Winged Beatle: Paul and Linda McCartney interviewed – archive, 15 July 1972

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15 July 1972: The McCartneys talk about their plans to take new band Wings on the road, and their long-drawn affray with the other Beatles

“Did you know,” whispered a pop cognoscente, “that the Beatles invented Scotch and Coke? No one drank it before 1962” A trestle table in the garden of a small chateau, in the hills above Toulon, was appropriately filled with bottles of both – and nothing else. It was just after midnight, the air was thick with the scent of pine, and everyone at the party was being very, very nostalgic. Paul McCartney had not only given his first concert for six years in this obscure and charming place, but actually hadn’t rushed off afterwards, “Ten years …” mused the cognoscente, mixing himself another Beatle Special. McCartney strode jerkily around, shaking hands and looking cheerful, acting as though everything was quite as it always was, that he had not been a hermit from publicity for the last five years (to the extent that rumours swept America that he was dead), and had not been one of the most publicised entertainers in history before that. He was talking about Liverpool and pop music.

Earlier, during the performance by his new band Wings (which includes his wife Linda) he had startled some dedicated Beatle watchers with his rough and ready approach, playing a mixture of blues, rock, reggae, and country, and not worrying if the sound was undistinctive and crossed into the territory of a hundred other bands. “Wings,” he said, “will play any type of music. I like the idea of a band being the sort of thing that if someone shouts for Knees up Mother Brown, it can do a good old version of it. You know?” He wasn’t kidding. “My interests go back to the age of three. I like songs like September Song. To me that isn’t light music, that’s ‘eavy, man.” He started to sing it. “Then there’s Carolina Moon – that’s a fantastic song. We’d go to a party in Liverpool with our family, and if you were drunk at the end of the evening and there was an uncle of yours singing it and you could get with it, it could be the most fantastic experience ever. I can dig it.”

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