McCartney and his late wife Linda formed the American-British rock band, Paul McCartney and Wings, known as Wings, together with drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Denny Laine in 1971, after the break-up of the legendary Beatles.
Wings are perhaps best known for their hits 'Band on the Run' and the James Bond theme song 'Live and Let Die'. The group only achieved one UK no.1 single with their track 'Mull of Kintyre'.
In the summer of 1972, the band set off for the “Wings Over Europe" tour, travelling 7,500 miles across 9 countries and 25 cities on the 1953 Bristol KSW double-decker bus, known as WNO 481.
"Paul and Linda had two young girls, the two Dennys from the band had wives and kids as well, and Paul didn't want them to be in an enclosed bus. He wanted something fun," said Martin Nolan, founder of Julien's Auctions, which is selling the vehicle as part of its "Played, Worn, & Torn: Rock ‘n’ Roll Iconic Guitars and Memorabilia" auction next month.
Paul McCartney said of the bus' eccentric decoration: "We knew we were going to tour in Europe and that the weather would be nice, and the idea of being stuck in a bus all the time, going from city to city, hotel to hotel, wasn’t too appealing so we decided to travel around in an open-top bus and got some sunshine as we traveled from one place to another".
The bus' exterior is painted in shades of blue, red, green and yellow, with psychedelic artwork by Geoffrey Cleghorn, who modelled its design after the styling of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine album cover.
Discovered in Spain in a state of decay in 2017, the Wings bus was brought to Essex, where it was fully restored it into a functioning bus by Brad Earl, a lorry repairs man.
Some 1,000 items, including guitars played by Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain, are being offered at the auction from Nov. 16–18, taking place at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville and online.
Paul McCartney stated his and the Beatles' long and entwined history with buses: "I went to school on a bus. I met George on a bus, I first saw John on a bus, George auditioned on a bus. Penny Lane was the bus depot. If I was visiting John, I could go from my place in Forthlin Road to Penny Lane, change and go up to his place in Menlove Avenue".