A Beatles Journey: Wings Over Bucks County

Paul McCartney and Wings Image

As soon as I found out that Denny Laine and Laurence Juber – both former members of Wings – would be performing at Havana in New Hope, I got right on the phone with my Photographer friend Kevin York. The conversation went kind of like this…

“Kev, we’re going to New Hope next Friday to meet Wings.”
“Ummm… Wings Wings?”
“Yeah, like as in Paul McCartney and.”
“Ummm… Okay.”

It was really that simple. Denny Laine and Laurence Juber were slated to perform at Havana, in New Hope, Bucks County Pennsylvania on Friday, June 10 of 2011, and for me, it was a unique opportunity to not only see two legendary performers together on stage, but, a chance to really get up close and personal. It’s a Beatles adventure, one of which I’ve dragged Kevin on many times in the past. He doesn’t ask questions, he just knows to bring his camera because something’s going to happen.

Now it’s probably important I add a few more little details that made this such a magical opportunity. First, Havana in New Hope is a world-class establishment in my humble opinion. Not only do they have great live act after great live act, but the venue itself is intimate, classy, and totally conducive to awesomeness… And the food is to die for. It’s like dinner theater meets totally hip. Knowing this ahead of time, and also knowing I happened to know the owner and manager, I was fairly certain that we would literally be ‘hanging out’ with the two former Wings members by the end of the night… Which we were.

Denny Laine Image

The second bit of magic is Photographer Kevin York, my friend and partner in crime. Like Havana is a world class establishment, Kevin York is a world class (and former NASCAR) photographer, who has the knack and skill for getting that live performance shot (as you can see in the photos here).

Now the last part of the magic was – of course – Laurence Juber, Denny Laine, and the band ‘Fooling April’. Juber opened the show with an amazing acoustic guitar performance of both original tunes, hits by The Beatles, along with The Pink Panther theme thrown in for good measure. He brought down the house, and that was just the opening act. Juber was followed by Laine, who played familiar tunes (Mull of Kintyre) and pub singalongs, while charmingly bantering with the audience and having a great time with everyone. The highlight – for me – was when Fooling April took to the stage, and were joined by Juber and Laine for an electrifying performance of Wings classics ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘Band On The Run’. They had the entire audience on their feet, singing and dancing, while transporting me back to my childhood.

Wings in New Hope Image

Wings in Bucks County Image

On the ride home I nor Kevin could wipe the smiles from our faces. We both shared the feeling of having not just met a couple of our Rock n Roll heroes, but, for a moment, had shared in the epicness of it all.

Craig Sumsky and Wings Image

Thank you first to the great folks at Havana in New Hope for being so amazing, particularly Ernie, David and Mark. Thanks to Kevin York for sharing this adventure with me and grabbing these spectacular images, and lastly, thanks to Laurence Juber and Denny Laine for being such great people and letting us get close. I wish you both the best of health and happiness, and congratulations to Laurence on the upcoming wedding of his daughter. Cheers, and thanks.

-Craig Sumsky

For other thoughts and suggested reading on The Beatles, click here
The Beatles

Images by Kevin York

Havana in New Hope


2 Responses

  1. Mike the Gronk

    Living legends mate. I just stumbled on your blog and been reading your Beatles posts, Been my favourite band since the mid sixties, and enjoying sharing your experiences and discoveries.

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