Interview for Record Mirror • Saturday, April 28, 1973

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

Press interview • Interview of Denny Seiwell
Published by:
Record Mirror
Interview by:
Rick Sanders
Timeline More from year 1973

Related concert

Charity Brawl

Mar 18, 1973 • United Kingdom • London • Hard Rock Cafe

Songs mentioned in this interview

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Interview With Wings Drummer Denny Seiwell

2013 • From Classic Bands

RAM, Wings, and Beyond: An Interview with Denny Seiwell

May 22, 2012 • From The Morton Report

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DENNY SEIWELL, all six-foot-two and a half of him in lumberjack’s check jerkin and jeans, is sitting a trifle uneasily in the small and very English office / living room of Wings’ publicist. It reminds you of the story that in the grand old days of Hollywood they built sets. of cowboy films to seven eighths scale so that Alan Ladd, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers would lower like giants above the puny furniture.

Born in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, Denny is the drummer and American one-fifth of Wings and his every inch suggests the rootin’ tootin’ outdoor life, plugging owl hoots and varmints with a Colt 45 between gigs. But Denny in truth is 100% pure-proof musician and, despite his appearance, quietly spoken and well on the way to becoming an honorary Englishman.

Like the McCartney’s, he and his wife Monique (who is neither English nor American, but French) have a farm in Scotland, a place in London and a liking for the English life: even English football. “And we’re an ENGLISH band,” he says.

Denny hasn’t seen much of Scotland recently, because he’s been putting a lot of effort to finish the new Wings album, Red Rose Speedway, and making preparations for the first big Wings tour of Britain, a massive affair which, two years after the formation of the band, will be the first real opportunity for UK audiences to see what they can come up with.


We’re all so anxious to actually get out there and play,” said Denny, adding that the most serious difference of opinion between Paul and the other Beatles really was that he wanted more than anything to go and play to people.

“You can make good music in a studio, but all of us – we’re just a band of rockers, and we want to have a good time and give people a good time. We’ve got a few surprises for the tour as well. I won’t say exactly what just now.”

To get back into the spirit of playing live after spending a lot of time recording Red Rose Speedway to their satisfaction, Wings flexed their muscles at an unnanounced charity gig at London’s Hard Rock Cafe last month, a guerilla raid, which generated a lot of optimism in the band!

The previous live appearances had been last autumn on the European tour this surprise date proved to be…

“…really fantastic, the best we’ve played up to now. We only played an hour or so, but on the tour we’ll be doing a rather extravagant affair, probably playing for two and a half hours.

“I’m glad we took such a time before starting out on a tour like this, though. It’s hard work for a band to come together. It’s similar to a marriage there are the five of you and you have to find out what makes each of you tick, and that learning takes time.

“It was especially true in our case, as Paul purposely chose musicians who came from very separate types of backgrounds, so we’d all have different influences and inspirations to bring into the band’s music.

“It might have been quicker and easier to have chosen five people who’d all been through the same sort of experiences and been playing similar music, but if you do that there’s less chance of creating anything original; the music would tend to be very predictable.

“As for the music, I think what we’re doing now is simply the best sort of thing there is. There’s nothing in the way of egoism, we all keep it utterly simple and try to put all the feelings we can manage into it. It’s teenage rock and roll!

“I used to be something of a sophisticate when I was playing drums in New York as a session man. I did a lot of jazz and I could play pretty well anything I’d ever be called upon to do, but I’ve realised that as far as I’m concerned, more is less, or vice versa.

“Simple things count most, and that is what Wings is all about.”

Denny’s one previous experience of playing in a group happened with a band he formed called The Pleasure Principle, which he says was very different from Wings. One of the current group’s qualities he admires is the ability to make music that will appeal to not only pop fans, not only rockers, but “anyone from six to sixty.”

“Most of the people in a Wings’ audience are going to be teenagers,” he says, “But we’ve noticed that every now and then there’ll be a mum and dad out there enjoying the show.”

Even a number like Mary Had A Little Lamb, which might have seemed more appropriate for Children’s Favourites than a rock audience, is a number which always goes down well:

“You should see them by the time it gets to the chorus, everybody’s opening their throats and singing la-la along with the band.”

The British tour, beginning on May 11 at Bristol Hippodrome, will form the climax, a sort of graduation ceremony to culminate the two years that Wings have spent building up their music, a period in which Denny has managed to fit in just one. week’s holiday to see his family in the States. It’s as if all the fireworks will be going off at once.

The new album will be on release. It’s a record with which Denny and the rest are well satisfied and is the best possible reflection of where the group is at the moment. The tour will be taking place, and to set everything off to a good roaring start, an hour-long TV Spectacular will be shown on ITV the day before the first gig.

Excellent timing, grins Denny, who explains that though the show is entitled James Paul McCartney it is very much a Wings affair, with a little help in the shape of a family cartoon mice living under the stage.

Although it’s the name of Paul McCartney which still casts the magic in the public’s eye, and he’s the one who put the group together and indeed has paid their wages over the last two years, Denny stresses that the band is nevertheless very much a democratic set-up. Paul and Denny Laine are the main songwriters, but both Henry McCullough (whose- song The Mess is the B side of the new Wings’ single, My Love) and drummer Denny are starting to contribute more in the way of material.

“Aren’t you going to ask me about the Beatles reforming?” said Denny at this point, as the allotted interview time came to a close. “That’s what everybody keeps asking me. Well, I’ll tell you; now that the obstruction in the form of Allen Klein has gone, I should think there’s a strong possibility that they will all get together again.

“After all, when you’ve been through so much together as friends, you would not want to just forget all that there was between you. As for us, there’s nothing we’d like more than to appear on the same show as, say, John Lennon’s band.”

The chances of Wings breaking up must be counted as a good deal slimmer than slim. They have so much coming to the boil just now. There’s the new James Bond movie theme, plans for a cartoon film featuring Rupert Bear Superstar for which some of the songs have already been recorded, the tour, the TV show, the records, and, as Denny said, “See you at the show!

Last updated on August 14, 2023


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