Paul McCartney Nearly Quit Music After an "Embarrassing" Gig on Lead Guitar

"I said, 'Well, I'm not doing this again. I'm not cut out for this. I'm no good.'"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Apr 11, 2024

Paul McCartney recently shared with the world how he used to be the Guy at the Party with the Acoustic Guitar, but more embarrassing to the Beatles bassist was the brief period in which he was a guy with an electric guitar, considering leaving live music entirely.

On the latest episode of the podcast McCartney: A Life in Lyrics on iHeartPodcasts, McCartney revealed how he once held six-string duties for the Beatles during early performances — one of which did not leave the admitted perfectionist feeling particularly confident in his skills.

"We had this gig and it was the first thing I ever played, and I was lead guitar player," McCartney reflected. "John [Lennon] was rhythm. I had a solo and I totally froze. Could not move my fingers."

Did he have the guitar turned upside down by chance? In any case, "It was just so embarrassing," McCartney concluded. "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.'"

Thankfully, despite his move to four strings for the Beatles, McCartney didn't put down the guitar entirely. He went on to write "Blackbird," of course, and explained the song's meaning and inspiration in an episode of A Life in Lyrics late last year.

Recently covered by Beyoncé on her new album COWBOY CARTER, McCartney recently shared of her interpretation of "Blackbird," "I think she does a magnificent version of it, and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place."

Tonight, McCartney will pay tribute to Jimmy Buffett at a tribute concert in Los Angeles.

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