THE McCARTNEY STAGE
“My ideal is to play off the back of a bus” – Paul McCartney
The open top deck of Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 has been re-imagined and engineered so that WNO 481 now has an amazing new super power; the ability to transform into a performance stage fit to grace any festival or event from Glastonbury to Woodstock. Paul McCartney’s ‘Ideal…’ is now possible.
50 years of rock’n’roll history re-imagined for the 21st century
In July and August 2022 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour when Paul McCartney chose WNO 481 to become the 1972 Wings Tour Bus we are delighted to announce that the Legend Of Rock & Road is at this time approaching the final stages of a major restoration and will soon emerge from the workshop.
The lower deck is being restored to its McCartney layout but the open top deck has been re-imagined and engineered so that WNO 481 now has an amazing new super power; the ability to transform into a performance stage fit to grace any festival or event from Glastonbury to Woodstock… oh, how it would have fitted in at Woodstock.
WNO 481 has even been called “Woodstock on Wheels” and Glastonbury have shown interest in seeing photo’s once the transformation is complete. Just as the artwork on the bus was inspired by and is a tribute to The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine so the McCartney Stage was inspired by and is a tribute to The Beatles concert on the roof of the Apple Building in 1969 and Sir Paul’s quote. “Ideal” is now possible. Having always pushed to create exciting new audio and visual concepts we hope The McCartney Stage meets with Sir Paul’s approval.
ABOUT WNO 481
In his first major tour after the glory days of The Beatles Paul McCartney chose 20 year old open top double decker WNO 481 to be the 1972 Wings Tour Bus. It carried Paul McCartney, Linda, Heather, Mary and Stella McCartney, Wings members Denny Laine, Henry McCullough, Denny Seiwell, wives and girlfriends to play 25 concerts in 25 cities in 9 countries across Europe racking up over 12,000 km’s over 7,500 miles. An amazing family and band adventure. With a world-famous rock star on board and hotly pursued by the world’s press 1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 became a Legend Of Rock & Road and arguably the most famous bus in the world.
Enjoy this excellent compilation of video footage to the soundtrack of Sir Paul’s Yesterday.
PAUL McCARTNEY & WNO 481
“We knew we were going to tour in Europe and that the weather would be nice, and the idea of being stuck in a bus all the time, going from city to city, hotel to hotel, wasn’t too appealing so we decided to travel around in an open-top bus and get some sunshine as we travelled from one place to another.”
– Paul McCartney.
The first show of the European tour was booked for a deliberately out-of-the-way location – a 2,000-seat Roman amphitheatre at Châteauvallon, high in the pine-forested hills above Toulon on the south-eastern coast of France. Here, before the gig, on Sunday, 9 July 1972, Paul gave an informal press conference. ‘I’m starting all over again and working my way upwards,’ he accepted. ‘You don’t fight Cassius Clay on your first time out.’ He hinted at his recent crisis of confidence and the worry of being smothered by the weight of his reputation:
‘A year ago, I used to wake up in the morning and think, I’m a myth. I’m Paul McCartney. And it scared the hell out of me.’ “We painted the outside psychedelic, like a magic bus,” McCartney says of their tour transport on that halcyon trip. “If you look at it very straight, very conventionally, it was quite a mad thing to do, to put a playpen on the top deck of the bus and put all the children in there while driving around Europe. It was not what you’d expect from a normal band. But we weren’t a normal band.”
Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, artist Geoffrey Cleghorn and Tom Jennings were interviewed by the BBC’s Nick Coffer about WNO 481 Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus.
On the 19th September 2020 broadcast guests included renowned artist Geoffrey Cleghorn, friend of Pink Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones et al. Geoffrey painted the artwork for Paul McCartney.
Also interviewed was Denny Seiwell, the legendary Wings drummer, who played on the 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour and travelled for two months in The Summer of ’72 – The Summer of Wings – on WNO 481, Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus.
Nick Coffer: “You’ve got this new owner, Tom Jennings, who bought the bus a year ago, he’s having it restored and it’s going to be back to its full glory. How does that feel for you? Obviously that was 49 years ago, you’re based in LA. Does it matter to you? Does it feel nice that this bus is going to come back to what it once was?
Denny Seiwell: “Oh sure it does. Everything should come full circle. Those were such formative years, you know. They were profound in many ways as far as my life went> You know as far as going from a top session guy to becoming a band guy and becoming part of a band called Wings. And that bus was a big part of it because the European Tour that was our breaking out. The other stuff before that was nice but this was saying ‘ok, we’re ready now’. We had put a lot of hard work into becoming a real band. The last tour that I did was the British Tour and by that time we were really solid as a high performing… one of the top bands in the land.”
Also interviewed was Chris Edwards whose Dad actually drove WNO 481.
Low quality audio version for small file size
High Quality version – larger file size
Interview Transcript PDF
Link to BBC Three Counties Radio Interview
Paul McCartney, Wings & WNO 481 travelled 12,072 kilometres, 7,500 miles to do 25 concerts in 25 cities in 9 countries across Europe.
The restoration of Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 in song titles.
When people are happy in their work they might break out in song. Well, we put together a few song titles while we worked. Hope you enjoy them:
RESTORATION IN SONG TITLES
I SAW HER STANDING THERE and I thought with ALL MY LOVING we couldn’t just LET IT BE and LIVE AND LET DIE. WNO 481 has has many’s A HARD DAY’S NIGHT with all those DAY TRIPPERs YESTERDAY. WITH A LITTLE LUCK and WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS WE CAN WORK IT OUT. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE and even if money CAN’T BUY ME LOVE if I can make them COME TOGETHER though it may take EIGHT DAYS A WEEK for a while we will all pitch in to HELP. So, when WNO 481 can once again say I FEEL FINE we’ll know that IT WON’T BE LONG before we’re calling out HEY JUDE, WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD, the ABBEY ROAD and head off on another MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR on THE LONG & WINDING ROAD to PENNY LANE and we’ll take along a BAND ON THE RUN. Our restoration tells WNO 481 you deserve another TICKET TO RIDE to GET BACK to where you once belonged, the future.
– Tom and The 1972 Wings Tour Busketeers
We are delighted to announce a partnership with FBHVC – The Federation Of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.
1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 - FBHVC Articles
Click to play the soundtrack plus interviews with Paul McCartney and others who were there.1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 - FBHVC Articles
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