Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Amazing Musical Journey


Maybe I'm amazed that ROCKSHOW isn't on DVD yet. Or maybe Paul has something up his sleeve, I don't know. I believe McCartney controls the rights to this 1980 concert film of Wings' 1976 Wings Over America North American tour, since footage from it showed up on the THE MCCARTNEY YEARS DVD set. And in widescreen! I've watched my VHS so many times, it was about to wear out, before I burned it to DVD-R.

If you’ve heard the wonderful triple album WINGS OVER AMERICA, you know what to expect from ROCKSHOW. Some of Wings’ fluffier recorded material, such as “Silly Love Songs,” sounds much cooler with the harder edge given them in this live chronicle. Obviously, Paul is the centerpiece of the film, and he appears to be having a great time. He loved playing live (he was the only Beatle to vote against giving up their touring career), and this lineup with former Moody Blue Laine (who does “Go Now”), young lead guitarist McCulloch (who sadly died of a drug overdose at age 26), and drummer English is Wings’ best.

ROCKSHOW carries no credits, but it’s likely McCartney directed it. It’s not a very good looking film, and all video prints I’ve seen are quite murky. I’d like to see it on a big screen. Both Paul and Linda wear unfortunate mullets. Laine was the band’s secret weapon; his “Time to Hide” is a highlight. Thelma Schoonmaker edited ROCKSHOW around the time she did RAGING BULL. Highlights include “Band on the Run,” “Hi Hi Hi,” “Venus and Mars/Rockshow/Jet” (the opener), and “Soily,” which I believe was never recorded by Wings. Surprisingly, very little Beatles material is covered, though Wings had a broad enough catalog by this time that it didn’t need to.

Here's the great bumshaker "Listen to What the Man Said," which gives you a great indication of how much fun ROCKSHOW is.

4 comments:

Booksteve said...

I saw Wings live in Cincinnati in May of 1976 and Paul announced from the stage that SILLY LOVE SONGS had just that day hit the # 1 spot on the US charts! How cool!

Jeremy Richey said...

I'd love to see a DVD release of this as well. I can't figure out either why McCartney's solo work and the Wings albums haven't been given better treatment on American CD. I thought the Band on the Run special edition in the early part of the decade was going to be the start of a great reissue program but no luck. I read a year or so his whole catalogue was going to get rolled back out but I guess that has been delayed for the new Beatles reissues.
Back to Rockshow...I agree with your thoughts and it is always great to know someone I admire shares my love for Macca. Great post and clips...

JFK Jean said...

Love this version of it....probably a little more than the proper version

ARCHAVIST said...

awesome album