“Denny was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player with a fine sense of humor”: Remembering Denny Laine – the guitarist who co-wrote Paul McCartney’s biggest ’70s hit

Denny Laine
(Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

One day in 1977, Denny Laine arrived at Paul McCartney’s farm on Kintyre peninsula in Scotland. McCartney was singing the chorus to a song-in-progress called Mull of Kintyre. Laine grabbed a guitar, and within a few hours, the pair co-wrote what became one of the biggest-selling singles of all-time in the U.K. 

For Laine, who died December 5, 2023, at age 79 from lung disease, it was just one stop along the way in a remarkable 60-year career that included fronting the original Moody Blues and riding creative shotgun to McCartney in Wings for a decade of massive success.

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Bill DeMain

Bill DeMain is a correspondent for BBC Glasgow, a regular contributor to MOJO, Classic Rock and Mental Floss, and the author of six books, including the best-selling 'Sgt. Pepper at 50.' He is also an acclaimed musician and songwriter who's written for artists including Marshall Crenshaw, Teddy Thompson and Kim Richey. His songs have appeared in TV shows such as 'Private Practice' and 'Sons of Anarchy.' In 2013, he started Walkin' Nashville, a music history tour that's been the #1-rated activity on Trip Advisor. An avid bird-watcher, he also makes bird cards and prints.