never gave them! He looked at the three of us outside and had absolutely no compassion whatsoever. I can’t even begin to explain the horrible feeling in the pits of our stomachs when someone opened a door and we heard Paul singing “Let it Be” while we were outside.
Last updated on April 24, 2022
Setlist for the concert
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.