martes, 14 de febrero de 2017

45 years ago, Paul McCartney swapped life in the world's biggest band for touring UK universities in the back of a van

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www.chroniclelive.co.uk
From The Beatles to a low-key gig at Newcastle University with his new band Wings
45 years ago, Paul McCartney swapped life in the world's biggest band for touring UK universities in the back of a van
BY DAVID MORTON
13 FEB 2017

Paul McCartney and Wings, Newcastle University, February 13, 1972
Paul McCartney and Wings, Newcastle University, February 13, 1972 (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)

“Wings? They’re only the band The Beatles could have been!”

Television comedy character Alan Partridge, in his inimitable style, summed up the problem Paul McCartney would always face.

How do you follow being in the biggest, most famous, most influential pop group of all time?

If you’d been in Newcastle on this night 45 years ago, you’d have found out.

Nearly two years after the Fab For dissolved in acrimony, McCartney rolled into the city’s university, asking (literally) if his new band could play a gig there.

Having turned his back on the excesses of life with The Beatles, McCartney had loaded his wife Linda, his eight-year-old step-daughter, assorted pets, and a group of musicians and their instruments into a van and hit the road looking to play music at whichever university venue took their fancy.

Paul McCartney and Wings, Newcastle University, February 13, 1972
Paul McCartney and Wings, Newcastle University, February 13, 1972 (Photo: Newcastle Chronicle)

Their first port of call was Nottingham University, then York, then Hull, then Newcastle. They would play 11 impromptu uni gigs in all.

Steve Dresser, chairman of Newcastle University’s entertainment committee, said: “I couldn’t believe my luck.

“Paul asked if a spot could be found for his new band, Wings , in the Sunday folk night at the hall.

“They just turned up out of the blue in a big van full of equipment. We were only too happy to oblige.”

Luckily, someone at the university tipped off the Chronicle and we sent along a photographer to record the occasion.

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Wings in 1972: Denny Seiwell, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Denny Laine, Henry McCullough

In the event, this was only fourth proper gig McCartney had played since The Beatles’ last ever show at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park back in August 1966.

If 25,000 fans had seen that momentous outdoor concert, this was a rather smaller affair.

Admission to the show was 50p with proceeds being split equally among band members.

With Linda on keyboards and kicking off with a version of Little Richard’s Lucille, the set was a mix of cover versions and new self-penned numbers. The show was noticeable for its total absence of Beatles’ songs.



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