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Paul McCartney Tours Spanned Over Three Decades
by Jason Hobbs


In this day and age it’s rare that a rock n’ roll career lasts more than a few years, much less a decade. Of course there are some acts that have lasted the years through fluctuations of styles and genres of music’s ever-changing fads. However, few can even come close to bragging of a career that’s spanned three decades, as Sir Paul McCartney can.

The greatest part of it all is that it goes beyond that, since the three decades that we speak of are only from his solo career. Of course you can’t forget the thirteen years before that while he toured with a small little group known as The Beatles. You may have heard of them.

Paul began his solo career by releasing his first album, “McCartney” two weeks before the Beatles released their last album “Abbey Road.” That first solo album had a warm welcome from fans, and so he went on to release a second album in 1971 called “Ram.” On this one, he included his new wife Linda McCartney so that they could be on tour together.

After “Ram,” he started the super group Wings, with wife Linda McCartney, as well as Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine, and drummer Denny Seiwell. The band started an unexpected tour in 1972 throughout Europe in small venues and various British University Auditoriums.

Wings' first live show was unannounced - and uninvited - and was for students at Nottingham University on February 9, 1972. Paul and Linda, their children, the band and pet dogs all drove north from London in a van, heading for towns picked at random and asking passers-by if their town had a university.

"Our first stop, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, said no," said Paul, "Nottingham said yes."

The price of entry at Wings' first show - at lunchtime in the Nottingham students union hall - was 50p on the door. Wings - Paul, Linda, drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarists Denny Laine and Henry McCullough, received a bag of 50p pieces, which were distributed amongst the band later in the back of the van.

For their first UK tour in 1972, Wings set out with no promoter, no advance or on-the-road publicity, no venues booked and no hotels booked. Hotels were called at the last minute.

From there, McCartney seemed to get the touring bug again and started producing albums and touring with Wings nearly every year to year and a half through to 1979. These included 1973 UK tour, 1975-1976 world tour & 1979 UK tour. The last ever wings concert was at Hammersmith Odeon, England December 29th 1979 and was a charity concert for the people of Kampuchea.

Wings were also due to tour Japan in 1980 but unfortunately Paul was arrested and jailed in Japan for carrying marijuana and the tour was cancelled. This was also the end of Wings

In the 1980s McCartney ventured out on his own again, and recorded “McCartney II,” where, just like on his first self-titled album, he played every instrument on the album himself.

One thing that did change for McCartney during that year was his ambition to tour – following the murder of his longtime friend and Beatles band mate John Lennon on December 9, 1980.

McCartney didn’t want to tour following this tragic event and did not until play live again until 1985. In an interview with Playboy magazine in 1984, McCartney revealed that it was because he feared that he would be next to be murdered.

After he appeared at Live Aid in 1985, he got the touring bug and although it wasn’t until 1989 he did his 1st live concerts for Fan Club members he kept right on going, recording and touring right into the 90s with two live albums in 1990 and 1993 as well as venturing into classical music that same decade.

In the new Millennium, McCartney fulfilled world tours from 2002 through to 2005 once again proving himself as one of the most prolific musicians on the planet. In 2006 he performed with rapper JayZ and rock band Linkin Park at the Grammy Awards, performing “Yesterday” in honor of the death of Coretta Scott King.

At age 65 this year, who knows what will come out of Sir McCartney next, but you can be sure that he won’t be settling down anytime soon.



About the author:
Jason Hobbs has been a fan of Paul McCartney for over 25 years and runs a Paul McCartney related lens at Squidoo - CLICK HERE to view Lens

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