‘Mumbo’ is the opening song on Wings’s debut album Wild Life.
We recorded that album very quickly, it was almost like a bootleg, which may be a shame and perhaps some of the songs aren’t as good as they might be. I wanted the whole album to be loose and free, so that everyone could get into it. Things like ‘Mumbo’, which scream a bit and have only ‘mumbo’ as lyrics may offend a few old ladies, but generally it’s got something for everyone.
The song originated from a jam at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, on 6 July 1971. McCartney’s call to the studio engineer Tony Clark was captured at the beginning of the track.
At the beginning of the cut, you can hear me say, ‘Take it, Tony’. We had been going for five minutes and then I suddenly realised that he wasn’t recording. So I shouted, Take it, Tony’, and he just got it in then.
The Beatles: The Dream Is Over – Off The Record 2, Keith Badman
McCartney played piano and sang on the basic track. Linda McCartney was on organ, Denny Laine was on bass guitar, and Denny Seiwell was on drums. Overdubs were added, again at Abbey Road, on 1 September and 8 October.
Wings performed ‘Mumbo’ during their University Tour and Wings Over Europe Tour, both in 1972.
‘Mumbo’ is just a big scream of no words. A wacky idea, cos it was just ‘Whuurrrgghh A-hurrgghhh!’ and we mixed it back so it was like ‘Louie Louie’. Everyone’s going, What are the words of that? Just hope they don’t ask for the sheet music. Which no one ever did, luckily.
Conversations with McCartney, Paul Du Noyer
Twin Freaks, McCartney’s 2005 collaboration with remix producer Roy Kerr (aka The Freelance Hellraiser), contained a version of ‘Mumbo’ sometimes subtitled ’04 Summer Tour Remix’.