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


Production staff

Paul McCartney:
Peter Tattersal:


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 New Musical Express – February 9, 1974

On January 3rd, Paul Linda and Denny arrived at Strawberry Studios, Stockport, to begin work on the first solo album recorded by Mike McGear. Produced by Paul, the album includes work by him, Mike McGear and Roger McGough.

Musicians featured were Linda, Denny, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, drummer Jerry Conway and Mike McGear. While in Stockport, Paul and Linda stayed with Paul’s family in Liverpool. McCartney’s party stayed at a nearby Manchester Airport Hotel.

Last week I spoke to Peter Tattersal who engineered the sessions, and has previously worked for Brian Epstein as road manager for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. Pete told me:

“It was incredible when Paul came to the studios, they’d work from 4pm to 5am. There isn’t a clock in the whole place, and the atmosphere is very casual. Other than Neil Sedaka and the Sid Lawrence Orchestra, we haven’t had many big names recording here, usually just college groups making their first demo. It’s a pleasure to work with someone as professional as Paul.

I remember one night, Denny picked up his guitar and started playing some Buddy Holly numbers. We all had a great sing song for about two hours. It was Shrove Tuesday, and we had a little Calor gas stove in the studio. Linda had made us all these incredible pancakes. They were so thin and fluffy. I’ll never forget them. We drank gallons of tea and wine. That was one of the most memorable nights.

Paul’s an amazing producer. There was a very strange number we did off one of the Roxy Music albums. He just brought the album into the studio and said: ‘Right, we’re going to do this one next.’ I’d never heard anything quite like it. I remember thinking, ‘oh, I don’t like that, all those discordant notes.’ But the more you hear it, the more you like it. It’s very clever. Paul was setting down the basic track, and really, I wasn’t sure what he was doing at all. It didn’t sound too right to me. But he has a great quality about him, in that, unlike so many producers, he is able to look ahead. There’s a big orchestral backing to it, and a completely new bass sound. Off the whole album it’s my favourite track.

He’s marvellous the way he deals with musicians. He got this incredible oboe solo out of this middle aged woman. He was sort of egging her on saying ‘yes and bend a note here’, and stuff like that. She was pretty amazed at what she had been able to do. His whole approach, and friendliness, endeared him to the session musicians.

Actually, he was telling me all about Sgt. Pepper. That whole album was amazing when you think that it was recorded on a four track. The Beatles did a hell of a lot for the recording industry. They did things that you didn’t think were possible. You’d sit and listen to their LP’s and marvel. In fact, from ‘Pepper’ onward for three years there was a tremendous growth rate. Nowadays we’ve got thirty-two track recording studios.

I’ve learnt a lot from Paul, and rate myself a more professional engineer since having worked with him. I hope they come back again.”

From Wings Fun Club newsletter N°1, 1974
From Disc – January 19, 1974
Exit mobile version