In a string of recent interviews, Sir Paul has been asked how he compares The Beatles with his band Wings:
''A lot of the Wings stuff, the early music, was in the shadow of the Beatles, but as the years went by, we knew we were making a really good group. The Beatles would be my No.1 band really, but I have a lot of emotional attachment to Wings. It's two different stories.
"I saw George and Ringo a few weeks ago, and they were thrilled with the success of that [The Beatles 1]. It means that the dreaded generation gap that parents feared doesn't exist. Parents say, 'Hey, that's my music,' but the kids say, 'No, it isn't.' So it brings everyone together.
"It's good timing for Wingspan now because the question I'm hearing young kids ask their parents is, 'What happened after the Beatles?' And we're able to say, 'Well, there was this Wings thing.'
"The Beatles were a group that had gone and done it magnificently, but Wings was a start-up group. Obviously we weren't going to reach the heights the Beatles had achieved in our first couple of years, but by the time [Wings] got to America in 1976, we had a really good stage act and a really strong repertoire.
"Wings did eventually answer those critics by coming up with some really strong stuff that audiences liked. Some of the big hits are commercial, because obviously that's what you're trying to do with them - but on some of the album material, like, say, I'm Carrying, there was strength and depth there."
Sir Paul hopes that the album and the documentary will serve to "validate" Linda's role in the band:
"You look at the show and go, 'God, now I know exactly why she was in there.' Not only was she my best mate on stage, but you see her leading the crowd and you hear her harmonies. She stood up in her own right. And you see her keyboard work. People used to say, 'Oh, she's just playing with one finger.' We'd say, 'Well, that's a Moog synthesizer. It's monophonic. You can use 10 fingers if you like, but only one is going to register.' "
The documentary shows both their good times and the bad, such as the arrest in Japan:
"It brings me out in a cold sweat just to watch it. The show has the trials and tribulations that we went through to get Wings together - and also to bring up our young family. It's got a certain drama because of that. And all the time, of course, there's this music playing in the background."
Then there was the incident in Lagos, Nigeria:
"We were mugged by six African guys in the jungle. It was intense. But Linda saved the day, screaming at them. I think they thought it was their mum telling them off. She started screaming, 'Get out of here!' But they robbed us of all our stuff, and you'd better believe we were shaken up. Yet we tried to channel it into something productive. When we got into the studio, we made Band on the Run. We managed to put all that aggression into the music and turn it around."
A high point for Wings was Live And Let Die which was later recorded by the band Guns N' Roses:
"My kids would go to school and their friends would say, 'Oh, have you heard the new Guns N' Roses song? ' My kids would say, 'Oh, my dad wrote that!' And they'd say, 'Get out of here!' Nobody believed it."
In June Sir Paul hopes to complete the new studio album he recorded in Los Angeles with producer David Kahn, featuring durmmer Abe Laboriel Jr.(son of famed R&B bassist), guitarist Rusty Anderson, and 23-year-old keyboardist Gabe Dixon with a possible release date set for September:
"I'm very excited about it. For a few years now ... I've had some songs that I've been writing, and I thought it time to make a new album. It's all new songs. I really can't categorize it. We just made music and enjoyed it. That's the best way to do it. . . . And we didn't fuss about it. I didn't even tell the producer or any of the guys what we were going to do until the morning of the day we were going to do it. Nobody knew what I was going to pull out of the hat. I just said, 'OK, guys, what do you think of this one? Let's go to it.' So it's very fresh."
And what about future collaborations?
''At the moment I'm just interested in writing on my own. [but] I think Sting is a good writer. I like a lot of his stuff and I think we could have fun together.''
Sir Paul will also continue his campaign to outlaw land mines:
"We had a really good meeting with Colin Powell. We're not going to stop the land-mine problem overnight, but we're going to make a big dent in it."
The "we" he's referring to is Heather Mills:
"She is just so up; she's cheeky; she just gets on with it."
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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