May 7, 2015, by Lindsay Brooke

Paul McCartney recalls the day Wings ‘dropped in’ on The University of Nottingham

Driving home last Sunday afternoon listening to BBC Radio 2’s ‘Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the 70s’ (yes that dates me!) I heard the veteran DJ musing about the year Wings kicked off their ‘Wings over America Tour’. Before that there were a number of small warm up gigs – and the first stop on the Wings Inaugural Tour was The University of Nottingham.

Johnnie Walker went on to play this interview with Sir Paul about his recollection of that day!

The interview gives us an excuse to dig into our archives!

In April 2011 the BBC’s One Show brought back memories of that gig when they organised a reunion of those who were lucky enough to be on campus when Wings dropped in.

And when we sent a few questions to Sir Paul to find out what he remembered about their first gig this is what he sent us:

What do you remember?

I remember having 11 numbers to play and having to repeat a few, pretending they were special requests from the students.

Why did you end up at Nottingham?

We decided we’d just go on the road with no plans;  no hotels booked, no gigs booked a complete blank canvas.  So we set off with the band, the family, the dogs, the babies – up the motorway.  We headed north and saw a sign that said Ashby De La Zouch so we got off the motorway there and asked where the nearest Uni was.  This became the idea that the only place we could maybe find a captive audience would be somewhere like a Uni, so we were directed to Notting Uni and that’s how we found it.

It was the first time we had tried that idea.  I’m really glad we did .  It’s a completely off-the-wall idea for someone who had been in The Beatles, to go and completely start from scratch again and, you know, looking back at it I was like, why did we do it?  And it’s still like that, but it was great and it was a great memory.  We had some laughs – you can imagine some of the hotels we managed to scrape into!  We would literally get there about 7pm at night, and there wasn’t the greatest selection left by that time of night!  Butt was really fun and great bonding experience for the band.

What would you say to all those fans that packed in to watch the gig and still treasure the memories of that very special lunchtime?

It was really great they were there to share it with us – we were extremely thankful that anyone showed up for us.  It’s a great memory so it’s nice they can share that very nice off-the-wall experience with us – it must have been good fun.  I can imagine it would have been great if i’d been at uni and a band like us showed up – it must have also been nice to see Wings in their infacy!  i think it was the first time we had pubicly played.

Do you still have the van?

The van is long since gone.

When do you plan on returning to perform in Nottingham?

A good question and I’ll give it considerable thought.

I wonder if he ever will! Here are a few pictures of the day Wings ‘dropped in’ on The University of Nottingham.

Last picture – double black and white courtesy of: Peter Kirkham.

Posted in AlumniEventsStaffStudents