The song was written during McCartney’s New World Tour towards the end of May 1993.
I wanted to write something that would reflect America, for when you’re driving across the desert on that big road with the flat horizon. I’ll take you for a ride in my Cadillac… I’ll take you to The Coast for a holiday… When they say The Coast, the don’t mean Blackpool.
Flaming Pie liner notes
‘If You Wanna’ was recorded at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio on 11 May 1995, with Steve Miller singing harmony vocals and playing guitar.
We had a day off in Minneapolis when we were on tour. Linda was going off to do something and I stayed behind in the room and wrote a song on guitar. Recording wise, I used the same process as the other songs I did with Steve Miller: me on drums, Steve on guitar, both playing acoustic guitars, I did the vocals and produced Steve’s guitar stuff. This is the kind of song you might hear when you’re driving across the desert in America, Easy Rider country.
Club Sandwich, Summer 1997
Paul McCartney never performed ‘If You Wanna’ in concert, although it was played during a soundcheck at the Alamodome in San Antonio on 29 May 1993.