Paul McCartney reflected back on his time on the road with Wings as he gears up for the May 28th deluxe edition of his 1976 live collection, Wings Over America. The album, which collected the full-30 song concert over three discs, showcased Wings during their sole North American tour and marked McCartney's sixth and final Number One album of the '70s. McCartney -- who was arrested for marijuana possession twice while on tour with Wings -- in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1972 and again in Tokyo in 1980 -- recalled that because he was traveling with his three young daughters, things never got too rowdy out on tour.
He spoke about his life on the road leading Wings while juggling a family life, telling The Daily Mail, "The nice thing about anyone who's likely to get a bit crazy is they're normally not gonna do it around the kids. I've known some of the most legendary madmen in rock n' roll, but, when they're hanging out with me and the kids, they're unbelievable gentlemen. Someone like Keith Moon was the world's greatest gentleman. So this is what happened -- anyone who was likely to get crazy, it would be on their own time, in a hotel room and somewhere where the kids weren't. They were very respectful and the kids never really saw any kind of hedonistic behavior."
McCartney, who traveled with all of his children during the Wings era, remembered how stressful it would be when one of the kids got sick: "Yeah, that would be the worst thing, if we were away and one of the kids was ill. But life causes arguments and there were plenty of reasons for that. I don't think having the kids on tour was particularly stressful. I think just people living together can be stressful."
He says that having wife Linda onstage really had nothing to do with boosting his confidence -- in fact nothing could be further from the truth: "That's not really true. The thing is, if I'd needed someone there for my confidence, I would have got someone like Eric Clapton. So then I'd have more confidence, because I know he knows how to do it and I know how to do it. So it wasn't so much that; it was more just Linda and I wanting to be together. I realized that if I was going to get a band together, one of the possibilities was that she would be in it. The other possibility was that she would come along with the band. But the first option, of being in it, sort of tickled us."
When asked about what he felt in 1976 returning to North America for the first time since the Beatles' final 1966 tour, he recalled it being: "Nerve-racking. This was big-time American media: 'The Beatle returns.' What's he going to be like? You want to throw up. But you get on there and you suddenly see, these are your people, this is OK. You're home."
Paul McCartney explained that having his wife in his band was really a no-brainer for him: "The thing is, we made a decision. It was kinda, y'know, we were in love, we wanted to be together. I think that was kind of like the central idea. And then it was like, 'Oh, well if you're going to be in band than you'll need to learn a bit of instrument.' She played a little bit of piano -- but not since she was a kid. So, I would show her basic stuff. Most of what we were doing was not Tchaikovsky."
Paul McCartney kicks off his North American dates on Saturday and Sunday (May 18th and 19th) in Orlando, Florida at Amway Center.