Skip to Content

Blog Archives

The Artwork – The Origin & Cultural Importance

Paul’s flagship message of All You Need Is Love and peace in the artwork on 1972 Wings Wings Tour Bus, its origin & cultural Importance encapsulating the Swinging 60’s, Carnaby St, the art of Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour, San Francisco, The Summer Of Love, Woodstock & flower-power’s universal and eternal message of peace and love.

From the crooners of the 1950’s Elvis had the world All Shook Up from 1956. The Beatles exploded in 1962 and were at the heart of the Swinging 60’s as fashion, hairstyles and make-up changed along with the music and the new-found flower-power culture of peace, love and happiness.

London was the epicentre of The Swinging 60’s and in particular Carnaby St where rock stars of the day, many of whom played at The Marquee round the corner in Wardour St like The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Small Faces etc, fashion models; Twiggy and Chrissie Shrimpton, and designers like Mary Quant. Stars of stage and screen like Brigitte Bardot would mingle with regular shoppers all seeking the next groovy ‘look’ in boutiques with names like Gear, Lady Jane, John Stephen, Lord John, I was Lord Kitchener’s Valet etc.

New fashions and hairstyles were paraded for the waiting press photographers and reporters. the paparazzi of the day, With all the cool, positive, vibrant energy and light it seemed that the world had suddenly got coloured in… and so did the vehicles.

In 1966 The Beatles released the song Yellow Submarine which was followed by the animated movie, produced and directed by George Dunning. “Yellow Submarine is a movie whose message is all about making an ideal world. And it’s one of the most perfect pieces of moving art ever made.” – Josh Weinstein – The Simpsons – Futurama

The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became a worldwide smash. As well as the masterpiece that is Sgt Pepper one of the songs from that album; Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds, inspired by a drawing by John Lennon’s son Julian became a number one hit single. In hindsight, it’s been recognized as one of the most important songs in the entire psychedelic rock genre. Sgt Pepper is considered arguably the greatest album ever made. “Pop art doesn’t get more sublime than this.” – Ultimate Classic Rock. Its artwork is considered ‘the Mona Lisa of album covers’. Artists: Peter Blake and Jann Haworth

Soundtracked by ‘Sgt Pepper’ San Francisco’s Haight Asbury district became a migration hotspot for almost 100,000 youths that became known as the Summer of Love.

“The summer of 1967 was the Summer Of Love for us, We could feel what was going on with our friends, and people who had similar goals in America. You could just pick up the vibes, man.” – George Harrison

It was a fabulous time. I even get excited now when I realise that’s what it was for: peace and love, people putting flowers in guns. – Ringo Starr

The song that topped the charts around the world had the message “If you’re going to San Francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair” – Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco.

‘All You Need Is Love’ was written by John Lennon especially for Our World, the world’s first televised satellite link-up between 25 countries worldwide. Its message perfectly captured the optimistic mood of the Summer of Love, with a simplicity perfectly judged for their global audience. – Beatles Bible.

“All You Need Is Love” – John Lennon

After the Beatles completed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in April 1967, Paul McCartney wanted to create a film that captured a psychedelic theme similar to that represented by author Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters on the US West Coast. Titled Magical Mystery Tour, it would combine Kesey’s idea of a psychedelic bus ride with McCartney’s memories of Liverpudlians holidaying on coach tours. Wikipedia . The cover art for the album Magical Mystery Tour was designed by graphic artist and illustrator John Van Hamersveld who designed 300 record jackets for pop and psychedelic bands from the 1960s onward.

Magical Mystery Tour – Celebrating 50 Years Exhibition

Building on the 1967 Summer of Love The Woodstock Festival in 1969 was the coming together of half a million people to enjoy peace, love, happiness and music. This era became part of a two-decade turning point in history that influenced future decades, and still has an impact on the present day. Paul had wanted The Beatles to play Woodstock in 1969 but that wasn’t to be.

In 1969 John, Paul, George & Ringo sadly went their separate ways. John had announced in a private meeting with the lads in September 1969 that he wanted a ‘divorce’ from The Beatles and formed The Plastic Ono Band, George and Ringo worked on solo projects and in April 1970 Paul released his first solo project McCARTNEY.

1971 – WINGS
Paul McCartney and Wings, often billed simply as Wings, were a British-American rock band formed in 1971 by former Beatles bassist and singer Paul McCartney, his wife Linda McCartney on keyboards, session drummer Denny Seiwell, and former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine. Wings were noted for their commercial successes and musical eclecticism. Wikipedia

After the low-key success of The University Tour in 1972 Paul decided to have a properly organised tour of Europe in an open-top double-decker bus. John Morris, one of the organisers of Woodstock was chosen to organise the Wings Over Europe Tour and Carnaby St Gear boutique owner Tom Salter. Tom and his Carnaby St crowd were tasked with realising Paul’s wish to have the artwork in the style of Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine which in turn were inspired by the Swinging 60’s, Carnaby St, the Summer Of Love which inspired John’s psychedelic Rolls Royce and George’s Mini.

With the sights & sounds of Woodstock’s half a million revellers still echoing across the world artist Geoffrey Cleghorn was chosen to realise the vision of transforming WNO 481 into the 1972 WINGS TOUR BUS. Geoff was friends with Pink Floyd, The Who & The Rolling Stones and had recently completed a giant mural for Keith Moon of The Who. He enlisted fellow Ipswich Art School (Suffolk Campus) students Neil Dean, who designed the Wings logo, Georgina Dean & Charlie Smith.

“We painted the outside psychedelic, like a magic bus. 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.” – Paul McCartney

Here we had two of the most beautiful people on the planet living the hippie dream and spreading the All You Need Is Love and peace message for 7,500 miles across Europe. In the midst of the conflict with his brothers in music, the other Beatles, Paul with Linda, his family and band was spreading this message of peace and love that was surely an olive branch to John, George and Ringo and a rallying cry to the world; “We come in peace, We come to play, We come to have a good time, we Come Together – Join Us.

“Wings toured the world and became the best-selling pop act of the 1970s, with five consecutive number one albums.” – Britannica

The Beatles was always going to be a hard act to follow, even for Paul McCartney but it was John Lennon, in one of his final interviews, who understood the value of Wings as he observed:

“I kind of admire the way Paul started back from scratch, forming a new band and playing in small dance halls.”

As much as anyone, Lennon perceived the sheer amount of risk inherent in creating a band in the wake of The Beatles’ juggernaut.
To sum up the achievement in record sales, from 1971 through 1980, Wings achievements were:

  • Five chart-topping and eight Top 10 US albums; Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway, Band On The Run, Venus & Mars, Wings At The Speed Of Sound, London Town, Back To The Egg, Wings Over America
  • Fourteen Top 10 singles, six of which reached number-one,  including My Love, Jet, Band On The Run and Maybe I’m Amazed.
  • All 23 of Wings’ US singles registered as Top 40 hits.

Wings won six Grammy Awards, while selling some 14 million records, garnering seven platinum and nine gold discs. Live and Let Die became the first James Bond theme song to be nominated for an Oscar. It was also nominated for a Grammy. With all of the above the realization of Paul McCartney’s triumph with Wings comes fully into view.

In this 50th anniversary year, 2022, we marvel at the wonder of a 20 year old former BRISTOL, ESSEX, NORFOLK, SUFFOLK seaside special double-decker living the dream of being chosen by the biggest rock star and entrusted with the care of not only himself but his family and band to tour 7,500 miles across Europe. After extensive restoration we are proud to present WNO 481 in association with FBHVC at The Classic Motor Show at The NEC where Phase 1 of the restoration was revealed. Bands played on Beatles Rooftop Concert inspired McCartney Stage on the open top deck including Wings legend Howie Casey. Tom Salter, Mr Carnaby St, saw for the first time in 50 years, the bus he transformed with his Carnaby St designers for Paul McCartney & Wings legendary and pivotal Wings Over Europe Tour.

“Well done! A real labour of love.” – Frank Nash CEO JP Fallon

Stella was 10 months old when she was brought on to 1972 Wings Tour Bus and her retro designs of today echo those days. Here’s Stella experiencing the ‘thrill’ of driving George Harrison’s Mini.

John’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce was John’s outward personal statement of peace and love and is considered priceless.

George’s psychedelic Mini was George’s outward personal statement of peace and love and is considered priceless.

Paul’s psychedelic 1972 Wings Tour Bus was Paul’s outward personal statement of peace and love made all the more meaningful coming in the midst of the troubles surrounding the Fab Four. It is easy to imagine that through the artwork Paul was extending an olive branch to his Beatles brothers. Reminders of Yellow Submarine, Magical Mystery Tour, the Summer Of Love when they were the Fab Four and completely in tune with each other. The Summer of ’72 was The Summer of Wings. Paul may have put a new band together which conquered the world in the 1970’s but as time has proved once-a-Beatle-forever-a-Beatle. We can only speculate but this author loves the idea that the Wings Over Europe Tour could easily have been Magical Mystery Tour ll.

The tribute to Wings that would have meant the most to Paul would have been that John was so enthused by the success of Paul and Wings that at the time he died he was busy recording songs to go on tour with. The news of John’s untimely and tragic death reverberated across the world and affected Paul so deeply it caused him to disband Wings. John had admired, was re-invigorated and enthused by Paul’s incredible achievements with Wings, second only to The Beatles juggernaut. John and Paul had reconnected. A Beatles one-off reunion was also discussed. John put forward the possibility of writing again with Paul. This author believes that John and Paul would have re-united The Beatles had John lived. John could easily have joined Paul and Wings on-stage to signal their new beginning. If John was on tour Paul could have been invited on stage to jam. Paul re-united with George and Ringo.

Paul’s flagship message of All You Need Is Love and peace in the idyllic landscape on 1972 Wings Wings Tour Bus with song references in the artwork; its sun shining (I’ll Follow The Sun – Good Day Sunshine – Here Comes The Sun), its river (“Picture yourself on a boat on a river…” – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds), its snow-capped mountains (Help), its rainbow shaped cloud (Golden Slumbers), its flowers a reference to flower power all reminders of halcyon days gone by (there are places I remember In My Life), surely found favour with John, George and Ringo. In those dark, troubled times and showing his true once a Beatle, forever a Beatle credentials and in true Beatles style Paul shone a light towards a brighter, better future. What Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons – Futurama) said about Yellow Submarine could also apply to the artwork on 1972 Wings Tour Bus upon which it was based, “One of the most perfect pieces of moving art ever made”.

Paul McCartney’s Wings Achievements

Paul McCartney’s Career Achievements

© Copyright Tom Creaven-Jennings 2019-2023

The McCartney Stage At The NEC

The Magical History Tour At The Classic Motor Show at The NEC

Friday 11th – Sunday 13th November 2022

In this 50th anniversary year we marvel at the wonder of WNO 481 a 20 year old Bristol KSW5G BENS former BRISTOL, ESSEX, NORFOLK & SUFFOLK seaside special double-decker living the dream of being chosen by the biggest rock star in the world to be his 1972 Wings Tour Bus and being entrusted with the care of not only himself but his family and band to tour 7,500 miles across Europe. Paul’s first major tour after the glory days of The Beatles was hotly pursued by the world’s press and 1972 Wings Tour Bus became the most famous bus in the world. We are proud to present WNO 481 in association with FBHVC – The Federation Of British Historic Vehicle Clubs at The Classic Motor Show at The NEC.


After its 3 year Magical History Tour de Force Ticket To Ride Restoration Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus was unveiled at The Classic Motor Show at The NEC. Featuring live bands performing each day on the newly imagined and engineered top deck performance space named in honour of its very own superstar The McCartney Stage. Inspired by The Beatles Rooftop Concert.

Find here photo’s of some of the top moments from a really beautiful weekend .

For its official unveiling we couldn’t have been in a more perfect setting; The Classic Motor Show at The NEC In the FBHVC Federation Village at the entrance to Hall 5. Motoring enthusiasts from all over the world descended and they let us know with their great comments and enthusiasm that our restoration of this iconic and historic treasure had their approval. We’re proud of our work and after a few last minute panics before showtime everything went off really great. Emma and David from The FBHVC were brilliant at keeping us on track.


TOM SALTER – A Golden Anniversary Moment
Tom Salter was famous as the owner of the legendary Gear Boutique in Carnaby St the epicentre of Swinging 60’s London. In fact he was known as Mr Carnaby St. Here he sees for the first time in 50 years WNO 481 the bus he set up for Paul McCartney as 1972 Wings Tour Bus ably assisted by his Carnaby St stylists. Paul asked him to be the Wings Over Europe Tour Manager. Tom’s business partner and Tour Promoter was John Morris one of the founders of Woodstock ’69 the biggest festival ever staged with over half a million people. Tom later wrote in the Guest Book, “Happy to revisit the bus in its new outfit. Every time I get to see it there seem to be improvements and this is after 50 years. Wow, that went by very fast. Love to everybody and especially the bus. Love, Tom Salter.” He was accompanied by his son, Gary. Tom paid us the ultimate compliment when he said, “I wish I had you in 1972.”

On The McCartney Stage
Friday 11th we welcomed the excellent Paul McCartney Story. They are the first ever band to perform on The McCartney Stage and they did a great job.

Friday’s Guest Artist was the fabulous Breeze Redwine who sang great. As it was the weekend of Remembrance Sunday Breeze sang Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again. An elderly gentleman stood looking up at Breeze and when she had finished the song to beautiful applause he shouted up to her, “I thought I was listening to Vera Lynn.”


Saturday 12th was the turn of The TR5’s. What a great name for a band at The Classic Motor Show. Their lively and enthusiastic mix of Beatles-McCartney songs was really well received and their boundless energy shone through. We were on the lower deck for some of it and someone shouted out as the bus bounced “This bus is rockin’.”

Saturday 12th and The TR5’s Guest Artist was Logan Paul Murphy The Beatles Boy (Wonder) Logan walked in looking like Paul off The Beatles For Sale album and proceeded to delight the audience with his excellent performance on McCartney Stage. He loved it up there and then came down to ground level to be amongst the crowd and just play. He has 30,000 Facebook Followers and the reactions have been fantastic. See you soon again, Logan.

Sunday 13th the legend that is Howie Casey played on The McCartney Stage. Howie and his musical partner Joe Jones sang and played great. Howie’s sax playing on his solo rendition of the McCartney classic My Love was just spine-tingling. Howie and Joe will no doubt return to us as soon as can be arranged.

Our crew were so chuffed that Howie Casey played with Paul McCartney and Wings, that he played on Live & Let Die, Band On The Run, did the Wings Over America Tour and played on so many hit records that we just had to have a photo taken with the great man.

Left to Right: Kate Gunning, Donovan, Matt Gunning, Joe Jones, Howie Casey, Tom Jennings, Jonathan Hilton-King, Bradley Earl, Hannah Earl.

A Dad shows his little girl how to do ‘The Wings’ just like Paul so we’re adding an imprint of Paul’s hands doing ‘The Wings’ to the artwork.

So many people came on board to sign The 1972 Wings Tour Bus Guest Book and we will always treasure the wonderful messages they wrote. Everybody wanted to sit in Paul and Linda’s seats.

Left to right: David and Barbara Whale – President FBHVC, Howie Casey – Wings Legend, Denis Chick – Transport Museum, Wythall, Karl Carter Vice Chairman FBHVC, Anna Salaman – Cultural Heritage Learning Consultant, John Worth – FBHVC Charity Partner, tba, Tom Salter, Mr Carnaby St, with Emma Balaam – FBHVC, Logan Paul Murphy The Beatles Boy (Wonder) Mum Beverly and Dad Lee.

The Mums just love this photo of Linda pointing baby Stella towards the camera but Stella is having none of it, she’s distracted by something else.
This move is now affectionately known as a ‘The Linda’. Here’s Emma showing Tom how to do ‘The Linda’ and Rhea is doing ‘The Linda’ with Baby Rose, Eloise and Philip.

1972 Wings Tour Bus & The Back To The Future DeLorean Come Together & Land At The Classic Motor Show At The NEC
The morning after the show it was time to leave the FBHVC Federation Village and NEC Hall 5. Most of the exhibits had already gone but one special exhibit remained… The DeLorean. Seeing these two icons together sparked a rock and roll idea… see below…

The DeLorean was made famous by the Hollywood movie Back To The Future starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly a teenage rock and roll guitar player who lands back in the early 50’s and is desperate to Get Back To The Future. So many memorable scenes but one of the greatest has to be when Marty picks up a guitar and plays rock and roll to a mystified crowd who don’t know what he’s doing because rock and roll hasn’t been invented yet. One of Paul McCartney’s greatest songs is Get Back and so Get Back and Back To The Future came together… The FBHVC to 1972 Wings Tour Bus had the same effect as Doc Brown’s flux capacitor to the DeLorean; it helped WNO 481 Get Back To The Future it deserves. What do you think?

Paul McCartney's 1972 Wings Tour Bus and Marty McFly's Back To The Future DeLorean Come Together and land alongside each other at The Classic Motor Show 2022.

At The NEC Classic Motor Show we asked friends, colleagues and visitors who came on board to sign our Guest Book and to share their thoughts about our Magical History Tour de force restoration of 1972 Wings Tour Bus. Maybe We’re Amazed!

“Humbled to be part of WNO 481’s journey. Long may it continue well into the future. Words can’t describe how wonderful it is bringing our history and heritage alive!” Emma Balaam, FBHVC Secretary & Busketeer !

“Wonderful achievement having WNO 481 back making music!” David Whale, President FBHVC

“To the Wings Tour Bus – Anyone who takes on the restoration of an icon is a hero! Such a challenge is never straight-forward. Tom is our hero! We now have a living legend from an era long gone. Through this magnificent bus that era can be celebrated by generations! Thank you Tom, now what was that about Glastonbury…?” Denis Chick, Transport Museum, Wythall.

“To Tom and whole team. What a great project and what a great result of all the hard work and dedication to make this happen. Good to share.” Karl Carter, Chairman Federation Skills Trust, Vice-Chairman FBHVC.

“An outstanding achievement to recognise, rescue and restore such a significant historic vehicle. I have no doubt the musicians who get to play on it will bring pleasure to many people.” Ian Edmunds – FBHVC

“Best wishes Tom for the next stage in life for ‘the bus’ ” – Paul Chasney FBHVC

“Tom, I am so proud to be part of this adventure and be part of the reveal. Congratulations to you all and well done.” Andy Bell – FBHVC

“To Tom and The Wings Tour Bus. A fabulous restoration. The hard work was certainly worth it. Put many more miles on the clock. Best wishes.” John & Sue Simpson – Sponsors and Busketeers.

“What a fantastic job. Well done to the team. This brings back so many memories of travelling on this and the work my Dad did on it.” – Denis Newell whose Dad Arthur drove The 1970 England World Cup Team Coach and who oversaw the transformation of WNO 481 into Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus.

“Dear Tom, on behalf of Roger and Maureen, the whole White family want to thank and congratulate you on keeping Dad’s dream alive. Dad would have truly loved being here today and it is very emotional seeing the bus back in its true glory for everyone to enjoy! We are all forever grateful to you Tom for keeping a big part of Dad alive. Fondest wishes, Greg and The White family.” Greg White, son of Roger White who owned WNO 481 from 1982 to 1993.

“Happy to revisit the bus in its new outfit. Every time I get to see it there seem to be improvements and this is after 50 years. Wow, that went by very fast. Love to everybody and especially the bus. Love, Tom Salter.” Tom Salter, the owner of the legendary Gear Boutique was known as Mr Carnaby St, sees for the first time in 50 years the bus he set up for Paul McCartney helped by his Carnaby St crowd. He was the Tour Manager and his partner and Tour Promoter was John Morris one of the founders of Woodstock ’69 the biggest festival ever staged with half a million people.

“Wow, what a transformation from when we saw the bus in September 2022! Fantastic livery, love the vibrant colours! Well done to all involved! Tony & Karen – GT Classic Hire.

“To Tom, Thanks so much for this labour of love. This has made my 58th birthday, once again, thanks so much for letting me on the bus and making me an Honorary Busketeer! All the best, Derek 2005 Beatles!!”

“Tom, well done. Brilliant. Thank you for letting Breeze sing.” Alan Forward – Stonham Barns

“Well done Tom the bus is brilliant.” John Suter – Stonham Barns

“Stepping on this bus is a magical journey for me. A massive Wings fan for years this home on wheels is part of my journey with the band. It’s blue, it’s true. Tom & Team did magic all over Band Bus Mechanics On The Run. Congratulations Team.” Jason Lowe – Journalist

“I really enjoyed working on Wings Tour Bus. Hope it goes many places and brings joy to many people, young and old. All the best.” Ray Crosier – Joiner

“Splendid effort recreating a unique vehicle. Thankful to see it.” Bob ?

“Tom, you and your colleagues have approached this ‘accidental’ bus purchase restoration in an absolutely original way and achieved so much. Time to think about your next project?” James Fairchild – City Transport Group ACMA CGMA CMILT

“Fantastic to see the bus in fantastic condition and rightly restored to its former glory. A credit to a hugely enthusiastic, dedicated and expert team which has achieved so much. Love the band on top; altogether the focal point at The 2022 Classic NEC Show. Many comments from show visitors and other stand holders. Great to see it on the FBHVC stand particularly marvellous!” John Worth NSPCC Childline, FBHVC Charity Partner.

“Tom, what an honour and a pleasure to be introduced to this famous icon and to have had some involvement (well, enthusiasm!) in it in the early days. I’m so impressed by the fabulous restoration that’s taken place. It’s transformative but it also has true integrity to the original, which lives on like a beating heart, veins and arteries. Paul has got to see this ! It’s been wonderful to have been part of this amazing achievement, however minor and thank you for involving me. Onwards and upwards – or alongwards, I hope.” Anna Salaman – Cultural Heritage Learning Consultant.

“Can’t believe I’ve been on The Wings Tour Bus. Fantastic experience. Sat in Paul’s seat.” Bill Graham

It’s been a long time coming – Some would say you’ve had a Hard Day’s Night or two… What a splendid experience stepping on to the bus and feeling part of its so special history – and best of all sitting in Paul and Linda’s seats. It shouldn’t be underestimated how well you and Brad have done – and it’s great to see the hundreds of smiles of people outside . We literally feel like a Band On The Run,” Rhea, Eloise, Rose and Philip Fitzgerald.

“Cheers, AMAZED”, Howie Casey, Wings Legend, music legend.

“Thanks Tom! Fabulous achievement – getting the bus back on the road. Thoroughly enjoyed the gig.” Joe Jones, Howie Casey’s musical partner.

See our photo’s on Flickr

After 3 fabulous days it was time to leave:
1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 just has to Get Back to where it once belonged.


In the Summer of ’72, The Summer Of Wings Paul McCartney chose WNO 481 as the 1972 Wings Tour Bus & took it rockin’ & rollin’ across Europe after the glory days of The Beatles. With its world-famous rock superstar on board this amazing family and band adventure the tour was hotly pursued by the world’s media for over 7,500 miles across 9 countries and 25 cities.

Paul McCartney’s 1972 Wings Tour Bus WNO 481 became a Legend Of Rock & Road and landed the title “The Most Famous Bus In The World”

WNO 481 – The History At A Glance