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Henry McCullough (1943 - 2016)

Getty Images / Photo by Michael Putland

Henry McCullough (1943 - 2016)

Henry McCullough, a former guitarist with Paul McCartney’s Wings, died June 14, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 72.

His agent, Nigel Martyn, told the Belfast Telegraph that McCullough died after a long illness.

McCullough spent many years playing in rock, blues, and psychedelic rock groups in London in the 1960s. He was a member of the band Eire Apparent, and they opened for such acts as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Afterward, he joined Sweeney’s Men, a group that played innovative folk rock.

McCullough next played with Joe Cocker’s group. He also played with Cocker during Cocker’s famous set at Woodstock in 1969.

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In 1971, McCartney invited him to join his band Wings. McCullough played guitar on the album “Red Rose Speedway.” His guitar solo on the band’s hit song, “My Love,” is considered one of the great guitar solos in rock. Because of musical differences, however, he left Wings after only one album.

He went on to enjoy a long career as a session musician. He played with Ronnie Lane, Eric Burdon, and the group Spooky Tooth.

McCartney paid tribute to his former bandmate with a moving post Tuesday.

"I was very sad to hear that Henry McCullough, our great Wings guitarist, passed away today," McCartney wrote in a blog post. "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.”

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