LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES-APRIL 8, 2020…IT WAS FORTY SIX YEARS AGO PAUL MCCARTNEY RELEASED THE SINGLE ‘BAND ON THE RUN’. IT WAS THE FIRST SINGLE TO THE ALBUM OF THE SAME NAME, AND IT’S AN ALBUM THAT IN SIR PAUL’S OWN WORDS IS “HIS BEST POST BEATLES WORK.” ‘BAND ON THE RUN’ IS ONE OF MCCARTNEY’S LONGEST SINGLES AT 5:09. THE SONG-WIDE THEME IS ONE OF FREEDOM AND ESCAPE.
MCCARTNEY WROTE THIS SONG IN RESPONSE TO DRUG LAWS THAT CRIMINALIZED HIM AND HIS FRIENDS. HE EXPLAINED IN AN INTERVIEW SHORTLY AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE SINGLE: “We’re not criminals ,We just would rather do this than hit the booze – which had been a traditional way to do it. We felt that this was a better move.The basic idea about the band on the run is a kind of prison escape. At the beginning of the album the guy is stuck inside four walls, and eventually breaks out.”
ONE THING THAT INSPIRED MCCARTNEY FOR BREAKING OUT AND GAINING FREEDOM WAS A STATEMENT GEORGE HARRISON MADE DURING A MEETING WITH EXECUTIVES AT THE BEATLES APPLE RECORDS, WHEN GEORGE HARRISON COMPLAINED “If I ever get out of this house.” MCCARTNEY REMEMBERED THE STATEMENT AND USED IT IN THIS SONG. PAUL ALSO USED A MEDLEY OF THREE DISTINCT DIFFERENT SONGS THAT VARY IN STYLE FOR ‘BAND ON THE RUN’. THE BEATLES DID THIS A LOT ON THEIR ALBUMS, BEING IT PROVIDED A WAY TO USE UNFINISHED SONGS. BOTH THE SONG AND ALBUM WERE RECORDED UNDER TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES. THE ORIGINAL DEMOS FOR THIS AND OTHER TRACKS ON ‘BAND ON THE RUN’ WERE STOLEN SHORTLY AFTER THE WINGS ARRIVED IN LAGOS NIGERIA TO BEGIN RECORDING OF THE ALBUM. THE ALBUM WAS RECORDED WITH MCCARTNEY, HIS WIFE LINDA, AND GUITARIST DENNY LAINE. IN AN INTERVIEW MCCARTNEY DID IN 2005 MACCARTNEY DESCRIBED THE PROCESS:“I was on drums and guitar a lot, mainly because the drummer decided to leave the group the night before and one of the guitar players decided not to come! So we got that solo element into an otherwise ‘produced’ album.”
THE SINGLE BAND ON THE RUN WAS AN INTERNATIONAL CHART SUCCESS. IN THE U.S. IT SOLD OVER A MILLION COPIES IN 1974, AND WAS A NUMBER ONE SONG ON THE CHARTS. THIS IS AMAZING…HERE’S FOOTAGE OF MCCARTNEY IN THE STUDIO WITH REHEARSALS. IT WAS PART OF A RARELY SEEN “ROCKUMENTARY” MADE BY PAUL MCCARTNEY AND THE WINGS AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS IN 1974. THE FILM FEATURES THE GROUP PLAYING LIVE AND DOING VOICE OVERDUBS, AND EACH MEMBER TALKING ABOUT THEIR MUSICAL EXPERIENCES UP TO THAT POINT.