Monday, June 18, 2012

Heading Out On The Road

After extensive rehearsal and recording, Paul judged Wings fit for a proper tour around the continent in July 1972. They began on the 9th with a concert in Chateauvallon, France, after which the BBC's Michael Wale interviewed a clearly relieved Paul and Linda, now past their opening night jitters.

The setlist was expanded from the University tour, with some covers dropped and new (but unfamiliar to audiences) numbers added, including "1882", "I Would Only Smile", "Best Friend", "Soily", and "Hi Hi Hi".

As they had in the UK, Wings traveled as a family unit, this time in an open-topped bus. They drove through France, hitting venues in Juan-les-Pins, Arles, and Paris. The band then arrived in West Germany for concerts in Munich and Frankfurt, winding up the first leg of the tour in Switzerland with shows in Zurich and Montreux, on July 21st.

Meanwhile, John and Yoko had decided to take a road trip of their own, heading west across the USA in a station wagon, bound for California. Part of the reason was a tip that Tony Cox might be hiding Kyoko in the San Fernando Valley, but John also wanted to see more of the country at ground level. By the middle of June, they had checked in to the Hotel Miyako in San Francisco, moving to a house in Mill Valley at the beginning of July for a lengthy stay.

They spent most of the summer out of the public eye (partly because they were undergoing treatment to kick a methadone habit), but re-emerged back in San Francisco on August 5th. That was when New York TV reporter Geraldo Rivera flew out to interview the couple around town, accompanied by a cameraman from local ABC affiliate KGO.

Back in February, Geraldo had produced an award-winning exposé of conditions at the Willowbrook State School for children with mental disabilities. Now he was enlisting John and Yoko's help by asking them to headline a benefit concert for the children of Willowbrook. After filming the couple in various locations around town, Geraldo joined them in their Hotel Miyako suite for a singalong of oldies (plus their last single). Rivera's finished report included a bit of music, plus an interview with John and Yoko promoting the upcoming gig.


  1. Wings take off!

    Hey, just checking, the photo (when one saves it) says Jan173France! Do you know if this pic is actually from this period/the Arles or Paris shows?

    Also, a completely different question, from a much earlier era!! Not really a question, I just want to confirm that I've got this straight:

    The "I'm Only Sleeping" tracks that appeared on "Anthology"....those are remakes, recorded AFTER the basic track for the version we all know and love was recorded? Even though John says "I'm Only Sleeping take one!", he's referring to a remake? (and the vibraphone instrumental version, that's a rehearsal?). I know this is basic stuff, but I've always found it hard to fathom that they'd take umbrage with the basic track of the released version, which is so classic!

    Hope you don't mind the questions!

    1. The photo is from the first night at Chateauvallon.

      And yes, apparently "I'm Only Sleeping" is a remake of sorts, if not a very serious one. The LP version was begun on April 27th, then on the 29th they did the "vibes" rehearsal and remake, and then went back to overdub a lead vocal on the original April 27th take.

    2. Thank you O Wise One!!!!