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Paul McCartney reveals his most embarrassing guitar moment

todayApril 10, 2024

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ABC/ Heidi Gutman

Paul McCartney is opening up about one of his most embarrassing moments as a musician in the latest episode of his podcast, Paul McCartney: A Life in Lyrics.

In discussing his early guitar playing, McCartney shared that originally he thought he was good, noting he even had to teach John Lennon guitar chords. John was more familiar with the banjo chords, since he was taught to play guitar by his mom, who only knew how to play banjo. But during an early show at Conservative Club in Liverpool McCartney realized he wasn’t the right person to play guitar in the band.  

“We had this gig and it was like, the first thing I ever played, and I was lead guitar player. John was rhythm,” he shared. “And I had a solo and I totally froze. Could not move my fingers. … It was, like, just so embarrassing.” 

He added, “My lead-guitar-playing career melted at that moment and I said, ‘Well, I’m not doing this again. I’m not cut out for this. I’m no good.’”

It all seemed to work out, though. With McCartney on the bass, George Harrison on lead guitar, Lennon on rhythm guitar and Ringo Starr on drums, The Beatles went on to be one of the biggest bands in the history of music.

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