"Ho, hey-ho!": how McCartney recorded the song "Mrs. Vandebilt"

How did McCartney record "Mrs Vandebilt"? Difficulties Wings faced while writing Band on the Run in faraway Africa.

The history of the composition that conquered Soviet music lovers

Paul McCartney is a famous musician, producer and writer from the city Liverpoolon the northwest coast of the UK. He is one of the founding members of the British rock band The Beatleswhich thundered all over the world in the 60s of the last century. Also McCartney 16 times received a prestigious music award Grammy Awards.

In 1973 after graduation Mrs Vandebilt Western critics described it as a stupid song with rather primitive lyrics. The composition was considered an unsuccessful ex-Beatle experiment. For this reason, it was not popular either in the USA or in the UK. However, opinions were rather contradictory. IN Soviet Union "Mrs Vandebilt" immediately became a hit.

Paul McCartney, our time
Paul McCartney, our time

In 2008, before the performance in Kyiv, the Internet was held survey: what post-Beatle song Ukrainian fans would most like to hear at the concert. What was surprise Paul McCartneywhen the most voted for "Mrs Vandebilt", which the musician so rarely included in concert programs. McCartney's Kyiv concert began with the announcement of the composition in Ukrainian: “We were asked to sleep in this song”. Since then, the musician began to perform "Mrs Vandebilt" more often.

History of the song

In August 1973 McCartney decided to record the album in a special place - in a distant African city. Lagos, where one of the British record companies is located EMI. There, in the southwest of Nigeria, the musician faced many difficulties, due to which the trip turned into real adventure.

Wings with Paul McCartney
Wings with Paul McCartney

It all started before the musician left for Nigeria. Shortly before the group trip "Wings." left two members - guitarist and drummer. Thus, in the team there were only only two musicians, not counting McCartney's wife Linda, who takes the place of the backing vocalist. However, the leader of the group didn't lose heart, but, on the contrary, declared that he would cope and with such a meager composition. Luckily, Paul not only plays bass, but can also play drums and guitar.

As a result, the risky step of the musician turned into a success. The three of them played so well that the famous drummer Keith Moon expressed his admiration.

What is it based on such an unusual choice. to record an album? McCartney himself claims that the reason was the search for new emotions and impressions, as well as supposedly more flexible hours and freedom. Perhaps this trip the musicians remembered for a long time. After all, these were not all the difficulties that awaited the post-Beatle team.

wings group
Group "Wings"

Immediately after arriving in Lagos, the musicians discovered that there had been a military coup, and the recording studio was in a terrible state. Humid and stuffy weather in the daytime meant that the team had to work at night. But the tests don't end there. McCartney with his wife survived a robbery.

One night, the couple decided to take a walk in a quiet and calm-looking city. While walking, the couple discovered that they were being followed by a car carrying five armed bandits. Putting a knife to Paul's throat, the criminals took all the money, jewelry, a camera, and even cassettes with an early version of the album. "Band on the Run". Linda desperately screamed that the bandits were dealing with McCartney from The Beatles. It's McCartney's glory saved him that night from death.

This event made changes to the song "Band on the Run", adding there a special emotional coloring and a single line "If I ever get out of here, thought of giving it all away", which translated from English sounds like "If only someday to get out of here, even if you have to give everything."

About the song title Mrs Vandebilt, of course, we are talking about the Vanderbilt dynasty - the most famous American millionaires, whose ancestors come from Holland. Myself McCartney confessedwhat about mrs vanderbilt knows nothing, except that she was a very wealthy person, so in the text she most likely personifies the rich in general.

It's easy to guesswhat's in the title Mrs Vandebilt missing a letter "r". Whether this was done out of cunning or was it a banal mistake of inattention, it is difficult to say, but it can be assumed that McCartney did this in order not to have any claims from Vanderbilt family.

Already in the first lines of the song, the concept of indifference was visible, prompting drop everything and move away from civilization in a primeval quiet place. This statement in the song is perceived with some share irony, given the location of the musicians during the recording of the album.

It is also worth noting that the first lines Mrs Vandebilt are a direct quote from the famous English comedian Charlie Chester. In his performance, it sounded like this: “There, in the jungle, living in a tent is better than in a bungalow - you don’t have to pay rent.” Loud laughter at the end of the composition, passing into choral singing is also a reference to Chester.

The last edits of the album were made by the band "Wings." already upon arrival from Nigeria. IN Mrs Vandebilt a saxophone part by Howie Casey was added. The album title literally translates to "Gang on the Run" and the cover is done according to the title. It depicts musicians in the form of criminals, as well as other celebrities, including Christopher Lee, known for the roles of Dracula and Saruman from "Lord of the Rings"

Album cover of "band on the run" by Paul McCartney and wings
Album cover of "Band on the run" by Paul McCartney and Wings

Despite the frequent division of opinion on the account early post-Beatle works Paul McCartney, this album was well received by all. Separately, it is worth highlighting the praise John Lennonwho had a complex personality.

"Band on the Run" quickly became popular in the homeland of musicians. Already in 1974 it took second place in sales in the UK, and a year later was awarded the prestigious music award "Grammy" in nomination for best pop performance.

As mentioned earlier, Mrs Vandebilt especially popular in England with USA did not use, therefore, as a separate single was not released. However, in the Soviet Union, music lovers really liked the refrain “Ho, hey-ho!”, And some time after the release of the song, a cover was recorded from the group "Funny boys", which bears the name "Our Queen". Later, other covers from Russian-speaking bands were also released.


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