Published On: Thu, Apr 11th, 2024

Paul McCartney’s huge embarrassment in front of John Lennon at early Beatles gig | Music | Entertainment

In the late 1950s, before they evolved into The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison met and began playing live together.

During this period the band went through several different names from the Quarrymen, and the Rainbows, to Johnny and the Moondogs, and the Silver Beetles.

Just a teenager at the time, Macca has recalled a very embarrassing moment at an early gig that made him swear off guitar solos.

He told the story in the latest episode of McCartney: A Life in Lyrics on the song Michelle from 1965’s Rubber Soul.

McCartney said: “We played at a place called the Conservative Club, which was above a shop in Broadway, Liverpool. 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. I could not move my fingers. Yeah, let’s go. It was 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 not good.”

Macca also shared how he and Harrison, being a little younger than Lennon, struggled to fit in at the latter’s cool Liverpool College of Art parties.

McCartney shared: “One of the things you used to do was you would go to a party and you would take your guitar with you. Now, John, being older and at art school, would go to art school parties, which me and George normally wouldn’t have an entree into. But I remember going to one and I took my guitar, so I’m sitting enigmatically in the corner with my black polo neck sweater, trying to look French, trying to look interesting to this older crowd. One of the weapons that I used was to play this Frenchy-sounding song and make guttural noises. Half thinking that someone will think, ‘Well, he’s French, probably. Probably intellectual.’ It wasn’t necessary once the Beatles were going to try and look enigmatic. It just was no longer necessary.”

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics is an iHeartPodcast and can be listened to here.

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