Paul McCartney pays tribute to Denny Laine

Paul McCartney has paid tribute to his former Wings bandmate Denny Laine, who has died at the age of 79.

Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends. I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth and family.

Peace and love Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you.

Paul McCartney

Laine was born Brian Frederick Arthur Hines on 29 October 1944. He was the founder of The Moody Blues, with whom he played from 1964 to 1966. He subsequently formed the Electric String Band, had a brief solo career, formed the band Balls with Trevor Burton, and worked with Ginger Baker’s Air Force.

In 1971 Laine joined Paul and Linda McCartney to form Wings, with whom he remained until their 1981 break-up. The multi-instrumentalist Laine wrote or co-wrote a number of songs for the band, including the smash hit ‘Mull Of Kintyre’, and sang lead vocals on the songs ‘Time To Hide’ and ‘Again And Again And Again’. During live shows, Laine often performed ‘Go Now’, the Bessie Banks hit that he had first sung with The Moody Blues.

Laine forged a solo career after Wings’ split, and worked with McCartney on Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace, as well as co-writing McCartney’s 1982 b-side ‘Rainclouds’. His final solo release was 2008’s The Blue Musician.

Financial difficulties following the sudden end to Wings led to Laine surrendering his publishing royalties for ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ to McCartney in order to pay a tax bill. A tell-all interview published in January 1984 in The Sun newspaper caused further bad blood between the pair, who didn’t resolve their differences until the 1990s.

Laine was left with lung complications after contracting Covid-19 in 2022. His wife Elizabeth Mele-Hines launched a GoFundMe campaign for his medical care. A benefit concert at Hollywood’s Troubadour nightclub was held on 27 November 2023.

Denny Laine died on 5 December 2023 from interstitial lung disease in Naples, Florida. His death was announced on social media by Elizabeth.

Last updated: 6 December 2023
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