Cop Alert Inspired Paul McCartney’s ‘Band on the Run,’ Says Wings Drummer
Denny Seiwell, the drummer with Paul McCartney’s band Wings for their first three albums, recalled an incident in a hotel which he believes partly inspired the song “Band on the Run.”
It took place during the outfit’s formative years, a period of touring that saw them traveling with their wives, arriving unannounced at venues and simply asking if they could perform, while seeking out low-cost places to stay overnight.
“I think at one of those places that we stayed Paul had a little beef with the owner over something,” Seiwell told Billboard in a new interview. “And somehow or another his elbow kind of hit the guy in the face. Don't think he did it intentionally, but all of a sudden his oldest girl is running around saying, 'Everybody get up, pack up. We got to get out of here. The cops are coming.' And it was hilarious, But I really think that that's where he got the term 'band on the run' from.”
On another occasion, the touring party found themselves together in a room that was too small for them. “And this night manager, this little bald fellow, came up to us and he had a little kids’ pail. And he said, 'Does one of you people own that black and white dog?' Paul goes, 'Yeah. That's my dog, Lucky.' He says 'Why?' 'Well, he's running around the hallways and he shat in the hall. You're gonna have to clean this up.' So Paul went and cleaned it up. You know, it was magical.”
Among the bonus items in the new expanded edition of Wings’ 1973 album Red Rose Speedway is The Bruce McMouse Show, an abandoned part-animated movie that saw the band interacting with a cartoon family of mice. “When we were filming that, they had me standing on a stage and speaking into my hand as though an imaginary mouse was standing on it,” Seiwell remembered. “And [there was] this big long conversation and I had no idea about acting, especially in that kind of a situation. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable things I'd ever done. I'm glad they left it out of the film.”