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What some might call the classic Wings lineup: Jimmy McCullough, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Joe English and Paul McCartney.
What some might call the classic Wings lineup: Jimmy McCullough, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Joe English and Paul McCartney. (Photo: Robert Ellis)

Brush up on your McCartney this week, Milwaukee

With a return by Paul McCartney on tap this summer at Miller Park, the arrival of "Rockshow," is well-timed.

The film, which screens at the Bayshore iPic at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, was filmed on the same 1975-76 U.S. tour that led to Paul McCartney & Wings’ triple-live album, "Wings Over America."

The record, which topped the charts in America in 1977, is itself getting a deluxe makeover this month.

Unlike the vinyl, however, "Rockshow," which took years to emerge, finally debuting in 1980, doesn’t appear to have any studio overdubs (though, admittedly, it’s not easy to tell). And this cut of the film has 30 songs and runs 141 minutes – restoring the original length, which was chopped for home video release – including a 12-minute interview with McCartney.

For me, "Wings Over America" was a seminal record, arriving at the height of my Beatles fixation. I played it ad infinitum (maybe ad nauseum, according to my mom), so seeing the same band playing the same songs – often in the same performances captured on the record – offers a new and unusual, but interesting, dimension.

As a drummer, I was pleased to see that Joe English used the same non-traditional open grip (left hand on the hi-hat, right hand on the snare) that served me well (or not, depending on whom you ask!).

The inclusion of a number of tunes not featuring McCartney as frontman – including Denny Laine singing "Go Now," a hit for the Moody Blues during his tenure – remind us that despite what many thought, McCartney really did view Wings as more than a solo vehicle.

But, Milwaukee, even 30-odd years ago, McCartney mixed new material with old favorites and that’s a reminder that he’ll likely do the same when he performs here on July 16. The oldies will likely overlap: "Maybe I’m Amazed," "My Love," "Yesterday."

But what was new when "Rockshow" was filmed – "Silly Love Songs," "Let Em In," "Beware My Love," etc. – are now oldies, too. Expect to hear some of them.

For the trainspotters, here’s a set list from the film:

  • "Venus And Mars"/"RockShow"/ "Jet"
  • "Let Me Roll It"
  • "Spirits Of Ancient Egypt"
  • "Medicine Jar"
  • "Maybe I’m Amazed"
  • "Call Me Back Again"
  • "Lady Madonna"
  • "The Long And Winding Road"
  • "Live And Let Die"
  • "Picasso’s Last Words"
  • "Richard Cory"
  • "Bluebird"
  • "I’ve Just Seen A Face"
  • "Blackbird"
  • "Yesterday"
  • "You Gave Me The Answer"
  • "Magneto And Titanium Man"
  • "Go Now"
  • "My Love"
  • "Listen To What The Man Said"
  • "Let ‘Em In"
  • "Time To Hide"
  • "Silly Love Songs"
  • "Beware My Love"
  • "Letting Go"
  • "Band on the Run"
  • "Hi, Hi, Hi"
  • "Soily"


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