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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 11, 2001

'Wings' retrospective stirs emotions in former leader

Associated Press

 •  "Wingspan" 8 tonight, KITV (ABC)
NEW YORK — Paul McCartney recalls slipping a compact disc into his car's CD player and getting lost in reminiscences about that group he was a part of all those years ago.

No, not THAT group. The other one.

Remember Wings?

A double-CD retrospective of McCartney's post-Beatles work is out this week, along with a two-hour special tonight. It's sure to reignite interest in — and maybe spark some re-evaluation of — this overlooked stretch of his career.

"The '60s was sort of four guys let loose on the world and conquering it," said McCartney, now 58. "This (the Wings era) was more to do with a marriage, family and trying to follow the Beatles, which was a virtually impossible task."

That prospect left McCartney depressed and somewhat lost for a while. The 1970s saw McCartney battling the other Beatles in court, being blamed by many for breaking up the band, and being laughed at for having his wife, Linda, in his new group.

McCartney long had an inferiority complex about his work from that era, a complex that he only recently put behind him, when trying to distill the best for the new CD. His music was vilified at the time for being sickly sweet and sloppy. Paul broke up Wings after his 1980 drug bust in Japan. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist five years after John Lennon.

Some of that era's music has aged well. "Maybe I'm Amazed" is one of McCartney's best love songs, and "Junk" has low-key charm. The album, "Band on the Run" was a creative peak.

McCartney is keeping busy three years after Linda's death from breast cancer.

He's dating, he's put out a book of poetry and given readings, and he's completing a new album with producer David Kahne, set for release this fall.