Monday, May 26, 2014

"Band on the Run" - Rockshow (Live HD) 1976

Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run

Paul McCartney and Wings. Wings Over America tour. You didn't get any finer than this in the 1970s.

Paul is in good voice, taking a relaxed approach and throwing in some showmanship that he no longer does much of. Denny Laine chips in some strident chords, looking pretty oblivious. Linda is off to the side, quietly doing her job on the Moog synthesizer, with Paul shooting her approving looks. Jimmy McCulloch seems to be having some kind of feedback problem with his guitar, but he works through it.

Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run
Jimmy McCulloch and Denny Laine

This video really gives you a feel for what it must have been like, minus the cannabis smoke, the "disco sucks" beach balls and if you had front row seats (good luck getting those).

It's so nice to see these guys playing their instruments and making it sound exactly like the single, but with little additions to make this performance unique. Paul reportedly did overdubs with the band for many of the tunes on the album, it's unclear if he did that on this performance as well. Since they left in some feedback at one point, maybe they didn't overdub this one.

Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run
Paul on bass

The thing that really leaps out of this video is how in control Paul was, and how well-supported he was. You can see how Denny easily could have led a band of his own, his self-assurance is striking. Paul is just jamming, it doesn't matter that there are 50,000 people there or whatever it was, he's completely confident and throwing out the bass riffs, and he is on top of what everyone else is doing all the time. He even glances over at the camera a couple of times and gives it just the right amount of eye contact, just complete composure.

If you look at videos of some other top bands of the day (who shall remain nameless), you see a bunch of talented musicians just kind of standing there and playing. Rather boring. Not Wings, these guys are putting on a real show, lots of little interactions between them and pure professionalism, and that has to be because of Paul's influence.

Times were good.

Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run

From the youtube page:
Digital Video:

In 1975 and 1976 Paul McCartney and Wings undertook the epic Wings over the World tour, the largest scale tour they would ever undertake as a band. From this tour came both the legendary "Wings over America" triple live album and the concert film "Rockshow". Although filmed on this tour at the enormous Kingdome in Seattle, "Rockshow", originally a cut down version of the concert, was not premiered until November 1980 in New York and April 1981 in London. It was released on Betamax and later on laserdisc. Now for the first time the complete full length concert is being made available fully restored from the original 35mm film and with restored & remastered sound, including a 5.1 mix for the first time. This is Paul McCartney and Wings live on stage in a concert that is destined to live forever!
Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run
Linda McCartney barely visible on the right

  • Paul McCartney – lead and backing vocals, acoustic and bass guitars, piano, keyboards
  • Linda McCartney – backing vocals, piano, keyboards, percussion
  • Denny Laine – lead vocals on "Spirits of Ancient Egypt", "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)," "Richard Cory," "Time to Hide", and "Go Now" and backing vocals, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, piano, keyboards, percussion, harmonica
  • Jimmy McCulloch – lead vocals on "Medicine Jar" and backing vocals; acoustic, electric and bass guitars
  • Joe English – backing vocals, drums, percussion
  • Tony Dorsey – trombone, percussion
  • Howie Casey – saxophone, percussion
  • Steve Howard – trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion
  • Thaddeus Richard – saxophone, clarinet, Western concert flute, percussion

The shots on the giant screen (cutting edge technology then) of the photo shoot for the "Band on the Run" album cover show Paul (in close-up), Linda, Denny, and:

  • Michael Parkinson (chat-show host and journalist)
  • Kenny Lynch (actor, comedian, and singer)
  • James Coburn (actor)
  • Clement Freud (columnist, gourmet, raconteur, Member of Parliament, Just a Minute panelist and grandson of Sigmund)
  • Christopher Lee (actor)
  • John Conteh (Liverpool boxer who later became World Light-Heavyweight champion)
They were quite fortunate indeed to get James Coburn; he just so happened to be in town filming "The Internecine Project" and agreed to drop by the stable block in Gunnersbury Park at some ungodly hour. He really made the whole thing work in this writer's humble opinion and got a lot more renown out of the album cover than he did the forgettable film. Christopher Lee also provides his iconic look, the others were all buds of Paul no doubt honored to be invited.


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