Rehearsals at The Scotch of St James club

January 17-28, 1972 • For Wings
Studio:
The Scotch of St James, London, UK

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About

From January 17 to 28, 1972, Wings – composed of Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine and Denny Seiwell – rehearsed at The Scotch of St James club, in anticipation of future live performances and to start working on their second album.

On January 18, guitarist Henry McCullough joined Wings for rehearsal. He joined again on January 20, when Paul McCartney asked him to join the band.


They are getting a show together and doing material for the next album. They are getting ready for live appearances, but it won’t be before April.

Shelley Turner, Paul McCartney’s assistant – From “The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001” by Keith Badman

Our roadies happened to know Henry McCullough, who had been in Joe Cocker’s Grease Band. They said he was really good so we invited him along to a rehearsal and we all got along well. He became Wings’ lead guitarist, and so now we had a complete five-piece band ready to rock.

Paul McCartney, in Wingspan, 2002

In fact it was Paul’s roadie who rang, saying do you fancy sitting in? After the Grease Band, I didn’t know what the hell was going on so I went down and had a play. That was Tuesday and afterwards, things were left at that – nothing was said. Then I had another call on Thursday to go down again and afterwards, Paul said, ‘Do you want to join our group?’”

“Although I knew Denny Laine I’d never met McCartney before. Once I got used to seeing him there in person, he turned out to be a great bloke. I guess I was a bit nervous but I had a couple of pints of Guinness before I went along the first time. That helped.”

Henry McCullough – From interview for New Musical Express, January 29, 1972

What kind of material were they playing at the rehearsals?

There was a lot of rock things like “Lucille” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, plus some things off the ‘Wild Life’ album. Also there were a couple of new ones he’d written. On one song, he was kinda playing away on a tune I hadn’t heard before so I asked him what to do. He said, ‘We’re all just trying it out,’ and just continued playing. We all joined in, it went on a bit further and in no time at all a song was written. It was written on the spot and we all contributed.

Henry McCullough – From interview for New Musical Express, January 29, 1972

During those rehearsals, Paul was also interviewed by BBC Radio 1:

We’re just trying things in Wings at the moment. But there’s nothing too set with Henry McCullough… he might come in. All we really want is to get a good band to go round play with. I don’t care if we’re three, or five. So Iong as it sounds like a good band.

What we’re doing is working up to going out. Musically, well, I like all sorts. I like modern music, and I like old-fashioned music. I like all the different kinds of sounds I’ve heard since I was a kid, from ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ to anything else.

It’s been a long time since I played live. That’s why I want to get back. I’ve really decided I miss just playing to people.

Paul McCartney – From interview with BBC Radio 1, January 22, 1972

The first people Paul took on seemed to think that they ought to be millionaires overnight, because they were working with Paul McCartney and that he should give them each a mansion in the country or something. But Paul wasn’t even earning anything then because all the money was tied up in The Beatles’ litigation.

Denny Laine – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

Wingin’ away

It’s strongly rumoured that the famous debut of Wings will not take place in this country after all, but in South America. McCartney has been rehearsing the band for the past week and a half at London’s Scotch Of St. James (12 to six, prompt). He intends to put them through their paces for another three weeks and then hey ho, south of the border. His reason is that all those nasty elitist rock critics won’t be able to get at him.

Meanwhile he’s been boogyjng all over the stage at the Scotch apparently laying down some real old rock and roll.

From Melody Maker, January 29, 1972
From Melody Maker, January 29, 1972

Wings continued rehearsing in early February at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), before embarking on their university tour, which debuted on February 9, 1972.

Last updated on May 31, 2022

Songs recorded



2.

Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Written by Bill Monroe

Recording


3.

Freight Train

Written by Elizabeth Cotten

Recording


4.

She Said Yeah

Written by Larry Williams

Recording


5.


6.

Bip Bop

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

Recording


7.

Mumbo

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

Recording


8.


9.

Smile Away

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording



11.

Blackpool

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

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