Paul McCartney’s “Rockestra!” The Last “Wings” Single – In France! First New Grammy! Macca Rocks Kampuchea!

abbey-road-rockestra-paul-mccartney

Paul McCartney’s One Time Only Supergroup – Macca’s “Rockestra!”

The great “Rockestra Theme” is one of Paul McCartney’s great instrumentals – and the last song ever performed with Wings! It’s also a Grammy winning song that started a whole new category for those awards…time to celebrate this song – performed by an all-star band!

rockestra-theme-classic-rock

“Rockestra” Visits Abbey Road!

The song “Rockestra Theme” is the last song on the “Back To The Egg” album, and was recorded on October 3 1978 at Abbey Road Studios by an all-star collection of musicians dubbed “Rockestra”!

The studio was full of big name musicians taking part – take a look at the music video – you will see a number of familiar faces!

back-to-the-egg-rockestra-theme

The All-Star Band!

A lot of friends were there that day playing on the record. Among the Musicians who performed on this song:

David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, The Who’s Pete Townshend, and legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, along with Zeppelin bandmate John Paul Jones!

wings-rockestra-theme-all-star-lineup

Thanks to youtube, here is a vintage ten minute promotional reel of the recording session for the song – wth lots of guest appearances and fun behind-the-scenes moments!

In a 2001 interview on VH1, McCartney said Keith Moon was to have taken part in “Rockestra” but died one month before the recording sessions took place.

the-concerts-for-the-people-of-kampuchea

The Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea!

The “Rockestra Theme” was a great collaboration from a number of great Musicians.

The song was performed one more time – live this time, at an amazing charity event. “The Concerts for the People of Kampuchea” was a huge fundraising concert that featured Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, Robert Plant and many more artists – it took place at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England in December 1979 to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia.

Here is a look at the tracks that are on the live double album – which I own:

concerts-for-the-people-of-kampuchea-1981-2

The event was organized by McCartney and Kurt Waldheim, and it raised a ton of money – and more importantly awareness – for the war-town country.

rockestra-theme-live

paul-mccartney-and-wings-kambuchea-concert

One Whole Side Of Wings”

The double album included a whole side of Wings music – along with some Beatles AND a new McCartney solo song, “Coming Up!” – check it out!

These concerts helped raise money for a great cause, and the concert and album was a great success. It was however, the last time that Wings would perform live…

paul-mccartney-and-pete-townsend-rockestra-theme

Time To “Rockestra” Live!

The huge finale was the live performance of the “Rockestra Theme”, with an all-star cast onstage.

Here is that amazing live performance, with a stage full of guitarists, led by Pete Townsend:

kampuchea-concert-mccartney-and-pete-townsend

Polish That “Silver Wear”!

Most of the Rockestra wore silver suits for this performance – except for Pete Townsend, who decided not to – you can see him standing out on the live performance – because he’s the one without the Silver Coat!

concert-for-the-people-of-kampuchea-paul-mccartney-rockestra


The Song Gets Grammy Gold!

The live version of “Rockestra Theme” is terrific, and it is always great to see musicians taking part in good causes like this. Even though the song wasn’t a hit single – only released that way in France, “Rockestra Theme” won the first Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

Paul McCartney Back To The Egg

In fact, the album wasn’t a hit as well…”Back To The Egg” didn’t perform like the band’s previous work – music had changed and the songs seemed out of touch with the times…it is, however, another brilliant album by the group.

Here is an in depth look at the “Back To The Egg” album, the last from Wings.

https://johnrieber.com/2015/09/30/paul-mccartneys-cracked-back-to-the-egg-the-all-star-rockestra-band-a-musical-farewell-to-wings/

Wings lasted about the same amount of time as The Beatles did, and they had massive hits like these:

Paul McCartney's best album band on the run

Read all about the chaotic events that led to this masterpiece here:


https://johnrieber.com/2016/05/01/band-on-the-run-paul-mccartneys-triumph-over-adversity-classic-chaos-creation/

venus-and-mars

Wings were a huge band throughout the 70’s, including the classic “Venus And Mar” – see the music videos here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/06/07/venus-and-mars-paul-mccarneys-classic-rock-show-an-almost-lennon-mccartney-reunion/

Red_Rose_Speedway

The second Wings album is one of my favorites, the great “Red Rose Speedway”…see some great music videos here:

https://johnrieber.com/2015/08/21/paul-mccartneys-brilliant-ram-2-wings-soar-with-red-rose-speedway/

Of course, the band had a rough start – the first Wings album was a critical and commercial disaster!

Wings wild life cover

You can see videos from this first Wings album, and read some great trivia as well here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/02/13/paul-mccartneys-wild-life-the-disastrous-debut-of-wings-mccartneys-plea-to-john-lennon/

As I said, Wings performed “Coming Up” at the concert, but it was actually Paul’s next single from his solo album:

mccartney_ii_special edition

“McCartney II” was very experimental, and has grown in stature in time – it is another one of his brilliant albums – see the music videos here:

https://johnrieber.com/2015/11/28/mccartney-ii-paul-mccartneys-experimental-masterpiece-the-secret-stories-of-mccartney-ii/

Let me know if you own the “Concert For Kampuchea!”

the-concerts-for-the-people-of-kampuchea



Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Classic Rock, documentary films, Led Zeppelin, London, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, The Beatles, TV Show, Uncategorized

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7 replies

  1. Got the album plus the added bonus of being there to see the concert. Seen McCartney on countless occasions over the years.
    Nice article. Thanks

  2. The beautiful “My Love” is one of my favorites…..

  3. More about Macca. When you like someone, you really like them, John!
    Best wishes, Pete.

Trackbacks

  1. Paul McCartney’s “Back To The Egg!” The All-Star “Rockestra” Band! A Musical Farewell To Wings! – johnrieber

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