Interview for Record Mirror • Saturday, August 12, 1972

Denny Laine of Wings talks to Record Mirror

Press interview • Interview of Denny Laine
Published by:
Record Mirror
Interview by:
Mike Hennessey
Timeline More from year 1972

Songs mentioned in this interview

I Would Only Smile

Officially appears on Japanese Tears

Other interviews of Denny Laine

Down Memory Laine

Nov 07, 1981 • From Sounds

Laine Longs For The Road

Jan 02, 1979 • From Daily Mirror

Denny Laine - The confident front-man

Oct 11, 1975 • From Record Mirror

Showdown in Nashville Tennessee?

Aug 31, 1974 • From Sounds

Right, now let's number that beat McCartney...

Aug 17, 1974 • From New Musical Express

Interview for Wings Fun Club newsletter

Circa June 1974 • From Wings Fun Club

Denny's writing a whole lot more

Jan 12, 1974 • From Record Mirror

Denny Laine - a special musical gift

Aug 11, 1973 • From Record Mirror

Interviews from the same media

The Heart Of McCartney

Dec 04, 1971 • From Record Mirror

Linda: 'Quit The Band! I've Just Joined'

Jul 22, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Interview with Record Mirror

Jul 29, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Wings Flying Hi, Hi, Hi!

Dec 02, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Wings: They're all set for take-off!

Apr 28, 1973 • From Record Mirror

Paul's Wings find their identity on stage

Jul 21, 1973 • From Record Mirror

Denny Laine - a special musical gift

Aug 11, 1973 • From Record Mirror

McCartney On The Run

Dec 01, 1973 • From Record Mirror

Denny's writing a whole lot more

Jan 12, 1974 • From Record Mirror

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PAUL MCCARTNEY’S band, Wings, is currently going through a kind of critical wind tunnel on the continent to sharpen up its musical reflexes for tours in the UK and USA. And whatever critics so far may have had to say about the band, Denny Laine, one of its key members, is convinced that it is going to happen in a big way.

M. H.: Wings have now played a dozen or more public gigs. How do you feel about the group?

D.L.: Fantastic. I really feel great about it. As long as you can go out there and sweat, that’s fine. But if you stand up there and you’re bored by it all, then forget it. But this is a good band because nobody is going to let it be a bad one. We’re all concerned to put on a good show.

M. H.: Are you happy with the reception that the pop press gave the band in France?

D. L.: Yes. It was fair. The things they said about Linda were obviously going to come. And the things they said about the band not being on par with the Beatles were fair. I mean, I’m not going to agree with them but they were fair. The press seems to be playing it quite cool, which is nice for the band.

M. H.: You wouldn’t say they’d been too kind?

D. L.: (laughing) No, they haven’t been too kind at all! But they are saying good things about certain songs, which is nice.

M. H.: Is it true, as Paul says, that you all dig. Linda, even though she’s the least experienced member of the group?

D.L.: Yeah, it’s right. I like her as a person and I understand her quite a lot. As a matter of fact she reminds me of John Lennon in a way just the way she feels about things. She’s very truthful.

M.H.: But can she really contribute anything in the way that Lennon would in complementing Paul’s talents?

D.L.: I think she is doing that now. Especially in the studio, because she is more relaxed than when we’re playing in public. Now she’s gradually getting used to playing on stage too – she’s much more relaxed than when we first started to tour.


M.H.: Do you think Paul is producing music of the same quality as when he was writing with Lennon?

D.L.: Well, Look, I think he’s producing some good songs although as a band we haven’t yet reached the rapport that the Beatles had, naturally. That’s the idea of doing the European gigs. But I know that rapport is there –  I’ve had tastes of it and it’s just a question of developing it. We’re very close to it.

M. H.: Are the members of the band temperamentally well adjusted? 

D.L.: Yeah. Going through that Scotland thing and living up there in the wilds eating simply and working together has helped a lot. I think we’re really getting good now. We had a few problems on the British university tour at Leeds for example we got some stick from one of the promoters because we split and didn’t go through with the concert. The students had been getting a bit ‘busy’ and the moment that happened we just wanted to leave. So we came back and did the gig two days later. But it wasn’t so good. On the whole, though, we finished up pretty happy about the response that we’d got. We are pretty happy with the band when we’re up there in Scotland rehearsing – we see the highs and enjoy it. But of course you have to communicate that excitement to an audience. If you can’t, it just gets boring.

M. H.: Do you find that because you and Paul are established “names”, a very high standard is expected of you?

D. L.: Yeah. Yet none of us are any worse than we ever were. It’s just that there’s been a lot of time in between and when you haven’t been playing to an audience you’re not able to tell whether you’re still any good or not. Nobody can have that kind of all-the-time confidence., But the minute you get out there on stage and do the first set especially when it’s a university where you really have to be together then you know it’s O.K.

M. H.: Are you bugged by the fact that people tend only to want to interview Paul and that he steals all the limelight?

D.L.: I don’t mind myself. And I don’t think you can call it stealing the limelight –  he has it thrust upon him. And he always tries to bring us into the interviews. I think he’d like us to leap in and take a lot more of it off his shoulders. But I’m not all that keen about getting involved in chatting away all the time. I suppose it’s a necessary thing and I don’t say I don’t enjoy it occasionally, but I don’t like it in excess. And Paul’s certainly had it in excess.


M. H.: Do you think he’ll ever live down his Beatle past?

D. L.: Definitely not. Of course, he won’t. He’s always going to be someone people are going to respect because he was a Beatle they have to respect him for the big, big things he did.

M. H.: But now he seems to want very much to be dissociated from the Beatles?

D.L.: No he doesn’t. It’s only for the sake of the new thing he’s into, that’s all. He doesn’t really want to be dissociated from the Beatles. It may sound like that sometimes, but really deep down he’s just as affectionate towards those blokes as he ever was. It’s just that then it was the Beatles, now it’s Wings. And he wants to make Wings happen.

M. H.: It seems, though, that he’d certainly like to break away from Apple.

D. L.: I don’t know. Even there, I’m sure that deep down he must feel bad about it because he helped to build Apple. We went in there to mix ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’ and he looked around those studios and he must have been thinking, ‘Blimey, I helped build all this. He must feel bad that he can’t go on being involved there.

M.H.: Does Paul talk much about the current Beatle situation?

D. L.: He did at first, just to explain what he was thinking and why he was like he was. But now he doesn’t need to, and he’s happy about that.

M.H.: How close do you think the Beatles came to going back on the road again after “Let It Be”?”

D. L.: I should say not very close at all because Paul was trying to do with them what he is doing with us now and obviously none of us in Wings have the same hang-ups about going on the road that John, George and Ringo had. Paul was lucky in finding people who were ready to go on the road. There were times when I wouldn’t have wanted to tour just like the other Beatles in 1969. They didn’t want to go but Paul did because he likes to have to work all the time. As it happened I was ready to go on the road when Paul called me, and I know Henry McCullough was, too so I told Paul about him, and that’s the way it came about.

M. H.: Going back a few years, what happened after you split from the Moodies?

D.L.: I did a few different things! things and then went abroad for about a year, just writing songs and playing a bit. I came back to England about three years ago and I joined Air Force, which lasted about a year, then the Electric. String Band, which also lasted about a year.

M. H.: When did you get the call from Paul?

D.L.: About a year ago. I was making my own solo album at the time I’d just finished doing the rough mixing when Paul called me up. It was, like, fate. I somehow always believed that one day I’d be working with someone I knew and really respected. That’s the way the circle goes.

M.H.: What’s happened to that solo album?

D. L.: Well it hasn’t come out yet. I wrote all the songs for it and used the drummer and the bass player from Stone The Crows and another guitar player. I hope it will be released. It’s just a matter of finding the time to finish it off.

M. H.: Do you hope to contribute more to the Wings repertoire?

D.L.: Yeah. I’ve already got a song on the next album “I Would Only Smile” which is a kind of early Beatles thing. But there are problems as far as publishing are concerned. That is the only hang-up with Wings. We could be doing many more things but we had to go at a certain pace because of management problems, You see, Allen Klein still owns Paul though Paul’s trying hard to get out of it. If he doesn’t, he’s technically tied up for another seven years. He’s the worst off of the lot of us really.


M.H.: Do you think the current Wings tour is going to make money?

D.L.: I don’t know. I hope so. I mean we’ve all done the rich boy thing Paul with the Beatles, me with the Moodies and Henry with Joe Cocker even though some of us haven’t been that rich! But we’re doing this tour as a keen new band so we’re not spending money madly. So far, every place we’ve played has been pretty full so I don’t see why we shouldn’t make money. We’re not the kind of people who spend more than we make, I know that. In fact, we’re even talking of turning the thing into a kind of travelling circus – a self-contained, self-supporting unit.

M. H.: Do you think Wings will get a really good response when the band makes full tours of Britain and America.

D.L.: Yeah. I think so. The next album is going to be really great as far as sounds are concerned. The first album was like the first gig – nice songs but it was just thrown together really. The next one will be much more carefully put together – all different moods and we may even include some live cuts from this tour, because the band really is beginning to sound great now.


‘No chance’ says spokesman after Rolling Stones pull out

RUMORS that Wings, Paul McCartney’s group, had been approached in a last minute attempt to save the August Bank Holiday Great Western Festival were clipped this week.

With the Rolling Stones’ denial that they would be appearing, or that they had agreed to appear, at the festival, the pop world was buzzing with rumors and stories that McCartney was to make his first “official” British appearance in the Essex County showground just outside Chelmsford.

But John Martin, for Great Western Festivals, told Record Mirror: “Even if Wings were offering to appear free, there would not be time now to organize a festival properly. It really is a six-month job.

“As for the Stones – they didn’t just come up quietly and say they would like to appear at the festival. It was announced on television and in the Press. Even when we went to America to get official signatures to the contract, we heard they would be there – subject to their lawyers’ approval.

“And it happened to work out that if they sold albums as a result of even working for free at the festival, it would work against them.”

In fact, Wings were in Scandinavia this week, resuming their continental tour. The band finished with a concert in Berlin on August 24. And Record Mirror’s Danish correspondent Knud Orsted was told by McCartney: “We don’t have any definite plans after this tour, but maybe we’ll tour England later this year.”

And Mick Jagger said in London at the weekend: “The Stones haven’t the faintest idea where, when or what their next gig will be. We read rumors of where we are about to play… or not about to play.”

Last updated on August 14, 2023


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