Posts Tagged ‘Empty Hands’

How David R L Litchfield came to direct ‘One Hand Clapping’ for Paul McCartney and Wings

As Paul McCartney, after 50 years, officially releases his most bootlegged album ‘One Hand Clapping’, a collection of live recordings he made with Wings at Abbey Road Studios in London, we remember David Litchfield’s description of how he came to direct a 1-hour video documentary of those recordings – (and draw the art work for the album jacket):

Litchfield first met Paul and Linda McCartney, as well as David Bailey, in 1972 at a fund raising party for Release at the Hard Rock Café in London, organised by the artist, journalist and political activist Caroline Coon. At the time, he was designing, editing and publishing a ‘breathtakingly beautiful graphic arts magazine’ (Hercules Bellville) called The Image. As a result of Bailey’s further introductions, David came to publish both Jean Shrimpton’s and Linda McCartney’s photographs in his magazine. He writes:

‘The Image had only lasted for two years [1972-4]. When it crashed, Paul McCartney fulfilled me creatively and saved me financially by generously commissioning me to make three documentaries: One Hand Clapping, concerning McCartney and Wings; Empty Hands about a Japanese v British Karate contest, after which I went on to film a stage version of Steven Berkoff’s Fall of The House of Usher and Harry Nilsson’s The Point. I even got the funding to make a documentary about Bob Marley, before Jerry Weintraub, Bob’s tour manager, arrived in London and threatened to kill me, if I continued with the project’.

‘During this time we spent a considerable amount of time at Abbey Road filming Wings, and at my studio in Kilburn, discussing the meaning of life’.

(as published in David Litchfield’s book “Bailey and I”, IPN/Jan.2023)

After completing his film projects, David Litchfield started his second magazine, Ritz Newspaper, with David Bailey, which he ran from 1976 to 1989 (and advised in its revival format from 1996 to 1997).

NB: The film crew on ‘One Hand Clapping’ consisted of Camera Men Howard Sharp and John Druce, Video Engineer Clive Matley, Video Sound Engineer John Page, Graphic Designer Keith Pasley and Film Editor Brian Huberman.


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