Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nine Tonight

To the best of my knowledge, there were never more than about five people in Wings, which brings up the question of why there are nine suit-clad figures with cutesy pointing-gun fingers on the cover of Band on the Run. The answer is that Paul McCartney wanted to mix in some of the stars of the day in addition to the band members, as sort of a low-rent Sgt. Pepper's cover, for what he called "a bit of a laugh." A very little bit.

Unfortunately, old Paulie's conception of who is and who isn't a star is probably quite different from yours or mine. The only really recognizable face on there belongs, at the top, to Schlitz Light spokesman James Coburn. The others are from left to right:

Michael Parkinson A Thames talk-show host who supposedly agreed to appear on the cover in exchange for an interview with McCartney. McCartney didn't give him the interview until 2001.

Kenny Lynch British singer and game-show host who had a hit in the U.K. with "Up on the Roof"

Paul McCartney Bassist for Wings

Clement Freud (with beard) Broadcaster, writer chef, Liberal politician and grandson of Sigmund

Linda McCartney (sans beard) Keyboardist for Wings

Christopher Lee Horror-movie staple

Denny Laine (kneeling) Former Moody Blue, jack of all trades for Wings. His government name is Brian Hines.

John Conteh Liverpudlian light-heavyweight boxer

Don't let the cover dissuade you from listening to the album, though. It's real good.


  1. I think Christopher Lee must have been cast as the “first one,” while James Coburn played “the second one there.” (Not pictured: Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear as the Jailer Man and Sailor Sam.)

    1. How does one get searched for a Band on the Run?