Wings Over the World tour

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Wings Over the World tour
Tour by Wings
Paul McCartney with Jimmy McCulloch - Wings - 1976.jpg
Jimmy McCulloch (left) and Paul McCartney (right) during the Wings Over the World tour.
Start date 9 August 1975
End date 21 October 1976
Legs 6
Number of shows

66 in total
31 in North America
26 in Europe

9 in Australia
Wings concert chronology

The Wings Over the World tour was a series of concerts in 1975 and 1976 by the British–American rock band Wings performed in Britain, Australia, Europe, the United States and Canada. The North American leg constituted band leader Paul McCartney's first live performances there since the Beatles' final tour, in 1966, and the only time that Wings played in the US and Canada. The world tour was well-attended and critically acclaimed, and resulted in a triple live album, Wings Over America, which Capitol Records released in December 1976. In addition, the tour was documented in the television film Wings Over the World (1979) and a cinema release, Rockshow (1980).

The setlist for much of the tour featured material from Wings' bestselling studios albums Band on the Run (1973), Venus and Mars (1975) and Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976), as well as some of McCartney's compositions from the Beatles era, such as "Yesterday", "Lady Madonna" and "The Long and Winding Road". The inclusion of the latter songs proved especially popular and marked the first time that McCartney had performed material from the Beatles' catalogue since their break-up. Aside from McCartney, the line-up of Wings included his wife Linda, Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English, together with a brass section led by Howie Casey.


In contrast to Wings' low-profle 1972 tours and a 1973 tour of UK theatres, Wings Over the World was a highly publicised concert tour that took place mostly in arenas and stadiums. Around 1 million people attended the 66 shows, which were staged in six legs: Britain (September 1975); Australia (November 1975); Europe (March 1976); North America (May–June 1976); a return to Europe (September 1976); and three final concerts at Wembley in London (October 1976). A tour of Japan was planned, but it was cancelled by that country's authorities due to McCartney's 1972 Swedish marijuana arrest.

The world tour followed the release of Wings' bestselling album Venus and Mars (1975), while the follow-up, Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976), was completed after the band's Australian concerts. Both Venus and Mars and the critically acclaimed Band on the Run (1973) were well represented in the setlist for the two 1975 legs. Songs from Speed of Sound were then introduced into the set in March 1976.

In order to demonstrate that Wings was not merely a McCartney showcase, Denny Laine sang lead vocals on several songs, including "Go Now", reprising his vocal from the Moody Blues' 1965 hit, and Simon & Garfunkel's song "Richard Cory". Jimmy McCulloch also sang lead, on his Venus and Mars composition "Medicine Jar". Of particular interest to fans and music critics, McCartney decided to perform five of his songs from the Beatles, thereby overcoming an earlier disinclination to do any at all. Performances of "Yesterday" and "The Long and Winding Road" used muted horn arrangements in place of their original strings. In the case of the latter song, the new arrangement emphasised McCartney's objections to the version released on Let It Be in 1970, where, according to McCartney, American producer Phil Spector had added orchestral and choral parts to the Beatles' 1969 recording without his approval.[1]

Wings' line-up for the tour was Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, piano, acoustic guitar), Linda McCartney (keyboards, backing vocals), Denny Laine (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion), Jimmy McCulloch (electric and acoustic guitars, bass, vocals) and Joe English (drums, percussion, backing vocals). They were joined by brass and woodwind players Howie Casey, Steve Howard, Thaddeus Richard and Tony Dorsey. A documentary film of the tour, titled Wings Over the World, aired on US television in November 1979.

Wings Over America[edit]

More than 600,000 people attended Wings' 31 shows in the United States and Canada, held between 3 May and 23 June 1976. In order to reduce the stress of moving their young family around the country during the course of the tour, the McCartneys rented houses in New York City, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles. Each night, they would fly in a specially chartered BAC One-Eleven to the closest of the four properties.

The beginning of the American leg of the tour was delayed for nearly a month because lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch broke his finger after slipping when getting out of a bathtub in a Paris hotel. At one of the Los Angeles shows, McCartney's former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr joined him on stage and handing him a bouquet of flowers.

Many of the concerts were professionally recorded. The best performances would later be compiled, after studio overdubs, for release as the triple album Wings over America in December 1976. In addition, a concert film combining footage from the Seattle, New York and Los Angeles shows was released in cinemas in 1980, as Rockshow, by Miramax Films.

Tour setlists[edit]

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
9 September 1975 Southampton England Gaumont
10 September 1975 Bristol Hippodrome
11 September 1975 Cardiff Wales Capitol Theatre
12 September 1975 Manchester England Free Trade Hall
13 September 1975 Birmingham Hippodrome
15 September 1975 Liverpool Empire Theatre
16 September 1975 Newcastle upon Tyne City Hall
17 September 1975 London Hammersmith Odeon
18 September 1975
20 September 1975 Edinburgh Scotland Usher Hall
21 September 1975 Glasgow Apollo Centre
22 September 1975 Aberdeen Capitol Theatre
23 September 1975 Dundee Caird Hall
1 November 1975 Perth Australia Entertainment Centre
4 November 1975 Adelaide Apollo Stadium
5 November 1975
7 November 1975 Sydney Hordern Pavilion
8 November 1975
10 November 1975 Brisbane Festival Hall
11 November 1975
13 November 1975 Melbourne Sidney Myer Music Bowl
14 November 1975
20 March 1976 Copenhagen Denmark Folketeatret
21 March 1976
23 March 1976 Berlin Germany Deutschlandhalle
25 March 1976 Rotterdam Netherlands Ahoy Sportpaleis
26 March 1976 Paris France Pavillon de Paris
North America
"Wings over America"
3 May 1976 Fort Worth, Texas United States Tarrant County Convention Hall
4 May 1976 Houston, Texas The Summit
7 May 1976 Detroit, Michigan Olympia
8 May 1976
9 May 1976 Toronto, Ontario Canada Maple Leaf Gardens
10 May 1976 Richfield, Ohio United States Richfield Coliseum
12 May 1976 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Spectrum
14 May 1976
15 May 1976 Landover, Maryland Capital Centre
16 May 1976
18 May 1976 Atlanta, Georgia Omni Coliseum
19 May 1976
21 May 1976 Uniondale, New York Nassau Coliseum
22 May 1976 Boston, Massachusetts Boston Garden
24 May 1976 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden
25 May 1976
27 May 1976 Cincinnati, Ohio Riverfront Coliseum
29 May 1976 Kansas City, Missouri Kemper Arena
31 May 1976 Chicago, Illinois Chicago Stadium
1 June 1976
2 June 1976
4 June 1976 St. Paul, Minnesota Civic Center
7 June 1976 Denver, Colorado McNichols Arena
10 June 1976 Seattle, Washington Kingdome
13 June 1976 Daly City, California Cow Palace
14 June 1976
16 June 1976 San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena
18 June 1976 Tucson, Arizona Convention Center
21 June 1976 Inglewood, California The Forum
22 June 1976
23 June 1976
19 September 1976 Vienna Austria Stadthalle
21 September 1976 Zagreb Yugoslavia Dom Sportova
25 September 1976 Venice Italy Piazza San Marco
27 September 1976 Munich Germany Olympiahalle
"Wings over Wembley"
19 October 1976 London England Empire Pool
20 October 1976
21 October 1976

See also[edit]