As Wings (or as they were called during this period, Paul McCartney and Wings) enter the recording studio in New Orleans in February of 1975 to begin recording it was I’m sure all in the master plan to get Wings back on the road, in a big big way.
It always seemed to me that there really are three motivating reasons Paul does what he did, does and will do. Maybe early on it was to get women. Maybe early on it was to get fame. Maybe early on it was to acquire wealth. Paul achieved all three of these early, easily and often. But now I feel that THESE three things are the real inspirations that drive Sir Paul.
One, he loves to write songs. Nothing must have made him happier, and one that I’m sure if he could go into a time machine he would choose first. To sit on the bed of his small Liverpool bedroom, John Lennon across from him, both with their acoustic guitars, working out the lyrics and chords for “She Loves You” or any of the magical compositions that they wrote that way.
Even after the Beatles breakup and Lennon’s death I am sure that Paul still loves to sit at a piano or roll the tape at home as he works out lyrics and chords for songs that still haven’t seen the light of day.
The second thing that still drives Paul is recording. Since the Beatles learned at the feet of George Martin, and took much greater control of the studio as they grew as recording artists. Paul has always delivered fantastic production every time he has taken control of the dials and knobs.
Even when the material hasn’t been the highest standard, the sound scape McCartney brings is unique, delicious and always top notch. But just being in the recording studio, even when he is being “supervised” by another is always a pleasure for Paul, especially from his own Hog Mills Studio, where time is never an option.
The third thing that Paul can not do without, and to which he says he will die doing it, is the act of public performance. Whether it is in front of 200 lucky guest at the Cavern Club in 2018 to performing on nearly every continent of the world and bringing over 180,000 fans in Brazil in 1989.
He has performed before royalty, political and religious leaders, charity events of the highest magnitude to showing up late at night in a pub and taking over the dusty old piano until the last call is made.
That is why in 1975 the recording of the follow up album after BOTR was so important, as this would be songs written, recorded and produced by and to be brought to the world stages in the form of the 1975-1976 Wings Over The World and Wings Over America.
The band he had selected would bring the next batch of tunes and have the best of them played live in just a few months at venues around the globe. Jimmy and Joe now brought the talent and ability to make Paul’s post-Beatles dreams come true. The horn section they used in New Orleans and Los Angeles would accompany them as will, filling the sound, and having the ability to play all of the new VENUS AND MARS spot on…….
The band arrived in New Orleans in early January, with a few cuts and starts already in the can. Joe English picked up where Geoff Britton had left off and brought an even greater, stronger, hard hitting drumming.
Paul and Linda did much light hearted promotion, all under the roof of having a great time and joining in the local scenes of where they were working.
Nashville had given them a taste of that, and cajun country was ripe with new and old sounds that would blend with McCartney’s melodic sense to make a delicious serving.
They took boat rides and paraded in lavish but incredible looking formals.
They got made up as clowns and marched in the streets among all the Mardi Gras revelers.
They met and played with long time hero’s and legends Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair, Huey “Piano” Smith, the Tuxedo Jazz Band and many others.
They recorded more than enough material for an album after both locations when they done mixing it in very late March of that year. Beside a one off session in May, they wouldn’t be back in the studio until September, where they recorded an album while on the break between Wings Over Europe and when Wings would take over America in that special summer of 1976.
Let’s break down the album VENUS AND MARS, next.