Paul Salley says the story of Jimmy McCulloch, a one-time member of Wings who “flies under the radar these days” needs to be told.
“He was a guitar prodigy who tasted fame early in his life and was the youngest guitarist in the UK to play on a number one single at age 16 with Thunderclap Newman’s ‘Something In The Air’, Salley told us. “Incredible music flowed from his fingers when he played his guitar and he never lost his love of music.”
But there was a dark side to McCulloch, too. He had a substance abuse problem and died at age 26. The cause was reportedly a heroin overdose, but there are some who think foul play might have been involved.
“I know that Jimmy wasn’t an angel by any means but he did have a sweet side to him,” he says. “So many people focus on the negative aspects of his life that it’s my hope that when my documentary is all said and done, he’ll finally get the respect he deserves.”
Salley is trying to raise money to make the film through a webpage at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/winojunko76/jimmy-mcculloch-theres-m…. The Kickstarter site is used to raise funds for creative projects.
He says he’s been working on the film for four years. “I am still in the research stage. I’ve been researching information (and) contacting as many people as I can for the past four years. So far I’ve gotten in touch with people from each stage of his life.
That includes the McCulloch family. “To show his appreciation for everything I’ve done so far in Jimmy’s memory, his brother Jack gave me his gold record for ‘Wings Over America’ as a gift last year,” he said.
McCulloch’s relationship with McCartney was extensive. He played on the Linda McCartney Suzy and the Red Stripes track “Seaside Woman” with Paul, and Denny Laine in 1972. He also played in the band on the “McGear” album by Paul McCartney’s brother, Michael, in 1974, the same year he joined Wings. He played on the Wings albums “Venus and Mars,” “Wings at the Speed of Sound,” “Wings Over America” “London Town” and the song “Junior’s Farm,” and also toured with the band. He co-wrote “Medicine Jar” on “Venus and Mars” and “Wino Junkie” on “Wings at the Speed of Sound.” He left the group in 1977.
Once he raises the money, Salley says he wants to do more interviews and filming. “My plan is when I go over to the UK is to interview as many people as I can on video and film as many locations as I can that were important to Jimmy.” He doesn’t know how long it will take or when the film will be out at this point.
“There is only so much I can do in the States through a computer screen. It’s pretty incredible that I’ve accomplished as much as I have with only using a computer.”
But he says he feels like this is something he should do.
“You know when you just know that you were born to do something. I truly feel that I was born to tell Jimmy’s story,” he says. “People in his inner circle have told me that my connection with him is more than just coincidence and that we’re very similar in a lot of ways.”
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Stan is the author of the Beatles Examiner (http://joltleft.com/x-2082-Beatles-Examiner), Paul McCartney Examiner (http://joltleft.com/x-34954-Paul-McCartney-Examiner), Vintage Rock ‘n’ Roll Examiner (http://joltleft.com/x-19248-Vintage-Rock-n-Roll-Examiner) and TV on DVD Examiner columns on joltleft.com (http://joltleft.com/x-10254-TV-on-DVD-Examiner).
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