It was 40 years ago Sunday (May 20th, 1978) that Paul McCartney & Wings scored their fifth Number One hit with "With A Little Luck." The song, which McCartney and the band began recording the previous year on a yacht docked in the Virgin Islands, was featured as the lead single from Wings' London Town album. "With A Little Luck" was McCartney's only major hit of 1978 and was able to temporarily break Barry Gibb's songwriting and production toe-hold on the Number One spot, which he and his brothers and bandmates, Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees, dominated throughout the year.
"With A Little Luck" knocked the Bee Gees-written Yvonne Elliman hit "If I Can't Have You" out from the top spot and held the Number One position for two weeks, breaking Barry Gibb's already 15-week run at the top spot with songs he wrote and co-produced. "With A Little Luck" was knocked from Number One by Johnny Mathis and Deneice Williams' "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late."
Wings, which at that time was pared down to just Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine and new drummer Steve Holly, filmed a promotional video for the song in late March, reuniting McCartney with Michael Lindsey-Hogg, who had directed the Beatles' 1970 movie Let It Be.
- Denny Laine told us that no matter how well the musicians of Wings gelled during the decade McCartney kept the band running, it always felt as though they were side musicians backing a former Beatle. He scoffs at the fans who are pressing for Wings to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Yeah, but Wings was just too many different lineups to be a real band, I always thought. It was really me, Paul and Linda -- in a sense -- plus musicians for a lot of the time. I never really felt like, y'know, I was a member of a band, to be honest. Never really felt that."
- The promo clip for "With A Little Luck" is featured on the three DVD video collection The McCartney Years.
- McCartney has never performed "With A Little Luck" live in concert, although the song was rehearsed with Wings in early 1980 prior to the band's ill-fated tour of Japan during which McCartney was arrested for possessing seven ounces of marijuana. McCartney's arrest led to the tour being canceled with McCartney being deported after being jailed for 10 days.
- During his 2013 rehearsals for his Out There world tour, it was reported that McCartney and his band had rehearsed "With A Little Luck" -- but the song has yet to appear in any of his pre-show soundchecks or concerts.
AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON WINGS REACHING A NEW GENERATION
AUDIO: DENNY LAINE ON WINGS NOT FEELING LIKE A TRUE BAND
Paul McCartney's 2018 catalogue reissues are out today (May 18th.) The four new titles that follow the first eight released last November are 1978's Wings Greatest, 2005's Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, 2013's New, and Thrillington -- McCartney's 1977 side project under the name "Percy Thrillington," which featured a muzak version of McCartney's 1971 Ram album. All four titles are issued in single CD digipaks and 180-gram black vinyl single-LP formats. The albums will also be made available for the first time in limited edition 180-gram color vinyl pressings, with all the vinyl LP's including a download card. Every release is supervised by McCartney himself, who oversees all aspects of each and every title.
Once again the new reissues will be released on colored vinyl: New (pink); Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (gold); Wings Greatest (blue), and Thrillington (marbled). None of the sets will feature bonus tracks.
- Having had his solo work considered cutting edge, in-favor, out of favor -- and back in -- McCartney admits that these days he only writes for himself: "I went through a period of writing for listeners, but I think that's a bad mistake -- 'cause you don't know who's really listening anyway. And you sort of write for critics, or, y'know, what you think they're gonna want. I think it's a bad idea. I think you've gotta write for yourself. I figure, if I like it, there's a chance they might. If I start to write something I think they'll like, and I don't like it -- that's fatal. So I make a point these days of satisfying myself first."
AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON NOT WRITING FOR CRITICS
The Rolling Stones are back!!!! The band opened its 2018 "No Filter" European tour last night (May 17th) at Dublin, Ireland's massive Croke Park, playing a 19-song set spanning from the band's "Swinging '60s" early days through their most recent album, the Grammy Award-winning set, Blue & Lonesome. The group kicked things off with a triple shot of classics opening with "Sympathy Forth Devil," into "Tumbling Dice," before playing "Paint, It Black." After a double dose of blues standards from the latest album, the Stones played the first rarity of the night, bringing the Tattoo You favorite "Neighbours" back into the set for the first time since 2003.
Other classics included "Wild Horses," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)," "Honky Tonk Women," along with Keith Richards' tender take on the Voodoo Lounge tearjerker, "The Worst." The band played a two-song encore featuring "Gimme Shelter" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."
- After more than 50 years of performing live, Mick Jagger has learned how to read an audience within minutes of hitting the stage every night: "The audience is, like, very enthusiastic, or maybe medium enthusiastic, or they seem a bit tired, or they've been in the heat all day. And you can tell from their reaction in the first few minutes how the audience is gonna be, and how you should approach the mood of the concert. You watch them and you listen. And also, you have to hear how the sound is. Sometimes, it's, like, a good balance onstage -- sometimes it's not, and you have to adjust things and you tell the sound guy, 'That's too loud . . . that's not loud enough.' And how is the band playing? Are they kind of playing well straight away, or are they a little bit lackadaisical -- or whatever. So, y'know, that first five minutes is really key." :
May 22 - London, England - London Stadium
June 5 - Manchester, England - Old Trafford Football Stadium
June 9 - Edinburgh, Scotland - BT Murrayfield Stadium
June 15 - Cardiff, Wales - Principality Stadium
June 19 - London, England - Twickenham Stadium
June 22 - Berlin, Germany - Olympic Stadium
June 26 - Marseille, France - Orange Velodrome
June 30 - Stuttgart, Germany - Mercedes Benz Arena
July 4 - Prague, Czech Republic - Letnany Airport
July 8 - Warsaw, Poland - National Stadium
AUDIO: MICK JAGGER ON HIS FIRST FIVE MINUTES ON STAGE
Sting and Shaggy have just announced a 19-date joint tour in support of their first album together, called 44/876, which is named after the respective dialing codes for England and Jamaica. The pair kicks off the trek on September 15th at Miami's Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater and wraps things up on October 15th at L.A.'s Wiltern Theatre. On May 25th, Sting & Shaggy are set to perform as part of ABC's "2018 Summer Concert Series" on Good Morning America at Rumsey Playfield in New York's Central Park.
Sting and Shaggy will be joined on the 44/876 Tour by a combined band including Sting’s musicians Dominic Miller on guitar, Josh Freese on drums and Rufus Miller on guitar as well as Shaggy’s players Melissa Musique and Gene Noble on backing vocals, with Kevon Webster on keyboards.
- We asked Sting what fans can expect musically from his upcoming joint gigs with Shaggy: "In a kind of spontaneous way, it will be very integrated. It's not as if Shaggy is going to do a set or I'm going to do a separate set. We'll be doing some of Shaggy's big hits and some of mine and some of the new material -- but we will integrate it as much as possible. My band and I, we like to improvise, we like to throw it in the mix and see what happens." :
September 15 - Miami, FL - Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater
September 17 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
September 19 - Washington DC - The Theater at MGM National Harbor
September 20 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore
September 21 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
September 25 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
September 26 - New York, NY - The Rooftop at Pier 17, Seaport District NYC
September 28 - Toronto, ON - The Phoenix Concert Theatre
September 30 - Minneapolis, MN - The Armory
October 1 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
October 2 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
October 4 - Kansas City, MO - Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
October 5 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
October 8 - San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
October 9 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
October 10 - Phoenix, AZ - The Van Buren
October 12 - Rancho Mirage, CA - Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
October 13 - Las Vegas, NV - Park Theater
October 15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
AUDIO: STING ON SHAGGY LIVE TEAMUP
Happy Birthday to Pete Townshend, who turns 73 on Saturday (May 19th)!!! Townshend, who is the primary creative force behind the Who, wrote nearly all of the band's music and has been responsible for crafting the stories and themes behind such rock classics as Tommy, Who's Next, and Quadrophenia. Released on April 20th was The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968. The album, which took fans by surprise, vastly improved upon the sound of the legendary bootleg of the April 6th, 1968 gig making the rounds for the past few decades. For the new project, the band entrusted longtime live soundman and confidant Bobby Pridden to restore the tapes, polish and mix them into a live album worthy of the Who name.
Also on that day, Townshend reissued his 1972 solo debut, Who Came First, with the new 45th anniversary version featuring a bonus disc including "eight previously unreleased tracks, new edits, alternative versions and live performances." Who Came First has been remastered by Townshend's brother-in-law and the Who's recording engineer Jon Astley using the original master tapes. Included in the eight-panel digi-pak are new sleeve notes provided by Townshend himself, the original poster from the 1972 release and a 24-page booklet which contains rare images of guru Meher Baba and Townshend in his recording studio. The cover photo of Townshend, taken by Roger Daltrey's cousin Graham Hughes -- who also shot the cover of the Who’s Quadrophenia -- has been updated for the release.
Who Came First, which was originally released on October 1st, 1972, is made up of multi-track one-man band demos, nearly all of which were intended for the Who. Among the key tracks featured on the set -- which was reissued in 1992 with six bonus tracks -- are "Let's See Action," "The Seeker," "Pure And Easy," "Sheraton Gibson," and "Time Is Passing," among others. The album was first compiled to combat pirated versions of Townshend's tribute albums to Meher Baba, titled, Happy Birthday and I Am.
Roger Daltrey recently announced that his upcoming solo set, Always Back To You -- due out on June 1st -- features Townshend contributing guitar to seven of the collection's 11 tracks.
It was revealed last year that Townshend had married his companion of over 20 years, singer-songwriter-musician Rachel Fuller. Fuller appeared on the British radio program, English Harbor Radio, and while talking about many other things, discussed the fact that she and Townshend took the plunge back in December 2016 during a civil ceremony, which "took about eight minutes" in front of only two people. The marriage marks the second for the Who guitarist and the first for Fuller, who was 43 at the time.
- 2015 saw the release of Townshend's latest project, Classical Quadrophenia. The new 'symphonized' version of the legendary rock opera was orchestrated by Rachel Fuller. The album -- which also features Townshend on vocals -- is a showcase for operatic tenor Alfie Boe singing Roger Daltrey's original parts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Oriana Choir conducted by Robert Ziegler. The revamped Quadrophenia premiered on July 5th, 2015 at London's Royal Albert Hall starring Townshend, Boe, along with the famed orchestra and choir.
- Townshend appeared with Boe and Billy Idol last fall for a string of Classic Quadrophenia dates in Lenox, Massachusetts; Rosemont, Illinois; Manhattan, and Los Angeles only.
- In 2016, Townshend revealed to Rolling Stone that he was slowly sifting through his database of demos and figuring out what needs to be done with them. Although he has released three separate volumes of Scoop demo collections over the years, nearly every work he's created has a self made home studio recording of the tune -- and in later instances it was simply used as the backing for the final track. Most recently, the older demos have found homes on the box sets for My Generation, Tommy, and Quadrophenia, but now he's looking at them beyond their role as "bonus material."
- In 2012, Townshend published his long awaited autobiography, titled, Who I Am, to critical acclaim. Earlier that year, Townshend signed an exclusive, new publishing deal with Spirit Music Group to administer and promote his past and future songwriting catalogue. The pact also includes a long-term publishing agreement for Townshend's upcoming projects, including new songs composed for potential solo and Who releases.
- That same year Townshend and his wife of 43 years, Karen Astley, were granted a preliminary divorce in London's High Court. The couple had been separated since 1994 and has three adult children -- Emma, Aminta, and Joseph. Townshend has been romantically linked with Rachel Fuller since 1996.
- In 2006, after a 24-year-wait, Townshend wrote and produced the Who's comeback album Endless Wire. Despite the album hitting Number Seven in the U.S. charts, Townshend has stated that he felt the album fell short of his commercial expectations, and complained that none of the songs garnered the level of airplay he had come to expect with previous Who projects.
- A while ago, we asked Townshend why he needs grand concepts such as Tommy, Quadrophenia, and the recent Wire And Glass mini-opera, behind most of his work: "I just write. I'm just a songwriter, y'know, that's what I do. Which is why it's very important for me to have some kind of concept to hold me down, some kind of concept to give my work shape, focus, and direction. Because I don't feel that the Who ever had a clear brief (on what to write for them), ever, ever, ever, ever."
AUDIO: PETE TOWNSHEND ON BEING CONSIDERED PRETENTIOUS
AUDIO: PETE TOWNSHEND ON MEMOIR
AUDIO: PETE TOWNSHEND ON SOLO CAREER BEING A MISTAKE
AUDIO: PETE TOWNSHEND ON 'TOMMY'S RELEVANCE
AUDIO: PETE TOWNSHEND ON NEEDING GRAND CONCEPTS FOR SONGWRITING
Released today (May 18th) is Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 2, 1987-1996, a limited-edition, numbered boxed set. The collection, which features the long out of print vinyl albums, marks the first time the albums have been remastered and transferred from the original analogue masters. 1987’s Tunnel Of Love and 1992’s Human Touch have also been expanded across two LP's to maximize audio quality. The Vol. 2 collection follows the 2014 release of Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1, 1973-1984, which included newly remastered editions of the first seven Springsteen studio albums.
The new boxed set includes a special 12-inch of 1988's live EP Chimes Of Freedom, Springsteen’s 1993 two-LP MTV Plugged special, and the first-ever vinyl release of the 1996 Blood Brothers EP making a total of 10 discs. All the albums feature faithful recreations of the original packaging, accompanied by a 60-page book featuring rarely seen photos, memorabilia and original press clippings from the period.
- Steve Van Zandt, who met Bruce Springsteen when they were 16, told us that in all of his travels he's never encountered an artist or performer even close to Bruce Springsteen: "He's an exception to almost any rule. Y'know, anybody that follows the pattern of his sort of career choices is doomed (laughs) to failure -- I promise you, okay? It's not like. . . He is completely unique in what he can pull off -- and you get used to that." at Manhattan's Walter Kerr Theatre.
AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON GROWING UP IN SPITE OF ROCK N ROLL
AUDIO: STEVE VAN ZANDT ON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN BEING UNIQUE
John Fogerty is gearing up to hit the road for a major North American jaunt with ZZ Top dubbed the "Blues & Bayous Tour" -- all while writing his next studio set. Fogerty, who'll kick off the trek on May 25th in Atlantic City, told Long Island Weekly, that songwriting -- like any great art -- mainly comes about through a bit of self-doubt and a lot of sweat, explaining, "When you’re not writing for a while, you remember that you’re a musician and you play guitar while you’re on vacation with your family somewhere and you’re not really working. Then you start working on writing these songs and there is a lot of anxiety about finding good stuff. It’s just daunting until, if you’re lucky, you come up with something that’s good. You don’t get there without going through that realization that what you’re doing right now is not very good and then forcing yourself to keep working. I go through the same stuff every single time. It just blows my mind that it has to work like that, at least for me."
Fogerty, whose legendary songs for Creedence Clearwater Revival helped define an era and inspire the rock and country genres for decades, revealed that working as hard as he could was all he knew: "For me, writing songs was life and death. It’s a phrase I used a lot throughout my life to explain how I felt as a fan and also as an artist. I realized that we didn’t have all the other things successful bands had, meaning a manager, a big label and a big bankroll behind us. When you are lying in bed alone with your thoughts, it’s a time when you can be really honest with yourself. That was kind of my challenge -- we had to be the very best -- whatever that is. I think it was that obsessiveness that I absolutely couldn’t rest because if I stopped flapping my wings, I was going to fall to the earth and crash and burn."
- John Fogerty told us that despite being one of the biggest hit makers of the late-'60s and early-'70s, he can't tell a hit from a flop -- and usually lets others suggest the singles for his albums: "I've learned over time that I seem to have a sense about what is a good song when I really let myself focus and do the work. It seems that later on -- what I do when I'm really traveling on all cylinders or working on all cylinders -- it seems that those works later on seem to last very well. I couldn't sit there and say, y'know, 'Put your money on Number 27 on Tuesday,' y'know what I'm saying? It's just, I don't have that much clairvoyance about it."
AUDIO: JOHN FOGERTY CANT PICK HITS
It was 39 years ago Saturday (May 19th, 1979) that a select group of party-goers witnessed the closest thing to a live Beatles reunion when Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr reunited to jam at Eric Clapton's wedding reception at his English estate. The impromptu performance marked the first time the three former-Beatles had played in public together since the group's final performance on the Apple Rooftop on January 30th, 1969.
Clapton had married Harrison's ex-wife Pattie Boyd, and set up an outdoor stage for a mammoth jam session which featured the three ex-Beatles, a reformed Cream, the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman, Elton John, David Bowie, and many more. John Lennon was living in the U.S. at the time, and was not present.
Although the three former "Fabs" also took part in a makeshift sing-a-long jam at Starr's wedding in 1981, the Clapton wedding reception marks the only time that the former Beatles made music onstage in a somewhat professional manner. Among the many songs reported to have been performed that day were the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" and "Get Back."
- Wings co-founder Denny Laine also participated at the jam session at Clapton's wedding reception and says that it didn't feel as historic an event as it has been made out to be: "I never think like that, 'Hey, I'm jamming with (laughs) some of the Beatles.' I never think like that. Y'know, these were all people I knew. Like Eric, I'd known when he was in the Yardbirds."
- Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd divorced in 1988. She stayed in close contact with Harrison until his death in 2001, but has no ongoing relationship with Clapton.
- Pattie Boyd married her third husband, property developer Rod Weston, on April 30th, 2015.
AUDIO: PATTIE BOYD ON LEAVING GEORGE HARRISON FOR ERIC CLAPTON
AUDIO: DENNY LAINE ON JAMMING WITH THREE BEATLES AT ERIC CLAPTON'S WEDDING