Thursday, August 8, 2013

40 Year Itch : Paul McCartney Goes to Africa

  On August 8, 1973 Paul McCartney, his wife Linda and Denny Laine flew to Lagos, Nigeria to record the album Band On The Run. It wasn't quite the adventure in paradise they may have envisioned. Before they even left, two members of Wings, lead guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell , abruptly quit. The city was drenched in rain--it was monsoon season. The studio --equipped with used microphones and a dodgy eight track machine--was located in a huge dangerous city. Five knife-wielding bandits jumped the McCartneys one night. In the book Band on the Run, author Garry McGee quotes Linda as screaming

"Don't kill us! We're musicians--he's Beatle Paul!"

The thieves made off with money, cameras, watches and a bag full of demo cassettes and lyrics.  Another day the 31 year old McCartney collapsed and complained he couldn't breathe.


Linda thought I'd died. She had a point--when I came round even I was convinced I was going to die.

 He had to be driven to the hospital where a doctor diagnosed him as having a severe bronchial attack due to smoking.

After seven weeks the McCartneys returned home where a letter awaited them reading

Do not under any conditions go to Lagos. Cancel--there's been an outbreak of cholera!

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