Paul McCartney Reveals 'Embarrassing Moment' That Impacted His Whole Career

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It's difficult to imagine one of the greatest musicians of all time suffering from stage fright, but things were very different in the late 1950s.

Paul McCartney detailed an "embarrassing moment" that ruined his chances of becoming a lead guitarist in the latest episode of his podcast McCartney: A Life In Lyrics on iHeartRadio.

Before the counterculture movement of the '60s and the creation of The Beatles, McCartney and John Lennon played gigs with another band called "The Quarry Men" around their hometown of Liverpool. McCartney's guitar skills were more advanced than his bandmates from the very beginning, but his stage presence needed some refining.

“Mind you, when I first met John, he played banjo chords," the standout explained. "He didn’t play guitar, ‘cause I had to show him guitar chords because he’d been taught by his mum [Julia], and she only knew banjo chords.”

One night, McCartney, Lennon and their fellow Quarry Men took the stage at a local spot called the Conservative Club. McCartney recalled this particular show as a very "embarrassing moment" in early stages of his career. The beloved legend illustrated a time when he was not as confident in his instrumental talents as he is today.

“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.’”

McCartney went on to play bass for The Beatles and the role of lead guitarist was filled by George Harrison. Had that fateful night went differently, one of music's most iconic bands might've had an entirely different story.

To listen to McCartney tell the full tale, check out McCartney: A Life In Lyrics on iHeartRadio!

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