Wings’ Legacy Surprises Denny Laine
Wings guitarist Denny Laine said he was surprised the band left such a legacy in the music world.
He also hailed the contribution made by Paul McCartney’s wife, Linda, who had almost no musical experience before becoming part of his first post-Beatles project.
“I’m not trying to downplay it, but I’m actually surprised we’re that well-remembered,” Laine told Guitar World in a recent interview. “I’m just a normal musician who doesn’t really think about the fame side of it. That always surprises me, the fame side of it.”
He noted that although he’s never had a massive solo hit, he often meets people who tell him they own his entire catalog, which gives him a “good feeling” because it means he successfully connected with others. “And it’s the same with Wings,” he said. “We don’t think of it in terms of how famous we were or how many people we influenced until we meet the fans. But it’s all about music for me. It’s all about moving forward. … You never stop creating, and therefore you’re never 100% satisfied. You can’t be. But when the finished product goes out and a lot of people are happy with it, that’s good enough encouragement for me.”
Laine – the only member to appear in all Wings’ lineups alongside the McCartneys – said Linda added a distinctive element to the band’s sound. “Linda was a very musical person, but she was not a trained professional, if you want to call it that,” he said. “She hadn’t done any live or studio work. So it took longer, but she could sing in tune, and you give her an idea, she could sing it. Either Paul or me would come up with a line for her to sing. We’d just sit there and say, ‘Where do we need harmonies?’ [and] then work out the parts. Linda took to it quite quickly.”
He argued that “there was a sound there that can’t be mimicked. It was a special part of Wings, and I’m quite happy about that. It was nice to see Linda learning that stuff and how well she did. Again, onstage, she wasn’t experienced and sometimes had problems. But in the studio, she was spot on.”