12 November, 2009

WINGSPAN – Paul McCartney (2001)

Post-Beatles Anthology and post- Britpop, the time was right for a reappraisal of Wings. For too long, Paul's 70s band had been associated with much of the rest of the bad taste of that decade. Paul was as responsible as anyone else for this, with his Beatles-dominated live shows featuring just a very small handful of his 70s output.

This extended version of the TV documentary that accompanied the release of the Wingspan CD is a family affair. Paul is interviewed by daughter Mary in increasingly bizarre locations. The TV studio and kitchen table are fair enough, but later we have Paul chatting while strolling along a beach, driving along a country road, walking through a warehouse filled with flashguns, doing a painting and finally riding off into the sunset. The program is as much a eulogy of Linda as it is a history of Wings, but the official telling of the story doesn't mean it glosses over the embarrassing stuff. Paul speaks candidly of Wings' Spinal-Tap-like carelessness with drummers and guitarists (although there is no introspection as to possible reasons), the misguidedness of Hi Hi Hi and the infamous drug bust in Japan. There is a sly sense of humour as well. In listing Wings' achievements, the opening montage refers to “almost” eleven tours.

Wings music is used to great effect in embellishing the story, particularly Kreen-Akrore which has finally found a purpose thirty years later.

There is one glaring omission in Wingspan and his name is Denny Laine. The doco makes no secret of the fact that it is the Paul and Linda story, but the only member of Wings not named McCartney to stick it out from start to finish gets just two mentions in the entire show. Three, if you could the use of Time To Hide as incidental music. Even Henry McCullough gets more airtime. Whatever bad blood there may have been between Paul and Denny since the end of Wings, he deserves better than this.

Extras are out-takes from the interview, which include impromptu performances of Picasso's Last Words, Mrs Vanderbilt and Let Me Roll it, two live songs from Rockshow (please release the whole thing), the video for Rockestra Theme, Discography and photo gallery.

Highlight: Rare live footage
Feature: * * * *
Extras: * * * * *
Audio: LPCM Stereo

Previously posted at Strawberry Fields and at Fishpond.

1 comment:

  1. Denny who?

    Paul doesn't seem like a good source of information about his career. His interviews are all the same and he loves repetitive DVDs. A genuine McCartney anthology might require somebody else in charge and that could probably only happen after he dies.

    He probably has it willed that Let it Be and Rockshow are never released on DVD but some day they'll enter the public domain. Maybe they'll be available on microchip brain implants. But so will Mariah Carey's Glitter.