Joe English – Making Music with Paul McCartney Pt. 2

SKF NOTE: Here‘s the first part of this exchange.

SKF: You had thirteen cents in your pocket when you got the call from McCartney. You were with Wings for three years making a six-figure income. And yet you’ve said that it created a turmoil within you. Why?

JE: I’ve got no idea. It’s hard to answer that. I could’ve locked into that scene, but I know the Lord had different plans for me. Now I look at what I’m doing and how my life has changed personally.

McCartney gave me a fantastic break with Wings. I’ll never take that away from him. He’s a fantastic guy to work for. These are things that never get into print. It’s always the mystique that, ‘Boy, Paul must’ve been a hard guy to work for. Joe must’ve gotten into a fight when he left.’

Let me tell you. Paul McCartney treated me like one of his family. When I first joined the band and moved to England I used to stay at his house to adjust. He didn’t want me staying off in some cold hotel room. He treated me wonderful.

I traveled all around the world. And it wasn’t Paul and. It was us. It was a family for about two-and-a-half years. If you can find anywhere to print any of that — you need to let people know that. It was Paul McCartney and Wings.

Deep down I think I knew that one day I’dd have to pursue my own career. I couldn’t ride off Paul forever. I just decided to pull up stakes. And it wasn’t easy to give up a situation like that. I could’ve really pursued different things while I was with Wings.

There was a sort-of-like peak. I joined the band. We did a couple of albums. Then we did that world tour.

For me, that’s when Wings peaked. I felt like: what else can I do? We did alot of things off that tour. There was a movie called The Paul McCartney Rockshow. We did an ABC Television special. It was like pulling all the stops out. This is the big one. Paul wanted to have his own band and go out and do it. And we sure did. I got alot in in two-and-a-half to three years.

SKF: Did you do anything to keep yourself physically and mentally in shape during the world tour?

JE: I didn’t do anything physically. And mentally, I didn’t have to. I had a gig most musicians dream about. I had people opening limousine doors for me. We flew on chartered jets. First-class. We had four bases when we toured the States: Texas, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. We’d play our dates and fly back to our hotel. People were always wanting to do stuff for you. I didn’t have to do anything but play. I had no other worries.

All I thought about was playing my gig at night. I didn’t worry about where my clothes were, what I was going to wear. We had people with trunks of clothing that were pressed and ironed and all sewn and custom made for the tour. You’d walk into a room and they’d ask, “What do you want to wear?” I didn’t have to do anything. It was a dream gig.

So people ask, “Well, why did you leave?” I was a kid who’d seen The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Now, you’ve got to understand. All that was going through my mind. I’m going, “Hey, I’ve got a chance. This is Paul McCartney. This guy is no slouch.” I’m not talking about working with some mediocre guy in the rock n’ roll business. There are a few people in the business who are on the top. And he’s one of them. I got a chance to work with him and he turned out to be a great guy. Alot of people in that situation don’t have to be great guys. But Paul made it as nice as possible. And it paid off, because all we had to concentrate on was what we were doing.

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