‘I thought, ‘I’ll make this best record since leaving The Beatles’, Paul McCartney on Band On The Run’s 50th anniversary. tt

EVEN before he turned up in Africa and was robbed at knifepoint of his precious demo cassettes, Paul McCartney was up against it.

Rarely during his storied career were the odds stacked against him as much as they were on August 29, 1973.

Paul McCartney recounts time with post-Beatles band Wings, fifty years on from album Band On The Run
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Paul McCartney recounts time with post-Beatles band Wings, fifty years on from album Band On The RunCredit: MPL

Wife Linda was well known during this point of his career
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Wife Linda was well known during this point of his careerCredit: MPL
The next day, he was due in Nigerian capital Lagos to begin recording an album with his post-Beatles band Wings.

“A couple of the guys rang me,” recalls Sir Paul today, a little over 50 years on.

“Our drummer, Denny (Seiwell), and Henry (McCullough), the guitar player, just said, ‘We’re not coming’.

“I never quite worked out why. Perhaps they thought Africa was a long way to go!” 

My dad drew a cartoon Paul McCartney – I was stunned to hear its value

Suddenly, Wings had been clipped to a trio — Macca, his inexperienced but endlessly supportive wife Linda and Denny Laine, a multi-instrumentalist who used to be in The Moody Blues.

But, by summoning the indomitable spirit which helped carry The Beatles through the Sixties, he decided to board the flight.

This was the era of sonic explorers. The Rolling Stones had, as McCartney puts it, “wandered off” to the South of France to record Exile On Main St and he had the travel bug . . .  “Wow! Africa! Lagos! Adventure! Let’s do it!”.

‘Prison escape’ concept

“I’m the kind of person who won’t go, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to rethink this.’ If I’m going somewhere, I like to stick to the plan,” he continues in a candid interview for his label, seen first by SFTW.

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