Interview for Disc and Music Echo • Saturday, February 12, 1972

Paul On The Wing

Press interview • Interview of Wings
Published by:
Disc and Music Echo
Interview by:
Andrew Tyler
Timeline More from year 1972

Album This interview has been made to promote the Give Ireland Back To The Irish 7" Single.

Songs mentioned in this interview

Other interviews of Wings

Wings: taking off at last?

Jun 16, 1979 • From Melody Maker

Wings 1975 tour book

September 1975

Wings Flying Hi, Hi, Hi!

Dec 02, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Wings First Flight

May / June 1972 ? • From McCartney Productions

Interview for Radio Leeds

Feb 16, 1972 • From Radio Leeds

Interview with WRKO

Jan 13, 1972 • From WRKO

Interview with WCBS-FM

Dec 15, 1971 • From WCBS-FM

The Heart Of McCartney

Dec 04, 1971 • From Record Mirror

Interviews from the same media

Paul & Linda McCartney send a telegram to Disc & Music Echo

Apr 25, 1970 • From Disc And Music Echo

McCartney on Wings and Things

Nov 27, 1971 • From Disc And Music Echo

Henry Gets His Wings

Jan 29, 1972 • From Disc And Music Echo

McCartney getting ready for criticism

Jul 15, 1972 • From Disc And Music Echo

Look out showbiz - Here come Wings

Dec 02, 1972 • From Disc And Music Echo

Paul McCartney: Spilling the beans...

Apr 14, 1973 • From Disc and Music Echo

They're the best band in the land

May 04, 1973 • From Disc And Music Echo

Paul's fun on the run

Dec 08, 1973 • From Disc and Music Echo

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Andrew Tyler, from Disc And Music Echo magazine, was in the studio with Wings when they recorded “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” on February 1, 1972. He documented the session in his article published on February 12 (two weeks before the release of the single, on February 25).


“Give Ireland Back TO The Irish Don’t Make Them Have To Take It Away.”

I started with a bellyful of courage in a pub round the corner from E.M.I.’s Abbey Road Studios. It’s 7.30. A loose barman re-fills my glass with Scotch. An old man is shaking violently and throwing-up on the carpet. Collar up, head down and out into the snow.

“Studio 3, please”

“Who is it you wanted?”

“I’ve come for the Wings session.”

The sleepy man at the desk waves me through Studio 2, where the Beatles made their magical sounds, is just down the corridor but that’s another story. A clean-shaven man, about 30, his greasy hair pushed back behind the ears, looms over and shakes my hand ecstatically. “Hello. Donald Disc.

I remember now. “Here, There And Everywhere,” “Yesterday,” “Tomorrow.” He’s Paul McCartney, of course, shorter than I expected and a little swoIIen around the mid-riff. But I’d know him anywhere. The brilliant eyes and pout give him away. He dashes off to fiddle with a speaker box and Linda grabs her Nikon and points it at me. “I’m just going to do this. For the record, you know.”

Click. She’s a blonde, slender creature, long delicate fingers and equipped for London’s winter in a green Woollen sweater, a long cotton dress that reaches her ankles, black woollen socks and basketball shoes.

I can see Henry McCulloch sitting at the back of the studio, head down over his Gibson. Denny Seiwell, the man who went for his tom-toms, is barricaded behind a sound screen in the far left-hand corner. He’s a big bony fellah with a jutting jaw. When he plays he fills his cheeks with air.

Denny Laine, in jean top and bottom, is helping shift equipment. And there’s Ian Horne, roadie and background noises.

Okay, let’s try the end bit again,” says Paul. He picks up his Fender bass and settles on the far side of a hinged screen that cuts off the top third of the studio. The others gather themselves in position — Denny L. and Henry on the near side, Denny S. in his fortress to the left and Linda to their right on piano.

Give Ireland Back To The Irish…” They’re trying for a backing track but it’s early days.

They run through the piece once and Paul comes over. “It’s something I woke up with this morning,” he tells me. “It’ll be our next single if it works out. If people want it. It’s about the mess in Ireland.”

He does a little dance and sings me a couple of bars then heads on for the sound room. He moves so fast. Part of the McCartney legend is to do with his energy. Here, there and everywhere, adjusting volume and tone on amps, flicking buttons on any one of a half-dozen keyboard instruments in the studio, coercing just the right sound out of the machine. McCartney the perfectionist. Ready for another go while his sleepy companions sup tea and munch chocolate biscuits.

Many hours later there was the debris of stoned, sleep-hungry bodies strewn over chairs in the sound room. Linda was asleep across her husband’s back; Henry and the Denny’s could have used some matchsticks to prop open their eyes and Paul McCartney was tapping out rhythms and playing with dials on the space-age control panel.

He doesn’t look very Cuban – heeled fab these days, dressed in a black waistcoat and tee-shirt and pale blue trousers. He also wears basketball shoes.

Studio 3 was already straining under Wings’ offensive. A three-foot pile of amp and speaker box covers had taken on some tables. Plastic cups, coke cans and cigarette butts were all over the place and Linda just poured a double Scotch over an organ top – Denny L’s cup not where it should have been.

Ian asks me if wouldn’t mind waiting in the sound room as I’d probably get in the way of things. But 15 minutes later I can see Paul signalling through the booth’s panoramic window: “Mr. Disc, you can come in here you like.”

They try a couple more takes while Tony Clark, the EMI engineer, tries for a balance, listening in on each instrument separately. It’s a simple, sing-along tune using G, D and A7 chords for the verse and a chorus in a minor mode.

Give Ireland back to the Irish. Make Ireland today.

Paul had been inspired by “Bloody Sunday” and Bernadette Devlin’s attempts to throttle Reg Maudling in the Commons. “This one’s for Reggie,” he kept saying before takes.

They break for tea, Scotch and joints. “How about an interview?” I wondered.

I’m not sure I really want to sit and start answering all those questions. I never did like talking into a tape recorder. You say one thing and by the time it hits the media it becomes so separate from what you really meant. I suppose I could drag in and go through the whole thing… ‘On drums, we have, blah, blah’. But I’d come out sounding like Lovelace Watkins.

9.30 p.m. They relax with a bit of Johnny Cash corn. Henry’s ready for a take but Tony in the sound room isn’t. “When You are in love it’s the loveliest night of the Year.” 10 p.m. Tony’s ready at last. They try a take but listening in on the replay they sense they’ve lost something.

We should have done it this afternoon when it was still fresh,” says Denny L. Paul agrees: “We’ve lost some of the feel but it’s a better sound.” He calls through on the monitor to Tony: “Couldn’t you make it sound more like a record. Something more electric. It sounds too much like a band.

As the night wears thin, he wages a subtle battle to arrest control of the sound panel from Tony. Eventually, he dominates as he dominates every other situation. By this time Henry has come through with a superb guitar line for the intro and verse. Denny supports with a compact rhythm that serves as a second lead and Linda backs with choppy chording on piano.

Do you think I should use organ or piano,” she’s asking. “Whatever feels best,” says Paul. 11 p.m. They decide on smaller amps and more baffles and Ian zooms away in the grey Bedford van to collect them. Linda settles for electric piano. More tea, dope and things. The breaks are coming more often as their strength goes.

Great Britain, you are tremendous, nobody knows like me. Meanwhile back in Ireland there’s a man who looks like me.

They sense they’ve found a suitable tracking track among the half dozen takes, and gather around a couple of mikes at the far end of the studio for vocals. But no, it’s a compromise. They start the whole process again. Bring on the big amps again. Okay, let’s get going.

By 3 p.m., they’ve found a good take and Paul, headphones clamped over his ears, doubles up on his original vocals. The others form a semi-circle around a second mike and Denny L. conducts them through the eeh, oohs, ahs and handclaps. They keep missing cues and giggling. Henry contributes a strangled howl.

But the replay sounds great. Everyone is in the sound room talking over what’s needed to fill the gaps. They decide on a bottleneck guitar intro from Henry. He tries a dozen takes with Paul at the panel telling him over the monitor: “A little more savage… yeah that sort of thing but leave out the end bit.” He whittles it down to four or five notes.

The final touch. Paul wants to add a few of his own lead guitar lines to the last few bars. Henry and Denny back him with straight rhythm guitar while he rehearses his bit. He takes 15 minutes to get it right.

The time is 5.30 Wednesday morning. They’ve been working on the song for 14 1/2 hours, 11 1/2 in the studio. They’ll be back for more overdubs, maybe a penny whistle for the chorus.

All I can say is goodnight,” says Paul and he, Linda and Denny stride out of Studio 3, Abbey Road.

From JTedesci / Twitter – Lots of tea getting consumed and Mr. Hyperactive wearing everybody down…. OTD in 1972, an article published in the Disc and Music Echo

Last updated on April 18, 2022


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