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Wingspan: Paul McCartney's Band on the Run Paperback – Sep 2002

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The 1970's on Planet Earth with Paul & Linda McCartney 29 Sept. 2002
By R. Lavallee - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is literally like looking through Paul & Linda McCartney's personal photo album of their lives throughout the 1970's! The photographs, many of which have never been seen by the public before are breathtaking for any McCartney or Wings fan! I already have some favorite photos, such as the one of young Heather at a recording session for Wings Wild Life playing a Fender Jazz Bass. There is also a rare shot of Ringo Starr holding Paul's Rickenbacker bass on stage with Wings in Los Angeles in 1976. Another great photo shows Paul in the foreground while Linda sits in the background holding Paul's bass for him (bass sitting?). And one of the most amazing shots to me is one of Paul at the Grand Ole Opry in downtown Nashville. He is posing for the camera, complete with sunglasses and straw cowboy hat, looking like any other curious tourist to the few passers-by on the street that day! Little did they know that he's really one of the most famous people on the planet!
I have described just four photos in a book that is completely packed with photographs from the front fold-out cover to the back fold-out over with captions, commentary and reminising by Paul McCartney! This book is, quite simply, an amazing collection and a definite must have for all who love the music and legacy of Paul, Linda and Wings. If you haven't already bought it or ordered it here, Christmas is coming soon so make sure you put it on your wish list!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Wingspan 23 Jan. 2003
By S. Wallace - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a second generation Beatles fan, I truly loved Wings. It's a shame so little has been written about Paul and his band....until now. While I do wish more details would emerge about Paul's relationship with Denny Laine and Jimmy McCullough, I am grateful for Wingspan (DVD and book). If Linda had lived to help with this project, I believe she would have felt free to recollect both good and not so good times on the road. Because the Beatles legacy is so huge, I feel not enough respect and appreciation is given to Wings' legacy, not even by Paul himself! Perhaps in time, we'll learn more. For now, Wingspan is the best tribute yet.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Glimpses 30 Dec. 2002
By kennedy19 - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Wingspan" is a glossy book of photos for fans, combined with some scraps of comment by McCartney (interviewed, it should be noted, by his own daughter Mary.) It's good to finally get some information about Paul's Wings years. This is obviously Paul making his own case, though he is certainly honest about matters such as his frustration with the band's ever-changing lineup, as well as his 1980 arrest for pot in Japan. Overall, one cannot help but admire the bravely carefree attitude with which Paul formed this new band and made some spotty but often good music. Above all this book is meant to be a tribute to Linda McCartney, a defense of her role in the band, and an inspirational look at how a family man can combine work and play. Personally I would have liked to see more in-depth interviewing by someone more impartial, as well as interviews with other band members, most especially Denny Laine who stayed with Wings through the entire decade but is given rather short text shrift here. But then, I'm grateful for what we get. As Paul comments, Wings wasn't rocket science, it was just making music, and this is a fun, breezy book about a fun band.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Pictures In The Life Of Wings 26 Aug. 2005
By P Magnum - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wingspan is an oversized pictorial history of Paul McCartney & Wings. The book starts off with some photos of the Paul & Linda's early days together in the late 60's all the way through 1980 and the end of Wings. Mr. McCartney provides the commentary that is sprinkled in between the photos. It is not the most enlightening stuff, but it comes across like Mr. McCartney himself, light, breezy and affable. The pictures are another matter. They provide a deep look into the McCartney's personal life, the band's rehearsals, tours and recording sessions. The book is presented beautifully and the end includes a discography and photos of all the group's album covers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Back To Junior's Farm 18 May 2008
By Slokes - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of the biggest rock groups of the 1970s, which is another way of saying one of the biggest rock groups of all time, Wings suffered ridiculously for the sin of having emerged from the ruins of the Beatles. "Wingspan" is an attempt at perspective by the group's former leader, Paul McCartney, which only partially succeeds on its own terms - less so, in fact, than Wings itself.

Taken from the narrative of the video documentary of the same name that came out a little earlier, 2002's "Wingspan" benefits from a generous assortment of photographs, some 150 of them, many by Paul's late wife and Wings keyboardist Linda McCartney. "Wingspan" the book doesn't quite boil Wings down to exclusively Paul and Linda the way the documentary did, where the person asking the questions was their daughter. There's some attention paid here to the other Wings, just not enough.

Of Henry McCullough, the first lead guitarist, we learn his brother in Northern Ireland got beat up over the Wings' song "Give Ireland Back To The Irish." How Henry reacted is something Paul doesn't report on.

Henry's Scottish replacement, Jimmy McCulloch, was a "whizzkid", one of McCartney's favorite sidemen, on stage anyway, but "had an attitude", which McCartney doesn't do much to explain. McCulloch didn't live long after leaving Wings, and Paul alludes to drug issues without going into any detail.

Geoff Britton only hung around long enough to lay down some incredible drum fills on the single "Junior's Farm", then skedaddled: "I don't really remember why now," Paul says, "except that perhaps he didn't quite fit."

You can argue the other Wings were essentially sidemen to a recording duo who produced songs celebrating their union, but I spent too much time staring at those other guys on Wings album covers not to want to know more.

"Wingspan" does a lot better by Paul and Linda, the photos showing them on stage or at ease, relaxing with kids and dogs. Work and family were closely connected; they had a home recording space, "Rude Studio", and took their kids on the road.

Linda was not a musician when she married Paul, cause for what he cryptically says were "tense moments" with other band members, but Paul wanted to tour and didn't want her left behind. Thus begun one of the unlikeliest yet most heart-warming romances in the public eye. When Paul wasn't singing "Maybe I'm Amazed" to Linda, Linda was responding in kind, in the "I love you" choruses to "Silly Love Songs". Linda wasn't Jimmy McCulloch in the musicianship department, but she brought a lot of stability to the Wings situation, not to mention the life of Wings' leader, and a lot of resonance to those silly love songs that lasts a decade after her death. When "Wingspan" focuses on this aspect of Wings, which it often does, it is always interesting if a trifle incomplete.

The photos are great, like one by Paul circa 1968 snapped in Manhattan, of Linda and oldest daughter Heather, where a teenaged boy in the foreground looks at the camera in apparent shock. Maybe he was amazed at having a Beatle take a picture of him. There's also Paul at the Wings launch party wearing an unfinished checkered suit, not to mention other bad outfits as the 1970s rolled on.

"It's a look," Paul says, and he's right. "Wingspan" is a nice look at the group, albeit little deeper than liner notes. Hopefully Paul someday will want to revisit this period in his life for deeper treatment.
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