Paul McCartney addresses ‘hurtful’ backlash to project with late wife
22nd March 2023

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Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney formed the band Wings, which was intended as a touring and recording band in the autumn of 1971. Just a year prior, Paul announced in a press release that he was no longer working with The Beatles amid growing tensions with his former bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

In a Q&A called You Gave Me The Answer via the legendary musician’s website, Paul, 80, admitted he was never a “risk taker” despite starting from scratch with the band Wings.

When asked what he felt was his biggest “professional risk” the possible contenders included leaving The Beatles, forming Wings, to his albums McCartney II, Give My Regards to Broad Street and The Fireman.

Paul said: “I would say all those you mentioned were big risks, yeah – especially forming Wings.

“The main question I had was whether to keep going after The Beatles, because it was a hard act – some might say, an impossible act – to follow.

“The ingredients in the Beatles were so unique. You had John right there, who could have made any group brilliant. Then you had George’s talent, and Ringo’s, and then me.”

The Let It Be hitmaker admitted he was most hurt with the comments made towards his late wife during their time together in Wings.

“Once that band [The Beatles] had finished, I didn’t know what to do with myself, and trying something new was really risky,” he explained.

He went on: “Then, of course, having Linda in Wings, when she was not a ‘musician’, was a risk too. When the reviews started to come in a lot of them focused on her, asking, ‘What’s she doing in the band?’ And that was hurtful.”

Paul admitted that over time things got better for the band and things “picked up”.

The musician made a conscious decision to go right back to “square one” and Wings would hit the road performing at university student nights and playing at sponataneous gigs.

He added the “risk paid off” and by the mid-70s the band were headlining their own American tour.

The first members after the McCartneys were the former The Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell.

Wings released their first album, Wild Life, in December 1971 and former Grease Band guitarist Henry McCullough joined the band in 1972.

Meanwhile, Linda was a vocal animal rights activist and wrote and published several vegetarian cookbooks. S

he also founded the vegetarian Linda McCartney Foods company with her husband.

In 1995, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and died from the disease three years later at the age of 56.

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