Musician who played on hits including 'Live And Let Die' and 'My Love' passed away yesterday (June 14)
The Northern Irish musician, who died on Tuesday morning (June 14), toured and recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings in the 1970s. He was invited to join the band following a number of jamming sessions with McCartney, going on to play guitar on Wings’ hit Bond theme ‘Live And Let Die’.
He also played the memorable guitar solo on Wings’ hit ‘My Love’, a Number One hit in the US for the band.
“I was very sad to hear that Henry McCullough, our great Wings guitarist, passed away today,” McCartney said in a statement. “He was a pleasure to work with, a super-talented musician with a lovely sense of humour. The solo he played on ‘My Love’ was a classic that he made up on the spot in front of a live orchestra. Our deepest sympathies from my family to his.”
Speaking about the solo in 2010, McCartney said: “I’d sort of written the solo, as I often did write our solos. And [McCullough] walked up to me right before the take and said, ‘Hey, would it be alright if I try something else?’ And I said, ‘Er… yeah.’”
It was like, ‘Do I believe in this guy?’ And he played the solo on ‘My Love’, which came right out of the blue. And I just thought, Fucking great. And so there were plenty of moments like that where somebody’s skill or feeling would overtake my wishes.”
McCullough also toured as a session musician with legendary rock acts such as Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. One of his career highlights came in 1969, when he played with Joe Cocker at Woodstock, making him the only Irishman to have performed at the festival. Singer and musician Van Morrison, whom McCullough also worked with, said he was “very sorry” to hear about his death.
“I know he had some difficult times recently, but he will be remembered for his long and productive career in music,” he told BBC News. “My thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.”
In his later years, McCullough signed to the Dark Horse record label of another Beatle, George Harrison, through which he released his solo album, ‘Mind Your Own Business’.
His most recent albums include ‘Belfast to Boston’ and ‘Poor Man’s Moon’.