Paul McCartney's Wingspan A Labor Of Love

By | May 7, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Paul McCartney’s Wingspan project looks to be as much a tribute to his late wife, Linda, as it is to his former band Wings.

The Wingspan double-album compilation hits stores Tuesday, and a two-hour special of the same name will air Friday on ABC.

“Basically, it’s the story of me and Linda struggling to put a band together and raise a family at the same time,” McCartney told VH1’s Rebecca Rankin of the TV documentary.

“The original idea came from Linda putting together a surprise video for our anniversary,” McCartney said. “It was done by Allaster [Donald, McCartney’s son-in-law]. He put together old home movies of the kids growing up, and he put Wings music on it. It looked so good.”

After editing out some of the more personal moments and folding in some live footage of Wings – which McCartney formed in 1971 with Linda – the made-for-family movie became a made-for-TV movie.

“You get to see what Wings was. You see, even though Linda got criticized, you see why I had her there. You see how cool she was. You’re not just listening to a critic bitching around,” McCartney said. “You actually see that, wow, she’s a really strong woman. She plays great, she’s great with an audience. You see the band develop.”

Unlike the movie, the Wingspan double-album project was all McCartney’s doing.

“I got a pencil and paper and started listing the tracks I like. The list went on and on, and I realized I like more than I thought,” McCartney said. “[The list] eventually split itself into two groups of songs. One was the big sellers – the ones that sold over a million. That came out to be one CD. Then the other [CD] was songs I didn’t think could be left off – my favorites.”

Included in that list of favorites is “Maybe I’m Amazed.” “It has to do with being a young married man with Linda, being in love with this woman,” McCartney said.

Linda, who died three years ago of breast cancer at age 56, was also the inspiration for “My Love,” which appears on the hits disc. “It was quite early in our relationship, and simply I just wanted to write her a love song. It’s a great thing being able to write a song and give it to someone. It’s better than flowers. It means more.”

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