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The Making of RAM (1971)

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The Making Of Ram

The making of the 1971’s RAM. Misunderstood in its time, today deemed a MASTERPIECE. Here is Sir Paul’s thoughts looking back on its creation…….

After McCartney was released on April 10th, Paul remained in seclusion amid the ever growing tension within Apple and with the three now ex-Beatles bandmates. On December 31st of 1970 that Paul officially filed a lawsuit against the three and Apple.

Paul said……..”You see, there was a partnership contract put together years ago to hold us together as a group for 10 years. Anything anybody wanted to do — put out a record, anything — he had to get the others’ permission. Because of what we were then, none of us ever looked at it when we signed it.

We signed it in ’67 and discovered it last year. We discovered this contract that bound us for 10 years. So it’s ‘Oh gosh, Oh golly, Oh heck,’ you know. ‘Now, boys, can we tear it up, please?’ But the trouble is, the other three have been advised not to tear it up. They’ve been advised that if they tear it up, there will be serious, bad consequences for them.

The point, though, to me was that it began to look like a three-to-one vote, which is what in fact happened at a couple of business meetings. It was three to one. That’s how Allen Klein got to be the manager of Apple, which I didn’t want. But they didn’t need my approval.”

“Listen, it’s not the boys. It’s not the other three. The four of us, I think, still quite like each other. I don’t think there is bad blood, not from my side anyway. I spoke to the others quite recently and there didn’t sound like any from theirs. So it’s a business thing. It’s Allen Klein. Early in ’69 John took him on as business manager and wanted the rest of us to do it too. That was just the irreconcilable difference between us.” “Klein is incredible. He’s New York. He’ll say ‘Waddaya want? I’ll buy it for you.’ I guess there’s a lot I really don’t want to say about this, but it will come out because we had to sort of document the stuff for this case.

We had to go and fight — which I didn’t want, really. All summer long in Scotland I was fighting with myself as to whether I should do anything like that. It was murderous. I had a knot in my stomach all summer. I tried to think of a way to take Allen Klein to court, or to take a businessman to court. But the action had to be brought against the other three.”

Musically throughout the summer Paul wrote, often with Linda helping with a line here or a word there and soon had enough material to do something with. In early October he and Linda and children (Linda was also now pregnant with Stella) and held secret auditions first for a drummer and then for a guitarist to record his next project. The drummer that emerged was session man Denny Seiwell.

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“I auditioned drummers and guitarists when I came to New York to do “Ram.” I knew I wanted to work in New York, because Linda was from New York and fancied spending some time here, and I liked the idea of working with American musicians, so I just put the word out through my office that I was in town and wanted to look at drummers. People like Bernard Purdie came along, but I was looking for a new band rather than the Blind Faith thing, so I didn’t really want heavyweights. Denny Seiwell came along, and he was just great, the best. He had a great attitude, and we got on great; he was a real good all-arounder and he was funky, and we had a laugh.”

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The guitarist chosen to record with Paul was another session man David Spinozza, an excellent player. Paul recorded demos for Ram from May-August and on October 12th, 1970 they started the session by recording “Another Day.” They recorded thru mid November…songs for Ram, others that were saved for future Wings singles and b-sides, Wings album tracks, and instrumentals and songs for a “Rupert The Bear” project that never got the whole album and full length movie.

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In November they reconvened to record, but this time Spinozza was replaced by Hugh McCracken. Ram was finished in early April. Then within WEEKS Paul re-recorded the album with full orchestra under the name of “Thrillington.” A wonderful cousin companion to Ram, sadly Thrillington didn’t see the light of day until 1977, and a proper re-release with The Archive “Ram” release in 2012. More on this later.

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Paul and Linda filmed promotional videos for 3 Legs and Heart Of The Country. Ram was released on May 17th, 1971.The release of “Thrillington” was postponed after Paul came up with the idea to form a new band. He came up with a name as Linda struggled during Stella’s birth. He found comfort in the name WINGS, like angels from above. —————————————————————-

I remember the first time I heard and saw the album jacket was soon after its release. Kathleen Healy, a friend of my sister Susan came for a sleepover and brought her copy of Ram with her. I looked at the cover and listened from my bedroom and bought it not long after that.

But first…….. “Another Day” Released on February 19th 1971, this was Paul’s first A-side as a solo artist. This song just didn’t fit into the feel of Ram so was released as a stand alone single. A nice song about loneliness of a woman whose life has now become another mundane day. John Lennon used “Another Day” and certain songs from Ram as fuel for his “How Do You Sleep.” This was a song from Lennon’s summer 1971 Imagine album. It’s lyrics are a scathing of McCartney’s talent and personality. “Another Day” is not a bad song. Much more Linda in the mix this time. Hmmmm….. She isn’t going away, is she? Rating – 7.0

“Oh Woman Oh Why”. The B-side of the single. A full out rocker about a woman whose scorn ends up with deadly results. Paul even records gunshots in the studio to get the real effect. At the time I thought they were done on drums. Upon listening to the single with Bill Wood, who was converting me into the Beatles addict you know and love today, we both came to the conclusion that this was the killer side that the world needed to hear. A definite deep cut I only wished Paul had attempted live when he could hit the notes he roars throughout this gem.Rating – 8.5

Up next….. Ram is released and the world doesn’t get it….. yet. The songs of the album RAM.

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