Book Review: “Wings Over New Orleans” by John Taylor
JULY 26, 2015
It was a hot time down in New Orleans last weekend…and I mean that literally and figuratively! My husband, blogger CigarCraig, and I were in New Orleans for the Cigar and Pipe Retailers convention, but that didn’t stop me from finding a way to fit a little Beatles into our trip!
On Sunday morning, Craig and I had the pleasure of meeting up with John and Janet Taylor of Slidell, LA at the Market Café in the French Market. We had a great time chatting over coffee, bread pudding and grits with a great jazz band playing in the background. It felt like we were meeting up with old friends as we looked at photos from when John met Paul and Linda McCartney in 1975. (John is also a part time actor and has had uncredited roles in movies like Dallas Buyers Club and Django Unchained!)
Now, back to my review…
John Taylor is the author of the new book Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975. This book is his account and photos of when Paul and Linda McCartney, along with their band Wings, came to New Orleans in the winter of 1975 to record their album Venus and Mars. Though only 88 pages long, this book was published by Pelican Publishing (ISBN 9781455620340) of New Orleans and contains countless photos and stories by John and several of the other groupies and fans that hung out outside of Sea-Saint Studios for 3 months talking and talking pictures of the McCartneys during their three month stay in the Big Easy.
After 35 years in storage, John finally brought his photos out of their box in hopes that other fans might like to read and see his story of meeting his idol (John used to play bass in a Beatles tribute band called the Blue Meanies!).
This book is definitely a must have for all McCartney and Wings fans for their collection.
I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!
You can order Wings Over New Orleans at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. You can also find Wings Over New Orleans in bookstores.
You can find John Taylor on Facebook
Jennifer w/ author John Taylor in New Orleans (July 2015)
Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975
Paperback – January 23, 2015
by John Taylor (Author)
New Orleans fans meet Paul and Linda McCartney.
In 1975, Paul and Linda McCartney came to New Orleans with Wings to record Venus and Mars at Allen Toussaint’s famous Sea-Saint Studio. They immersed themselves in the city for several months, going to Mardi Gras with their children and enjoying local music as they worked on their album. Chance meetings led to blossoming acquaintances, and Crescent City fans of Wings and the Beatles had the rare chance to spend countless hours with the gracious stars, showing off their city and rubbing shoulders with rock royalty. This volume contains reminiscences of meeting Paul and Linda and scores of previously unpublished candid photographs, showcasing the couple’s kind, down-to-earth nature. Lovers of this era of classic rock will enjoy this glimpse into the everyday life of the McCartneys.
From the Back Cover
For a few lucky McCartney fans, early 1975 is a time they’ll never forget. Paul and Linda McCartney, with their band Wings, came to record their album Venus and Mars at New Orleans’ famous Sea-Saint Studio. Beatles buffs came by, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the most famous rock stars of the century. They were surprised to find their idols were down-to-earth and unpretentious, generous with their time and conversation. More than sixty candid photographs from their stay—most previously unpublished—accompany reminiscences from fans who got to know the McCartneys in the Crescent City. From taking the McCartney children to Mardi Gras to catching a ride from Paul, these stories and photographs show Paul and Linda at their most genuine.
Author and musician John Taylor fell in love with the music and style of the Beatles during their famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. As a teenager, he picked up a bass guitar just like Paul’s and has been playing ever since. A chance meeting outside of Sea-Saint Studio led to a months-long acquaintance with Paul and Linda McCartney and scores of pictures and conversations. Taylor plays with the Louisiana-based group The Meanies and lives outside of New Orleans.
About the Author
John Taylor is the bass player for the Meanies, a rock, funk, soul, and country band. A lifelong musician and prolific songwriter, Taylor is also a background actor and has appeared in more than forty movies, including Dallas Buyers Club. Taylor lives outside of his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Pelican Publishing (January 23, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
This view is of the Kindle edition (2015) from Pelican Publishing. A preview of the print book (Paperback edition) is currently not available.
UNSEEN PHOTOS OF PAUL AND LINDA MCCARTNEY, 1975
OVER NEW ORLEANS
PELICAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
Copyright © 2015
By John Taylor
All rights reserved
The word “Pelican” and the depiction of a pelican are
trademarks of Pelican Publishing Company, Inc., and are
registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Taylor, John, 1953-
Wings over New Orleans : unseen photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975 / by John Taylor.
ISBN 978-1-4556-2034-0 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-4556-2035-7 (e-book) 1. McCartney, Paul—Portraits. 2. McCartney, Linda—Portraits. 3. Rock musicians—England—Portraits. I. Title.
Printed in China
Published by Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, Louisiana 70053
To my wife, Janet; my daughters and their husbands, Jamie and Jacob Stephens and Rachel and Josh Schmidt; and my grandchildren, Barrett, Ethan, Austin, and Taylor
A Little About Me
Word Around Town, by Susan Baldwin Amato
In the Neighborhood, by Danny Gaudin
I Was Seventeen, by Guy Duplantier
Beatlemaniac, by Steve Harris
A Beatle in Person, by Val Bethancourt
Mardi Gras, by John Taylor, Skelly Tempereau, and
Delta 88, by John Taylor, Warren (Jimmy) Jacob, and Jacquelyn Jackson
UNSEEN PHOTOS OF PAUL AND LINDA MCCARTNEY, 1975
OVER NEW ORLEANS
In January of 1975, Paul and Linda McCartney along with Wings came to New Orleans to record their new album at Sea-Saint Studio, located in a quiet neighborhood known as Gentilly. In the small parking lot of the studio, a group of people had the rare opportunity to meet and talk to Paul and Linda McCartney. To many of them, this will always stand out as some of the best times in their lives.
I was one of those fortunate few. I met Paul and Linda almost every day that they came to the studio. I took pictures, got autographs, and got to talk to them on many occasions. That will always stand out as one of the most exciting times in my life.
As the years passed, I told the story less and rarely pulled out the pictures to show. Thirty-eight years later, I read an ad on Facebook that asked, “Have you ever met a Beatle?” I sent one of my pictures, and the person who ran the ad was thrilled.
We began to communicate online, and I sent a few more pictures and told my story. To make a long story short, the man who ran the ad, Dean Johnson, was a singer/songwriter near Liverpool, England. He was writing a book containing pictures and stories of people who had met a member of the Beatles. The publication featured seven of my photographs. That was when I realized that there was an interest in my pictures and the stories of the people who were there when a former Beatle was recording in New Orleans.
It has been several decades since I met Paul. It is time to share these pictures and stories with the rest of the world.
A Little About Me
I was born in 1953 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to John Taylor and Lottie McGovern Taylor. I have four sisters, Charlotte, Barbara, Brenda, and Lisa, and one brother, Kenneth. I had a very happy childhood in Gentilly, and like most boys back then, I would play Cowboys and Indians, Tarzan, and, of course, Superman, jumping off my bed with a towel “cape” tied around my neck. My good friend, Louis Kahl, lived about two blocks from my house. We shared the same birthday, but I was a year older.
On my tenth and his ninth birthday, I got a bow and arrow set with the rubber tips, and Louis received a guitar. About a week or two later, he was already playing songs. I had to get a guitar; I was drawn to it. My parents were able to get me one from a cousin who wasn’t using his. From that day forward, it was me and the guitar. Louis and I started taking lessons together, and as time went on, we got pretty good. Over the years, we have played in several bands together. He still plays professionally, and to this day, I make part of my living playing music.
In 1964, my older sisters were all excited about a group called the Beatles. The band was scheduled to be on “The Ed Sullivan Show” one Sunday. I didn’t know anything about this group, but if they played guitars, I was going to check them out. Sunday finally came and my family gathered around the TV. I remember Ed Sullivan announcing, “Here they are! The Beatles.” To this day I have never seen anything like this. Girls were screaming. These four guys with guitars and drums and really weird haircuts were producing this sound that was so incredible. There was so much energy flowing from the TV, and I was hooked. Everything was perfect: their suits, their hair, even their guitars. I particularly liked the guitar shaped like a violin. I had never seen anything like that before, and it was so cool.
I used to take the bus home from school and would have to walk about six city blocks to my house. I would take a shortcut through a shopping center along the way. In the middle of this shopping center was a music store, and in the window was a violin bass guitar like Paul’s.
This is where I would take a break from walking. I would stand and stare at that guitar; I just thought it was so cool. After a few weeks of this, the lady who worked there came out and said, “Son, every day you come and look at that guitar. Won’t you get your parents to buy it for you for Christmas?”
I told her it was probably too expensive, and I didn’t play bass. She said it was only eighty-five dollars. It was a Japanese copy of the German Hofner that Paul used.
I asked if she could order one that was a six-string guitar, and she said they only made this style as a bass. I decided that I wanted it anyway. I told my parents I wanted it for Christmas. I begged.
About a week later, the guitar was gone from the window. I went into the store and they told me that a little boy had come in with his dad and they had bought it. I asked if they could order another guitar and explained that I just about had my parents talked into it. They told me that it was the last one. It came by mistake, and they could not get any more.
I left heartbroken and depressed. Then Christmas came, and I got the bass! My father wanted it to be a surprise, so everyone had told me a big fib. I traded five Beatles albums for three months of bass lessons, and I have been playing ever since.
In 1974, I had my first opportunity to see one of the Beatles in person. I couldn’t believe it! George Harrison was coming to the LSU Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. Tickets were eight dollars.
November 26 finally arrived, and I was there in my seat. On the stage were all of George’s guitars, even Rocky, the psychedelic Fender Stratocaster that he hand-painted and used on Magical Mystery Tour. After the opening act, George appeared onstage and broke into one of his songs. I was just blown away that I was watching and listening to one of the Beatles. My seat was too far away to get a picture with my small camera, so I walked toward the stage and was able to sneak one snapshot of George.
The concert was great. George’s voice was hoarse, but I didn’t care—I was thrilled to finally see a Beatle. This was a big event in my life. I could never have dreamed what was going to happen in less than two months.
I learned that Paul McCartney was coming to New Orleans in 1975 to record his new album with Wings. I had to find out which studio he would be at, so I could maybe get to see him in person. I was sure there would be bodyguards and police, and they would probably sneak him in through a side entrance.
End of this sample Kindle book.
Blakeview: Paul McCartney
January 26, 2015
Paul McCartney talks with fans Frankie Macaluso (left) and Steve Harris outside the Sea-Saint Studios in Gentilly in 1975.
From Wings Over New Orleans by John Taylor, © John Taylor, used with permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
Forty years ago this month, the city was getting ready for Mardi Gras and Paul McCartney was in New Orleans adjusting to life after the Beatles and recording a new album. McCartney — a longtime admirer of New Orleans music and musicians — came to town with his wife Linda and their band Wings. They arrived in New Orleans Jan. 16, 1975, to record the album Venus and Mars. The sessions took place at Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn's Sea-Saint Studios in Gentilly. For Fat Tuesday, the McCartneys masked as clowns, as captured in well-known photos by New Orleanian Sidney Smith.
The session ended Feb. 24, 1975, and the album was released in May. In 2014, a digitally remastered version was released, including the great Mardi Gras-themed track "My Carnival." For more on the McCartneys' 1975 visit, see the new book Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975 (Pelican Publishing). In it, author and musician John Taylor shares the personal photos he took of the McCartneys in New Orleans.
Remember Paul McCartney in New Orleans
By NOLA Community Submission
May 29, 2015
Author John Taylor will discuss and sign "Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975," at Hubbell Library's author night, June 9, 6:30 p.m., at 725 Pelican Ave., Algiers Point. Admission is free. Call 504.596.3113 for more details.
In 1975, Paul and Linda McCartney came to New Orleans with Wings to record "Venus and Mars" at Allen Toussaint's famous Sea-Saint Studio.
They immersed themselves in the city for several months, going to Mardi Gras with their children and enjoying local music as they worked on their album. Chance meetings led to blossoming acquaintances, and Crescent City fans of Wings and the Beatles had the rare chance to spend countless hours with the gracious stars, showing off their city and rubbing shoulders with rock royalty.
This volume contains reminiscences of meeting Paul and Linda and scores of previously unpublished candid photographs, showcasing the couple's kind, down-to-earth nature. Lovers of this era of classic rock will enjoy this glimpse into the everyday life of the McCartneys.
Paul McCartney recording with Allen Toussaint (at piano) at Sea-Saint Studio in Gentilly on January 31, 1975.
Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney dressed as clowns in New Orleans on Mardi Gras 1975. (Photo by Sidney Smith)
Paul McCartney dressed as a clown in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 11, 1975. His recording of the Wings album 'Venus and Mars' at Sea-Saint Studios overlapped with Mardi Gras. (Photo by Sidney Smith)
The Beatles at the Congress Inn in New Orleans in September 1964. At left front is Ringo Starr. Left rear is Paul McCartney. John Lennon wears the dark glasses. Part of the head of George Harrison is seen at lower left. Dereck Taylor, one of their agents, shows them a newspaper. (The Times-Picayune archive)
A reproduction of a poster advertising the Beatles' performance in New Orleans in September 1964. That was Paul McCartney's first visit to New Orleans.
Polly Palfi (top), Nell Palfi, Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney and filmmaker Stevenson J. Palfi, photographed prior to McCartney's performance at the Superdome in April 1993. Stevenson Palfi interviewed the McCartneys for a documentary about Allen Toussaint. (Photo by Marta)
Paul McCartney at the Superdome on April 24, 1993, his first concert in New Orleans since the Beatles played Tad Gormley Stadium in 1964. (Photo by Jim Sigmon, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Paul McCartney performs during the pre-game festivities for Super Bowl XXXVI at the Superdome in New Orleans on February 3, 2002. (Photo by Eliot Kamenitz, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Paul McCartney at the New Orleans Arena on Oct. 12, 2002. (Photo by T.K. Goodell, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)