December 5, 2011 13:20

Paul McCartney: 'I felt sick the first time the Beatles played Wembley'

Singer also opens up about his recurring nightmare of people walking out of his gigs

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Paul McCartney has spoken about his history of pre-gig nerves, revealing that he felt like quitting playing live as he was so nervous before The Beatles performed at Wembley Arena.

McCartney is currently in the middle of a European arena tour and also said that he still feels like he has to win some of the crowds over.

Speaking about his record of pre-show nerves, he told the Daily Mirror: "The first time we ever played – pre-Beatles – I screwed up. So I never played lead guitar again. When the Beatles did Wembley (Arena, then known as the Empire Pool) for the first time (in 1963), I felt sick. I thought, 'I’ve got to give this up.'"

McCartney added that even now he encounters crowd members who are "just standing there", but added: "We always manage to get them back in the end."

The singer also spoke a recurring nightmare he still has about where he is performing with The Beatles and people start walking out of his gigs.

He said of this: "I'm with The Beatles and it’s going great, then people start leaving. I turn to the others and go, 'Oh God! 'Long Tall Sally' – that’ll get them back'".

McCartney plays the first of three UK arena shows he has booked for this month tonight (December 5). He appears at London's O2 Arena tonight, at Manchester's Evening News Arena on December 19 and plays a homecoming show in Liverpool at the Echo Arena on December 20.

Check NME.COM tomorrow (December 6) for a full report of tonight's gig at London's O2 Arena.

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