Back in the 70’s, when British rock royalty Sir Paul McCartney needed a drummer to finish recording a Wings album, it was Joe English who came to the rescue. By the time his tenure with the famed ex Beatle was through, Joe had played on five gold and platinum Wings albums and toured the world.
According to Joe, he first picked up a pair of drum sticks when he was 13 years old. Like so many other kids across America, he had seen the four lads from Liverpool on TV, and was instantly bitten by the music bug. “I want to be like that one day,” he said to himself. His parents bought him a drum set and it wasn’t long before he was performing in nightclubs and in concerts.
English was on a path to fame and fortune long before he met McCartney. From 1969 to 1973 his powerful drumming propelled the horn infused rhythm and blues band Jam Factory based in Syracuse NY. They took to the road in 1970 to promote their debut album, Sittin’ in the Trap, and for the next few years, regularly opened for major acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Steve Miller, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead. Noting the success of the Allman Brothers, the band moved to Macon, Georgia, changed their name to Tall Dogs Orchestra, and began playing southern rock. Then one day Joe got a call from his friend Tony Dorcy. Dorcy was a horn arranger working on McCartney’s Venus and Mars album in Nashville. He had gotten wind that McCartney was going to fire his drummer, so he called Joe to say, “There’s a chance you might have the job.” Joe was summoned to New Orleans on a Tuesday and by Wednesday he was recording with Paul McCartney and Wings.
Just like that, 26 year old Joe English was in one of the most popular bands of all time, being idolized by millions of fans world wide and possessing all the fame and fortune he could ask for. Joe was living a dream come true, but life in the fast lane left him feeling homesick. He chose to descend from the stratospheric heights of Wings to find some equilibrium at “Sea level,” a Georgia based band made up of ex members of the Allman Brothers Band. Next, he formed the Joe English Band and began making Christian rock albums for very eager fans. Joe is no longer involved in the music industry, but he continues to sing in the World of Faith Fellowship choir in Spindalem, North Carolina.