The 4 Day Diary

Days in the Life of Barry and Karen Minton

#1 Intro
Yes! Paul and Linda McCartney “Wings including Denny Laine
and Jimmy McCulloch jet to Nashville, Tennessee to record a
country folk album dedicated to his father.  The Nashville
greats turned out: Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph,
just to name a few…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Meet the Beatle

#2 Barry
Well! Karen and I, or Miss Hollywood, as Mac refers to her,
were privileged to live in Brentwood, Tennessee, 15 miles
south of Nashville.  Being Nashville natives, we were
subjected to a great musical heritage, and were very much
influenced by the Beatles since we were kids, as were many.
Like all musicians, we often dreamt of playing with all the
greats.  I never imagined we would cross paths with Paul
and Linda McCartney.  But it happened, at the “Sound Shop
Studio” on a muggy summer night. The night I first met Paul
it didn’t seem real, like a dream, you know the pinch yourself
kind.  I extended my right hand to engage him in a hand shake,
and he said, “A hand shake?” At the same time, I handed him
my Hofner Bass for him to autograph.  He took it, played a bass
run, looked it over and said, “You want me to ruin this beautiful
nstrument by putting my name on it?” I handed him a felt tip pen
and replied, “If the pen doesn’t write I will get you a nail and let
you scratch your name.” He laughed, I told him to wait right here
I am going to get your wife.  What I meant to say was, “I am going
to get my wife!” He laughed and said “You’re going to get my wife?”
I replied, “You stay right here.” Now can you get the picture? He
doesn’t know me from Adam and I am telling Paul McCartney to stay
right there I will be back in a minute. Ha!

Well being the absolute gentleman he is, he was in the same exact place when I returned, by the time Linda had taken my Hofner and signed it twice which was great.  Well, that was quite an experience to say the least, and the beginning of a history that would change our lives forever.  You know it’s strange when you know someone famous from afar and wonder what they may be like, or how they think about different situations, thoughts about family, world problems or just the simple things such as ice cream, or hobbies.  In some ways, Paul and Linda’s life paralleled mine and Karen’s.  We both love music, we write and play, and have children.  We had farms: they had sheep and horses; we had cows and chickens.  They love England, family and their life together.  My biggest impression was their love for each other, and they were real people and genuine.

Junior’s Farm

#3 Barry
That summer, Richard Nixon was President of the United States, and Paul and Linda McCartney were in Nashville.  Karen and I were ecstatic.  I remember my sister’s response when she heard about the McCartneys and us. She asked me if I was going to play bass for Paul.  I replied, “I don’t think Wings needs a Bass man!” Talk about being out of touch! She is older than me, more of an Elvis fan, you know what I mean.  Any Odd:  I remember like it was today.  Mac and I were standing and talking about Nixon and all the problems that surrounded his administration, Watergate, etc.  Mac knew that I had worked in concrete.  He looked at me and smiles and said, jokingly, “Do you think we should make him a pair cement shoes?” referring to Nixon.  I laughed and replied, “Why not?”

That week he recorded Junior’s Farm and Sally G.

Now the lyric line is:
At the houses of Parliament
Everybody’s talkin’ about the president
We all chipped in for a bag of cement

I guess I am one of the few people in the world who has helped Paul McCartney write a song. Ha! Ya think? I’m sure if Eleanor Rigby were here she would say the same thing.
Now regarding the Junior’s Farm lyric line in the original 45 release, it is there, but was extracted in the “Wingspan” Disc.
Evidently, the lyric was too controversial.  How about that?  Has there ever been an omission like this before? Wow! Not only did I influence Mac once, but twice.  Just my luck, I get to write with a Beatle and it’s taken out? Why, Mac? Why? Just kidding…You can still hear it complete on the “The McCartney Years” video Volume One, also the original 45 release.

Be back soon with more


#4 Karen

Wait a minute, Mister! Do you think you are the only one with memories of Paul and Linda?  Let me tell you about the first time “I saw him standing there.” The first time I saw Paul and Linda was at the Sound Shop Studio, it was closed session but I was there.  So was The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  They stopped by to say hey to Wings.  I had carried a small tape recorder that night, the kind with a detached microphone.  I put it down to talk to Paul.  He was holding a six string hollow body guitar.  I asked him what kind of guitar he played and he replied, “This is a Martin.” It looked like the one he’s had a long time.  You know, the one with the Wings sticker, the one he plays “Yesterday” on.  As I talked to Paul, Linda had picked up my tape recorder.

She thought it belonged to a Disc Jockey that was there from North Carolina.  She began to speak into the microphone.  She said, “He has the Greatest radio station in the world!” Putting the microphone to Paul’s mouth, he said “Testing…Testing…Testing…Testing..” played a riff on his Martin, and did a vocal move which is in the song “When I’m 64.” Let me tell you something people: that was GREAT! If you think I was thrilled at that moment, later that night he played “Lady Madonna” on the piano.  What can I say? I almost fainted.  And yes, we have taped recordings of several moments of that week in Nashville.  I only wish they were clearer.  But, most of all, we have our memories and photos.  As I reflect back, it makes me sad to consider her gone.  They were truly in love.

Sally G

As I look back, it seems like “Yesterday.”  I recall the little things, smiles, laughter, humor; I could tell the McCartneys really were entertained by “Southern heritage.” Every time Linda would say “Goodbye she said “Bye, y’all” like a Southern Belle, all sugary and sweet.  And Paul sounded like a “Hee Haw” comedian when he spoke Barry’s name, and tried to mimic the old Southern slang by saying “Bowrie.” I remember the looks they gave each other, the looks of love, you know, the kind of looks that women pick up on.  I also remember one afternoon, while taking pictures, Paul hugged me up around the waist, and before thinking, said “Let Miss Hollywood get in this picture.” Well he looked at Barry, then looked at Linda, looked up at the camera with a funny little smirk, as to say “Uh Oh, my bad!”

Barry snapped the picture. And the look on his face, well I will you this, people: I bet he didn’t forget that moment! (REFER PHOTOGRAPH #4) Linda probably gave him the business after we left.  So you see, y’all, I have my song lyric also: “Down in Nashville town, then I met a pretty, who made a pretty big fool out of me!”

Every since that week, when we hear Junior’s Farm or Sally G, I look at Barry and say “What about it, Junior?” And he says to me, “What about it, Sally?” On another occasion, Paul asked me, “Are those your own, those nails?” referring to my nails, I began to giggle, because I couldn’t imagine Paul McCartney asking me about myself.  I guess he thought they weren’t real.  Talk about feminine pride! That made my decade.  So many memories…

To be continued…
#6 Barry and Karen
Gosh! Well, what an experience! We will be back with more photos and memories of the event, such as:

Trevor-Broken leg drummer
Jimmy McCullock – Denny Laine
Paul and Linda McCartney and the Mintons

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See you soon,
Barry & Karen Minton