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The guitarist that Paul McCartney said was his favorite

Paul McCartney


The guitarist that Paul McCartney said was his favorite

Besides being one of the most successful songwriters of all time, Paul McCartney is also a praised singer and multi-instrumentalist. He was not only a really influential bassist but he also showed over the decades he is also a really incredible guitarist. The Beatles caused a real revolution especially in Rock and Roll and inspired countless musicians all over the world to learn how to play and write their own songs.


He had the chance to see many incredible artists playing over the decades but he once revealed that his favorite guitarist is one who really had a short career.

The guitarist that Paul McCartney said was his favorite

Well, it might be the most common answer, but Paul McCartney’s favorite guitarist is Jimi Hendrix. That’s what he said in a TV interview back in the 80s. (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) “Jimi Hendrix, it’s gotta be Jimi (The best guitarist of all time). Oh man, great guy. I knew him a little bit because he kind of got discovered over here (In the UK) really. Even though he’d been working a long time in America.”

“I think I was possibly at one of his first gigs down a place called The Bag of Nails. (Which) is a club I used to go to. Actually it’s where I met Linda (McCartney). He just sort of shambled on stage one night. We never really used to bother with the live acts. We used to be more interested in the records.”

He continued:

“The live acts weren’t always that good but he had these very big amps. We were wondering what he was going to do with them. So suddenly this (big noise starts) and we just (were amazed). There were not many people there that night. But a couple of nights later he played again and everyone was there. It was like me, (Pete) Townshend, (Eric) Clapton, all like paying homage already to this man,” Paul McCartney said.

The Beatle was only a few months older than Jimi, but the American artist only was able to achieve fame with his own group in 1967 with the release of the Jimi Hendrix debut record. His career tragically came to an end too soon in 1970 after he passed away at the age of 27. But McCartney continues to pay tribute to the late guitarist in his live shows even more than five decades after his death.

During his tours, he often performs an excerpt of “Foxy Lady” in every show. During his recent tour in 2023, the track was played right after the Wings hit “Let Me Roll It”.

He was impressed by Hendrix in the first second he heard him play

In an interview with Howard Stern in 2018 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), McCartney also recalled that experience of seeing Hendrix one night at a club in London. He was asked by the interviewer how long it took to notice that the American musician was really incredible. The Beatle told him that from the first second Hendrix sang and played the guitar, he could see that he was witnessing something special.
“I certainly loved Jimi, I certainly was one of the first people to see him in London. It was mind-blowing. I was in a club late at night, called ‘The Bag of Nails’, actually where I met Linda. It was empty and I just heard (someone plugging the guitar into a big amp in) a little stage in the corner.”

He continued:

“(I’ve looked) and just sort of turned away and talked to who I was talking. Then it was Jimi, Noel and Mitch, it was the Jimi Hendrix Experience. (They were) in the corner and no one had heard him. He did his whole act to virtually no one in the club (‘Purple Haze’ and all of that). (Jimi) was doing all that stuff and I was just blown away,” Paul McCartney said.

He was then asked by Howard Stern, how long it took during that show for him to be impressed by Hendrix. McCartney replied, saying: “The first minute, the first second he starts singing and playing. This was just me with a couple of friends, late at night, (there was) hardly anyone in the club. I think that was a Friday night and then on the Tuesday the word had got out and now the club was steaming and packed for this new God in town,” Paul McCartney said.
Hendrix’s career was really short compared to McCartney, for example, but those few years were enough to put him in the same category as The Beatles. He is one of the most influential artists of all time and Rock music or guitar playing certainly wouldn’t have been the same during the past decades without his work.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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