Paul McCartney Played This Song Live All Around The World But Never In America
U.S. fans are still waiting for Macca to perform a song that honors an area that is extremely special to him.
By Scott Bernstein Dec 18, 2022 • 9:16 am PST
It’s hard to believe that there was a time when Paul McCartney didn’t frequently tour as Macca hasn’t gone more than three years between treks over the past two decades. The peak was the 10-year period beginning in 2009 and ending with the start of the pandemic as he played at least 29 shows each of those years. However, the legendary musician only hit the road for three world tours featuring U.S. dates from 1966 through 2002.
The Beatles famously tired of gigging at the height of their popularity and stopped touring after 1966. Beatlemania led to perilous situations including an incident in the Philippines where the band was accused of snubbing the Marcos dictatorship and left the country in the nick of time after they were forced to pay an outrageous tax bill and were met at the airport by members of the Filipino military brandishing guns.
Exhaustion and the desire to focus on studio recordings were among other reasons The Beatles quit the road. A 1969 London rooftop concert documented in the recently released Get Back docuseries was the Fab Four’s lone live performance following the end of their 1966 world tour.
Paul McCartney formed Wings in 1971 and the band was his primary outlet until 1981. Wings played 145 concerts between 1972 and 1979 as per Setlist.FM yet 70 of those shows took place in the United Kingdom. 1975 – 1976’s Wings Over The World outing was the group’s lone extensive tour. The run’s 30 U.S. dates would be Macca’s only stateside gigs in the 23-year period spanning 1966 through 1989.
Wings may not have been road warriors but the group put out seven studio albums. Their penultimate release was 1978’s London Town, a 14-track effort that featured what according to Wikipedia is one of the best-selling singles of all time in the United Kingdom, “Mull Of Kintyre.”
Written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine, “Mull Of Kintyre” is about the headland of a Scottish peninsula where Macca has owned property since 1966. The area always held special meaning to Paul, as he often retreated to his High Park Farm property near the Mull of Kintyre during tumultuous periods in his life.
“It was a love song really, about how I enjoyed being there and imagining I was traveling away and wanting to get back there,” McCartney said of the tune in Wingspan. “Mull Of Kintyre” starts out as a gentle acoustic ballad and picks up in intensity when a Scottish bagpipe troupe comes in.
While “Mull Of Kintyre” was a massive smash in the United Kingdom, Australia and many other countries around the world, it landed with a thud in America. The song only reached the 45-slot on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary charts. The song’s lack of commercial success in the U.S. may explain why Paul McCartney has never performed “Mull Of Kintyre” in America.
“Mull Of Kintyre” was debuted live by Wings at Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on November 23, 1979. Wings played 20 shows from their 1979 UK Tour with “Mull Of Kintyre” performed each night. Paul went 10 years before returning to the road and when his 1989-1990 World Tour visited Glasgow, Scotland on June 23, 1990, he fittingly dusted off “Mull Of Kintyre” with help from a local bagpipe troupe.
Bagpipes are crucial to “Mull Of Kintyre” and McCartney has enlisted local pipe bands for each of the 35 versions that followed. Paul has played the song multiple times in Canada, Australia, England, and Scotland as well as once in New Zealand between 1993 and 2017 yet fans in America are still waiting to see McCartney perform “Mull Of Kintyre” in the U.S.
Watch Paul McCartney’s “Mull Of Kintyre” video and performances of the song played in five different countries — but not America — below:
Glasgow, Scotland (June 23, 1990)
London, England (December 22, 2009)
Toronto, Canada (October 17, 2015)
|Paul McCartney (See 49 videos)|
Perth, Australia (December 2, 2017)
Auckland, New Zealand (December 16, 2017)
|Paul McCartney (See 49 videos)|
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