Wings interview • Late 1971 ?

Interview of Paul McCartney

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Denny:  I’m with Wings because the music isn’t like anything that you hear today. 

Paul:  I like the idea myself of just having a sort of easy little thing like a band thing which is just umm…just a band!  A simple idea of a band playing together.  We’re completely at the liberty to go and play with someone else that strikes us.  For instance, Denny has played with some people in Chicago, you know, knocking around.

Denny:  It’s a lot of fun playing with them.  You know, they’re nice kids.  They make good music and we have a lot of fun, people storming the stage and dancing with us.

Paul:  We’re trying to get a very simple idea going you know, which is we’re only a band, you know.  So we rehearse some numbers and we ad-lib some and um…we’re not trying to get it, not too formal. You know, not too definite a pattern.  So that we can have a framework, you know, in case you don’t feel like having it.  (Linda singing in the background).  You know, when there’s those times when you don’t feel like (stutter) you know, you just want to play.  now that would give you satisfaction.  So for that, you need some kind of framework, so we have that with us, a simple framework.  We want to do sort of little concerts here and there, you know, not particularly big seaters and stuff.  We’ll probably dress in basic black and we’re thinking of doing that next you, you know.  But it might just be in small countries and um..things.

Linda:  We’ve been rehearsing in New York.

Paul:  But the way we’re doing it see, I mean there’s no tour lined up.  There’s nothing lined up.  What we’re gonna do is just see how we go, you know, but we’d like to play anywhere and everywhere!  Basically what we’d do, is the kind of thing where you just take off, arrive at some place, fix up a gig and play!  Without too much of a big thing see because the first thing is we’ve got to lay in a bit, you know, the band.  We haven’t played that much together yet to really be tight together, so we’ve got to do that.  now, I’ve got the problem of what I’m going to do anyway.  We’ll just tour but, you know, won’t know when or where or anything, but little groups of people will hear us around the country.  That’s our main intention, but we’re not particularly involved in playing like to 200 thousand people at once.  Just cause I don’t like that kind of gig.  So, you get what I mean?  I did so the scene with The Beatles, you know, and I did it in a particular way which was great at that time, you know, and I loved it.  But there’s no sense now in starting all it again and doing it the same way, you know, there’s o pint in it.  So, the way we’re doing it now is very unplanned, very, sort of you know, just for our own fun really.  But we make good records.  We’ll play in various places, but who knows where or when, you know.

Linda:  Who knows?!

Paul:  That’s the future! you know that!  I mean it’s like saying to you what are you gonna be doing next week?  Now, you know, you know, but anything could happen by then.  you know, I get uncomfortable if I know I got a thing for the next week that I’m not very keen of doing.  But it’s there and I still have to persuade myself I’ve got to do it.  I get very uncomfortable, you know, I start thinking (in a high voice) what am I doing, you know, am I sure I want to do this?  So, I like to be able to just try and give myself the freedom to um…go where I want, when I want and you know, give or take a few hours and you know, it pretty much works!  you can do it if you want to do it!  We’ve just been to Jamaica.
Linda:  Yeah.

Paul:  Linda and I’ve just been to Jamaica.  Fun, wonderful Jamaica.  Lie in the sun, swim!

Linda:  Listen to Reggae!

Paul:  The music, you know, I loved it!  It’s just sorta, ah, it’s like um, early rock n roll, only it isn’t.  It’s a whole new thing!  It’s got the spirit of early rock.  It’s very simple and yet there’s a way you play it.  It’s kinda difficult.  There’s a switch on how you normally play, you know, a whole new thing, we just, ah loved it!  It’s just, you know like you’re playing up-side-down.  A great feeling!

Linda:  I’ve just written a Reggae song!

Paul:  Linda has just written a Reggae song which is called SEA SIDE WOMAN

Linda:  I’d like it to be a hit in Jamaica.  I really would!

Paul:  We were rehearsing just a rhythm thing which is a Reggae rhythm, and originally it was just an instrumental.  We just went into the studio and just did it.  And as we were playing it back, we realized LOVE IS STRANGE was born a second time, third time around.  I think it’s a good, good album there, Wings Wildlife.  Great harmony, good backing. We wrote them in the summer in Scotland, Linda and myself.  This is Linda here.

Linda:  How do you do? {laughter)

Paul:  Fine thanks, Linda.  (laughter) And she and I wrote them in the summer in Scotland.  Then the other two came up and we just rehearsed for a few days.  We just hanged out just a few chords, stuff, and had sort of loose arrangements with the stuff and then we went down to London and recorded it.  Backing tracks just the three days just to bang it all out.  It’s just one of the three albums I’ve done so far.  The first one is just me on my own virtually, you know, with assistance from Linda.  But there weren’t any other musicians on it, you know.  So, ah, that was that kind of album.  But the Small Faces grooved to it in Connecticut or something you know and was one of their favourite albums. And I was pleased to hear that.   And Ram is a whole other kind of thing, you know.  Ram’s a big, sort of ah, a bit drawn out, a big thing, a big epic.  Sort of a whole lot of stuff and this one is a bit more in the middle.  I like it better as an album myself.  Ram’s one of those kind of things that takes a long time to get into.  I think, you know, there’s a lot on it, you know, it’s not as though it’s just a simple thing that just goes and just plays through and you understand it all.  There’s a lot of things, a lot of stuff, on it at one time.  I heard Ram the other night.  I think it’s great! Like I say, it’s one of those albums that take a bit of time, and I can imagine a place of lonely reviewers somewhere sitting in an office and the heat has just been turned off and he’s got this record and he’s got to say wondrous things about it.  He’s also got to keep his reputation going as a bit of a lad, you know, there’s a whole lot of things coming to his mind when he put it on, you know, and I think if it isn’t’ an immediate thing you tend to get not too hot reviews.  But I tell you, about five months after it was released, Ram was still selling, you know.  It took five months to start to sell.  It just seemed like it was just doing two weeks and out of the charts!

Linda:  We haven’t read reviews on Ram much.

Paul:  “Wild Life”, you know, you have to think about that!  The first song we’ve done which is us, you know, saying something as you say, is “Wild Life” and that just say you know that um, nature’s alright!  you know, that um, the wild state is a good state!  So why are we getting rid of it?  And animals are in zoos instead of just actually sort of running, you know like they’re supposed to.  We tend as animals, human animals, to be in a bit of a zoo, too.  We sit here, nine floors up!  Once I was in a game park in Africa just doing the tours through it, taking a drive through it and there’s a big sign at the entrance that just says remember, you know, all you people in motorcars, the animals have the right of way, and I liked that, you know, I liked the thought that somewhere they have the right of way over you.

Linda: They’re saying there’s too many deer. I mean it’s crazy what they’re saying!

Paul:  But, you know, they’re not necessarily right. To me, there certainly aren’t too many deers, you know, because I know where I lived there are deers and I loved them to be near and I like them to be alive.  You know, we’re farmers, for instance, we farm, we crop and we do this kind of thing and we have deers near and they don’t disturb us, like I’ve always heard.

Linda:  They don’t eat the crops.

Paul: I don’t go for these people who go into farming as a real, heavy, serious business where they see some deer there and they say, hey man, you know, they’re eating all the crops.  And you know, from this it grows that all deer are bad and we must shoot all deer!  The rabbits are being introduced to macimatoses!  It’s a disease, which rabbits get, and it’s in Britain because there’s too many rabbits.  So we walk along and see the rabbits lying there and slowly the disease eats them up and all they’re eyes are wonky.

Linda:  It’s a flea!

Paul:  It’s really sort of disgusting.  It’s really awful!  And these rabbits are just wasting away, you know, and you think, you know, whatever happened to them?  There’s a strip in a newspaper and every year they have an annual, you know, a yearly book for the kids and it’s called Rupert.  He’s a white teddy bear who like wears sort of ah, straight clothes and stuff.  He is just fabulous!  He’s from the 1940s.

Linda:  He’s from the 1920s.

Paul:  1920s or something, you know, he’s way back and he is fabulous, and make the music, you know, like Walt Disney thing. 

Linda:  Better!  Better quality than the record one, I think. 

Paul:  It’s just something I’ve done some music for but the actual film’s not started yet.  But that’s the next film thing I wanna do, is a big animated cartoon.

Linda: It’s beautiful!  It’s very British!

Paul: It’s very British.  It’s very optimistic!  He’s a great lad, you know, all his ideas can be done.  If he’s presented a problem, he’s just Rupert.  He’s so smart, you know.  You know, he gets it together, conquers the problem, you know.  He’s tremendous you know!  Great character!

Linda:  A great adventure!

Paul:  And he’s got one of these friends, a wise goat who lives up in the hills, you know, with a big robe on and stuff and he’s got a big long white beard and goats horns and stuff.  You know, it’s all animals talking and stuff.  It’s one of them.

Linda:  Animals are like people apparently.  A real fantasy!

Paul:  You know, the idea is I liked Walt Disney movies.  I still do, you know, I like all that kind of thing.  I like to see that, you know, so ah, I’d like to make one of them.  The main this is so I can make the music.

Linda:  The Grammys was fun just because it was real spontaneous, you know.  We just sort of went in and then out.

Paul:  We drove around the block a couple of times, you know, before we really decided we really wanted to go in and collect the Grammys or not, ah, because it was just the two of us.  No bodyguards, no nothing, you know, no “come on you guys!  Get in there!” None of that.  I drove in, you know, got in the door, just sort of leaped in there and sat down in our seats at the back of the hall.

Linda:  And watched it!

Paul:  And watched the show, you know, and when they announced us, we just leaped up there in our sneakers.   Well, it hasn’t ended yet, I mean you know, I’m waiting to be released from that situation, you know, I’m waiting to be released.  The group finished, everything’s finished, but ah, somehow, apparently Klein can’t find a way to release me.  They say that we say that, you know all this silly stuff!  but the main point of the matter is I’m still waiting like ah, to be released from my Beatles contract.  And I’m in a new group!  (Linda and other guys singing n background)

Linda:  Wings!!

Paul: And it’s good man.  And I think it is Allen Klein who’s holding me back because he is information me to advise the others that there are tax reasons, great tax reasons why they can’t let me go.  But I have an idea that it wouldn’t’ be that difficult to sort of let me slip out of the partnership and just carry on everything as it was going.  Just let me out, and leave me with any sort of tax problems or whatever, you know, but I think the easiest way for it to be solved, would be for ah, the three ah, other Beatles and um, no not the three other Beatles for Christ sake.  John, George, Ringo, and Allen Klein to just let me out of all my involvement with them and sort of let me, give me what’s mine.  I just think it’s as simple as that!  I’m being told there’s this reason and that reason, but when I go to my publisher and I ask for more royalties, he has many reasons not to give me more.  That’s the point, you know.  So in this Beatle thing I know I should get out.  Nobody really hangs out with each other anymore.  We haven’t recorded or played or done anything together now for two years.  I’m being told it’s difficult, it is too difficult for me to be let out of The Beatles contact, but that must be nonsense.  That’s just gotta be crazy because I’m out of The Beatles!  I can’t go on seven more years!  That contract runs seven more years, you know.  It means everything I do will have to go through and be governed by a Beatles contract, and that just ain’t on as you say in America.

Last updated on March 1, 2022


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