“I had a solo and I totally froze” Paul McCartney reveals what happened when he tried to play lead guitar

The Beatles star recalls the “embarrassing” moment his lead guitar playing career “melted”.

Paul McCartney of The Beatles

Image: David Lefranc / Getty Images

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The next time you find yourself freezing up on stage with your guitar, take comfort in knowing that even Beatles legend Paul McCartney once faced an “embarrassing” moment with the instrument early in his career.

The 81-year-old speaks on a recent episode of his podcast series Paul McCartney: A Life in Lyrics, in which he details a nerve-wracking moment where he tried playing lead guitar instead of bass.

“Mind you, when I first met John. He didn’t play guitar, because I had to show him guitar chords because he’d been taught by his mum [Julia], and she only knew banjo chords,” Macca says [via Daily Mail].

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

“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.”

Elsewhere, McCartney reveals the close bond he shares with his instruments, so much so that he speaks to them sometimes so they wouldn’t feel “lonely”.

“I felt quite guilty in a minor way, so I went over and started playing — and then the song that came out was me talking directly to the guitar and talking about all the times it had helped me,” says the Beatles star.

“We always used to say that when you sit down with your guitar to write a song, you’re telling it your secrets – which then become a song for the world.”

“But at that moment, when you’re alone, the guitar is your confidante. You cradle it. When you go up to a piano, though, it’s almost as if you’re pushing the piano away. They’re different actions completely.”

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