South O’ the Highway

Paul McCartney Shares Unreleased Demo of ‘Dear Friend’ About John Lennon

His heartfelt song to a former bandmate is on the new Wings 'Wild Life' reissue.

Amagansett music legend Paul McCartney continues to share his voice with his fans—even at its most raw and unedited. On November 15, rockstar posted a never-before-heard demo of perhaps his most emotional post-Beatles song “Dear Friend” on YouTube.

The demo contains only a piano and McCartney’s voice and will be officially released, along with a remastered version, on December 7 in the deluxe edition reissue of his 1971 debut Wings album, Wild Life.

Wild Life was originally written and recorded in 1970, the year The Beatles officially broke up and when John Lennon married Yoko Ono. The album’s closing track, “Dear Friend,” was McCartney’s attempt at mending the bridge with his former bandmate. He told Rolling Stone, “I find it very emotional when I listen to it now. I have to sort of choke it back.”

Though the band never fully reunited, McCartney is thanking the powers that be, he and Lennon had some closure between them before Lennon was murdered on December 10, 1980. “Luckily, we did get it back together,” He said, “which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he’d been killed as things were at that point and I’d never got to straighten it out with him. This was me reaching out. So, I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt.”

For McCartney/ Wings fans, the limited deluxe edition is a four-disk set (three CDs, one DVD) which includes the full album remastered at Abbey Road Studios and 25 bonus audio tracks. For fans who love all the little behind-the-scenes treasures, the DVD shows rare footage of acoustic home videos and rehearsals. It also comes with a 128-page book written by David Fricke, telling the story behind the album—including track-by-track information and new interviews with McCartney and key album personnel, a 48-page scrapbook of tour diaries, lyrics and set lists, unpublished Polaroids, lyrics, notes and memorabilia.

McCartney is slowly but steadily remastering and reissuing all his classic records in this deluxe format for his Archive Collection. Wild Life and his 1973 Wings album Red Rose Speedway are the 11th and 12th in the series, and both are due for release on December 7.

Learn more at paulmccartney.com.

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