Interview for Sounds • Saturday, April 14, 1973

Henry McCullough In The Talk-In

Press interview • Interview of Henry McCullough
Published by:
Timeline More from year 1973

Songs mentioned in this interview

My Love

Officially appears on Red Rose Speedway

Other interviews of Henry McCullough

Interview with Henry McCullough

August 2011 • From SongFacts

Hello Goodbye - Henry McCullough & Wings

September 1997 • From MOJO

H. McCullough meets the Wings Fan Club

Jul 28, 1973 • From New Musical Express

Henry Gets His Wings

Jan 29, 1972 • From Disc And Music Echo

McCartney's New Man

Jan 29, 1972 • From New Musical Express

Paul Adds a Wing

Jan 29, 1972 • From Melody Maker

Interviews from the same media

Trying to keep things loose

Nov 20, 1971 • From Sounds

Wings: just a road band

Jul 15, 1972 • From Sounds

Paul McCartney in the Talk-In

Dec 02, 1972 • From Sounds

Denny Laine - The talk-in

Dec 16, 1972 • From Sounds

Wings Fly Home Intact

Dec 01, 1973 • From Sounds

Showdown in Nashville Tennessee?

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Wife, player, mother, lover... Linda

Oct 05, 1974 • From Sounds

Linda McCartney: Silly Love Songs

Apr 03, 1976 • From Sounds

A pilgrimage to see St Paul

Jun 26, 1976 • From Sounds

Water Wings - McCartney waives the rules

Aug 20, 1977 • From Sounds

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Firstly let’s talk about “Red Rose Speedway”. Where did the title come from?

That came from Paul. We were over at his place one night and he got out this book called “Tales Of The Truth” or something like that and we went through it to get a name. There were all these different words and phrases in it which were really good sounding and Paul and Linda just saw something about “Red Rose Speedway” so that was it.

See, originally this was supposed to be a double album because we’d put down enough tracks for one and everybody said great, a double would be a gas and I think I was the most furious about it not being a double because I wanted the band to be seen for what it could offer, you know, instead of just like being James Paul McCartney, you see what I mean. But that’s cool too.

Why didn’t it come out as a double album?

Well, Vince Romeo. the band’s manager, he came up and said England wouldn’t buy a double album but I think we could’ve done it cause selling records in England’s easy because it’s a small market. I wanted to have some rockers on it.

There’s talk of another Wings album coming out soon, though, with more straight rock and roll material.

Yeah, I think there’s something like that coming out as a summer album. There’s some mindblowers on it, too, like there’s a great song of Linda’s “Seaside Woman” – and another good one that Denny Laine’s written and both of them have been left off this album but they’ll have to come out because they’re too good to lie around and do nothing.

Are you pleased with the live sound of the band as it stands just now?

Yeah, man, it’s great. It sounds really good. I mean the band’s better live than what it is… like after this next tour we’ll be playing things that are better than what’s on the album. Wings are a LIVE band and that’s the truth. When you go on stage you can’t play 75 “My Love’s” because, you know, you’ve got to rock and that’s something we all know. Like, I know and he (Paul) knows that you’ve to get down and work you’re arse off.

Denny Seiwell is a no shit rock and roll drummer and so he’s got all that to come out. See, the band’s been through a lot of changes and it’s beginning to get right because everybody wanted it to get right. There’s been a lot of hard work done.

Will there be any live cuts included on the next album?

Yeah because we’ve been taping all the gigs with that Mobile Unit of the Stones’. There was going to be three live tracks on the double album if it’d come out which’ll blow your head off. They”ll be on the summer album for sure. But I think we’ve got enough out, recording-wise, just now. Like there’s “Red Rose Speedway” and the single and I think they’re releasing another single of “Live And Let Die”, which is too much. You know, it’s a big production thing but it’s very powerful stuff and the same time. It really hits you hard.

Basically, it was done with Denny (Laine) on bass, Paul on piano, myself on guitar and Denny (Seiwell) on drums with a 40-piece orchestra on top which was done by… you know that guy that did all The Beatles stuff… George Martin. It was him that got the orchestra together and we just went in one day at 2 o’clock and rehearsed it till about 6 and recorded live at 7 after only three takes which was great. I think it’s a great single, you know, I really do. I mean a great rocker at heart but all the same it gets to me.

Just after you’d joined Wings you said you weren’t too happy sometimes with the feel of the band live. How do you see it now?

Well, of course, it wasn’t happening the way it should’ve in the beginning because it took me and it took everybody else time to feel each other out. To me the band has become better in every way because we’re playing together all the time, you know, without it being like a TV show or anything we just have a blow in between and these are the times when I know I’m happy to be playing with Wings. We’ve played enough good music up to now for me to say, yeah it’s been worth sticking with it.

Is the band any looser in that McCartney isn’t keeping such a tight grip on all aspects of the music?

I see what you mean because he does keep such control over everything and that’s how it’s always been. But for musicians of my type, I have to have a bit of freedom, too. Like, on the solo of “My Love” Paul kind of said to me ‘make it proud’ and I just said well leave it to me and I’ll make it as proud as you like. You know, I knew what he meant but I just wanted time. I’ve never liked anybody humming note in my ears to explain what they wanted and so I did the solo in me own time and Paul dug it.

Presently it’s all Paul’s and Linda’s material that Wings are playing. Is their for any of your songs?

Yeah. well we’ve talked about that and there’s a couple of things I’ve written that might be nice to do and I think Paul would be cool about that. He’s heard the Grease Band album and he says to me I’m really pleased to be working with guys like you, you know. He’s as knocked out to be playing with us as we are to be playing with him.

There certainly seems to be a unique closeness within the band.

Yeah, that’s true. There’s a kind of Celtic influence in Wings and when you get that sort of a feel with people you’re playing music with it binds you together. I’ve learnt that now because it’s something I wasn’t aware of before, I’ve learnt to know everybody and their music and we’ve all learnt to take the good and the bad together.

Are Wings going to America this year?

No, I doubt it because of the bust. That’s the hangup.

Would you like to play there?

Oh yeah, it’s the only place. I know this band could do a bomb in the States, too, because l’ve done six tours there — the first was with Eric Burdon years ago and so I know what the score is and this band has got so much to offer I know it’d be a success and not just because it’s a Paul McCartney team either. See. I hate it when people see the name Wings and immediately think of Paul McCartney and nobody else because Denny Laine’s got too much to offer to be ignored and so has Denny Seiwell as a drummer. You know I can look the cat straight in the eye and say ‘you’re good’ because he’s the leader of the band and he writes all the songs and I’m quite content with that, but also as a group we’re good. That’s not to be forgotten.

Surely the fact that there’s five very strong personalities in the band also helps to project the group as a complete entity.

Yeah. this band, to me, is made up of strong individual personalities and whatever sort of presence we have on stage must come from that. As I told you it’s something I’ve sort of suddenly become aware of and that’s just one of a lot of things I’ve learnt through this band. Like, all I’ve learnt from being in the studio and playing with McCartney and the guys around me it’s spurred me on to say…. well, you know, this could be something really great.

Has Wings changed your playing?

No, I don’t think so. I don’t think my playing changes all that much at all because l’ve always had the same attitude. Somebody was saying to me that my solo on the single, which l think is a pretty fair solo, sounded very melodic and he seemed to be apologising for the fact that I played melodic guitar. But, man, I’d rather play that kind of melodic guitar than play blues guitar. You know, I’d rather play something that makes inroads into your head because I’m getting a bit bored with the whole blues bit. I mean, as a musician, l’ve got to have respect for a song and treat it right – that’s what Paul has always done.

There was talk of the Grease Band getting together to finish off a second album. Can you see that happening?

Yeah, well. I think everybody wants to do it. I mean I want to do it because I played too long in the Grease Band to feel otherwise than dedicated to the band. It’s a family thing. You know, me and Neil Hubbard, have always been like brothers. There was a thing in SOUNDS the other week about the deleted Grease Band album and it was about my guitar playing hut Neil had as much to do with that album as I had on lead guitar. See, I feel sorry for people like Neil because it’s always bigmouths like myself that stop them from getting all they deserve, you know what I mean. That’s the truth.


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