Paul McCartney looked back to Wings' legendary 1975 trip to New Orleans in 1975 and recalled a hidden gem and fan favorite. “Macca” has just re-released Live On The Queen Mary, by Professor Longhair — the legendary “Big Easy” musician who performed at the Venus And Mars album wrap party on board the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, California. Longhair, who died back in 1980, was an inspiration for the former-Beatle, who was in town in early-'75 to record his chart-topping Venus And Mars collection.
McCartney spoke about his love for Professor Longhair and posted on his website (PaulMcCartney.com): “I just loved the style so much that I composed something called 'My Carnival' and it’s got the same riff, basically, that he plays. . . I just couldn’t play it as well! But it’s the bass line definitely (sings Professor Longhair-style bass line.) It was very similar. So I thought, well I can’t just rip him off and have him find out about it and think, 'Oh, he’s just ripped me off!' So I’ll invite him to the session and be honest about it! So I did and said: 'Hey listen, you’ve totally influenced me, but I’ve done this song.'”
“My Carnival” never made it on to the Venus And Mars album, with fans having to wait a full decade to see its release when it was issued as the B-side to McCartney's 1985's “Spies Like Us” single. Soon after, “My Carnival” was added as a bonus track to the Venus And Mars CD.
Even at the height of his solo success with Wings in the mid-1970's, the shadow of a Beatles reunion plagued all four members of the group, who were asked constantly about the band getting back together. Even during McCartney's sold-out “Wings Over America” tour in 1976, the question was posed each and every time he met the press: “As far as that's all concerned, if anything really turns up that the four of us really wanna do, then there's some kind of possibility that something might happen. But — for now, it's a 'probably no-no.'”
On May 23rd, Paul McCartney kicks off his next set of tour dates at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center.