Paul McCartney Looks Back on Forming Wings: ‘We Were Terrible’
In a wide-ranging new interview with the BBC, Paul McCartney looked back on the post-Beatles depression that led to him forming Wings — and offered a candid assessment of the group's skill level when they came together.
"I was depressed. You would be. You were breaking from your lifelong friends," said McCartney (via the Guardian). That depression, he admitted, led to a period of heavy drinking. "It was great at first, then suddenly I wasn’t having a good time," he recalled. "I wanted to get back to square one, so I ended up forming Wings."
That "square one," in McCartney's eyes, meant avoiding the opportunity to enlist big-name musicians. Wanting to feel like part of a real band again, he sought out less established players — perhaps to a fault. "We were terrible. We knew Linda couldn’t play, but she learned, and looking back on it, I’m really glad we did it," he said. "I could have just formed a supergroup, and rung up Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page and John Bonham."
McCartney's memories, as it turns out, also extend to the reviews he's received over the years — particularly the bad ones. "You still remember the names of the people who gave you really bad, vicious reviews," he said, half-jokingly singling out longtime NME writer Charles Shaar Murray — who described Wings' 1975 effort Venus and Mars as "terrible" and "one of the worst albums I've ever heard from a so-called 'major artist'" — as someone who "shall ever be hated."
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