Sunday, May 9, 2010


If you dig through this blog's archives, you will find a story about when Wings performed in Atlanta, GA in 1976 and how a fan who worked at the record store, Peaches, got to meet the McCartney's and get their handprints in cement for the store. is another article written by another former Peaches employee about the same event. It included photos!

Peaches management began plotting ways to add Paul McCartney and the other members of Wings to the Atlanta store’s collection of concrete prints. Besides ABB, Roger Daltrey, Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Billy Preston, The Isley Brothers and others had put their hands, feet and signatures in the Peaches cement. Those were all big names, yet working through the various labels and management groups to arrange the in-store appearances wasn’t that difficult. But Paul McCartney? He used to be a Beatle, after all. The communication process would be more challenging.

Having McCartney in the same town made for a good start. On May 18 & 19, 1976, Wings would be appearing in concert at the Omni. Still, even though Peaches was only 15 minutes north up Peachtree from the hotel (The Peachtree Plaza) where the band was staying, getting McCartney and company to the store would be problematic at best. Gregg Biggs, a buyer for Peaches and the one who handled the physical aspects of the concrete prints, said, “Having McCartney at the store would have shut down Peachtree.” Concerns about crowd control and security made the Peaches people think outside the box. They would have to deliver the cement to McCartney in a private setting for the prints to be made. And of course, they would have to get through to McCartney’s people to see if he and the band would like to do the prints.

Biggs said they “contacted the promoter to see what could be done.” After a few calls back and forth, it was finally declared, “Paul McCartney would not be interested in doing this.” Biggs remembers thinking he would bet his car “that McCartney was never told about the prints and that the decision was made by someone else.”

By chance, on the day of the second concert, a McCartney roadie came by Peaches to buy some blank cassettes. Before the roadie could make his purchase, Biggs and other employees surrounded him. They took the roadie to the back room and showed him the mold they had produced (complete with accurate Wings logo in the center made from dyed concrete by store artist John Campbell).

The roadie was impressed. Biggs gave him a tour of the prints on display outside the store. He was particularly impressed that Peaches had acquired Roger Daltrey’s prints. “We told him,” Biggs recalled, “about being shot down by McCartney’s promoters and he said he’d see what could be done.”

The guy kept his word. It was time to get busy. Fast. “Within the next hour,” Biggs said, “I got a call from Brian Lane, McCartney’s tour manager, and he asked me to state all the details for doing the prints. He was impressed with our concerns about security and that we had planned to bring the prints to McCartney in a large rental truck. He then told me I could bring three others with me and to drive to the back door of the Omni at 10 PM. They would pull us into the building and we would do the prints there. So we got the concrete into the mold, after moving it into the truck, and did our best to keep it moist.” Then it was off to the Omni.

Things went smoothly from there. Wings finished its set, came offstage, walked in front of the truck and then went back for encores. Afterward, the band members rested in their dressing rooms for a few minutes and were then led to the truck. Introductions were made all around. Then Biggs explained how Peaches was creating its own version of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre print collection, but with stars from the world of music. Paul McCartney told them how “honored” he was to do the prints. Then he and the other members of Wings, including his wife, Linda McCartney, put their hands in the concrete.

Paul was impressed with the colored concrete Wings logo and the determination of the Peaches crew. There was spirited conversation with the other members of Wings as well. Biggs remembers a discussion with Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch about his former band, Thunderclap Newman. A splendid time was had by all.

There was still much work to be done before the prints could be unveiled to the public. To begin with, according to Biggs, “the prints weighed a ton.” Back at the store, they lifted the prints and prepared them for a big party on Peachtree.

The Atlanta Peaches store went on to add prints by other big acts such as The Beach Boys, James Brown, The Kinks and at least two dozen more, but the McCartney/Wings prints always left the greatest impression. McCartney himself made quite an impression as well.

“Every story I ever heard about Paul being a gentleman to people was more than evident to me that night,” said Biggs, still amazed that McCartney said he was “honored” to do the prints.

33 years later, Gregg Biggs remembers how touching it was “the way McCartney acted toward us that night.” Although he had been a Beatle and was one of the most famous musicians of all time, Biggs says, “he didn’t forget his roots.”

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