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From The Beatles to a low-key gig at Newcastle University with his new band Wings

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

“Wings? They’re only the band The Beatles could have been!”

Television comedy character Alan Partridge, in his inimitable style, summed up the problem Paul McCartney would always face.

How do you follow being in the biggest, most famous, most influential pop group of all time? If you’d been in Newcastle on this night 45 years ago, you’d have found out.

Nearly two years after the Fab For dissolved in acrimony, McCartney rolled into the city’s university, asking (literally) if his new band could play a gig there. Having turned his back on the excesses of life with The Beatles, McCartney had loaded his wife Linda, his eight-year-old step-daughter, assorted pets, and a group of musicians and their instruments into a van and hit the road looking to play music at whichever university venue took their fancy.

Their first port of call was Nottingham University, then York, then Hull, then Newcastle. They would play 11 impromptu uni gigs in all.

Steve Dresser, chairman of Newcastle University’s entertainment committee, said: “I couldn’t believe my luck. “Paul asked if a spot could be found for his new band, Wings , in the Sunday folk night at the hall. “They just turned up out of the blue in a big van full of equipment. We were only too happy to oblige.” Luckily, someone at the university tipped off the Chronicle and we sent along a photographer to record the occasion.

By: David Morton

Source: Chronicle Live

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