It is obvious that BeatlesHistorian.com has been “off the grid” for a whole month! In that time, original Wings guitarist Henry McCullough died on June 14 at age 72.
This is the New York Times obituary for McCullough. Billboard published the article “Paul McCartney reacts to death of Wings guitarist Henry McCullough”.
A native of Derry in Northern Ireland, McCartney was the only Irish person to perform at Woodstock, playing in Joe Cocker’s band. He was chosen as the first lead guitarist for McCartney’s new band Wings in 1972.
McCullough therefore played lead guitarist on Wings’ first released single, “Give Ireland Back to the Irish”, which was written in response to the infamous 1972 “Bloody Sunday” incident in Derry in Northern Ireland in which British troops opened fire on unarmed civilian Catholic protesters, killing 14 and wounding an additional 14. The song topped the pop charts in the Republic of Ireland and reached number 21 in the U.S. However, “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” was immediately banned by the BBC and thus did not receive airplay on UK stations. This banning was a major coup for McCartney as Lennon had always been considered the more political of the two; ironically, Lennon’s song on the infamous 1972 incident in Northern Ireland, “The Luck of the Irish”, went largely unnoticed. The controversy over “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” resulted in Henry McCullough’s brother being jumped by a group of thugs after leaving a bar in Derry. In addition, Wings concerts were picketed in the UK.
Two other good articles are McCullough’s native Ireland from Irish newspapers, the Irish Times “Henry McCullough: Irish Guitarist Who Played at Woodstock and With Wings” and the Belfast Telegraph “Mourners Say Goodbye to Henry McCullough with Music and Songs”.
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