Recording "McGear" album

January - February 1974 • For Mike McCartney / McGear

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the McGear Official album.
Strawberry Studios South, Dorking, Surrey

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From Wikipedia:

The facility was originally called Inter-City Studios and located above a music store in the town centre. In early 1968 it was bought by Peter Tattersall, a former road manager for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. Tattersall invited Eric Stewart, then lead guitarist and singer of the Mindbenders and later a member of 10cc, to join him as a partner in July 1968. The pair moved to larger premises at No. 3 Waterloo Road in October, with Stewart choosing the studio’s new name in honour of his favourite Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields Forever“. […]

Once launched as a band, 10cc recorded their first four albums at Strawberry Studios. Sheet Music (1974) was recorded at the same time McCartney was producing brother Mike McGear’s McGear album. Gouldman recalled: “We would work in the studios every day from 11am to 5pm and then Paul would come in the evenings. It was a fabulous period, the studio looked absolutely beautiful, full of their equipment and our equipment, there was a lovely creative atmosphere in the studio …

From The Chieftains: The Authorised Biography, by John Glatt:

In early 1972 Paddy Moloney got a call from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, asking him to come to Stockport In the north of England to record some backing tracks for a new album he was producing for his brother Mike McGear’s solo album.

I was delighted when Paul called,‘ Moloney says. ‘The Beatles had just broken up and this was before Wings. I found it fascinating to work with him as I’d never seen recording equipment like that before. We certainly had nothing like that in Ireland. Paul was a genius at work-Ing it. He knew how to twiddle the knobs‘.

After the session Llnda McCartney asked Paddy to pose for a photograph with his uilleann pipes. ‘I remember sitting down and tlying to concentrate on playing the pipes while she was taking my portrait. Linda went wild with the camera and took hundreds of shots‘.

From Twitter – Taken during *McGear album recording at SSS (Strawberry Studios Stockport) by Eric ‘10cc’ Stewart. Me, Jimmy Mac, Lin & Paul (Denny & Gerry Conway in pub?)Tar 4 pics Eggs!

What led up to the recording of the album? You wanted to record again.

It was our kid making the mistake of saying “What are you doing?” I was in between things and I said “Nothing.” He said “Shall we try some music?” and I said “Yes, I do the comedy stuff but yeah I’ll have a go.” I went down to his house in London. We sat around and we came up with this song called “Leave It” coupled with “Sweet Baby” which we did here in this house. That’s how it started. It went down so well with these people in America, the Eastmans there. They were getting us a record deal and playing it to people who said “Hold on, what, you are stopping there? You should do an album.” Paul said, “What are you like on time?” I said “I am doing nothing.” He said “Well I’ve got a period that I can do. Shall we go for an album in Strawberry and come up North.” He has a house up here as well. So we used a setup every day in our car, taking our pate butties with us and little mixture drinks and just go to work in Strawberry, every day.

Mike McCartney / McGear – From The Strange BrewMike McGear McCartney – The Strange Brew, 2016
From Record Mirror, February 9, 1974 – From JTedesci / Twitter

Last updated on February 9, 2022

Going further

Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

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

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