Wings Over the World tour
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Wings Over the World tour|
Jimmy McCulloch (left) and Paul McCartney (right) during the Wings Over the World tour.
|Tour by Wings|
|Start date||9 August 1975|
|End date||21 October 1976|
|Wings tour chronology|
In contrast to Wings' two low-profile, smaller-scale outings of 1972, this was a major, highly publicised concert tour that took place mostly in arenas and Stadiums. Around one million people attended 66 shows on three continents — Australia, Europe, and North America (where it was known as the Wings Over America Tour and represented McCartney's first appearances in concert since the last Beatles tour in 1966). Touring Japan was also planned, but was cancelled by that country's authorities because of McCartney's 1972 Swedish marijuana arrest. It would mark the second of only three times that Paul McCartney would tour in Australia (the first with the Beatles in 1964, the second with this tour and then as a solo act in The New World Tour in 1993.
The tour came upon the heels of two Wings album releases: Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound. Both were described as "stadium rock" type albums, and the songs from both were heavily represented on the tour, as were numbers from the popular and critically acclaimed Band on the Run. To emphasize that Wings was a real band and not just a McCartney showcase, Denny Laine sang several lead vocals, including "Go Now", reprising his vocal on The Moody Blues' first hit from 1965, and Simon & Garfunkel's 1966 song "Richard Cory". Jimmy McCulloch also sang lead on his song "Medicine Jar". But most noteworthy was McCartney's decision to perform a minimal sampling of five of his own Beatles songs - despite an earlier disinclination to do any at all. Performances of "Yesterday" and "The Long and Winding Road" used muted horn arrangements rather than their original strings, in the latter case vividly emphasising McCartney's strong objections to Phil Spector's heavy-handed strings treatment on the Let It Be album.
Wings' lineup for the tour was Paul and Linda McCartney, Joe English, Denny Laine, and Jimmy McCulloch. They were joined by brass and woodwind players Howie Casey, Steve Howard, Thaddeus Richard, and Tony Dorsey.
Wings Over America
More than 600,000 people attended 31 shows in the United States and Canada. In order to reduce the stress of moving their young family around the country during the course of the tour, the McCartneys rented four houses in New York City, Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Each night, after the show was over, they would fly in a specially chartered BAC One-Eleven back to the nearest one of the rented houses.
The beginning of the American leg of the tour was delayed for nearly a month because lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch broke his finger during rehearsals. This led to more friction between McCulloch and the rest of the group, especially McCartney.
A surprise was planned for one of the Los Angeles shows, and the fans in attendance were treated to the sight of McCartney's former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr joining him on stage and handing him a bouquet of flowers.
Many of the concerts were professionally recorded at McCartney's request. The best performances would later be compiled (after adding necessary overdubs in the studio) and released as a Christmastime triple album late in 1976 called Wings over America. The album was very popular, reaching Number One in the US and Number Eight in the UK. A single was also released from the collection, "Maybe I'm Amazed"/"Soily", a top ten hit in America and a top twenty hit in the UK. In addition, in 1981 a concert film of footage from the Seattle, New York and Los Angeles concerts was released under the title of Rockshow by Miramax.
- Wings Average Setlists of year: 1975, http://www.setlist.fm/stats/average-setlist/wings-23d68837.html?year=1975
- Wings Average Setlists of year: 1976, http://www.setlist.fm/stats/average-setlist/wings-23d68837.html?year=1976