Wings Guitarist Henry McCullough Suffers Critical Heart Attack
Wings' original Wings guitarist Henry McCullough suffered a major heart attack on Monday (November 5th) in his hometown of County Antrim, Ireland. McCullough, who's 69, was first reported to be dead, but is in fact alive and in critical condition. His sister, Rae Morrison, told the BBC that her brother was still fighting: "He is a very special person. We really are very worried for him, his sister is on her way home from Florida, and his brother is coming home from Glasgow."
Henry McCullough was Paul McCartney's first lead guitarist in Wings, joining the already formed band in January 1972 and quitting in August 1973 on the eve of McCartney and Wings leaving for Lagos to record Band On The Run. He left his mark on such early McCartney solo classics as "Give Ireland Back To The Irish," "C Moon," "Hi Hi Hi," "Mary Had A Little Lamb," "My Love," "Big Barn Bed," "The Mess," "Country Dreamer," "Best Friend," "When The Night," and "Live And Let Die."
Due to money and creative issues, McCullough abruptly quit Wings in August 1973, during pre-production rehearsals for Band On The Run. Although he and McCartney had made their peace in recent years, the fact that he was treated at times as nothing more than a session player for McCartney all but ensured a short tenure in the band: "I went into the band not to be a sideman. Once the whole thing. . . We grasped what we were headin' for, it was heads down and everyone worked towards that particular goal -- and it wasn't for very long. But there was sort of revolution in the air. And (drummer) Denny Seiwell was startin' to feel it a little bit. And all we wanted was to be paid for what we were doin'. I didn't want to be on a weekly wage."
McCullough released his latest solo disc, Unfinished Business, in 2011. Earlier this year, he and Wings co-founder, drummer Denny Seiwell, released the Beatles tribute EP, Shabby Road, which featured the former McCartney sidemen's takes on such "Fab Four" classics as "From Me To You," "Here Comes The Sun," and "Can't Buy Me Love."
Photo courtesy of HenryMcCullough.com