Joe English Leaves Wings Because He "Became Sick"

Okay, that’s from Wikipedia, but I have always been curious why a drummer who scored a gig with a Beatle would leave?

How sick was he?

Okay, then he went with Leavell and then formed his own band, went Christian and pretty much disappeared claiming his ankle prevented him from drumming.


If I: a non-rudimentary, sorry-ass, only able to play time drummer got offered a chance to play with a Beatle, I wouldn’t give a shit how goddam sick I was: I would fucking die behind my kit playing for Paul!

But that’s just me. That’s the way I rock.

I’m sure y’all have your own views on this, but I’d especially like to hear from fellow drummers, thanks! :slight_smile:


I can’t comment on the specifics of Joe English’s departure, but I would look at it a different way based upon the fact that pretty much every one of Paul’s sidemen* eventually left the band with varying degrees of acrimony… how difficult was it to work with Paul? One thing I heard was that Paul paid them either scale, or sometimes nothing - he seemed to think that it was enough just to have the privilege of working with the Great Beatle Himself.

Wiki article

*except for Linda of course.

At the time English said nothing about being sick. He said he missed his family and wanted ti make it on his own and not just be a Paul McCartney sideman. He was bored by the months the band spent sitting around studios and said, in Billboard,

“English recalled the halcyon McCartney days when ‘there was no budget.’ Instead McCartney and Wings according to English would ‘go into the studio, live there, drink tea, get bored and have a boring album.’”

Okay. Apparently I have been wrong about Joe’s intentions and being paid “scale” - I didn’t know that, and am wondering now about Paul’s present band - one of which is a singing drummer- what are THEY getting paid?

I’m sorry, fellow drummers. I just remember beating on my mom’s pots and pans and trying to be Ringo.

No way would I have given Joe’s job up, but I respect his decision to do so - for whatever reason.

Dumb Ass.

Sorry, but I’m sure a bunch of you young or old drummers feel the same way.

Or not.



Unless you have a much better cite than that Wiki article, which does not in fact bear out any of your claims (nothing whatever about acrimony, or being paid scale, or paid nothing) then I call bullshit on this. It just seems to be standard issue baseless Paul hatred.

Denny Laine was a member of Wings for the entire ten year period of the band’s existence. Clearly he (a proven hit maker in his own right) had no problem working with Paul. It is true that the band went through 4 drummers and 3 lead guitarists during its existence, but for a band that lasted ten years, I do not see that as particularly remarkable rate of turnover. This is especially the case for a band where any member’s creative contribution, and the amount of adulation they receive, is bound to be overshadowed by that of the megastar frontman and songwriter (however generous and amiable he might be). All the evidence suggests that (quite unlike the other ex-Beatles) Paul made considerable efforts to form a real band rather than just assemble a bunch of backing musicians for his own work, and that to a considerable extent he succeeded.

As for Joe English, I do not know specifically why he left the band, but I fail to see why “becoming sick” would not be a perfectly plausible explanation. I do not think a professional musician is going to remain in a band through sickness (or, come to that, through major creative frustration) just because they are starstruck by the band’s leader. (And they are most certainly not going to work for free just because they are starstruck, as K364 absurdly implies.)

njtt -

The Wiki link was intended to show the long list of musicians who abandoned the McCartney Cruise Ship.

Here is a link to a book - Paul McCartney: A Life By Peter Ames Carlin A choice quote from that:

But Seiwell, and probably the others, too, also knew they could be making far more than their £70 weekly salaries playing recording sessions in New York or London. So once the band got some momentum, selling records in quantity and playing and playing larger halls on their tours, it seemed time for Paul’s dreamy talk about royalties and profit sharing to become reality. “We’d hear stuff like ‘We’re gonna do this and you’ll get that.’ Which was grand, you know,” McCullough says. “But when you work for a year and a half and you’re on the same money you started with, and you’re playing with the greatest rock ‘n’ roll icon in the world… it was a crack.”
P.S. - be careful with the “bullshit” words… they are out of place here.

“Long list” = 5 (over 10 years).

And all your new quote seems to show is that Paul was not paying the band generously out of his own pocket before they were pulling in real money: i.e., he was not treating them as employees.

I thought it was because he couldn’t get along with Tim Daly.

Here is Joe English himself talking about his past with The Wings. From his description he was making a ton of money, so I don’t think that is why he left :slight_smile: