Tonawanda News

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June 16, 2013

MUSIC NOTES: Wings flying back over America with "Rockshow" re-lease

Tonawanda News — One afternoon in 1991, I was driving in my car listening to my new copy of Paul McCartney’s “Unplugged: The Official Bootleg,” and the song “Here, There and Everywhere” came on and prompted the following dialogue with my passenger.

“Who is this?” she inquired.

“It’s Paul McCartney,” I replied.

“Wasn’t he in some famous band?”

“Yes … Wings!”

In 1991 it was still fairly shocking to think that there were people who didn’t know who the members of The Beatles were. In the last few years I have talked to teenagers who have heard of The Beatles, but I am running across many more who can’t rattle off “John, Paul, George and Ringo.” In fact, when I told one teenager I was going to a Ringo Starr press conference, he asked, “Who is she? Some famous model or something?”

To those who know The Beatles, Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles band, Wings was formed in 1971. The core of the group included McCartney, his wife Linda, and former Moody Blues guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine. In 1976, the band toured the United States with what I consider to be their best lineup, which included the late Jimmy McCulloch on guitar and former Rochester native Joe English on drums.

The tour was captured on film and released under the title “Rockshow,” and also as a triple album titled “Wings Over America.” Unlike McCartney’s tours of late, during his tour with Wings he only played four Beatles songs.

Both the “Rockshow” film and “Wings Over America” album have been re-mastered and re-released this month. The “Rockshow” film was also shown in Buffalo recently.

The first album I ever owned was “Abbey Road,” largely because my father was a fan of The Beatles and I grew to love their music. Dad was one of many people who weighed in on the “Paul versus John” debate, and Dad had little use for McCartney’s post-Beatles work.

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