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In anticipation of the upcoming Wings tour in Japan, Wings spent a bit more than a week rehearsing at Paul’s farm house. A 13 minutes movie of those rehearsals have surfaced, likely filmed for inclusion in a Japanese TV special.
This is Paul McCartney speaking, can you hear me? Oh yes, I can hear you. We are just rehearsing here you know, man… Yeah right! … Is that right? Yeah, that’s right people of Japan.Paul McCartney
The tour would not happen, due to McCartney being arrested for drug possession at the Tokyo airport. He would later comment about this whole accident, and specifically on the rehearsals:
Another strange thing is, we hadn’t really rehearsed enough. For the previous Wings tours we rehearsed a lot. It was almost as if I wanted to get busted – although I really didn’t.Paul McCartney, Wingspan book, 2002
I think the Japanese ‘episode’ as we can call it, was the end of Wings. It’s strange, that period for me. I didn’t want to go to Japan with this band. I felt under-rehearsed. And I don’t like that feeling at all. I will normally rehearse so I feel, We’ve got a great show. Then I’m happy to go. We were going to rehearse in Tokyo, and I thought, Oh, a bit last minute so I was panicking about it all.
And suddenly, I get busted. And I don’t know, it feels strange. It’s almost like I got myself busted, to get out of it. I really don’t know, to this day. I also think, did someone put that stuff in there? To bust me? I don’t know. It’s very psycho-drama. Anyway, the upshot was, we got there, I got busted, and I really thought, this band isn’t gonna work, I’m not happy with it.
Why weren’t we rehearsed? There was something going wrong, something was trying to tell me something. So that was the end of Wings. Since Wings had started, I must say I was looking forward to the day it ended — just to be able to say: ‘Wings Folded’. I do remember wanting to say that. I’m not sure if anyone ever used it.Paul McCartney, in Conversations With McCartney, by Paul Du Noyer, 2017
Drummer Steve Holley had the same opinion:
I didn’t feel at my best when we set off. I remember the rehearsals being less than satisfactory. They hadn’t yielded enough security for Paul. So when we left, there was a cloud hanging over it.Steve Holley, quoted in Man On The Run, Paul McCartney in the 1970s, by Tom Doyle
In another interview:
It has to be said in hindsight and with retrospect, Paul wasn’t the happiest guy on the planet before we left. At the rehearsals, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to take the horns on tour as he did in ’75 and ’76 and he had asked us all individually but I was the new guy so I wasn’t going to say we shouldn’t have a horn section and put four people out of work. It was not my position and I would never ever choose to accept that, plus the fact I liked the guys and I thought that retaining the horn section was a good thing; I enjoyed it on the tour we did for twenty-two dates in the UK but I could tell that Paul wasn’t entirely happy with the way rehearsals went to say the least.Steve Holley, interview with Glenn Williams
Last updated on May 21, 2020
Eight Arms To Hold You • Chip Madinger • Mark Easter
We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!
Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.
As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website