Remember the beautiful guitar solo from Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1973 ballad “My Love”? That memorable performance, widely considered one of rock’s best solos, was conceived by Irish guitarist Henry McCullough.
McCullough’s resume remains impressive — he played on the rest of Red Rose Speedway and the singles “Live and Let Die” and “Hi Hi Hi,” eventually leaving Wings before the Band on the Run recording sessions. He also figures prominently in two other moments in rock history: he utters the line “I don’t know; I was really drunk at the time” toward the end of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon track “Money,” and he backed Joe Cocker during the British soul singer’s iconic Woodstock performance of “With A Little Help from My Friends.”
Since these moments, he has continued recording studio albums as well as playing with artists such as Marianne Faithfull, Ronnie Lane, Donovan, Frankie Miller, Eric Burdon, Viola Wills, and Spooky Tooth. In addition he has appeared at Fest for Beatles Fans conventions, charming fans with tales of his days with McCartney.
Now, this diverse guitarist has joined forces with another ex-Wings member, drummer Denny Seiwell (who played on the Wings albums Wild Life, Ram, and Red Rose Speedway), to record the Beatles tribute EP Shabby Road, featuring spirited covers of “From Me To You,” “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
To promote this project, as well as McCullough’s upcoming album Poor Man’s Moon, the two rockers will play a special concert at New York’s Iridium on March 29, 2012. Emceed by Q104.3 DJ and Breakfast with The Beatles host Ken Dashow, the show features sets by McCullough’s band and Seiwell’s jazz group. Special guests include Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken and singer/songwriter Jann Klose. McCullough and Seiwell will perform two shows on March 29 at 8 and 10 PM; tickets are $30. Located at 1650 Broadway (at 51st Street) in New York, the Iridium has information listed on its website, or call 212-582-2121.
McCartney and Wings fans should enjoy this unique up-close look at the ex-band members and accomplished musicians.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Wings. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
ONE TRACK MIND: LAURENCE JUBER ON PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS, AND AL STEWART: You’ll go inside some of the key moments from Juber’s 1978-81 tenure with McCartney, including three cuts from 1979’s Back to the Egg and the 1980 charttopping single “Coming Up.” We also find out more about Juber’s initial foray into fingerstyle composing, and his career intersection in the 1990s with British folk revival star Al Stewart, who had seen both Year of the Cat and Time Passages and their title tracks go Top 10 between 1976-78.
PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS – BAND ON THE RUN (1973; 2010 reissue): A terrific reissue that reveals this anew as the most personal of McCartney recordings — though, even now, the album’s unifying theme of escape is more subtle (and thus more commercial) than the blunt confessional style of his former partner John Lennon. McCartney, instead, uses broader storytelling brushstrokes — skillfully weaving his own desire to break free of the Beatles with the age-old myths of ne’er-do-wells, hitchhikers and outsiders. No McCartney effort yet has taken so many chances, nor so successfully blended his interests in the melodic, the orchestral, the rocking and the episodic. In keeping, of the Beatles solo recordings, Band on the Run always sounded the most to me like something the old band might have put together.
ON SECOND THOUGHT: PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS – BACK TO THE EGG (1979): It’s time to go back and reevaluate Paul McCartney and Wings’ unjustly ignored Back to the Egg. Released in May 1979, the album showcased a rebuilt Wings lineup, with lead guitarist Laurence Juber working in sharp counterpoint to Denny Laine. Also on board was co-producer Chris Thomas, a former assistant to George Martin for the Beatles’ White Album who brought an edgier style to much of the project — in keeping with his concurrent work with the Sex Pistols and the Pretenders. McCartney’s stated goal, back then, was to make a raw-boned rock record. And he largely succeeded, putting a bright charge into his sound after the soft-rock fluff of 1978′s London Town.